Swati Semwal has left the movie Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi, telling the IANS news service that she didn’t think that continuing with the Kangana Ranaut-headlined project was a good career move.
Semwal told the film’s producers Kamal Jain and Zee Studios of her decision last week after a meeting with them. “After the meeting, I realised that it [the role] was not so significant anymore,” she told IANS. “It was not what we signed for when I signed the film, so we decided to part ways.”
Directed by Krish and starring Ranaut as the nineteenth-century warrior queen Laxmibai, Manikarnika has been dogged by controversy. Ranaut has been accused of taking over the production and replacing Krish. The Telugu filmmaker has reportedly moved on to his next film, the biopic on Telugu acting legend and politician NT Rama Rao. Actor Sonu Sood, who was a part of the original cast, left Manikarnika in August after Ranaut started directing cast and crew members at the shoot. Sood’s character, the Maratha Army general Sadhashivrao Bhau, will now be played by Zeeshan Ayyub.
Semwal was cast as Parvati, Bhau’s wife. She denied leaving the film because of Sood’s exit, but did say that she feared her role would not be meaty enough. “I’m looking for performance-oriented, substantial roles,” she told IANS. “I am not stuck on lead roles, but whatever I have to do, I want it to be substantial enough and even ‘Manikarnika’ had a pretty strong character. But now I don’t think so it’s the same anymore.”
Semwal has previously appeared in Bareilly Ki Barfi (2017) and Fanney Khan (2018). “One has to do what one has do,” she told the new agency. “I am doing what I have to do for my career. And they have to do what they have to do for the film.”
Manikarnika is scheduled to be released on January 25, 2019. The trailer will be released on October 2 on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary.