Art & Entertainment

Aditi Rao Hydari On Playing Anarkali In 'Taj': Comparison With Madhubala Expected, Will Deal With Humility

Aditi Rao Hydari says she was not afraid to take on the iconic character of Anarkali in new series "Taj - Divided by Blood" as she is prepared to deal with comparisons to cinema legend Madhubala.

Aditi Rao Hydari
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Aditi Rao Hydari says she was not afraid to take on the iconic character of Anarkali in new series "Taj - Divided by Blood" as she is prepared to deal with comparisons to cinema legend Madhubala.

At the trailer launch of the Zee5 show, the actor said she took it as a blessing that she will be playing a part that was earlier essayed by Madhubala in the classic 1960 movie "Mughal-E-Azam".

"(Rather than) being afraid or worried of any kind of comparisons, I look at it as an inspiration that she played Anarkali so beautifully. I took it as a blessing to play this beautiful character but in a different way because I had a different director.

"We are in 2023 and we are making a different kind of a story, it is a similar subject though. If people want to compare, they will and I will deal with it with complete humility because I know what Madhubali ji's performance has been and how incredibly beautiful she was as a performer," the actor told reporters here on Friday night.

"Taj - Divided by Blood" will follow the succession drama that played out in the hallowed chambers of the Mughal empire.

The historical series also features Naseeruddin Shah as King Akbar, Aashim Gulati as Prince Salim, Sandhya Mridul as Queen Jodha Bai, and Dharmendra as Sheikh Salim Chishti.

Hydari admitted that she initially felt intimidated but feels honoured to explore a new aspect of the character.

"Somewhere we look at Anarkali as a larger-than-life tragic heroine but at the core of it, there is a girl, a human with a beating heart. She stands by her love, she stands for the truth and doesn't fear the consequences and that's what Ankarkali really is," she added.

Her co-star Aashim Gulati said the challenge was to humanise Salim.

"What you have seen of Salim before, I don't think I am capable enough to take the name (of) Dilip Kumar sahab. It was very intimidating and very scary.

"I was very nervous to prepare for Salim. I had a week and there was so much to do. There were so many layers to peel and I hope I did justice. Salim for me is an emotion, and the way I treated Salim was just for him to be human,” Gulati said.

Sandhya Mridul will be seen as queen Jodha Bai, a part that she said was a departure from the stereotypical roles she had been receiving for years.

"The minute I wore the clothes, I felt royal because unlike Aditi I don't get calls for royal roles. I am always the cop, agent and 'daku' and all of those things. It was nice to play royalty, it was a nice experience,” she said.

The 10-episode series also stars Taha Shah, Shubham Kumar Mehra, Zareena Wahab, Sauraseni Maitra, and Rahul Bose. It will start streaming on Zee5 from March 3.

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