PeepingMoon Exclusive: 'I was approached for Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Heeramandi,' confirms Wamiqa Gabbi; reveals reason behind not signing the show

Wamiqa Gabbi is making headlines for all the right reasons. Her portrayal of Niloufer in Vikramaditya Motwane's web series Jubilee left everyone spellbound. Be it her nuanced acting or graceful dance, she created magic. In an exclusive interview with, Wamiqa decoded Niloufer, her approach towards the character and trusting director Vikramaditya's vision.

Talking to us, the actress also opened up about her desire to do a love story like Tamasha. She further revealed that Sanjay Leela Bhansali's team had approached her for the grand series Heeramandi but she couldn't be onboard. 

Excerpts from the interview:

Jubilee is a slow-burn series set in the 50s. Were you reluctant to choose a period drama?

Not at all. In fact, I was happy that something like this is being made. When I got to know Vikramaditya Motwane is directing it, I was confident that even if it goes wrong, it will be in the right direction. I consider myself lucky to be doing a show like Jubilee. You cannot predict a project's verdict but I wanted to experience the world created by Vikramaditya sir and his team. 

Since none of us ever saw the 50s and 60s, was it difficult to get the mannerisms right? 

Every character is different from the actor unless I play myself. What's important is to understand the surroundings. Har ek character alag samundar hota hai, aur main usmein jitna dubki maar saku maarungi aur explore karungi. Niloufer was a fun character and I enjoyed discovering her. 

Is your character modelled on any real-life actor? 

I don't have much knowledge about yesteryear actors but definitely, none of the characters in Jubilee were based on them. Niloufer's journey is from Lucknow to Bombay, kotha to cinema. I built my character on those lines. Yes, I did refer to songs and scenes from films starring Madhubala, Nargis and Meena Kumari to understand the aesthetics and grace of the olden era. I wanted to make each and everything authentic to give the audience a glimpse of our actresses. I tried my best to give them a glimpse of their adaa through my performance.

Niloufer had a tough journey. Do you resonate with her on a personal level? Was there a sentiment of empathy you had for her?

We go through a lot in our lives. Maine ek picture dekhi jismein do bhediyon ki aatmayein hai. Ek bhediya bejaan sa tha kyunki ek teer ne usko ghayal kar diya tha. Dusra bhediya mazbooti se khada hai jabki usne 15-20 teer apni peeth pe liye hai. I feel sabke strengths alag hote hai. Niloufer voh dusri bhediya hai joh vaar lene ke baad bhi dard nahi hota aur agar hua toh bhi himmat nahi harti

I believe there's nobody like Niloufer and me, Wamiqa. I had a lovely time discovering Niloufer within me. Voh apne haalaton ke leke roti nahi, fatafat aage badhti jaati hai. As a person, I believe my upbringing is such ki na main zyada masoom hu na koi badi Fanney Khan. I can deal with situations alone and am happy that I am alive. Bhale hi rou but voh bhi feel karne ke liye zinda hu. I believe I am the other werewolf with multiple arrows. 

Period dramas or modern-day stories-what appeal to you the most and why?

I love period dramas and love stories but speaking of modern ones, I would choose to do something that's as soulful as Tamasha. I don't wish to do heartless and emotionless stories that fail to connect with my heart. Jis film mein rooh hota hai, usmein maza aata hai.

Vishal Bhardwaj is known for his soulful narratives. You've worked with him on Fursat (a musical short film) and now on Khufiya and Charlie Chopra & The Mystery Of Solang Valley. How have you grown as a human and actor while working with him closely?

I have grown a lot while working with him. I am lucky to work with him on Khufiya. Vishal sir is experimenting and I am fortunate to be a part of his experiment. Out of many young, talented and beautiful girls, I am able to be with him on sets. I couldn't have asked for more. In the last 1.5 to 2 years, my career has paced up and I believe this is because I am working with the best. 

There were rumours of you doing Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Heeramandi...

I was supposed to but there were some issues including dates. I really wish to work with him. I hope he watches Jubilee and know that I have worked on my craft and I am getting better every day. If I become his muse, that will be it.  

Being a popular face across India, you must be receiving multiple offers in various languages. Did you ever have to reject or let go of them because they weren’t matching your ideology?

I did let go of some projects because they didn’t touch my heart. That doesn’t mean the scripts weren’t good. I won't be able to put my heart and soul if the project doesn't move me. How am I even going to perform if there's no connection? There's no point in doing a project if that won't do justice to the visionary filmmaker. I feel bad when I say no to something because I believe a filmmaker is kind enough to consider me for something. Every project is a passionate one and if an actor says no, it does hurt. 

If offered, which yesteryear actor’s biopic you would love to do and why?

I would love to do Madhubala and/or Meena Kumari's biopic. I feel it will be fun to explore Meena Kumari's biopic as she had an eventful life.