'A girl from Manipur or North East could’ve been cast': Lin Laishram on Priyanka Chopra playing 'Mary Kom'

Lin Laishram, who has worked in prominent Bollywood films such as Om Shanti Om, Mary Kom, Axone, and Rangoon, has won hearts with her onscreen charm and charisma.

The Manipuri beauty has represented North East on a global podium, however, her homeland isn't as welcoming as it should be when it comes to accepting her as any other Indian, be it in reel or real life.

Lin says that the North-Easterners barely had anything to relate when it came to Bollywood, with the rare ones badly done by wearing bizarre tribal costumes and talking gibberish.

She says, “The only person that belonged to the North East was Danny Denzongpa but we couldn't relate to him either because he spoke fluent Hindi which most of us didn’t. By the time Bollywood discovered us, we had already entered our films on the global platform with Aribam Syam Sharma’s masterpiece Imagi Ningthem winning Golden Montgolfiere at the Festival des 3 continents, Nantes in 1982.”

Laishram, who has been working in the industry for almost a decade, rose to fame with the 2014 biopic Mary Kom starring Priyanka Chopra Jonas in the titular role.

In the film, Lin essayed the role of Bem-Bem, a friend of Kom.

While the casting did invite backlash during its release, Lin states, “I admire Priyanka for her hard work, she really put in a lot of hours in order to look like Mary Kom but I always felt that casting is an important step in film. I believe in authenticity and inclusivity, so a girl from Manipur or the North East could have been surely cast to represent us.”

Directed by Omung Kumar, Mary Kom also starred Darshan Kumaar and Sunil Thapa.

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