Alia Bhatt, who plays the titular role in Gangubai Kathiawadi, opened up about comparisons with Kangana Ranaut and Vidya Balan. In an interview, Alia was told that though there was some initial resistance to her being cast in the film, viewers found a ‘reflection of’ Kangana and Vidya in her performance after the trailer was released.
Gangubai Kathiawadi, directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, traces how a woman sold off to a brothel made connections with the underworld and rose to become a mafia queen.
In an interview with Koimoi, when asked about viewers comparing her to Kangana and Vidya after watching the Gangubai Kathiawadi trailer, after initially opposing her casting, Alia said, “I have not heard any of this.”
Alia added that Sanjay’s decision to cast her must not be second-guessed. “I think, yeah, people must have suggested casting. But I feel like one should not really get into… A director who has been working for 25 years obviously knows whom to cast as their main lead. I was okay with people not thinking that I was right for the part because that is their own perspective and honestly, that doesn’t matter to me as long as the director thinks I am right for the part,” she said.
“Like you mentioned, I proved them wrong. If you are feeling that perspective has changed after just watching the teaser, trailer and song, then it will change even more after watching the whole film. The portrayal of this character is purely a fresh perspective that has been taken and worked upon for two years by sir, me and the whole team. I don’t think there was a reference point because I don’t think there has been a character like this even in our Hindi films,” she added.
Incidentally, Kangana has been quite critical of Alia and has called her ‘mediocre’ in the past. Last year, on Instagram Stories, Kangana reacted to reports claiming Gangubai Kathiawadi will get a direct-to-digital release and mocked Alia’s casting in the film.
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“Bikau media, write about ‘the film’ whose trailer was hugely criticised and mocked for bad acting and wrong casting of chota bachcha as a gangster and is now being dumped on digital platform. Write about ‘the film’ which is being dumped on digital as they have the reality check that the film is a mistake, I don’t see enough news about that,” she wrote on Instagram Stories.