She came, she shot and she sneaked out of Mumbai on Friday night on a flight to New York, traumatized by the experience of making a film on the life of a sex worker.
Lucy Liu came and shot her 30-minute film entitled Meena for ten days in Mumbai and tried to sneak out of Mumbai on Friday night as quietly as possible.
Says a source, “Lucy shot her film right until Friday evening then rushed to the airport to escape all media attention. She had to return to New York for another film. Then she had to edit her Mumbai film entitled Meena and submit it by mid-2010."
According to an actor in the film, “Lucy is painfully shy of the press. Plus this was her first film as a director, and it was on a very sensitive subject."
Lucy"s film was on the subject of prostitution. According to a source, “The film inspired by Meena"s tale as told in the book 'Half The Sky" is about a real-life sex worker Meena Haseena, who at the age of 10, was abducted from her village in Bihar and brought to Mumbai. Meena grew up in a brothel. After escaping from the brothel, Meena made it her life"s mission to help as many of her sex-worker colleagues to escape from a life of prostitution as possible."
The irony that moved Lucy Liu was that Meena couldn"t manage to rescue her own daughter from a life of prostitution.
Says an actor from the film, “It took Meena 14 years to rescue her own daughter from prostitution. As Lucy shot this sensitive film, she"d often burst into quiet sobs in corner. The real story is so searing and brutal we all were traumatized. There was a 13-year old girl playing Meena"s daughter. And the ambience was especially sensitive for her. You can"t blame Lucy for wanting to finish shooting and leave quietly."
Tannishtha Chatterjee, who plays Meena Haseena, met the real Haseena several times.
Says the source, “Meena was a consultant on the project throughout. Tannishtha and Lucy met Meena several times and Meena was on the sets supervising the proceedings."
For the sequences showing Meena's daughter Naina"s rescue attempts, Tannishtha had to perform several dangerous stunts, climbing up walls jumping down buildings, running and slipping as she was chased by goons."
Says Tannishtha, “All I can say is, I"m battered and bruised both emotionally and physically after doing the film. Working with Lucy Liu and that too on a project of very high realism, just shattered me."