South actress Manju Warrier, who replaced Vidya Balan in the Kamala Das biopic, is being asked to put on some weight to fit the character. Her director also believes than Manju will be a better performer for the character than Vidya. “Yes, Manju has replaced Vidya, and she knows Kamala Das more than Vidya did,” said the director Kamaluddin Muhammed, better known as Kamal. “I want Manju to put on weight for this character. She’s lean right now, so I asked her to gain weight. And she’s agreed to do so.”
He explained the change of events that prompted him to cast Manju in the lead role. “I feel Vidya was more similar to Kamala Das. That’s why I had roped her in. But I also feel that Manju is a better performer than Vidya, especially for this character. She’s a Malayali, and she will do complete justice to the role,” he explains. Vidya had abruptly walked out of the project, leaving the filmmakers in a soup, but Kamal says they have no plans to take legal action against the star. “We’re not taking any legal action against Vidya. There are only rumours. But I still don’t know what the reason for her walking out was. She said she cannot come to the character, she cannot involve (herself) with the character. I don’t know what that means. Manju also asked me the same thing — how can Vidya say no to such a wonderful character?” The movie is set to go on floors by April, and the first schedule will be widely shot in Kerala.