Though we’ve heard it on the grapevine for some time now, on June 29 we woke up to a snippet in the entertainment section of Mid-Day, suggesting that Kangana Ranaut has been signed on to play Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi, in an upcoming biopic helmed by Ketan Mehta. A few hours later, the filmmaker confirmed the news and let it slip that Kangana would train in horse-riding and sword-fighting in preparation for the part.
What many perhaps do not recall is that Kangana has played Laxmibai before — not in a film, but in a spectacular photo-shoot for Hi! Blitz magazine. Morphing from one legendary historical figure to another, Kangana posed for the April 2010 issue of the lifestyle magazine as Rajmata Jijabai, Begum Hazrat Mahal, Empress Nur Jahan and, of course, the unforgettable Rani of Jhansi. Togged out in a jacket by JJ Valaya, pants by Rohit Bal, boots by Louis Vuitton, stunning jewellery courtesy the good folks at Amrapali and a turban by Ritu Kumar, Kangana essayed Laxmibai with aplomb — looking every inch the part as captured by photographer Jatin Kampani.
After moulding Aamir Khan into a memorable Mangal Pandey in 2005, we know Ketan Mehta can create a compelling Laxmibai with Kangana. She tops our list of adaptable actresses and Hi! Blitz has already proved she can play the part with panache.
Image credits: Jatin Kampani