Ankita Lokhande to make Bollywood debut in Kangana Ranaut's Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi
Former television soap-opera queen Ankita Lokhande who ruled the roost with her successful Balaji show Pavitra Rishta opposite her then-beau Sushant Singh Rajput is back in limelight after a three-year old hiatus.
A report by Mumbai Mirror suggests that Lokhande is all set to make her Bollywood debut with Kangana Ranaut's upcoming period-drama Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi directed by National Award-winner Krish Jagarlamudi. It is being produced by Kamal Jain from Zee Studios and the movie is set to go on floors in June. It is likely to release in April next year.
Lokhande will be seen essaying the character of Jhalkaribai, who was considered the right hand of Rani Laxmibai and was an integral part of her army. She had an uncanny resemblance to Laxmibai and often acted like her body-double. Even during the First War of Independence fought during 1857, it is said that the Jhalkaribai even conned the British into believing that she was indeed Laxmibai while the latter duped the army. She later sacrificed her life to protect her queen.
Speaking to Mumbai Mirror, Lokhande says, "I am indebted to Kamal [Jain] sir for this challenging role in a big-budget film scripted by Baahubali scriptwriter KV Vijayendra Prasad alongside a National-award winning actress like Kangana who exudes power and is an inspiration to all women. I am looking forward to learning from her once we start shooting in August."
Revealing details about her role, the actress further said, "I’d never heard of her before, not many have, but Jhalkaribai was one of the greatest heroes of our proud history. I’m honoured that I’ll be telling her story to the world, fighting alongside Kangana’s Rani Laxmibai."
This role will be a stark contrast to her 'good housewife' avatar on TV; in the film she will be seen as a fierce-warrior wielding swords and riding horses.