Actors usually want to be loved, not hated, by the audience. But Lavina Tandon, who is currently essaying the role of Ruqaiya Sultan Begam in Jodha Akbar feels proud when people say that they dislike her. Lavina says, with a laugh, “I believe that I am doing my job well with the negative role I portray in the show. Everyone hates me to an extent that, many a times on social networking sites, people send me hate messages. They want me to leave to show. Some of them have also complained that I should stop interfering in Jodha and Akbar’s life!”
Lavina says she looks at the hate mail as proof that she’s gotten into the skin of the character. So how different is she from her onscreen character, we ask. “Well, I get a little cranky if things don’t go my way like my character Ruqaiya. I react immediately if I see something wrong. Except for these traits, however, Ruqaiya and I are very different,” Lavina says.
Incidentally, acting is something Lavina’s been doing since she was 11-years-old. So facing the cameras is second nature to her. Perhaps that is what helps her essay a diverse range of roles today. Still, she credits the crew of her current show with helping her get the nuances of her part right. “I was actually finalised for another Balaji show, but suddenly one day, I got a call from the production house that that project would take some time to materialise and I auditioned for Ruqaiya’s role instead. The very next day, I was finalised for the part… I had to get my pronunciation and posture right as I joined the show in between (Lavina replaced Smilie Suri). The creative team has been very supportive and helped me enhance my performance,” she says.
While she’s very happy with her Jodha Akbar stint, she has a message for her fans; she requests that they understand her character has no option but to be negative. “It’s okay if you hate me, but along with Jodha, shower some love on me as well!” she says, laughing.
Binita Ramchandani | Age Correspondent
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