Abhishek Kapoor talks about not casting transgender actor in Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui: 'This fascination is incorrect'
Actors Ayushmann Khurrana and Vaani Kapoor's film Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui was released on December 10. In a new interview, the film's director Abhishek Kapoor has talked about not casting a transgender person in Vaani's role.
In the film, Ayushmann plays the role of a bodybuilding/gym instructor named Manvinder Munjal (Manu), who falls in love with a zumba teacher, a trans woman named Maanvi Brar played by Vaani Kapoor.
In an interview with Indian Express, filmmaker Abhishek Kapoor talked about why he didn't find it necessary to cast a transgender person for the role played by Vaani. He said, “We went through many avenues and there was a thought about casting a trans person but you know I find everyone is so fascinated just by actors. Why is it that everything is legitimised by an actor? Why can’t a trans person write the film? Why can’t a trans person direct the film? First of all, this fascination is incorrect. Films are not made by actors, they are made by filmmakers and writers. Eventually, there is a representation by an individual actor but I try to see above this because there is a story to be told. You have to reach out to people at large by taking the story to them and I thought this is the best way to take this story there. When you talk to someone, you have to talk to them in their language.”
He added, “There is a lot of thought that went into it. The LGBTQ community is put in a group but they are very different. LGB is one thing, but T is something totally different. When we talk about lesbian, gay and bisexual, it is about what kind of sexual preferences you have, who do you get attracted to. When you talk about the trans community, it is not like that at all. It is a very serious inner turmoil that the community goes through and when I started this research, I realised that this is far more difficult for people to even comprehend."
Abhishek's comments came after the film was slammed by several Twitter users for not casting a transgender person in the film. One person tweeted, “Everyone's saying Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui is revolutionary or whatnot but all i am asking is - why won't you cast an actual trans woman to act the role? cause I know there are many trans women who aspire to be actors.”
While another one wrote, “@Abhishekkapoor Casting a hypersexualized cis female actor for a trans role is neither progressive nor revolutionary."