"I can never take Tunisha's place"
The makers of Alibaba: Dastaan-e-Kabul have cast Manul Chudasama as the new Princess Mariam, previously played by Tunisha Sharma, who was tragically found dead on the set of the show.
The news comes after it was previously reported that they would not replace Tunisha.
Tunisha’s death caused shockwaves and it was believed that she took her own life.
Her co-star and former boyfriend Sheezan Khan was accused of driving her to suicide and beating her.
Abhishek Nigam later replaced Sheezan as the titular Ali Baba.
Manul Chudasama has now been named as the new Princess Mariam and on getting the role, she said:
“I am really grateful for the character and the show for choosing me. It is a surreal feeling to be a part of the show.”
When asked about replacing Tunisha, Manul told ETimes:
“Replacing wouldn’t be the right word. I am not replacing Tunisha but coming up with a fresh perspective on the character.
“I can never take Tunisha’s place, she did an amazing job in the show and I just hope that people love the character and shower us with the same love that they did before.”
Manul was last seen in Brij Ke Gopal. Due to low ratings, the show was cancelled, however, her performance was praised.
On taking up the lead role of Princess Mariam, Manul said:
“This is my fourth show as a lead so there isn’t any nervousness, instead, I am really excited to be a part of the show.”
“I have already begun shooting.”
The new casting comes a few weeks after it was reported that the makers would not replace Tunisha Sharma.
Tunisha’s death led to the show going on a hiatus.
During the break, officials said that when the show returned, they would have a new lead pair of characters and the show would focus on new storylines.
Shortly after Tunisha’s death, Chandan K Anand said:
“Tunisha wanted to have a word with me. But we never got time. There was always something or the other going on the sets. The next day she took the drastic step.
“The point is actors are quite vulnerable because we tend to find emotions in it.
“Sharing is very important. She (Tunisha Sharma) was always happy and smiling.
“This has become a lesson for all of us, some are running behind followers on social media, and some for lead roles.”