Ankita Lokhande is all set to make her much awaited Bollywood debut with Krish’s Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi, featuring Kangana Ranaut in the lead role. Ankita will be seen as Jhalkaribai, who shared an uncanny resemblance with the Queen and would often disguise herself as Rani Laxmibai as a way to fool the opponent. The actress, who once dated Sushant Singh Rajout, has been waiting for a long time to foray into the world of Hindi cinema and is all set to do that with this period drama.
When she was asked about the reason behind choosing this film as her debut, Ankita told a leading daily, “It’s a woman-oriented film and that appealed to me. Plus, we have all read about Rani Laxmibai as part of Indian History. But when I was asked to play Jhalkaribai, I didn’t really know who she was. When producer Kamal (Jain) sir and director Krish sir narrated the script to me, I found out that she was Rani Laxmibai’s right-hand woman and almost her replica who would disguise as the Queen in front of the British. So, I realised I had an opportunity to portray an unspoken hero, a warrior, and an integral part of Indian History. I’m sure I will play the typical Hindi film heroine and have my song and dance routines in future. But something like Manikarnika would never come back to me. And to debut with something like this, I’d say I’m lucky.”
So how did she go about prepping for the role, given that such little information is available about her character in Indian history, we wonder, and pat comes the reply, “here was no reference material at all. But the way the character was narrated, I made a sketch in my head; my version of how she must have been — brave, confident and sabki band bajaane wali (laughs). She is exactly how I am in real life. So, maybe, I played this character with my own thought process. ”
Ankita is also very fond of Kangana Ranaut. When the leading daily asked about her equation with the film’s lead actress she said that they are quite alike. “It was amazing. Kangana is a nice human being — lovable and caring. We bonded off the sets, too. She is very professional and completely into her character all the time. I feel she is what she is. I could connect with her because I’m the same, too. Plus, she works hard and is good to others on the sets.” The makers are yet to announce the new release date of the film but reports suggest that they are looking at August 3, 2018 to release the film.