Singapore: Actor Mrunal Thakur, who will star as a young Sivagami in Netflix's ambitious live-action series "Baahubali: Before the Beginning, says it would be challenging to measure up to Ramya Krishnan's portrayal of the queen.
Krishan was a the parallel lead in 'Baahubali: The Beginning' and its sequel 'The Conclusion' apart from Prabhas. Now the team behind the Telugu blockbuster has reunited for a series in the same universe.
Speaking at a session during the See What's Next: Asia event here, Mrunal said she is aware of the expectations from her.
"For me, when I gave the audition, it was not easy. When I saw both the films, the benchmark was there. To match up to Ramya who played Sivagami was a challenge. It's a big treat to work with this team. When I got to know that it was a Netflix project, I was even more excited. I was very fascinated with the dialogue 'Mera Vachan, Mera Shasan'. That really attracted me," she said.
Mrunal said she is living a dream through the project.
"The process wasn't easy as well. It was a little difficult but somewhere down the line in my head, I knew I was going to be Sivagami because she is a strong character who rules the entire Mahishmati. She's got the sense of motherhood at the same time she is got the sense of what is right and what is wrong. She treats everybody equal no matter who it is. Through this project I'm living my dream," she said.
The live-action series, based on Anand Neelakantan's book, will also feature Rahul Bose, Atul Kulkarni, Vaquar Shaikh, Jameel Khan, Siddharth Arora and Anup Soni in pivotal roles.
The series, being co-directed by Deva Katta and Praveen Sataru, will trace the dramatic rise of Queen Sivagami and her empire.
"The story backtracks about 50 years from the beginning of Baahubali story. The movie was a singular emotion and singular conflict, now we are exploring it in a deeper way.You will also get deeper into the street level life and multi-layer life in the kingdom," Deva Katta said.
He also said that being a Netflix project allowed them the opportunity to explore different characters and their individual stories,
"When we have consciously evolving characters throughout unpredictable eventualities, we relate to those stories a lot. Those are epic stories like Ramayana and Mahabharata. They stand in time and are relevant to us. When you dig deeper and make the characters more dimensional with root stories and root psyche, that's what this platform gives us. We grew up watching a lot of Hollywood films and that's what ignited our passions to become storytellers."
Co-director Praveen Sataru said the series is being shot in different locations in India and stressed that the show will have a pan-India appeal.
"We are covering the length and breadth of India. This is not just a south or north series. It's a pan-India series and you have characters from all across India." "Baahubali: Before the Beginning?, which was announced by the streaming giant in August, has already been given a two-season order.