Deepika Padukone has finally signed her next big Bollywood project. She is all set to play the role of acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal in Meghna Gulzar's next film, which she will also produce. Talking about her decision to turn producer with the film, she said, “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, that personally and creatively, I needed to go beyond and so the decision to turn producer.”
This will be Deepika's first movie after the success of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's controversial 'Padmaavat'. Gulzar's muse, Laxmi was attacked by a man in 2005 after she rejected his marriage proposal. She is one of the winners of the US State Department’s International Women of Courage Award in 2014. She is also founder of the Chhanv Foundation, an NGO for acid attack survivors, and has opened a cafe managed by them.
Gulzar said her story needs to be told to bring awareness in the society. “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,” she said. Gulzar said, “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.”