Manisha Koirala shares what Rekha told her regarding Heeramandi: “I was praying that if I couldn’t do the role…”

“Marvelously done,” Rekha told Manisha.

Actor Manisha Koirala, who reunited with director Sanjay Leela Bhansali after 28 years for his OTT debut, Heeramandi, shared in a recent interview that she was deeply moved when veteran Bollywood star Rekha called her after watching the Netflix series. Rekha, who was the director’s initial choice for the role of Mallikajaan in Heeramandi, praised Manisha Koirala’s performance during their conversation. She expressed her happiness at seeing Koirala take on the role that she couldn’t do. In an interview with Filmygyan, Koirala discussed Rekha’s review of her performance in the series. She recounted how Rekha told her, “Bachcha, I was praying that if I couldn’t do the role, you would get to do it. My prayers have come true. You have done it marvelously. You have been through so much in life, and you have added soul to the role.”

Speaking about her reaction, Manisha Koirala said, “Receiving blessings and praise from an artist of her caliber is truly special. I had tears in my eyes, and I told her, ‘You are making me cry.’ She loves me dearly.” Manisha Koirala also added, “Rekha ji was offered this role 18–20 years ago. Rekha ji is like a goddess to me. I adore her. She is the epitome of grace and poetry, a magnificent artist. Her voice, her dance, her charm, her style, her aesthetics… she is a beautiful soul. As Ashok Mehta ji (cinematographer) used to say, ‘No actor can match Rekha.'”

For those unaware, Rekha and Manisha Koirala shared screen space in Rajkumar Santoshi’s 2001 film Lajja.

Rekha attended the web series screening a week before its release on Netflix. Take a look at what she wore for the occasion:

In his review for NDTV, Saibal Chatterjee awarded Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar 3 out of 5 stars. He wrote, “Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar maintains its focus on women while also incorporating intimate moments of love, jealousy, deceit, and rebellion. It paints a sweeping canvas with unfolding processions, street clashes, and instances of custodial torture, leaving behind a trail of blood and unspeakable horrors.”

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