Relating to a character from a bygone era may seem doubtful; but Sameer Dharmadhikari, has absolutely no qualms in relating to King Gangadhar Rao from India's pre-independence era. He portrays this little known legend in Zee TV's period drama Jhansi Ki Rani.
Sameer says, "Everyone wants to be treated like a king and somewhere he or she feels like a royal personality in their heart. So even though my character is someone from way back, I don't have a problem relating to him. Dil ka toh Raja main bhi hoon. (I too am a king from way of heart)."
When asked if it was difficult to portray such a rustic character, Sameer says, "Difficult?! No way! Its fun!" Elaborating on the 'fun' he has while portraying his character, he says, "Everyone calls me Maharaj. When I enter the sets all of my colleagues simply shout- Maharaj ki jai ho."
The actor reveals that it was quite difficult to get to know his character deeply because there was hardly any matter exposing the King's personality. He says, "We literally had to hunt for the character. But eventually I got help from some highly intellectual historians who specialized on this certain area of Jhansi."
The historians revealed a lot of interesting facts to the inquisitive actor. Sameer says, "I got to know the clout that this King pulled. The British were actually scared of this King and with him as the ruler had to think several times before attacking Jhansi. Jhansi ki Rani came later. It was this man who laid the foundation of a great kingdom."
Sameer got his long time wish fulfilled with Gangadhar Rao. "I was getting bored doing social dramas and was waiting for a period offer. And I'm so glad I got my hands on one!", he signs off.
Reporter and Author: Susan Jose