Mumbai: While Sanjay Leela Bhansali and his film ‘Padmavati’ were the targets of fringe groups all this while, Deepika Padukone's vocal retaliation at them has diverted some of that attention towards her.
Following her heated tweets at miscreants vandalising a 'Padmavati' rangoli, and recent comments slamming the ‘appalling’ attacks and saying ‘we’ve regressed as a nation’, the Rajput Karni Sena threatened her with harm by referring to the nose chopping of ‘Surpanakha’, and Meerut-based Thakur leader, Thakur Abhishek Som leader offering Rs 5 crores for her head.
Just like Rani Padmavati, who was known for her valour and courage, Deepika has been putting up a brave face in the wake of the protests.
After expressing faith in the judiciary in an interview to a daily on Friday, the actress has now reacted to the threats in a interview with Mumbai Mirror.
When asked about the gross threats, the actress said, "Well, at this point, as a woman, an artiste and a citizen of this country I feel angry, I feel let down and I also find it amusing.
Don’t such threats scare her? "I will never feel scared. Fear is not an emotion I have ever identified with," she replied.
Amid charges against Bhansali that he has distorted history in the film, the filmmaker had to clear the air once again that there was no dream sequence between Padmavati and Alauddin Khilji, but the protests and violence have only heightened.
When asked if creative freedom is being curbed by multiple controversies in the world’s biggest democracy, Deepika said, "Yes, people are allowed to express themselves without having even seen the film. And having worked in the film, I can assure you it’s one film every Indian will be proud of. I’m glad we are showcasing Padmavati’s journey. Her story needs to be told not just to people in this country but across the world."
Talking about of the shooting of one of the toughest scenes, as seen in the trailer and poster of Deepika, surrounded by women, stepping forward to perform ‘jauhar’ (self-immolation), she said, "That’s a powerful moment in the film and it haunts me even today. The energy with which the women come together, the fire within, is almost spiritual. It’s one of the most memorable moments of my career to date."
The actress has completed a hat-trick of films with Bhansali now, with three strong characters, Leela, Mastani and now Padmavati.
About the characters, she said, "The trio is similar in their spirit and courage, their vulnerability and belief. At the same time, they are also very different. Leela had a childlike, playful innocence while Mastani was a warrior who literally took to the battlefield. Now, Padmavati is a warrior in her own right without weapons. Her power comes from her intelligence and her bravery, from the way she stood for what she believed in and the way she protected her people."
Did it get too difficult for her to shoot such characters? "It was very easy actually, because as a woman, I identified with all of these characters and so will every other woman. When talking about Leela and Mastani, I would say this as well. Even though Mastani and Padmavati may have lived in different eras, their traits are easy to relate to even today. I have that resilience in me, of never giving up."
‘Padmavati’ was returned by the Central Board of Film Certification due to errors in application on Friday, and only then the picture is likely to get clear regarding its scheduled release on December 1.