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Sanjay Leela Bhansali Defends Casting Sharmin Segal, Says She Had Fresh, Innocent Quality Alamzeb Needed

Sanjay Leela Bhansali explains why Sharmin Segal was the perfect choice for Alamzeb in "Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar," despite audience criticism.

Sharmin Segal

A significant segment of the public has criticised Sharmin Segal, the niece of Sanjay Leela Bhansali, for her portrayal of Alamzeb in “Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar.” The renowned filmmaker defends his choice despite the criticism, giving an explanation of why he thought Sharmin was the ideal choice for the role.

The Casting Journey of Sharmin Segal

For the part of Alamzeb, Sharmin Segal said on “The Great Indian Kapil Show” that she went through sixteen auditions. Bhansali confirmed this rigorous vetting procedure in an interview with India Today. He underlined that Sharmin was picked because she personified Alamzeb, not because they were related.

Bhansali’s Vision for Alamzeb

According to Bhansali, Alamzeb needed a new character—someone who didn’t readily fit the stereotype of a courtesan or tawaif. He saw someone who possessed a sense of innocence that was different from the usual characteristics of a tawaif and who aspired to be a poet. Bhansali felt that Sharmin’s fresh, youthful energy was ideal for the part.

Rigorous Audition Process

Bhansali put Sharmin through a rigorous testing and audition process to make sure she was the appropriate candidate. “She had to go through the grind,” he said, emphasising the lengthy and difficult procedure she had to go through. Bhansali wanted to be sure Sharmin could play a role that was so different from her own experiences in real life. He pointed out that Sharmin had never performed in a scene or role like this before, unlike her co-stars, which made her preparation even more important.

“Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar” – A World of Courtesans

“Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar” depicts the lives of courtesans, who were once thought of as queens, against the backdrop of pre-independence India. This eight-episode series, which debuted on May 1 on Netflix, revolves on themes of betrayal and love. Manisha Koirala, Sonakshi Sinha, Richa Chadha, Aditi Rao Hydari, Sanjeeda Shaikh, and Sharmin Segal are among the series’ outstanding cast members. Adhyayan Suman, Farida Jalal, Shekhar Suman, and Taha Shah all have supporting parts.


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