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History in the making
With magnum opus historical shows like Porus and Prithvi Vallabh making waves with tales of warriors and bravery. SANGEETA YADAV speaks to actors of the new show Prithvi Vallabh about being a part of historical
Whether it was Ekta Kapoor’s Jodha Akbar or Abhimanyu Singh’s Chakravartin Ashoka Samrat, Bharat Ka Veer Putra - Maharana Pratap or Jhansi Ki Rani, showmakers down the decades have brought alive some amazing historical drama to the small screen to general applause. And now these historicals have got bigger and splashier Porus and Prithvi Vallabh which delves into the lives of warriors and their brave acts.
After a divine intervention as Ram in Siya Ke Ram and as Parvati in Devon Ke Dev... Mahadev, Ashish Sharma and Sonarika Bhadoria have stepped into the shoes of warrior prince Prithvi and princess Mrinalvati, respectively. The show, which is a dramatisation of a novel by the same name written by Kanaiyalal Maneklal Munshi, revolves around the life of Avantipur Prithvi Vallabh, a kind and peaceful heir of the Malwa dynasty who falls for Mrinalvati, sister of the king of Manykhet, Tailap. The hatred on a battlefield ends up in one of most romantic intense love stories of all times.
“As an actor, I believe in being a part of shows like Prithvi Vallabh which depicts our history and culture. As a child, the only mythology historicals I knew was through television because we never used to read Ramayan and Mahabharat. So it is very important in every decade that these kinds of shows come up and make our generations aware of our history. I really like being a part of such shows,” Ashish Sharma says.
Essaying the role of warrior princess Mrinalvati, Sonarika Bhadoria, who is making a comeback after five years after Devon Ke Dev... Mahadev, says that to do this kind of role is a dream of every actor. “Which actor does not want to play warrior princess ? This role is just what I had wished for. Mrinalvati is a very driven, independent, beauty with brains as well as strength. She has is clued into politics and single-handedly manages the kingdom behind her brother king . She is a fantastic warrior and a great strategist,” Bhadoria says, adding that the show will enrapture viewers with its breathtaking visuals, canvas and scale of production.
After giving a long-lasting performance as Chandragupt Maurya and Ram, Sharma is now leaving no stone unturn to do justice to Prithvi Vallabh. “Prithvi Vallabh’s thought process was pretty much like me as he too was a poet by heart and a sufi follower. I also write poetry, some of which has been used in the show. The challenge was to get the attitude right. Prithvi Vallabh is full of compassion and a confidence, sometimes bordering on arrogance. To balance the thin line between self-confidence and arrogance was difficult for me to capture initially, but slowly I got it right,” Sharma tells you.
What makes this show different from others is its finite format. “Initially, it was the format and the work culture that attracted me to this project. I wanted to be a part of this in whatever capacity I could be. The show has two seasons, each having 40 episodes that will air only on Saturday and Sunday at 9:30 pm on Sony. We’ve been shooting for a year now and completed 40 episodes which is a lot of time taken in making the show to ensure no compromise on quality,” Sharma tells you.
All set to shoot the second season, Sharma feels that shooting a finite series is easier as well as challenging at the same time. “When you do a daily show, the story twists and turns every week to pull up the graph. But in this show, it is all said and done. If it works, it works. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. There is a risk involved but we go with our conviction. It is more fun too to work in this kind of format because actors are not time bound and there is less pressure. You are shooting at your own pace. Because you get a lot of creative liberty, the emphasis is on writing and execution. Small details are taken care of on an everyday basis which we tend to ignore in the daily format,” Sharma explains.
For Bhadoria, the challenge is to do the stunts. “Every day is a new learning experience for me. There are so many stunts and action scenes that we pull off wearing heavy costumes. It becomes very tiring sometimes but when our hard work is appreciated by people, there is immense joy and satisfaction,” Bhadoria says.
While performing a stunt, Sharma got a hip injury. But he considers injuries a part and parcel of life. “I’ve grown used to injuries because, in every show, I’ve got some or the other injury. But I never use a body double as the viewers can see the difference on screen. They can’t match your body language, and energy,” Sharma says.
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