Mumbai: Actor Aditi Rao Hydari says she is extremely happy that veteran actor Jaya Bachchan recommended her name to filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali for 'Padmaavat'.
Hydari features in the recently released period drama as Alauddin Khilji's wife Mehrunissa.
"It felt so amazing that she had suggested my name to him. I have never had that kind of support or backing in the industry. So, when people who I love and respect so much stand up for me, or encourage and appreciate me, it means a lot," Hydari told PTI in an interview.
Asked if she knows what prompted Bachchan to suggest her name, Hydari saif she read it in newspapers that it was her eyes which impressed the senior actor.
"When you get a blessing, you don't ask questions. She did mention (the reason) why to Sanjay sir, but I read somewhere that she said there is some purity in my eyes and 'noor' on my face," she said.
As Mehrunissa, the actor played the perfect antithesis to Ranveer Singh's aggressive portrayal of Khilji.
Describing her character as the perfect "yin to Ranveer's yang", the 31-year-old actor said she completely followed Bhansali's vision, and is overwhelmed with the response she has received.
"The girl is beautiful inside out. She speaks very little, but there is a beautiful layering to her character where she is vulnerable, delicate, but there is strength, dignity," she said.
"Khilji has a towering presence; he is temperamental, intimidating, but she has the courage to look him in the eyes and tell him the truth. I loved that about the character," Hydari said.
'Padmaavat' is based on the saga of the historic 13th century battle between Maharaja Ratan Singh, played by Shahid Kapoor, and his army of Mewar and Sultan Khilji of Delhi.
While the film has three principal characters - Ranveer Singh, Shahid Kapoor and Deepika Padukone - jostling for her own space was not an issue for Hydari, who said she does not look at films by the length of her role.
"I derive a lot of inspiration and strength. Like there was a scene with Shahid and Deepika, I really respect and admire them as people and actors.
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"I have immense faith in the directors I work with, that they have put me there (in the film) for a reason, and they will bring out the best in me. I don't think about anything else (referring to length of role). It's possibly a very naive way of looking at things," she said.
The 'Wazir' actor along with Shahid were sort of 'newcomers' on the sets as Deepika and Ranveer had already worked with Bhansali in 'Ram-Leela' and 'Bajirao Mastani.'
For Hydari though, being on a film set of the National Award-winning filmmaker was an experience of a lifetime.
"He (Bhansali) creates a world with such passion, every single element in that world has love, passion and honesty in it. His direction is so musical, so rhythmic, may be because of his knowledge of music, art and dance.
"He is a hard task master, he will challenge you, he keeps adding layers to your performance and watches it very minutely. At the end of the day, you are exhausted, but it's such a high because there is so much love you get eventually from everyone," she said.