Actress Hemal Dev, who plays the role of Kalyani in the historical drama ‘Vidrohi’, shares about portraying a layered character of a warrior princess. “Kalyani is a very strong character, and that’s what I love about her the most. She doesn’t believe in patriarchy and prefers breaking stereotypes. Kalyani does get emotional but she works her way through her emotions and in many ways is an ‘Aaj ki Naari’ (contemporary woman).”
She elucidates how much she relates to Kalyani and says: “I must say that we are different and I’ve learnt a lot from her. She is an extremely fearless person in terms of physicality, while I’m a delicate darling. I’m a person who doesn’t like too much adventure. A good idea for a holiday would always be a beach and not a mountain. So that says a lot about who I am.”
Calling ‘Vidrohi’ a different kind of a show having good content, Hemal adds that such period dramas often have a variety of insights as they talk about different times. She also finds it fun to shoot in terms of the kind of costumes one wears, how the sets look and the language used by the characters.
“It’s a very challenging show and our makers definitely deserve huge credit in making it so authentic. It is sort of a biopic on Buxi Jagabandhu (Sharad Malhotra), an unsung hero. It feels good to be able to share the story of this daring freedom fighter who gave the British sleepless nights during the freedom struggle,” she adds.
Talking about the look and costumes in the show, Hemal shares that costumes for period pieces are always interesting.
“We’re talking about the early 19th century. I am thankful to my makeup, hair, and costume team. They are good and get me ready within 40 minutes. Costumes are fun but it’s a very tough job honestly to handle the kind of costumes that I wear. And it only makes me respect women of that century all the more. Heavy embroidery, jewellery, etc is difficult to carry, forget the itching that happens. Costumes that Kalyani or Buxi Jagabandhu or Radhamani (Sulagna Panigrahi) wear are unique but difficult to flaunt,” she explains.
The best compliment that she has got for Kalyani is that the character is an inspiration for the young women of today. “People loved the scene where after I have conquered the mountain, I am standing at the top while the red satin dupatta attached around my waist flies high. That scene showcases women’s power and strength. Many found that scene beautiful and inspiring,” she shares.