Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Advice to Aditi Rao Hydari Before a Crucial Heeramandi Scene

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s highly anticipated Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar is set to premiere on Netflix today, marking the director’s debut on the OTT platform. The star-studded series features Aditi Rao Hydari, Sonakshi Sinha, Manisha Koirala, Sharmin Sehgal, Richa Chadha, and Sanjeeda Sheikh in pivotal roles. In a recent conversation with, Aditi Rao Hydari revealed an intriguing anecdote about her experience working with Bhansali.

Hydari recounted how Bhansali once instructed her to refrain from eating before a particular scene that required her to portray intense emotions. She shared, “One day, Sanjay sir kept me hungry because I had to do a scene which was full of fire. He said, ‘Aaj khana mat khana [Don’t eat today]’, and that helped me get that simmering sense of injustice.”

Reflecting on another occasion, Hydari reminisced about a visit to Bhansali’s home during a break in filming. She recalled, “In between the lockdowns, I went to meet him (Sanjay Leela Bhansali) because I was missing him. The first thing he said was, ‘Kitni patli ho gayi hai, khaana khao!’ So he fed me.”

Hydari also shared insights into Bhansali’s directing style, highlighting his penchant for music and his ability to empower his actors. She remarked, “There’s always music playing in his head and quite often, he gives it to his actors as well when he’s directing. Contrary to popular belief, he gives his actors a lot of space. He wants them to find their magic.”

Describing Bhansali’s inspirational leadership, Hydari added, “He’s so inspired by everything around, by human emotion, art, music, dance…that he constantly wants to better himself. So the team is inspired by his vision to keep running with him. He effortlessly manages to push you where you didn’t believe you could go. He teaches you without actually sitting down with a danda!”

Hydari concluded with a delightful anecdote from the set, recalling a memorable moment involving actor Fardeen Khan during the filming of a mujra scene. She said, “Our shoot started with the mujra that you see in the first episode. I think on day three, Fardeen (Khan) sir came to set. I was listening to Sanjay sir and trying to follow everything that he was telling me because he knows so much about dance.”

Hydari continued, “At some point, he went to talk to Fardeen sir and was like, I hope you’re okay. Fardeen sir was like, this is the first time I’m doing this. I’ve never worn clothes like this, but I could get used to this because there was a girl (wearing that and) dancing in front of me (Laughs).”

About Seema Vishwas

An anchor with CNBC TV18 for almost 4 years. Also co-anchors prime-time market shows like Power Breakfast, Traders only, Markets Mid-day and NSE Closing Bell.

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