Here is a sneak peek into Zee TV’s latest historical drama
History has caught producer Ekta Kapoor's fancy, finding enough favour with the TV czarina to warrant a TV show of epic proportions. That said, Jodha Akbar, the love story between a Mughal emperor and a Rajput princess, is opulence personified. With lavish sets, ensemble cast and the required grandeur that accompanies a historical, the show is drawing a lot of curiosity. The achievement of detailing in the look and feel of the times Jodha and Akbar lived in, was the result of painstaking research commissioned by Balaji Telefilms. The entire unit travelled to Jaipur and Jodhpur, researching different looks for each character. The show will trace the journey of a young warrior on his way to becoming an emperor and how he falls in love with a Rajput princess. The lead stars underwent special training in horse riding, sword fights and martial arts to prepare for the characters.
We bring you the behind-the-scenes activity, the lead couple's experiences and their journey as they shot for the show...
“My dress and jewellery weigh 10 kilos” says Paridhi Sharma who plays Jodha
Paridhi says , "I'm excited about playing a historical figure in a lavish period drama. I had to undergo many lessons in horse riding and sword fighting. And I take it as a challenge that at the very beginning of my career, I will be compared with Aishwarya Rai's portrayal in Jodha Akbar. My dress and jewellery weighs around 10 kilos and it is a task to carry it for 8-10 hours on the sets. Horse riding has been scary but I am determined to work hard.”
“It's a big challenge for me” says Rajat Tokas who plays Akbar
Rajat says, "It is not just because I have done a historical show (Dharti Ka Veer Yodha Prithviraj Chauhan) that I was chosen for the show. Every actor today undergoes training and is well-versed with martial arts and fight sequences on a show. I think this show is different because it is portraying a young Akbar — not the character that Prithviraj Kapoor played in Mughal-E-Azam. We’ve delved into the young Akbar and not the super calm and collected character that Prithviraj Kapoor portrayed. Zee TV's Jodha Akbar will bring forth interesting facets of his personality and speak of his transformation from being a great warrior to a kinder, more compassionate emperor and the role his wife Jodha and her love played in the process. "
“People want to learn a lot from historical shows” says Dr Bodhisattva, the researcher
He says, "Everyone has been curious to know details about Emperor Akbar's personal life. And the romance between Akbar and Jodha is also intriguing. People want to learn lessons from historical stories and shows, and connect them with real incidents in their own life. That is one of the important reasons why historical and mythological shows find a connect with the audiences."
Jewellery for the characters
Jewellery designer Ekta Gupta says, "For women, we designed hathphool, kamarbandh, baju bandh and payals. We conceptualized on the 'sola shringar' for Jodha's family. For men, we have kalgis, kundals, haar and rings. The women in Jodha's family were dressed in kundan jewellery, rubies and pearls while for Akbar's family it was meenakari jewellery with pearls."
How the emperor got his look
Costume designer Nidhi Yasha, says, "Mughals are dressed in emeralds, pearls and uncut stone jewellery. Costumes consisted of fabrics like velvet, brocade, silk and organza. We chose gold and kundan, enamel jewellery, thevas, hanslis and other authentic jewellery from Rajasthan. We used leheriyas, bandhej, gota patti, kinaris too. We made many trips to Jaipur and Jodhpur for Akbar's chainmaille. Weaponry was done from Jodhpur. Jodha's look is lightly jewelled in the beginning. She will look grand after her wedding to Akbar."
How Ekta found her Jodha Akbar
Ekta Kapoor is said to have gone through almost 7,000 auditions in the nationwide hunt spanning eight months before she gave her final nod of approval to Paridhi Sharma to play Jodha in her historical magnum opus. For Jodha, Ekta reveals, "I wanted someone who possesses the radiance and dignity of a lovely Rajput princess. I'm told Jodha was someone whose eyes conveyed humility, simplicity, courage and conviction. Paridhi embodies everything I had in mind for Jodha. When Paridhi stood there in Jodha's bridal finery and delivered some of her lines, I knew the role belonged to her!"
Ekta was looking for a blend of boyish innocence and rugged manliness for Akbar. Says Ekta, "For Akbar, I wanted an actor who is a boy-man. Although Rajat has the innocence of a 19-year-old, he is seasoned in terms of maturity. Akbar was someone who became a soldier and a king at the age of 14 and by 17 he had already won a battle on his own. Rajat is an expert in martial arts and horse riding. While casting for an era about 500 odd years ago, you realise that every face has to be looked at carefully."