edited by: Bohni Bandyopadhyay
Last Update: December 30, 2022, 11:13 AM IST
Actor and producer Lakshmi Manchu made her Malayalam debut this year with the action thriller Monster starring veteran superstar Mohanlal. After its big screen release in October, the film began streaming on Disney+ hotstar In early December. While it has received mixed reviews from critics, it is creating a lot of noise for a twist towards the climax, in which Lakshmi and her co-actor Honey Rose engage in intimate scenes. The pair, who played homosexuals, also shared liplocks in the film.
In an exclusive chat with News18, Lakshmi revealed that the response she has received for the scenes has been extremely polarised. “The response was ‘How can you do that?’ And people are blindfolded by me being their latest crush. I’ve heard it all (laughs),” she says. Still, doing intimate scenes hasn’t been easy for her. She reveals, “I haven’t really Thought it would be so difficult. When it comes to doing intimate scenes, I don’t have any hesitation, be it with a girl or a boy. But when I had to do what I had to do in Monster, it was easy. Wasn’t and I said, ‘My God!’
The Pitta Kathalu (2021) actor says it was the intention of the story that helped him believe and perform the scenes. “I would have said no to this film if the characters were just two murderers. If he had felt like Charles Sobhraj, I would have said, ‘Get lost!’ But in Monster, the intimacy depicted was there for a real reason. They were in love and it was pure, innocent and true love that they shared since they were kids. No demon is born. Society makes them,” she elaborates.
Additionally, Lakshmi credits Honey for helping her pull off the scenes with ease, as she comments, “Honey Rose was an amazing co-star. She was very giving. I thought I was being rowdy there.” But she really held space for me during those scenes.
The 45-year-old believes Monster will help set a precedent as not many Malayalam films have portrayed female relationships and intimacy on screen. She explains, “Kamal (Haasan; actor, filmmaker and politician) has been a gay character in every film since Sir. It’s just that we haven’t seen the two women so openly together before.
Last year, Lakshmi praised her partner on social media Samantha Ruth Prabhu As she portrays a bisexual detective in her first Hollywood project, Arrangements of Love. Ask her about that and Lakshmi believes that when popular celebrities like her become a part of such subjects, it helps make a stronger statement. And known for her unorthodox choices, she hopes to continue to quietly but associating herself with important subjects. “I hope this sets an example. I really want to be the torch bearer of things that aren’t talked about and normalize the things that need to be spoken about. I’m so lucky to have I feel privileged to have got a chance to work in a film like this. It is very heart touching to tell something like this through a film,” she comments.
The actor, who is currently shooting for Agni Nakshatram with his father, Telugu star Mohan Babu, believes onscreen intimacy between gay characters will stop creating noise only when there is a man and a woman. Relations become normal. “We are still fighting to normalize male-female relations. But yes, I think homosexuality is a big struggle. I don’t know why people make such a big deal out of it. But we’re a long way from two lovers behind two flowers or a tree being able to actually kiss onscreen! Hopefully we will continue to push these boundaries. People like you and me should speak louder about it,” says the Desperate Housewives and Boston Legal actor.
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