Sonarika Bhadoria: Women aren't natural fighters

Feb 14, 2018, 11:42 IST | Letty Mariam Abraham

Sonarika Bhadoria chats about playing a warrior princess in Prithvi Vallabh

Sonarika Bhadoria
Sonarika Bhadoria

What drew you to the character of Princess Mrinal?
Getting to play a warrior princess and doing action scenes almost every day is thrilling; it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

You've dabbled in TV, South films and Bollywood. Why this constant shift?
I want to master the art of versatility. Being a curious soul, I don't think sticking to one medium will quench my thirst. I like to keep exploring new things. I started off young, made mistakes and learned from them. While I've always dreamt of being part of Bollywood, now that I've explored other avenues, I can't restrict myself to one.

Do you think women's portrayal on television is regressive?
The shows, despite being women-oriented, have always depicted women crying or sacrificing for their husbands. Society doesn't always view women such, and it's high time television acknowledges that. I hope makers wake up and show what the real woman is all about.

Where else do you think TV shows are lacking?
I think TV should follow the web pattern and stick to finite series; it will change the game. We are too used to watching bullshit for years and it just doesn't seem to end. How can one not get tired? Prithvi Vallabh is a finite series. When you are not striving to deliver episodes every day, the finished product will have more finesse. That's why our show looks well-crafted.

How is the experience of shooting a costume drama?
Initially, it felt like an out-of-the-body experience. My armour was so heavy, I couldn't walk or stand the first time I wore it. After a year, it's become like second skin. A particular scene required me to wear the heavy duty costume and jewellery, and swim. The weight kept pulling me down, but we managed to get the shot.

Considering you play an aggressive character, how do you break free from it off camera?
It's emotionally draining. My character is constantly sulking, which is exactly the opposite of how I am in real life. I am bubbly and talkative. The aggressive mood sometimes takes over [even after the camera is switched off]. When I'm back home, I sometimes find myself fighting with my brother or snapping at my mother for no reason, but
then I wisen up.

What has been your takeaway from the show?
I've become stronger, mentally and physically. As women, our anatomy doesn't make us natural fighters. It's easy for men to do action daily. but to ride a horse, get drenched in the rain and be strapped to a harness is not easy when you have your period.

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