Sonakshi Sinha on Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Epic Netflix Series ‘Heeramandi’: ‘Girls Were Running That World’

Bollywood star Sonakshi Sinha is all praise for her director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, whose anticipated magnum opus series “Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar” is due on Netflix this year.

Netflix describes the series as “an epic saga of love, power, revenge and freedom.” With a cast that also includes Manisha Koirala, Aditi Rao Hydari, Sharmin Segal, Richa Chadha, and Sanjeeda Sheikh, the series is set in the midst of multiple power struggles in Heeramandi, Lahore (now part of Pakistan) and more generally in undivided, pre-independence India, where anti-colonial freedom movements were emerging.

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Tanya Bami, series head, Netflix India, described the series as “India’s gift to the world.” Added Sinha, “Sanjay sir and I have been trying to collaborate for many years now and I’m so glad it happened on ‘Heeramandi,’ the way he portrays women on screen, nobody else is able to do that.”

Bami and Sinha were speaking on a panel about championing women’s stories in the age of streaming during the ongoing Frames conference in Mumbai, organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

“Heeramandi” tells the stories of six women, Sinha said. “To be a part of something like this, it’s been tremendous, to say the least,” Sinha said, adding that the majority of the team were women. “Girls were running that world,” Sinha said.

Sinha made her Bollywood debut with smash hit “Dabangg” (2010) and has starred in more than 30 films since then, alongside top actors including Rajinikanth, Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar. Highlights of her career include central roles in film “Khandaani Shafakhana” (2019) and Prime Video series “Dahaad” (2023).

“It’s the best time to be an to be a female actor in the [Indian] industry, there’s so many more openings. Now, with the advent of OTT [streaming] doing the kind of work that they’ve been doing, putting out content where even more roles are being written for strong female characters- I’m so happy to be a part of that,” Sinha said.

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