Akshay Kumar on playing transgender character in Laxmmi Bomb: Was mindful to not offend any community

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Actor Akshay Kumar on Monday said his character in “Laxmmi Bomb” as a transgender person is the most “mentally intense” role of his three-decade-long career and he had to be careful about delivering his performance “without offending any community”. The horror-comedy is a remake of the 2011 Tamil film “Kanchana” and is directed by Raghava Lawrence, who also helmed the original.

In a virtual press conference, the 52-year-old actor said through his character in the film, he discovered a new version of himself. “In my career of 30 years, this is my most mentally intense role. It has been that tough. I’ve never experienced something like this before. The credit goes to my director, Lawrence sir. He introduced me to a version of myself which I didn’t know existed,” Akshay told reporters.

“This is unlike any character I’ve ever played. I had to be careful to portray this character with utmost honesty, without offending any community,” he added. “Laxmmi Bomb” is set to stream on the digital platform Disney+Hotstar, bypassing a theatrical release as screens remain closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The film would be the actor’s first digital release.

For “Laxmmi Bomb”, Akshay said, he willingly gave many retakes to ensure that every shot had “maximum potential”.

“Even after doing 150 films, I was genuinely very excited to be on set every single day, pushing my boundaries, learning more about myself.

This film has taught me to be more understanding about gender equality.

“Be anything you want, just don’t be ignorant. Kindness is key to universal peace today and will always be,” he added.

With “Laxmmi Bomb”, the actor returns to the horror comedy genre after director Priyadarshan’s hit “Bhool Bhulaiyaa”, which released in 2007.

Akshay said the film was his “passion project”, which hit many roadblocks before fruition.

“I had heard this film’s story many years ago and had always wanted to make this. It’s my passion project but kept getting delayed due to some reasons. “Eventually, everything fell into place and here we are. A big credit goes to my co-producers Shabinaa Khan and Tusshar Kapoor and thanks to Lawrence sir too.”

One of the posters of the film, which was unveiled today, features Akshay in a sari.

Calling the garment the “most graceful outfit in the world”, the actor said he struggled with the sari during the shoot.

He has newfound respect for women who wear sari and continue doing their jobs with ease, he added.

“It was an experience for me to wear a sari. It’s extremely difficult to carry it. I was struggling to even walk wearing it. Hats off to how well women manage it,” he added.

Disney+Hotstar announced its slate of seven film which will have a direct-to-digital release, including Ajay Devgn’s “Bhuj: The Pride of India”, Abhishek Bachchan-starrer “The Big Bull”, and “Sadak 2”, featuring Alia Bhatt.

Vidyut Jammwal’s “Khuda Haafiz” and “Lootcase”, featuring Kunal Kemmu and Rasika Dugal would be the other titles on the platform.

The first film of Disney+ Hotstar Multiplex will be Sushant Singh Rajput’s last movie “Dil Bechara”, will start streaming from July 24.

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