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'I couldn't have asked for a better launch than Rani Padmini'

May 25, 2009 14:26 IST

'I couldn't have asked for a better launch than Rani Padmini'

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Sony Entertainment Television will introduce a whole new range of television shows tonight.

The beautiful Tejaswini Lonari will play Padmini in one of the shows, Chittod Ki Rani Padmini Ka Johur. The show profiles the gorgeous queen, as it tells a story of beauty, loyalty, courage and sacrifice. Slated to run for six months (104 episodes), the historical is produced by (art director) Nitin Desai, who has apparently shot the serial on the sets of his earlier film, Jodhaa Akbar. The cast also includes Rohit Bakshi as Ratan Singh and Mukesh Rishi as Allahuddin Khilji.

The 19-year-old Tejaswini introduces herself to Rajul Hegde, and tells her about her royal show.


Image: Tejaswini Lonari

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'I didn't know much about Rani Padmini'

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First, tell us about yourself.

I am based in Pune. I've always wanted to become an actress. I am a trained actress from the Kishore Namit Kumar acting institute. No one in my family is into acting although my mother is very good at it!

Twenty girls were short-listed out of 110. A series of auditions and look tests followed, and finally, I was selected. I didn't know much about Rani Padmini because we just had a page on Johur and Padmini in our academics. But I didn't have to do much research because I was provided with all the necessary reading by the team. We had acting workshops. I was also trained to ride a horse, do some stunts and sword fighting for six months. I am still learning.


Image: Tejaswini Lonari

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'We're using real jewellery for the show'

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Tell us about your gorgeous outfits in the show.

Neeta Lulla has designed clothes and jewellery. We're using real jewellery for the show. I had done a lot of look tests, so when the shooting started, I carried off the costumes very well without any problems.


Image: Tejaswini Lonari

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'I really feel like a queen when I am shooting'

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What was the shooting like?

When I faced the camera for the first time, I didn't get nervous because the team made me comfortable. Also, I am trained actress. We don't have fixed shooting schedules; we worked as per the situations. We work hard but it doesn't mean that they make us slog. They took good care of me and gave me enough time to rest and look fresh.

I have done all the stunts on my own. I was once put on a 30 feet high crane with a harness. I was petrified hanging in the air. Even now, when I think of it, I get the goose bumps. I had my college exams when we were shooting for the stunts. But the production house was sweet enough to let me go and give my exams.

Nitin sir is a hard taskmaster and he knows how to get the best out of an actor. Though I am shy and simple, I can relate to my character to a certain extent.

The sets are very grand and beautiful. I really feel like a queen when I am shooting. The sets have become my second home now. But I don't miss my family much because my mother is always with me.


Image: Tejaswini Lonari

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'It feels good when people compare me to Rani'

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Some people think you look like Rani Mukerji.

It feels good when people compare me to Rani because she's one of the best actresses, and my favourite too. It also feels good to be compared to Aishwarya's look in Jodhaa Akbar. But when you watch the show, you'll see it is totally different.

Will we see you in films soon?

There's no difference between television and films. If you have the will and luck, you will definitely make it big. I don't have anything against saas-bahu shows. If I am offered one, I'm sure I can carry it off well. I am blessed to have got the role of Rani Padmini. I couldn't have asked for a better launch.

Watch Chittod Ki Rani Padmini Ka Johur from Mondays to Thursdays at 8pm on Sony Entertainment Television.


Image: Tejaswini Lonari

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