Prateik Patil Babbar, known for his versatile acting skills, is all set to portray a significant role in the upcoming international film Lioness. The movie, a UK-India co-production, delves into the inspiring life of Princess Sophia Duleep, with Prateik playing the role of Rajdeep Singh, a British Sikh residing in Southall during the 1990s. The film, certified by the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) and the British Film Institute (BFI), is the first-ever official UK-India co-production under the bilateral treaty signed between the two countries in 2008.
To prepare for this remarkable character, Prateik paid a visit to the revered Golden Temple, seeking blessings and guidance. Captured in a video, he appeared with a beard and long hair, displaying his dedication and commitment to portraying the role authentically.
Expressing his excitement, Prateik shared, “Being a part of a film that celebrates the legacy of Maharajah Ranjit Singh’s granddaughter, Princess Sophia Duleep, is a true honor for me. Portraying Rajdeep Singh has allowed me to reconnect with my Punjabi heritage and delve into the rich culture. I am aware of the immense responsibility this role carries, and I am thrilled to take on this challenge.”
Lioness draws inspiration from the research conducted by historian Peter Bance, who uncovered the remarkable story of Princess Sophia of Punjab. Descended from Maharajah Ranjit Singh and chosen as the goddaughter of Queen Victoria, Princess Sophia became a prominent figure in the UK’s suffragette movement, dedicating herself to advocating for women’s and children’s rights.
The film showcases the talented British actress of Indian origin, Paige Sandhu, in the role of Princess Sophia, while Aditi Rao Hydari portrays Mehak Kaur, an educated immigrant married to Rajdeep Singh, uncovering the captivating story of the forgotten princess.
In recognition of Princess Sophia’s remarkable contributions, the English Heritage recently unveiled a Blue Plaque at London’s Hampton Court. The film production celebrated this milestone with a reception at Hampton Court Palace, attended by esteemed guests, including British Parliament members, diplomats, and representatives from the Indian and UK film industries. The reception featured Gurinder Chaddha OBE as one of the keynote speakers, further highlighting the significance of the film.
Currently in the pre-production stage, Lioness is scheduled to commence filming by the end of this year in London. With Prateik’s commitment to immersing himself in the character of Rajdeep Singh and the captivating story of Princess Sophia Duleep, audiences can anticipate an impactful and inspiring cinematic experience that sheds light on an important chapter in history.