Bollywood superstar Deepika Padukone’s next project is based on the life of acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal. Moreover, Padukone will not only essay Laxmi, she will also be producing the film, to be directed by Meghan Gulzar, of Raazi fame.
According to reports, Deepika was so moved by Laxmi’s story that she decided to fund the project 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, personally and creatively, that I needed to go beyond and so the decision to turn producer happened,” Deepika said.
Meanwhile, speaking about the project, director Gulzar, in a statement said, “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.”
“If the story is to be summed up in one line, then it’s one of triumph, of an ‘unquashable’ human spirit.”
Sharing why she chose Deepika as her lead, Meghna remarked, “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.”
In 2005, Laxmi Agarwal was attacked by a man after she rejected his marriage proposal. However, later, she went onto become one of the winners of the US State Department’s International Women of Courage Award in 2014, hosted a few episodes of a TV show, and walked the ramp at London Fashion Week in 2016.
Unfortunately, she is reportedly without a job now and facing possible eviction from her home as well.
This is Deepika’s first project after the release of her magnum opus Padmaavat. She was originally set to work with director Vishal Bharadwaj and Irrfan Khan on a new project. However, the project has been indefinitely postponed due to Irrfan’s ill health.
After Anushka Sharma (NH10) and Priyanka Chopra (Ventilator), Deepika is the latest female actor to turn producer.