Actress Sonarika Bhadoria talks about her show Prithvi Vallabh, the types of roles she wants to play and the experience of working with Ashish Sharma
After playing the mythological Parvati/ Adishakti in Devon Ke Dev...Mahadev, Sonarika Bhadoria is now set to play a historical character. The pretty actress is playing the role of Mrinal in Anirudh Pathak’s debut production Prithvi Vallabh, which will air on Sony from January 20.
A finite series, Prithvi Vallabh narrates the tale of two archival warriors — Prithvi (played by Ashish Sharma), an advocator of the philosophy of humanism, and Mrinal (played by Sonarika) who is the warrior princess of Manyakhet and is born out of pure vengeance.
Sonarika says that Mrinal is a self-made, independent, driven and revengeful person. “She is an all-rounder, basically jack-of-all-trades and is also very intelligent,” she says while promoting the show.
When playing a historical character, one has to study the role properly and maintain the balance between fiction and non-fiction. And Sonarika did her homework well. She says, “A lot of research has gone into making the show. Before starting off, we were given a book on the characters, the plot, history. Since it’s a historical, we couldn’t move away from the main plot. So when I began shooting, I knew the character and how to portray it,” she says during the shooting for the show.
She points out that it’s both physically and emotionally challenging to play a character like Mrinal or Parvati but as an artist, her primary focus is to master the art of versatility. “It helps in my personal growth. It’s pointless to do things that will not interest you and will not give you the scope to perform. It’s so easy to dance around and play the girl-next-door kind of character, which I am in real life, but I find it challenging to play such characters,” she says.
She further adds, “In the beginning of my career, I played simple homely characters but people remember me for playing Parvati. After Devon..., I went down South, which is a male-dominated industry. Actresses do not get much scope, but there are a few who play strong characters. Having said that, over a period of time, I have realised that these are the roles I want to play. It’s not everyday that you have a Jennifer Winget playing Maya in a serial like Beyhadh. I want to play such strong characters.”
Sonarika had to learn sword-fighting and horse-riding for her character Mrinal but she had already lost oodles of weight and had also undertaken combat training because she was about to work on a film project which eventually did not take off. Talking about the amount of effort that has gone into the role, she says, “When I was approached for the role, I told Anirudh (Pathak) sir that I would get six-pack abs because I was playing a warrior princess. I worked on it for a month and finally achieved it. On the day of the shoot, he told me, ‘Sonarika, this is not looking nice because those women did not have abs and we are showing our culture. You need to gain some weight to hide the six-pack’. I was surprised and tried reasoning with him. But eventually I was fed on the set and gained some weight (laughs).”
She says that the entire team has put in a lot of hard work into the show, which will be aired every weekend around 9.30 pm. “Prithvi Vallabh is India’s answer to international shows. We have tried to make it as grand as possible. It’s nothing like what the audience has seen before. We aim to set a benchmark and give something different to the audience, hope they like it,” she adds.
Ask her about her co-star Ashish and she says that he is an honest and hardworking performer. “He is a good human being. He has helped me a lot and I have learnt a lot from him,” she quips.
The actress hopes to continue working in films though she says that nothing has been finalised yet. “We are working on Prithivi Vallabh just like a film because it’s a finite show. I have been told by the producer that we will have a gap before we start working on the second season,” she says before signing off.