Paige Sandhu, a former Emmerdale actor who portrayed the legendary supervillain Meena Jutla on the serial opera, will soon make an appearance in a new role that is completely unrelated to life in the Dales.
Princess Sophia Duleep Singh was a significant player in the suffragette movement, which fought for women to be given the right to vote in the UK. The film Lioness, which was just unveiled at the Cannes India pavilion, chronicles her tale.
Sophia, who was also Queen Victoria’s goddaughter, will be portrayed by Paige. Her father, Maharaja Sir Duleep Singh, was banished to England after losing his Sikh Empire to the Punjab Province of British India. Sophia was born in London, where Queen Victoria took a like to her and encouraged both her and her sisters to pursue careers in society.
Sophia led the fight for women’s right to vote throughout her exceptional life by supporting suffragette organisations and raising money for them. On May 26, English Heritage will dedicate a blue plaque to her memory at Hampton Court.
The movie compares Sophia’s life with that of Mehak Kaur (Aditi Rao Hydari), a made-up immigrant lady who lived in Southall in the 1990s and was educated and married.
Leon Ockenden, who had roles in Waterloo Road and Coronation Street before, also appears in the movie.
Paige will be playing her first significant role since leaving Emmerdale a year ago.
It was revealed that Meena had slept with Manpreet’s first husband Dennis when her character, Meena Jutla, returned to the hamlet in September 2020 to reunite with her sister Manpreet (Rebecca Sarker).
Meena’s evil side quickly became apparent, ending in the murder of Leanna Cavanagh (Mimi Slinger) in July 2021. She then abducted Manpreet and Vinny Dingle (Bradley Johnson), murdered Andrea Tate (Anna Nightingale), and Ben Tucker (Simon Lennon).
After some time away from the community, she made a memorable effort to abduct the newlyweds Dawn (Olivia Bromley) and Billy (Jay Kontzle) and compel Billy to make a life-or-death decision. She did this by pretending to be a driver.
Meena persisted in manipulating people even after being detained, giving Manpreet and vicar Charles (Kevin Mathurin) the runaround until she was given the chance to shine during her trial. She received a lengthy jail term after being proven guilty.
Paige Sandhu delivered a flawless performance throughout, perfectly capturing the character’s threat as well as her sometimes off-kilter humour and vulnerable moments, which made her intriguing to watch.
No specific date for the publication of Lioness has been established.