Mumbai: 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 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 said. "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.
Akshay Kumar also said theatres have the "first birth right" over movies and though he's excited his upcoming "Laxmmi Bomb" will stream digitally, he feels sad it couldn't release on the big screen.
Akshay said OTT release was the only wise option in the current scenario. "To be honest, today I am excited for this platform. But yes, I'll say that I am also sad for theatres. After all, movies are theatres first birth right. But in the current situation, everyone's safety is of utmost priority. Today with theatres being shut and people watching movies on OTT platforms, if I can make my fans happy by releasing film on Disney+Hotstar-which is a big platform with a massive reach-then I am glad," Akshay said.