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Padmavati row: Hurt and exhausted, Deepika Padukone speaks of security, freedom

In her latest interviews, Padukone has opened up on the challenge, exhaustion, and privilege of playing Padmavati in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's controversial period epic. 

Our Correspondent

In her recent interview to the BBC Hindi network, Deepika Padukone opened up on the disappointment of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's upcoming film Padmavati facing protests. The actress revealed that she was feeling 'hurt' at the accusations being thrown around about the film.

Padukone said, "I am hurt that after 2 years, and the work, passion, truth with which we have made this film, and people think that we are doing wrong, and will portray wrongly, then I do feel hurt [sic]. "

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The actress went on to add that the team would want people to watch the film before arriving at conclusions. She said, "We would want people to watch the film first, and if they do have a problem, if they still feel that we are wrong, then we will accept our mistakes. We will change it as they want. But to react this way even before the film releases is not right." 

Bhansali's period epic, Padmavati, is based on the legendary Rajput queen, Padmini. The film has faced massive protests across the country, led by Rajput Karni Sena, on the basis that Bhansali has allegedly 'distorted history' in his portrayal of the Rajput history. 

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Padukone was subject to physical threats against her life by members of the Karni Sena and several other political parties.

Speaking about the protection and security of actors, Padukone insisted that so far they are 'safe'. She said, "Probably we can get (some more security), but right now we are fine. We shall see as things progress. We can't say anything. As for things that have happened until now, or are happening, people are taking care of things. But we will have to wait and see in the future." 

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The sense of disappointment has been prevalent in other interviews by the actress as well. In the recent interview to Filmfare magazine, Padukone said, "I wouldn’t say I’m upset or angry because these are strong words. Rather, it’s disheartening. It’s not just about Padmavati. To repeatedly watch the Indian film industry being targeted, for everything that goes on in the country today, is not right. It has to stop somewhere." 

The actress went on to add, "We’re grown up, mature, intelligent and educated adults. No one is here to hurt anyone’s sentiments. We must be allowed that kind of freedom. In any field for that matter. We belong to this land as much as anyone else. So why are we constantly held responsible for everything political and otherwise that goes on here and have our films held on ransom? Really, it has to stop!" 

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While the accusations around the film have revolved around its wrongful portrayal of history, Padukone insisted that enormous research had gone into the film before it went on the floors. She said, "(We) prepped a lot for the Ghoomar song, the language, understanding the culture, reading books on history, understanding the different versions. But largely it was to get the essence and the flavour right, to understand her mind, her thoughts. So the emotional prep was harder than the physical transformation." 

The release of Padmavati has been currently postponed in view of the rising violence in the protests across the country. The film is set to be released internationally on 1 December, particularly in the United Kingdom.

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