Actress Lin Laishram, who was in the Mary Kom movie as a supporting character, feels that the character of Mary Kom in the film could have been done by “anybody from the North East”.
Mary Kom, which was released in 2014, was a biopic on the journey of real-life boxing champion MC Mary Kom – a Manipuri female boxer, who goes on to become a six-time world amateur boxing champion. Priyanka Chopra played the titular role in it. Lin Laishram said in an interview with Bollywood Hungama that it was “heartbreaking” to see Priyanka Chopra instead of an actress from the North East play the role of the eponymous boxer, Mary Kom, and also that she wanted to play the part herself.
Lin Laishram said that the makers could have picked someone “who’s close to the same land” to portray Mary Kom onscreen: “As an actor, that self-centred egoistic actor tells me that I should have been… But it could have been anybody from the North East. We have many great actors. I want to be generous here, and say that there were many, many actors who could have done this. But the casting and the whole team decided on someone else. It’s heartbreaking, but we are coming along, and I hope that this does not happen again.”
Lin Laishram, who was last seen in a short film titled Ave Maria, also said that the casting of actors from the North East “is stereotyped” and “they are stuck to a very small genre of their own.” She told Bollywood Hungama: “A lot of times, the casting is stereotyped, and we are stuck to a very small genre of our own. That’s also a stereotype, and not in the best manner. So, when a script like that (Mary Kom’s script) comes up, from our place, it would be great to be given to somebody who is more eligible and who’s close to that land, because it helps.”
Produced by Sanjay Leela Bhansali productions and Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, the film was directed by Omung Kumar and also starred Darshan Kumaar. Priyanka Chopra won several awards for her performance in the biopic, which won the National Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment in 2015.
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