Richa Chadha reveals Sanjay Leela Bhansali used real jewellery, and vintage fabrics for 'Heeramandi'

"We need someone who brings to life these larger-than-life characters," says Richa
Richa Chadha and Sanjay Leela Bhansali behind the scenes of 'Heeramandi'
Richa Chadha and Sanjay Leela Bhansali behind the scenes of 'Heeramandi'Pic: Instagram/@therichachadha and @netflix_in

Richa Chadha, who is all geared up for the release of her upcoming period drama Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar, has revealed how the Indian auteur Sanjay Leela Bhansali (SLB) has used real vintage jewellery, fabrics for the costumes to achieve the grandeur of the series. Marking the OTT debut of SLB, the series explores the cultural reality of Heeramandi, a dazzling district, through the stories of courtesans and their patrons set against the tumultuous backdrop of the Indian freedom struggle of the 1940s.

Talking to a media source, on the sidelines of the Cinevesture International Film Festival 2024 (CIFF), Richa, who was last seen in Fukrey 3 said SLB is very conscious of his world.

Richa Chadha and Sanjay Leela Bhansali behind the scenes of 'Heeramandi'
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"He is very aware that it is not realistic. But that's his vision, he wants that grandeur, poetry, music, velvet, costumes and jewellery. All the jewellery we are wearing is real. Even if it's three-four kgs of jewellery it's all real, all vintage pieces. Vintage fabrics have been used to sow the costumes," shared Richa.

"So, I always feel like 'aisa bhi to koi hona chahiye', when we are making all these gritty and realistic cinema. While we are doing Fukrey and other movies, we need someone who brings to life these larger-than-life characters, just literal magnum opus."

Speaking about the preparations that she underwent for the role of Lajjo, Richa said: "A lot of Urdu diction and talafuz classes. I have studied Kathak for a decade when I was a kid, so I had to polish that up. I did voice modulation."

Richa's husband and actor Ali Fazal, who was also present at the festival added: "A lot of dancing, man."

The 37-year-old actress said: "How women used to speak in 1930, 1940, and 1950s, I tried to bring that into my spoken language. That talk had rhythm."

The series also stars Manisha Koirala, Sonakshi Sinha, Aditi Rao Hydari, Sharmin Segal, and Sanjeeda Sheikh.

Reflecting upon her bond with the co-stars, the actress known for Madam Chief Minister, said: "It was fantastic. All the actresses have brought their A game, they have done a lot of give and take as actors, been good listeners, helped each other perform."

Richa Chadha and Sanjay Leela Bhansali behind the scenes of 'Heeramandi'
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"All except one. One was a real irritating person. I will never name," she quipped. Richa shared that Sonakshi has a lot of spunk, and Manisha 'ma'am' has a lot of resilience.

"I would see her (Manisha) really pushed through a scene even when she was physically drained. I have learnt from all my co-actors," added Richa.

It will soon premiere on Netflix.

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