Who’s he? Julie 2 star Raai Laxmi reacts to being asked about ex, MS Dhoni
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Who’s he? Julie 2 star Raai Laxmi reacts to being asked about ex, MS Dhoni

Julie 2 star Raai Laxmi will be unveiled to Bollywood audiences on October 6, but she’s a veteran South Indian actor with over 60 films in her resume. Here, she talks about her ex, MS Dhoni, and her experiences with casting couch.

bollywood Updated: Sep 19, 2017 16:44 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Raai Laxmi,Julie 2,Julie 2 Raai Laxmi
Will Bollywood audiences welcome Julie 2 star Raai Laxmi like South Indian fans have?

For most Bollywood fans, Raai Laxmi is a face they might never have seen before she was announced as the lead in the upcoming erotic film sequel, Julie 2. However, for the last 12 years, she has starred in over 60 films.

Laxmi is a veteran actor in South Indian cinema. “I’ve done films in four South Indian languages , Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada,” she said in an interview to the Quint. “I didn’t know a word of any south Indian language when I started in 2005. Today I can converse in all four languages, though I’m still not allowed to dub my own lines because they are very particular about pronunciation in the south. When I started in the south Indian industry, I didn’t know anybody. I had no godfathers, no connections in any entertainment industry in any part of India. I got films on my own. Yes I am self-made and very proud of it.”

Speaking ahead of the release of her debut Bollywood film, which has appointed recently sacked CBFC chief, Pahlaj Nihalani as ‘presenter’, Laxmi spoke about her experiences starting out in the film industry. “I never had to face the casting couch,” she said, “But I was propositioned in indirect ways and subjected to a lot humiliation. It is something all newcomers go through, unless you are from the film industry. Otherwise all newcomers have to take the route of struggle. Luckily I got my first film (in Tamil) quite easily. My actual struggle began after that. I had no work for sometime.”

Julie 2, at least according to the famously sanskaari Nihalani, paints an accurate portrait of how the film industry functions, warts and all. It will inform newcomers about the realities of the world, and not only showcase the glamour many associate with the movies, according to Nihalani.

But even after leaving her mark in the film industry, she is still asked about her five-year relationship with former Indian cricket team captain, MS Dhoni. “It didn’t affect my career. But it seems to have made a permanent place in my reputation. So many years after it ended I am still being asked about it. The strange part is, the headlines in Mumbai make it seem as if I am seeking publicity by talking about him when in truth I’ve gotten over whatever existed between us a long time ago. I’ve been in 4-5 relationships since. No one asks about them although my boyfriends were well-known. Why MS Dhoni?” she said.

Julie 2 is a sequel to the 2004 original, starring Neha Dhupia. It’ll be released in theatres on October 6.

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First Published: Sep 19, 2017 16:43 IST