Actress Aetashaa Sansgiri who is playing the titular role of ‘Ahilyabai Holkar’ in historical drama ‘Punyashlok Ahilyabai’, shares in detail about the ongoing sequence and how she prepared herself for this character.
She says: “The current track of the show revolves around how ‘Ahilya’ is battling with ‘Khanderao’s new found addiction with alcoholism. She loves him dearly, cares for him but she cannot accept him with this vice. Also, as he is on the path to become a king finally, she knows what is at stake and that she cannot let his secret out either. So, she is in a fix and is constantly trying to middle the ground. This is a battle that she is dealing with.”
On the question that the makers had an individual approach towards her character, she replies back: “Our director believes that our show should have a very subtle and organic approach to emotions. Nothing needs to be over-the-top or dramatic as historical shows usually tend to get. So, whenever we are reading the scenes, he allows us to work on our instincts and bring our own individuality into the character. But of course there are inputs as well regarding character development and mannerisms. So, I feel it’s a perfect blend of both things.”
Aetashaa further comments on the training and preparation she underwent to bring out the intricacies of this character. “Since I am not playing a fictional character but rather portraying a legend that changed the course of history, I had to make sure that I got it right. I attended several workshops in order to learn about the dialect, her mannerisms, understand her thought process, get familiar with the culture and more.”
“In addition to this, I did my own research by searching on the web and reading history books. Furthermore, we were taught specific skills – horse riding, sword fighting by experts and professionals before the shoot even began. So, yes it took a lot for me to prepare for this character and every moment of it has been so fulfilling and rewarding,” she adds.
She shares about her bonding with co-actor Gaurav Amlani, saying: “My bond with Gaurav is really a fascinating one. He is such a focused and sincere actor. Whenever we do our scenes, I can see how in-depth he goes about the smallest of details. He literally goes into another zone. Cut to when the scene gets over, we are just constantly pulling each other’s legs, troubling each other and what not. The team calls us ‘Tom and Jerry’ because we are constantly bickering all the time.”