People started seeing me in a different light post ‘Maharani’: Huma Qureshi


PTI, Mar 4, 2024, 8:42 PM IST

Huma Qureshi (Credit: Bollywood Hungama via Wikimedia Commons)

Mumbai: Huma Qureshi believes her OTT show “Maharani”, which is coming up with a third season, was the beginning of a new chapter in her journey as an actor.

Qureshi, who made her acting debut with “Gangs of Wasseypur” in 2012 and has featured in films such as “D-Day”, “Dedh Ishqiya” and “Badlapur”, said she could also command a certain fee with the show as she is playing the lead in it.

“Today, because I’m doing ‘Maharani’ and the show is mounted around my character, I am able to command a certain fee. It is a show that benefited all of us. People started seeing me in a different light…. I can say without hesitation that ‘Maharani’ first one was the start of a new chapter in my career,” the actor told PTI in an interview.

The first season of “Maharani” featured Qureshi as Rani Bharti, an illiterate woman, who is handpicked by her husband and politician Bheema Bharti (Sohum Shah) to become the chief minister of Bihar after he is shot and injured.

The second season of the show, directed by Ravindra Gautam, saw Rani Bharti go head to head with her husband who is keen to get the power back in his hands and is worried with his wife’s growing popularity as a CM. She also has to fight a political rival in Navin Kumar, played by Amit Sial.

The upcoming season, directed by Saurabh Bhave, will see Rani Bharti take on her enemies after the murder of her husband. Subhash Kapoor and Nandan Singh serve as showrunners and writers of the show.

Qureshi, 37, believes the third season will be bigger, better and bolder as there is more at stake. The actor said the makers have just scratched the surface of the story.

“There is a lot of potential in the series. There are so many stories. As a country, we are obsessed with politics and everything political. There is a lot that can happen. Right now, we just scratched the surface and there is a lot more to go. Maybe we do 7 or 11 seasons. Even if this were to be our last, I just will be very happy and grateful for all the love we have received,” she said.

The actor said Rani Bharti will remain a memorable character in her filmography.

“I always say that if you get five (memorable) roles in your career as an actor you become a legend, everything else is EMI. One is done (for me), four more to go.”

Qureshi, who has featured in a number of women-led projects be it “Tarla”, or “Double XL”, said a lot of work needs to be done before women can enjoy similar opportunities in the film industry.

“When we talk about female led content, we don’t get as many opportunities as those films and shows aren’t made often. We have to be twice as good as all the other shows or prove a certain kind of invisible benchmark.

“For example, if I want to do an action film or any other actress wants to do an action film, she would not get the same budget as compared to equivalent star (male) would get. It’s purely on the basis of gender so I feel a lot of work needs to happen as far as that is concerned,” she said.

Sial, who has been in the industry for more than a decade and has worked in films and series such as “Love Sex and Dhoka”, “Titli”, “Sonchiriya”, “Charlie kay Chakkar Mein” and Jamtara – Sabka number aayega”, is happy to receive praise for his character in the series.

“There is definitely more evolution in me as an actor after doing three seasons (of ‘Maharani’). I am a little more confident than before about where my career is going and obviously the love of the audience is expanding,” he said,

“I have been here for 18 years. I have learnt not to get too excited because everything is momentary. Even if you are highly successful you can topple down any day. The only thing which kept me going was my honesty towards my work. As long as I can pull that off everything will be okay,” he added.

Also starring Vineet Kumar, Kani Kusruti, Anuja Sathe, and Dibyendu Bhattacharya, “Maharani 3” will stream from March 8 on SonyLiv.

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