Sanjay Leela Bhansali Birthday Special: Manisha Koirala to Deepika Padukone, the maverick and his muses

23 February,2024 06:12 PM IST |  Mumbai  | 

Sanjay Leela Bhansali is known to retain his muses over the years. It surely isn`t an easy task to be a part of the maverick filmmaker`s banner. Here`s a look at the ones who have become his constants.

Manisha Koirala, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Deepika Padukone

Ace filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali, known for his extravagant sets turns 61 on February 24. Besides the grandeur, what distinguishes him from the rest is his choice of actors who partake in his magnum opus celluloid. Not many can survive the meticulous process of Bhansali, but those who have stood the test of time, have remained to reap the fruits by sustaining in the limelight. As we approach another project in the form of his OTT debut - ‘Heeramandi' which will be released on Netflix, here's looking at how the filmmaker retains his muses from time to time.

Manisha Koirala, who is returning after ‘Khamoshi: The Musical' (1996), will play a key role in ‘Heeramandi' among other actors. Manisha, who hasn't done many noteworthy projects lately barring a few like ‘Sanju' and ‘Lust Stories' has churned in excitement among fans, who can't wait to witness her prowess on screen once again. The series will also mark the return of Richa Chadha, who played a supporting role in ‘Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela', as well as Aditi Rao Hydari, who was seen in ‘Padmaavat'.

Bhansali, who made his debut with ‘Khamoshi' only rose to fame as the maker of larger-than-life films due to ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam' where his muse was former Miss World, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. The actress went on to become a Bhansali favourite, not just for her whimsical blue eyes but also for her impeccable acting and dancing skills. She went on to do the lead in the classic remake of Devdas and also featured in Guzarish alongside Hrithik Roshan.

Bhansali's Black starring Rani Mukerji is one of the few films that comes to mind that is packed with emotions and possesses the power to engage with unique storytelling. Rani Mukerji, who was seen as a romantic heroine in chiffon sarees, wowed the audience with her skills as an artist and also scored a supporting role in Saawariya which marked the debut of Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor.

In 2013, Bhansali roped in the power couple Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone for ‘Ram Leela'. The film, although did not sit well with the critics, it remains to be a significant chapter for its two leads who found love on set. It also featured Priyanka Chopra in a cameo and the trio eventually scored lead roles of equal importance in ‘Bajirao Mastani'.

Deepika and Ranveer bagged another film with Bhansali and breathed life into the story of Queen Padmavati in the form of ‘Padmaavat'. Despite courting controversy, the film was a hit among the fans.

In 2022, Bhansali found a brand new muse in Alia Bhatt, who changed the game with ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi'. She explained in several interviews how tough it is to be this director's actor. Post ‘Heeramandi', Bhansali will be back with another film titled ‘Love and War'. The film will feature Alia alongside Ranbir, while the new entrant under Bhansali's umbrella will be Vicky Kaushal.

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sanjay leela bhansali deepika padukone manisha koirala aishwarya rai bachchan alia bhatt
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