Manisha Koirala On The "Most Challenging" Heeramandi Fountain Scene: "I Knew I Had Passed A Critical Physical Test"

Manisha wrote, "It required me to be immersed in a water fountain for over 12 hours"

May 12, 2024 - 14:00
Manisha Koirala On The "Most Challenging" Heeramandi Fountain Scene: "I Knew I Had Passed A Critical Physical Test"

Manisha Koirala, soaring high with the success of Heeramandi, shared a long post about how the series turned out to be a "milestone" in her life professionally and personally. Manisha pointed out that she had never imagined life would give her a second opportunity after "turning 50" and battling with cancer. Manisha shared some beautiful snapshots from the series and wrote, "I could never have imagined that after cancer and turning 50, my life would flower into this other phase. Two reasons: 1. Heeramandi has been a significant milestone. As a 53-year-old actor who has bagged an important role in a high-profile web series, I am overjoyed that I'm not stuck playing insignificant peripheral roles, thanks to OTT platforms and changing audience profiles. Finally, female actors, technicians, and other professionals have started getting the long overdue and well-deserved good quality of work and respect in a professional environment. I am fortunate to be a part of this evolving era."

Manisha wrote about the second reason, "2. Today, when I am receiving so many accolades, I can't help but remember the doubts and anxiety that plagued me when I was about to start shooting. Still recovering from the dreaded C, would my body be strong enough to deal with the intense shooting schedules, heavy costumes, and jewelry, and perform a role requiring so much nuance and effortless effort?"

Manisha also recalled the experience of shooting the "most physically challenging" fountain sequence. FYI, Manisha was raped by the British officers as a price she paid to release her daughter Alamzeb from the clutches of the officers. After the gruelling torture, Manisha sat under a fountain to relieve her pain (physical and psychological). About the shooting experience, Manisha wrote, "The fountain sequence proved the most physically challenging. It required me to be immersed in a water fountain for over 12 hours. That tested my resilience! Even though Sanjay had thoughtfully ensured that the water was warm and clean, over the hours, the water turned muddy, (because my team members, the Cinematographer, and the art director's team were getting into the water to work around the scene.) Every single pore in my body was soaked in that muddy water. Even though I was beyond exhaustion by the end of the shoot, I felt a deep happiness within my heart. My body had taken the stress and remained resilient. I knew I had passed a critical physical test."

Manisha signed off her long post with these words, "To you, who think your time has come and gone, whether it's due to age, illness or any setback, never give up! You never know what could be waiting for you around the bend!"

During the promotions of Heeramandi, Manisha Koirala talked about her journey in the film industry, life after battling cancer and her experience of working with Sanjay Leela Bhansali after 28 years. During her interaction with NDTV, Manisha said, "When I was offered this project, I was in Nepal, gardening and I was really thrilled. I waited for such a long time. It took 28 years of waiting and finally Sanjay came with a good project and i told him, 'Sanjay don't take another 28 years to offer me another good one.'"

She continued, "I have seen his movies after Khamoshi. So much pleasure and joy it gives me to see his career graph and one after the other brilliant film he has made. At this age and stage in my life when I was offered this, I was really thrilled."

Heeramandi opened to largely positive reviews. In his review for NDTV, film critic Saibal Chatterjee wrote, "Bhansali tempers his maximalist methods with restraint. The series is a celebration of as well as a lament for a house of spirited courtesans yearning for dignity and liberty in the tumultuous final years of the British Raj, an era marked by the rapidly declining clout of the nawabs who were the chief patrons of the nautch girls of Heeramandi." The series stars Manisha Koirala, Richa Chadha, Aditi Rao Hydari, Sharmin Segal, and Sanjeeda Shaikh, Fardeen Khan, Shekhar Suman, Adhyayan Suman, and Taha Shah.

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