'I have told my parents that whenever I decide to get married, even if you like the boy, I will elope.'
'Just for the fun of it, for that feeling of excitement.'
In Dastaan-E-Mohabbat, the new television show which premiered on October 1, Shaheer Sheikh and Sonarika Bhadoria play Salim and Anarkali.
After acting in Devon Ka Dev... Mahadev, Prithvi-Vallabh and Dastaan-E-Mohabbat, Sonarika seems to have mastered playing larger-than-life characters.
But she tells Rediff.com contributor Rajul Hegde "I cannot even think of my name being said in the same sentence as Madhubala," referring to the role the late legendary actress played in K Asif's epic Mughal-e-Azam.
You play the iconic character of Anarkali. Are you nervous?
There's a lot of nervousness, excitement and happiness. But it feels great.
Is there any pressure because this is the first time a television show is being made on the Salim-Anarkali love story?
Comparisons are bound to happen, but we are not attempting a remake of Mughal-e-Azam.
This is a fresh take on Salim and Anarkali.
In my head, Madhubalaji is eternal, from another world altogether.
She is untouchable.
I cannot even think of my name being said in the same sentence as hers.
How much did you know about Salim-Anarkali before you signed the show?
I have seen Mughal-e-Azam 10 times.
Did you go through any training to play the character?
I have been training in Kathak for the last one month.
I am still on my basics, there is a long way to go.
I feel it is the most beautiful and graceful dance form.
My mom is from Lucknow; Urdu se bahut acchi tarah wakif hain as many of her best friends are Muslim.
She helps me brush up my skills and makes me learn new words.
I am also taking help from Shaheer, who is very good in Urdu.
The makers of this show are very particular about me coming out of my character in my previous show, Prithvi Vallabh. It was wonderful, but a physically stressful project.
I was groomed as an actor and as a person. It will always be special.
The body language was different because the character was always angry. Anarkali is completely in contrast to that.
Have you ever been a rebel in love?
Not yet. But I have told my parents that whenever I decide to get married, agar aap log ladka dhoond bhi loge, aapko pasand bhi aa jaayega, main bhaag kar hi shaadi karungi (even if you like the boy, I will elope).
Just for the fun of it, for that feeling of excitement.
Do you fear getting typecast?
If I had continued doing mythological shows for many years, I would have been typecast.
But when you get to play so many variations, I do not feel I will be typecast.
After Devon Ka Dev...Mahadev, where I played Parvati, I knew offers to play goddesses will pour in.
So I took a deliberate break from TV and did four South Indian films and a Bollywood film.
When I was about to do my second film, things did not work out and that's when Prithvi Vallabh happened.
Saas-bahu kind of shows are not the kind of content I am interested in. I can't see myself doing such roles.
You were trolled for posting bikini pictures on social media when you were playing mythological characters. Are you careful about the pictures you post now?
These days, trolling has become almost as important as breathing.
You get trolled regardless if you are an actor or not.
Gone are the days where people take trolling seriously.
They are a bunch of useless people, who know they are invisible behind the screen and can write whatever they want to.
How does that change anything in your life?
You are leading a good life and doing the best work, that’s what is important.