Deepika Padukone has finally zeroed in on her next Bollywood outing. The actor, who was last seen as Rani Padmavati in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat, has now taken up the role of acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal in a Meghna Gulzar directorial. Not only this, the 32-year-old has also decided to turn producer with the film.
Laxmi Agarwal was attacked at the age of 15 and she had to undergo several surgeries. Later, she took up the job of helping acid attack survivors and promoted campaigns to stop acid attacks. She even received the US State Department’s International Women of Courage Award in 2014 from the former First Lady of United States, Michelle Obama.
Talking about the movie, Deepika told Mumbai Mirror, “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,”
Meghna Gulzar, whose last directorial Raazi starring Alia Bhatt got critical acclaim, feels Laxmi’s story needs to be told to bring awareness in the society. “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’s what makes this must-told story relevant. Awareness is the first step towards change,” she told Mirror.
About casting Deepika as Laxmi in her film, Meghna added, “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.”