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Sanjay Leela Bhansali Reveals Pakistani Actors Were Considered For Heeramandi

The recently released trailer transports viewers to the era when courtesans held significant sway, set against the backdrop of India's struggle for independence in the 1940s

Edited By : Aniket Raj | Updated: May 1, 2024 11:26 IST
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Heeramandi
Heeramandi

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s much-anticipated show, Heeramandi, is scheduled for release today, May 1, on Netflix. The series features Sonakshi Sinha, Aditi Rao Hydari, and Manisha Koirala in prominent roles. However, Bhansali disclosed in a recent interview that his initial choices for the project were Rekha and Kareena Kapoor. He also mentioned considering Mahira Khan for a role. Interestingly, Bhansali mentioned that Heeramandi was initially conceptualized as a film.

During the premiere of the series in Los Angeles, Sanjay Leela Bhansali made the revelation. In a video circulating on Reddit, Bhansali was questioned about whether the current cast were his original choices. He disclosed that Heeramandi was initially conceived 18 years ago as a film project. “This was 18 years ago, at one point it was Rekha ji, Kareena, and Rani Mukerji,” Bhansali disclosed during the interview.

“Rekha, Kareena and Rani were my first choices for Heeramandi.” – Sanjay Leela Bhansali
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Then it shifted to a different lineup. Initially, it involved Mahira Khan, the Pakistani actress, alongside Imran Abbas and Fawad Khan. However, that lineup changed over time.

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In ‘Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar’, the ensemble cast now includes Manisha Koirala, Sonakshi Sinha, Aditi Rao Hydari, Richa Chadha, Sharmin Sehgal, and Sanjeeda Sheikh portraying the roles of tawaifs. Additionally, the series features Fardeen Khan, Taha Shah Badussha, Shekhar Suman, and Adhyayan Suman portraying the Nawabs.

The trailer, unveiled earlier last month, took fans on a journey back to an era where courtesans held sway like royalty. Set against the tumultuous backdrop of the Indian Independence movement in the 1940s, the series delves into the cultural intricacies of the renowned locality, Heera Mandi, through the narratives of courtesans and their patrons.

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First published on: May 01, 2024 10:50 AM IST

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