Deepika Padukone to play acid attack survivor in next film

Project will be helmed by the 'Raazi' director Meghna Gulzar


Entertainment Desk October 05, 2018

Bollywood starlet Deepika Padukone's upcoming venture will be based on a true story of an acid attack survivor. The Padmaavat actor has been roped in to essay Laxmi Agarwal, who was attacked by a 35-year-old man after she refused his marriage proposal. According to Mumbai Mirror, Padukone was so moved by the story that she decided to fund the movie as well.

“When I heard this story, I was deeply moved as it’s not just one of violence but of strength and courage, hope and victory. It made such an impact on me, that personally and creatively, I needed to go beyond and so the decision to turn producer,” the Ram Leela starlet told the publication.

PHOTO: INSTAGRAM/ DEEPIKA PUDUKONE PHOTO: INSTAGRAM/ DEEPIKA PUDUKONE

The project will be helmed by Raazi director Meghna Gulzar.

"Using Laxmi’s story as a lens, we are attempting to explore these aspects and the consequences of acid-related violence in our society. This is what makes this must-told story relevant. Awareness is the first step towards change," Gulzar said in a statement. “If the story is to be summed up in one line, then it’s one of triumph, of an ‘unquashable’ human spirit.”

When quizzed about why she thinks Deepika is the best choice to play the titular role, the film-maker pointed out that it is an emotionally and physically challenging role.

PHOTO: SABYASACHI MUKHERJEE/INSTAGRAM PHOTO: SABYASACHI MUKHERJEE/INSTAGRAM

“I was instinctively convinced that Deepika would do justice to the character and the story. Also, her physicality matched with what I’d imagined for Laxmi’s character. I’m grateful and encouraged that she was so spontaneous in her decision to do the film. When you take a face as beautiful as hers and portray her as an acid attack survivor, the magnitude of the violence and damage is much more resounding,” stated Gulzar.

Agarwal won the US State Department’s International Women of Courage Award in 2014. She also hosted a few episodes of a TV show and walked the ramp at London Fashion Week in 2016.

PHOTO: FILMWORLD PHOTO: FILMWORLD

This will be first time the Bajirao Mastani star is venturing into production. The starlet will join the likes of actors Anushka Sharma and Priyanka Chopra, who also turned producers with NH10 and Ventilator respectively.

Before joining Gulzar’s film, Padukone was set to work with director Vishal Bharadwaj and Irrfan Khan on a new project. However, the venture has been indefinitely postponed due to the Hindi Medium actor's ill health.

PHOTO: INDIA TODAY PHOTO: INDIA TODAY

“I am pushing back the film by a few months as both of my lead actors are down with different health problems. Irrfan is down with jaundice and it will take him a few weeks to recover and Deepika Padukone’s back problem which had previously developed during the shooting of Padmaavat has now resurfaced,” Bharadwaj had tweeted in February this year. Irrfan later revealed that he has been diagnosed with cancer. He is currently receiving treatment in England.

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