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Pratibha Ranta on Heeramandi: ‘I was feeling overwhelmed because everything felt like a dream’

Pratibha Ranta was recently seen in Laapataa Ladies as well.

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Pratibha Ranta

Laapataa Ladies fame actress Pratibha Ranta is currently seen in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s debut web series Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar streaming on Netflix. In an exclusive conversation with Cine Blitz, Pratibha Ranta talks about the series and life after Laapataa Ladies.

How did you land the role in Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar?

Pratibha Ranta: I auditioned for Shama’s role. It was a special thing to get an opportunity to work with Sanjay Leela Bhansali sir. I was very nervous when I went to meet him for the first time because I had seen his work while growing up. The world that he creates in his films is so beautiful. And when I was a part of that world it felt amazing because I had never seen something like that in my life. I feel like this is just a start and I would like to work more with Sanjay sir.

Tell us something about the character you play in Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar.

Pratibha Ranta: I play Shama. It’s a very beautiful character. She is extremely different from my personality. It was fun shooting that character. I can’t reveal much about the character.

How was your first day on the sets?

Pratibha Ranta: The first day I entered the Heeramandi set I was feeling overwhelmed because everything felt like a dream. It was a huge set. When I went there for the first time, I was scanning the set with a sense of amazement. Everyone on the set was on their toes. It was a very different world and it was a very beautiful feeling.

Also read: Priya Mani on her chemistry with Ajay Devgn in Maidaan: “It just happened very organically”

After that, how was a typical day on Heeramandi set?

Pratibha Ranta: On a typical day, I would get ready and come on the set. I would meet my co-actors and do the lines (dialogue). We would discuss the scene among ourselves and with Sanjay sir. He would give us pointers on what we should be doing. None of the actors brought any baggage with them. It was beautiful to work with these six amazing ladies.

Female characters in a Sanjay Leela Bhansali creation have stood out from the rest. Which is your favourite?

Pratibha Ranta: I watched Black when I was a kid. Rani Mukerji’s younger version was my favourite character. Other than that, Leela in Goliyon Ki Raasleela – Ram-Leela and Gangubai in Gangubai Kathiawadi.

How would you describe your experience of transitioning from TV shows to a realistic film like Laapataa Ladies?

Pratibha Ranta: My experience in this transition was very nurturing because I tapped into such emotions of mine which I had never tapped into before. I got to experience a life that I probably heard about from friends and that felt special. Somewhere, you see a part of yourself in that character. Then that character becomes yours and you take away a lot of things from that character. The dialect that I spoke in Laapata Ladies has become my second language. Sometimes, I speak like that and it feels like it’s a part of me maybe because I played that character with such honesty.

Also read: Richa Chadha shares BTS of her prep of her Kathak song from Heeramandi

How has your life changed after Laapataa Ladies?

Pratibha Ranta: My life has changed very beautifully after Laapataa Ladies’ success because so much love is coming in. People have been messaging me that they could relate to the character I played in the film. Everyone is saying so many good things about the film and it really validates you as an actor. I think it is the most important feeling because if our craft is good, our self-confidence keeps growing.

Being an outsider, have you ever felt pressure to ‘fit in’ into the entertainment industry?

Pratibha Ranta: I think when you come from outside there’s no pressure to fit in because I think when you work with such a big banner, everyone is well aware that everyone starts somewhere. Everyone was welcoming toward me so I didn’t feel the pressure of fitting in. I feel this comes with time and experience. The more you work in this environment, you become friends with people. Nothing more than that.

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