Heeramandi: Sanjay Leela Bhansali opens up on why he cast Sharmin Segal; says she had 'face' of Alamzeb

Sanjay Leela Bhansali shares how Sharmin Segal had to undergo several tests to make it as Alamzeb in Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar. Read for details.

Updated on May 23, 2024  |  07:10 PM IST |  220.8K
Heeramandi: Sanjay Leela Bhansali backs his decision to cast Sharmin Segal as Alamzeb
Pic Courtesy: Sharmin Segal Instagram

Sanjay Leela Bhansali's niece, Sharmin Segal, has been criticized by a major section of the audience for her performance in Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar. The young actress played the role of Alamzeb in the series, but people were not convinced of her approach to the character. 

Earlier, Sharmin had revealed during The Great Indian Kapil Show that she gave 16 auditions for Heeramandi. Now, director SLB himself has opened up about the casting decision and why he felt she was the right choice for the character.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali on casting Sharmin Segal as Alamzeb in Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar

During an interview with India Today, Sanjay Leela Bhansali spilled beans on his decision to cast Sharmin Segal as Alamzeb in Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar. The filmmaker said the young actress had a 'face' of what Alamzeb should be, i.e., 'somebody who doesn't want to be a tawaif or has no makings of it.' 

He further explained the need was to have somebody with a fresh, innocent quality to her and somebody who doesn't talk like a 'tawaif.' Talking about the required character traits, he added that the 'person wants to break free with some pursuit of wanting to write poetry,' which made him feel that Sharmin was the correct choice for Alamzeb.

SLB on the process of casting Sharmin Segal

The director also revealed that he didn't cast Sharmin just because she was his niece and took several tests of her. “She had to go through the grind. There were innumerable number of tests and auditions. There was no end to the number of tests I've done with her," he said while adding that after he decided to cast her, he told her that she'd have to go through the grind and would have to get it right.


"Because this is a world you've never been to. You've never acted in a world like that. All these other actors on the show have worked over a period of time in a film like this or a character like this. They have understood all these nazakat and thumka and nakhra and all that,” he concluded.

More about Heeramandi

Heeramandi delves into the world of courtesans, who once reigned as queens, and is set against the backdrop of pre-independence India. With love and treachery being the central themes, Heeramandi was released on Netflix on May 1.

Consisting of 8 episodes, the series is directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and features an ensemble cast with gorgeous ladies Manisha Koirala, Sonakshi Sinha, Richa Chadha, Aditi Rao Hydari, Sanjeeda Shaikh, and Sharmin Segal in the lead. Besides these spectacular actresses, the drama series stars Taha Shah, Shekhar Suman, Adhyayan Suman, and Farida Jalal in pivotal roles.

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About The Author

Gautam Batra loves to observe tiny details in cinema. He has a special place in his heart for films


Credits: India Today

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