28 Mar 2008, 0000 hrs IST, NICOLE DASTUR , TNN

Nandana Sen is known to always take the path less travelled, to do the offbeat, and, as always, to excel in the same.

This time too, the doe-eyed bundle of talent is doing something drastically different on the small screen — no, she's not hosting a unique reality show nor is she making her debut on a saas-bahu soap; Nandana has been offered a role in the famous international television mini-series Sharpe's Peril, which is directed by renowned British director Tom Clegg. For the uninitiated, the Sharpe series is a television drama about Richard Sharpe, a fictional British soldier in the Napoleonic Wars.

So, how did Nandana bag this project? “John Hubbard, a prominent London-based casting director who was familiar with my work, approached me with a role in the series. On reading the script, I almost immediately agreed, it's such a fun role, and such an exciting series. It’s like an Indiana Jones meets James Bond kind of tele-drama,” says Nandana, the excitement evident in her voice. So, what is her “fun” role all about? “I play this feisty 19th century Indian princess. She loves to ride horses, travels on an elephant, fires bullets; she’s got a strong spirit and is a brave warrior at heart,” Nandana tells us from Occha, where she is shooting. “Occha is incidentally the birthplace of Rani Laxmibai, so it's quite a coincidence that I'm shooting here,”she smiles, adding that the entire crew also shot at Khajuraho. But her feisty on-screen spirit gels with her real-life personality too, which, as Nandana admits, makes it easier to portray the warrior princess off-screen. “Occha and Khajuraho are such beautiful places. After we're done with our shooting, I get onto a bicycle and cycle through the lanes and explore the forts and temples of these ancient places,” says the adventurous free-spirit.

But there's a lot of hard work she's putting in for this unusual role. "I took riding lessons from Kunal Kapoor (Shashi Kapoor's son); he inaugurated my getting onto a horse for the first time! But I've always loved animals — I've had a houseful of all kinds of strange pets — so I was quite comfortable with the horses and elephants," says Nandana.
The Times of India