EXCLUSIVE: Ankita says, 'Never been an insecure actor,' on if she felt overshadowed by Kangana in Manikarnika

Ankita Lokhande says she has always been a very secure actor and is very sure that her character and performance as Jhalkari Bai will stand out in Manikarnika. Read her EXCLUSIVE interview.
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Ankita Lokhande, who will be making her debut in films with Manikarnika, had for a long year won hearts as the quintessential bahu Archana in the show Pavitra Rishta. The popular actress is pleasantly warm and absolutely unfiltered and that is perhaps what makes her stand out. Unapologetically vocal and taking criticism in stride, Ankita in an EXCLUSIVE tell-all interview with Pinkvilla opened up about her role as Jhalkari Bai, her equation with co-star Kangana Ranaut, being misunderstood and what’s her mindset like. Celebrating her birthday today, the actor who launched the trailer of Manikarnika alongside Ranaut on Tuesday says, “This year's birthday brings the joy of my debut film with it. The trailer released yesterday and has been appreciated immensely. It’s one of the best birthday gifts ever. Hoping to have a blessed year ahead.”


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Ankita, who is very elated about the movie, exclaimed that she is super excited and is not really feeling the pressure of doing a period film. She adds, “This is my first film and in your first film, you are super excited to do everything related to it, so it is not about doing a period drama for me. I am only concentrating on my character which is Jhalkari Bai, look wise and everything. For me, it has been an adventurous trip and I was ready to experiment with my look and work on my acting chops. I don't think I felt immense pressure about doing a period drama. It was fun.” But playing Jhalkari might be tough given that there is hardly any reference for her?  Ankita responds, “First of all, no one knows Jhalkari well till now. Of course, she is there in history but she is not as prominent as Rani Laxmibai. Hence, for me to portray a character like that who is not well known was a challenge. I had to think how would she be, would she be this loyal and fierce warrior? When I got the narration from Krish, I made an image of hers in my head, so for me, if I look at the character that way, I have tried to put myself in Jhalkari.”

Elaborating further on the difficulties she had to face to get into the skin of Jhalkari, Ankita continues, “It was very difficult for me because horse riding, sword fighting I have never done, so doing such things was a different experience. A trainer was called from Hollywood who helped me in it. It was a good and scary experience. (laughs) I had never thought my debut film would be so big and I would do so many things in it.”


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At this point, ask Ankita if working with Kangana was difficult at any point given the image that has been created, she laughs off saying, “Something similar was said about me too that I am very difficult to work with and all but I am very sure that people who have worked with me, love me for what I am. Same goes for Kangana as well. She has been a wonderful co-actor, very cooperative. Whatever she is doing is only for the film, she is just in her character and helping others also do good. So, that's a good quality.”

But starring alongside Kangana, did she ever feel she might get overshadowed? Ankita earnestly states, "I had been doing Pavitra Rishta for six years earlier and saw so many people entering the show. The show took so many leaps but that didn't change my stand. I have never been an insecure actor. I just believe that if you do your work properly, you will be noticed, no matter what. Apart from that, the amount of hard work I have put in Jhalkari Bai, I know will not go waste, it will stand out. I truly believe in destiny, hard work. I have given my best and apart from that, I don't know. 


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Manikarnika was dragged into a number of controversies, did it ever deter the actor? "Controversy happened with Padmavaat also but look at the numbers it did. With Manikarnika too, a few controversies happened but I was never scared that, what will happen. The team is so powerful and keep motivating each other. It is everybody's film and we all have worked equally hard for it. I also think the vibes also matter, the set was full of positive energy, be it Kamal sir, be it Kangana so I feel nothing can go wrong with the movie. This is truly my belief. Manikarnika will rock," Ankita exclaims. 

Speaking about how Jhalkari affected her, Ankita explains, "There are many scenes which are very emotional and heavy. While shooting too I got goosebumps and it's too much of emotions. The war is going on and you don't know what is going to happen, will you be alive, there is so much going on! While shooting a particular scene, I literally had tears. That was the moment I was fully into the character."


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Lastly, what is her mind space like when it comes to personal life? "I am in a very very very happy space. I am working and I am loving myself. I really believe that is paramount, if you love life, life will love you back," Ankita states. 

She concludes saying, "I was never a traveller but once I started, I can't stop. I am already planning my next vacation. It is refreshing."

Here's wishing Ankita, a very happy birthday!

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