Actress Swati Semwal says she has quit Kangana Ranaut's MANIKARNIKA: THE QUEEN
OF JHANSI as she was unsure if her role would have been substantial enough following Sonu Sood's exit from the movie.
Swati was to be seen as Parvati, wife of Maratha Army commander-in-chief Sadashiv Rao Bhau, originally to be played by Sonu and now being essayed by Zeeshan Ayyub.
"I have quit the project. Earlier also I was not sure, I was in two minds, but a few days back, my team had a meeting and we decided to quit the project because I don't think so at this point of time, this project is good for the career path that I am taking," Swati told IANS over phone from Mumbai.
She said her decision was conveyed to the film's team earlier this week.
The actress, last seen in films like BAREILLY KI BARFI and FANNEY KHAN, says the meeting was held as she wanted to know more about the project and about how her role was shaping up and what is it going to be.
"After the meeting, I realized that it was not so significant anymore. It was not what we signed for when I signed the film, so we decided to part ways," she added.
Did Sonu's walk-out from the project last month drive her decision to exit the historical biopic on Rani Laxmibai?
"Not really. At this point, whatever project I am signing for or even what I have done, whether it is BAREILLY KI BARFI or FANNEY KHAN… Not that they were very big roles, but whatever was there, was pretty substantial.
"I'm looking for performance-oriented, substantial roles. I am not stuck on lead roles, but whatever I have to do, I want it to be substantial enough and even MANIKARNIKA had a pretty strong character. But now I don't think so it's the same anymore," Swati said.
For Swati, the alarm bells rang as while Sonu was required to dedicate almost three months, Zeeshan's requirement was much less.
"My work would have definitely reduced. Thinking about that, we decided we should not take this up again. Now, I don't know whether the writers, Kangana or producer took this decision, but I am sure whatever they are doing, they are doing in the best interest for the film.
"Everyone wants the film to go ahead and do well. From my side, I have no bad feelings or a bitter taste. One has to do what one has to. I am doing what I have to do for my career. And they have to do what they have to do for the film," added Swati.
Director Krish was helming the movie, but as he got busy with his other film, Kangana stepped in to direct the patchwork of MANIKARNIKA.
While Sonu left the movie owing to his professional commitment towards SIMMBA, Kangana claimed he left the movie as he "refused to work under a woman director".
Produced by Zee Studios and Kamal Jain, MANIKARNIKA is slated to release on January 25, 2019.