Deepika Padukone, who was last seen in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat, has zeroed in on her next Bollywood project. She has taken up the role of Laxmi Agarwal, an acid attack survivor, for a Meghna Gulzar directorial. She has also decided to turn producer with this film.

Deepika told Mumbai Mirror: “When I heard this story, I was deeply moved as it’s not just one of violence but of strength and courage, hope and victory. It made such an impact on me, that personally and creatively, I needed to go beyond and so the decision to turn producer.”

Meghna said, “Using Laxmi’s story as a lens, we are attempting to explore these aspects and the consequences of acid-related violence in our society. This’s what makes this must-told story relevant. Awareness is the first step towards change.”

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On casting Deepika in her film, Meghna said, “I was instinctively convinced that Deepika would do justice to the character and the story. Also, her physicality matched with what I’d imagined for Laxmi’s character. I’m grateful and encouraged that she was so spontaneous in her decision to do the film.”

Laxmi Agarwal was attacked at the age of 15 and she has undergone several surgeries. She took up the job of helping acid attack survivors. Laxmi even walked the London Fashion Week ramp in 2016.

She was honoured with the US State Department’s International Women of Courage Award in 2014 from the former First Lady of United States, Michelle Obama.