Akshay Kumar on Laxmii: Having a transgender protagonist enforces LGBTQ rights
Unfazed by harsh reactions to Laxmii, Akshay Kumar says he played the transgender character to make a case for the marginalised community.
"Can you believe I will finish my second film tomorrow amid this pandemic," asks Akshay Kumar, who hasn't let the unusual circumstances come in the way of his work. Having shot for Bell Bottom in the UK, the actor is currently wrapping up the period drama, Prithviraj.
The excitement in his voice, however, has to do with his latest release, Laxmii. While the Raghava Lawrence-directed venture may have been slammed by a section of the audience, Disney+Hotstar announced that it broke the viewership record previously held by Dil Bechara to register the highest opening on the platform, on Monday. "I feel great. I know a lot of critics don't like my films, and I understand it. But my focus is on my audience. I am told it's the biggest opening of my career. The film achieves something pivotal. Having a transgender protagonist normalises and reinforces the rights of the LGBTQ community. Be it with PadMan  or Toilet: Ek Prem Katha  or Mission Mangal , the idea is to do more than just entertain or deliver a box-office success. I want to make a difference," states the actor.
Akshay Kumar from the movie Laxmii
The film's team hosted a screening in Delhi with transgender activist Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, who has lent support to the horror-comedy. "Her words of appreciation mattered to me. She lauded me for playing the character. There were 100 transgender women. They all stood up and clapped at the end of the film. The ostracisation of the community has been horrific, and it's time we collectively stood up and promoted equality."
Kumar is aware that the digital premiere of Laxmii was a big blow to theatre owners. Early on into the lockdown, the superstar deferred the release of Sooryavanshi, promising exhibitors that the cop caper will enjoy a big-screen run. "Theatre is the mother of all media. It will always be the foremost priority for content creators in India. I have explored television, I am starting an OTT project, but the charm of cinemas will always remain."
Keep scrolling to read more news
Mid-Day is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@middayinfomedialtd) and stay updated with the latest news
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe