Akshara Haasan joins Preity Zinta and Vidya Balan amongst the daring lot


Akshara Haasan is doing on screen what hardly any of her contemporaries, peers or seniors have done over the decades that Bollywood has been around. She is playing an unwed pregnant woman in her upcoming film Laali Ki Shaadi Mein Laaddoo Deewana. Even though the film is being narrated as a light hearted musical entertainer, at the core of it all it deals with the ‘issue’ of pregnancy before wedding. What is bold indeed (in Bollywood parlance) is the fact that she is playing such a part in her very second film (after Shamitabh).

Now she could well have taken a cue from her senior Preity Zinta, who clearly holds the record for playing an unwed mother in as many as three Bollywood films!

“Yes, Preity played a pregnant girl first in Kya Kehna. The film had a playboy Saif Ali Khan having a casual fling with her before leaving her aside. Then later, it was another on-screen causal relationship (incidentally with Saif again) in Salaam Namaste, though the treatment of the film was much happier. In between, she also played a surrogate mother to Salman Khan’s child in Chori Chori Chupke Chupke. The man was shown to be married to Rani Mukherji in the film. Now Akshara is playing a girl who is left pregnant by Vivaan Shah, and it is up to another man, Gurmeet Choudhary, to get married to her,” informs our source.

Teenage pregnancy was also the core theme of Satish Kaushik’s teenage love story Teree Sang. The film had a kid (Sheena Shahabadi) sleep with a boy (Ruslaan Mumtaz) and though they were committed to each other and also enjoyed a ‘Love Story’ on the same lines as Kumar Gaurav and Vijayta Pandit, the culmination had a different edge to it.

In each of these four films, the women on screen didn’t shy away from carrying an artificial womb for a good part of the screen time, something which is clearly an excruciating effort for any actress.

“One can well imagine how Vidya Balan must have felt when she was required to play pregnant (despite not being one, either in real or even reel life) right through the duration of Kahaani. This isn’t all as she went an extra mile and played pregnant even during press interactions,” reminds an observer.

Akshara has no such plans though to attend press meets with a fake tummy. She is willing though to do it all for screen, something which is finding her good recognition from the film’s writer-director Manish Harishankar too. He says, “Hats off to Akshara for not shying away from such a role, which would have given any new actress cold feet. We wanted to make a story about premarital pregnancy without being preachy about it and Akshara was brave enough to give her nod to a role like this.”

Not a mean feat, considering the fact that only a handful of other actresses have managed this feat in the past. Both of these were senior actresses though. While Sridevi carried Shah Rukh Khan’s child in Army, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan brought Abhishek Bachchan’s baby to the world with Guru. The screen time for the ‘pregnant act’ was quite limited though in both the films, and it has to be seen how long is Akshara required to hold on to prosthetics in Laali Ki Shaadi Mein Laaddoo Deewana.

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