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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

I won’t judge Deepika Padukone for my biopic, says acid-attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal

As Deepika Padukone is all set to play the acid-attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal in her biopic, here is an exclusive interview of the survivor.

bollywood Updated: Oct 17, 2018 12:50 IST
Ruchi Kaushal
Ruchi Kaushal
Hindustan Times
Deepika Padukone will be playing acid-attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal in her biopic to be directed by Meghna Gulzar.
Deepika Padukone will be playing acid-attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal in her biopic to be directed by Meghna Gulzar.
         

After the success of Raazi, filmmaker Meghna Gulzar is all set to make a biopic on acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal. The role will be portrayed by none other than Deepika Padukone, who was so moved by her tragic tale that she decided to produce it as well. But while the real Laxmi claims to grab eyeballs wherever she goes; she yearns to go unnoticed in the crowd. Amid all the attention she has been getting for her story of struggle and strength, Laxmi is a single mother from East Delhi, struggling to make ends meet and lives in hope that appreciation and fame will make her a financially secure one day. The survivor spoke exclusively to Hindustantimes.com about her biopic, her struggle and her life beyond the spotlight. Excerpts from the interview:

Have you met Megha Gulzar regarding the biopic on your life?

Yes. I had signed the movie in 2016 and the official announcement has been made now. Deepika will be playing my part in the film. The biopic will be based on my journey and I have received a decent signing amount from the makers.

Laxmi with her newborn daughter Pihu.
Laxmi with her newborn daughter Pihu.
(Left) Laxmi with her daughter Pihu and (right) with director Meghna Gulzar.
(Left) Laxmi with her daughter Pihu and (right) with director Meghna Gulzar.

Do you think Deepika Padukone is apt to play you on screen?

I believe art is art. I am so happy that Deepika is playing the role. I have no right to judge her. How can I judge someone for something which I can’t do. She has played wonderful characters on screen and I believe she will give her best. I want to thank Deepika ji, Meghna ji and the entire team who will be working together on the film. I am glad that the movie will spread awareness and will help people who are victims of such incidents to come out of it. They will get inspired that if she can do it than why not us.

You have expressed that you wanted to be a singer ever since you were a kid.

Yes. I will love to sing for my biopic if given a chance.

(Left) Laxmi before the acid-attack incident and (left) the survivor with her daughter
(Left) Laxmi before the acid-attack incident and (left) the survivor with her daughter

You had shared on the social media that you are not getting any job opportunities. Did you receive any help?

So many people offered me jobs on reading the news and I am very thankful to them. News have a very short shelf life and after some time, it holds no value. But I want the government to offer me a job as I have to support my mother as well as my daughter. I have to bring her up single-handedly.

People think I am a star, I have even witnessed a girl going down on her knees in the metro saying, “Your place is not here, your place is in our hearts.” I tell them that if I will not be among people, how will people know me. Why do you need to look at me like a celebrity? We lose ourselves under these spotlights. I have nothing. I don’t have my own house. Just appearing on TV shows and being in news doesn’t make me a star.

Your comments on the Me Too movement in India.

Although she (Tanushree Dutta) came out after so many years, I believe, people should come out at the time of the incident without any delay. I also want to add that the society should realise that even men face sexual harassment. If people get a chance to talk about it, they should do it without wasting any time or else people start raising objections about the timing. Right now the society is being helpful. People stand up for you. I want that whoever is right should get justice. Because when big names come up, their fans and followers get disturbed.

Author tweets @ruchik87

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