Since Chhapaak is her endeavour to highlight the violent crime of acid attacks on women, director Meghna Gulzar decided to rope in real-life acid attack survivors to play pivotal roles in the Deepika Padukone-fronted drama.
“In the film, Malti [Padukone] and Amol [Vikrant Massey] run an NGO where survivors and volunteers work together. I thought, why not rope in real-life survivors to play these parts? We have Ritu, Jitu, Bala and Komti from the Sheroes Hangout and Chhanv Foundation acting in the film. They are so uninhibited in front of the camera. Directing them was a precious experience,” says Gulzar.
Did she wish for Laxmi Agarwal, on whose life the film is based, to be part of the movie? “I needed an actor who could deliver the calibre of the performance required. A first-time actor would have made this journey difficult. Laxmi also realised the kind of performance that was required; that’s why the discussion never came up.”