Meghna Gulzar recently wrapped up shooting of her upcoming film Chhapaak. The film will see Deepika Padukone playing the character of acid survivor Laxmi Agarwal.

Meghna said that Chhapaak isn’t a film that was finalised in a year or so. The director was thinking about making this film right after she made Talvar (2015), which was based on the Aarushi murder case.

In an interview with an entertainment website, Meghna said, “I had the idea (for Chhapaak) after I did Talvar and then I met Laxmi in 2016, and I spent a year talking with her along with my writer Atika Chohan. We worked together on the script but as that happened, Raazi came together, so Raazi happened first. Amid this, Atika and I were developing the script and talking to Laxmi, putting things together since 2016. Once Raazi got over, I thought it would be the right time to take the script on and bring it alive.”

Deepika was Meghna’s first choice for the film. She said, “It was like this unsaid and unspoken wish which both Atika and I had. We have seen pictures of how Laxmi looked like before the attack and I found an uncanny similarity to Deepika, but you know, at that time, we were like we are letting our imaginations go wild, I don’t think Deepika would give this thought a moment because it is just too radical, but it was a thought we silently nurtured in our hearts.”

When Meghna finally met Deepika, the actress agreed to do the film and that took the director by surprise. She said, “She completely took me by surprise by agreeing to it.”

Deepika had to sit for two-and-a-half hours for prosthetics every day to get the look of Laxmi right and Meghna lauded the actress for her dedication towards her work. “I really think it takes a tremendous amount of grounding of yourself to be able to get out of your skin and be able to completely immerse yourself into someone else’s skin. She completely shed off things as we know of her as Deepika Padukone, the face, the brand, the actor. She shed it all to play this part. That takes a lot of grit,” Meghna told the website.

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An emotional whirlwind. #chhapaak wrapped today.

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Deepika didn’t just come on board to play the lead role in Chhapaak, the actress also turned a producer for the film.

In an earlier interview, the actress revealed that it took her five minutes into the narration to say yes to the project.

“Meghna walked into the office and took me through the story. In five minutes of speaking with her, I knew in my heart that this is what I wanted to do next. Something about Meghna herself, Laxmi’s story and Meghna’s conviction in this film… It was very similar to Piku. In just five minutes of meeting the director, I knew that this is the film I wanted to do,” Deepika said.

Chhapaak also stars Vikrant Massey and will release on January 10, 2020.