Earlier this week, Akshay Kumar's much-awaited film Laxmii released on Disney+ Hostar. A remake of the Tamil hit Kanchana, the film revolves around how Akshay Kumar's character Aasif gets possessed by a blood-thirsty transgender ghost named Laxmii. While the horror comedy failed to impress the viewers, Sharad Kelkar's portrayal of Laxmii left everyone gushing over him.
Recently while speaking with ETimes, Sharad Kelkar opened up about how he bagged the role of Laxmii and how playing a transgender character changed his perception towards the community.
Sharad Kelkar Reveals It Was Akshay Kumar Who Suggested His Name For Laxmii
The actor told the leading daily, "It was a great experience altogether. It was my second film with Akshay Sir, and he was generous and kind to me. They were searching for an actor for this particular role and many actors turned down the offer while a few big names were rejected by the production house. Then Akshay sir proposed my name as he was very much impressed by my work in Housefull 4. So both Raghav and Akshay sir finalised me."
Sharad Kelkar Recalls His First Meeting With Director Raghava Lawrence
"I remember when I met Raghava sir for the first time, he straight away asked me to get ready for the role. I was a little taken aback but I got ready and after seeing me in the get-up, he immediately finalised me. He was really happy and said that he took the right decision of casting me for this role," Sharad was quoted as saying.
Sharad Kelkar Says The Transgender Community Must Be Empowered And Given Due Respect
Speaking about how the role of Laxmii changed his views about the transgender community, the actor explained, "The film is an eye-opener film. I myself learned a lot from the film, I evolved a lot since the beginning of the film. Because I had different notions about transgenders earlier. Not just me but the society has been treating them differently for years now, so even I had got into that mode but I think after doing this film, I have huge respect for them. There are men, there are women but transgenders are a mix of both, so I think they are much evolved and empowered. So we must respect them a lot. People are talking about equality right now, I think they are far more superior and I think we can use them for the betterment of the world."
Sharad Kelkar On How He Got Into The Skin Of His Character Laxmii
The actor opened up about how he prepped for his role and shared, "I spoke to a few transgenders whom I know and who are guiding people and of course, I took inspiration from Raghava Lawrence, who had done the character in the original Tamil film, Kanchana. He has a great 'pakad' on the character. So he only taught most of the things to me. Also, I saw Akshay sir doing the role. Shabina ma'am showed me Akshay sir's footage on how he played the role and I just took inspiration from it and portrayed the role."