Manikarnika: Queen of Jhansi film to feature Suresh Oberoi as Peshwa Baji Rao II
National Award-winner Krish Jagarlamudi's upcoming biopic on Rani Laxmibai, Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi, is on a casting spree ever since the project was announced. Although, Kangana Ranaut playing Laxmibai was an already known fact as her inclusion in the project was as early as the conceptualisation of the film.
Later, it was revealed that popular TV actress Ankita Lokhande will don the role of Laxmibai's close aid Jhalkaribai in the film. Now it is being reported by Mumbai Mirror that veteran actor and father of Vivek Oberoi, Suresh Oberoi will portray the role of Peshwa Baji Rao II.
Historically, it is known that Laxmibai's father Moropant Tambe was a royal advisor in the Peshwa's court.
Speaking to Mumbai Mirror, about his role, Suresh Oberoi said, "I was initially fascinated by another character but Krish said that given the way I sit, speak and behave, I am best suited to play the Peshwa. It's a fantastic script. I was so excited that I even agreed to shave my head for the part."
Oberoi also spoke about his to-be-co-actor Ranaut in high regard. He said, "I have seen her double role in that film [Tanu Weds Manu Returns] and I was convinced she belonged to the states where the story is set. I am a fan. That role must have required a lot of homework."
The film chronicles Laxmibai's struggle and fight for independence, and it is being reported that Ranaut trained in horse riding, sword fight and other warfare skills to prepare for the role even before the shooting could begin.
Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi is a trilingual film written by Prasoon Joshi and V Vijendra Prasad, writer of Baahubali and Bajrangi Bhaijaan. It is being produced by Kamal Jain from Zee Studios and the movie is slated to release on 27 April 2018.