Director R. Balki, who is gearing up for the release of his upcoming film Padman featuring actor Akshay Kumar, has stated that the star is perfect to play the lead in the movie asking, if not for Khiladi Kumar, why else would people watch the film?
Balki was present at the song launch of the film along with actor Akshay, Kumar's wife and the film's producer Twinkle Khanna, and actress Radhika Apte on Wednesday when he was asked about casting the "Khiladi" actor for a film like "Padman", which is a biopic on Arunachalam Muruganantham, the inventor of a low-cost sanitary pad making machine in India.
"Akshay had asked me if I was sure he should play this part in the film. The first thing that came to my mind was why else would people watch the film.
"I think he is the right guy to play this role. And the only thing we knew at the time was Muruganantham's life. I wasn't even sure how to make it into a film at first," he said.
Balki, whose last directorial "Ki & Ka" was critically acclaimed, also spoke about how the biopic process went.
"I had to write it first to figure out whether the script would be right for the film. After writing, once when we saw the complete script and how it was going to come up then I was clear that this film can be made."
Actress-turned-author Twinkle said she didn't think there was anyone else apt to direct the film, which is based on a short story from her book "The Legend Of Lakshmi Prasad".
Asked why Balki was chosen as the director for the film, Twinkle said: "When I came across Muruganantham's story, I wrote it down. When we decided to take it across the board, across states, across religion, we knew there are only two things that work in this country, one is cricket and other is cinema.
"Cricketers are busy with their own pads (laughs), so we needed cinema and there was only one name in my mind -- none other than him (Balki)."
"I have watched his films and I think he is a sensitive filmmaker. He understands women, I think, partly because of his wonderful wife Gauri (Shinde), whom I admire and I think she is a very good influence on him. And I don't think there was anyone else apt for this aside from Balki," added Twinkle.
Akshay was asked if having matured as an actor, he is consciously moving towards films with social issue mixed with quality entertainment in order to make people think and entertain them at the same time.
"I am enjoying doing such films and also at the same time I am enjoying commercial cinema.
"I am not just doing social film, I am also doing "Houseful 4". I have all kinds of movies. Yes, such stories do attract me and I enjoy it because it gives me satisfaction as an actor and as a human being," said the "Airlift" actor.
"Padman" is a Hindi comedy-drama film directed by Balki, featuring Akshay, Sonam Kapoor, and Radhika Apte.
Produced by KriArj Entertainment, Mrs. Funnybones Movies, Hope Productions and Columbia Pictures, the film will be released worldwide on January 26, 2018.
(With IANS Inputs)