Actress Smilie Suri, who is all set to make her small screen debut with Jodha Akbar, says her character as the Mughal emperor's first wife Ruqaiya Begum will help her break the girl-next-door image.
Smilie, who made her Bollywood debut with the 2005 film Kalyug, fell ill soon after signing the historical show.
"Over the last few years, I was offered TV shows, but I declined them. This one's not a saas-bahu show and the role of Ruqaiya is also very different. It helps me break away from the girl-next-door image created by my Kalyug character," said Smilie, who is director Mohit Suri's sister.
"The commute from Mumbai to Karjat for the shoot can be pretty taxing, so I was in two minds initially but the character is not only interesting, it has different layers and substance. Ruqaiya is an important part of Akbar's life. She was his best friend, almost like his mirror. I'm just waiting to get out of the hospital and start shooting," she added.