"For me, it was very difficult to do"
Richa Chadha is set to star in the Netflix series Heeramandi which revolves around the lives of courtesans in Lahore.
The series was created by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and is believed to contain eight episodes.
Heeramandi is set to take viewers back to the 1940s and tell the story of various courtesans and their line of work in what is known as the Red Light District of Lahore.
Richa spoke of the difficulties she faced in embracing her character and said working with Sanjay Leela Bhansali was “difficult”.
She said: “You are told to wear a 30kg lehenga, take four rounds and on the beat just pause, a tear should fall from your left eye because that is where the light is coming from.
“It is meditation level of concentration. For me, it was very difficult to do, especially in a commercial space.”
Sanjay Leela Bhansali is known for his meticulous direction and impeccable eye for detail, which has been portrayed in his blockbuster movies such as Devdas, Padmaavat and Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela.
Richa recalled working with Sanjay in the past and said that even though there had been a wide gap since they worked together, it did not feel like much time had passed.
She said: “I’ve worked with him in Ram-Leela. We have had a ten-year gap but we picked up from where we left off.
“I love working with him because he is relentless.
“When you work with him, even your toe is important. I feel very scared on his sets because you can’t do anything half-heartedly.
“From body language to your hair, all of these things are important to him.
“He is very perfect in terms of aesthetics. So you can’t miss out on these things.”
Although a release date for Heeramandi has not yet been announced, there is a buzz of anticipation for the series to be released as viewers wait to be transported to a world of glitz and glamour but also of tragedy and strength.
Heeramandi is not the first series to highlight the struggles of courtesans.
Films such as Pakeezah, Umrao Jaan, Devdas and Mughal-e-Azam have touched on the topic of dancing girls and the emotional lives they lead.
Alongside Richa Chadha, the series will also star Sonakshi Sinha, Manisha Koraila, Aditi Rao Hydari and Sanjeeda Sheikh.