Why Did Rajkumar Santoshi Almost Remove Meenakshi Seshadri from 'Damini'?

Veteran Indian actor Meenakshi Seshadri she almost removed from the project 'Damini' after rejecting a marriage proposal from the film’s director, Rajkumar Santoshi.

Written by  Ritika Nath   |  June 03rd 2024 05:08 PM  |  Updated: June 03rd 2024 05:08 PM

Why Did Rajkumar Santoshi Almost Remove Meenakshi Seshadri from 'Damini'?

Veteran Indian actor Meenakshi Seshadri recently shared a distressing experience from the time she worked on the famous Hindi film, Damini. According to Seshadri, she was nearly removed from the project after rejecting a marriage proposal from the film’s director, Rajkumar Santoshi.

Despite this uncomfortable situation, Meenakshi chose to remain silent about the incident at the time. She was eventually brought back into the film due to support from the Producers Guild. The film, which also featured stars Sunny Deol and Rishi Kapoor, went on to become one of Bollywood’s most impactful women-centric films, with Meenakshi playing the titular role.

About Damini

Damini, directed by Rajkumar Santoshi, is remembered for its strong narrative and powerful performances. Santoshi, also known for movies like Andaz Apna Apna and Ghayal, had initially removed Meenakshi from the cast after she turned down his romantic advances and marriage proposal. However, due to the intervention of the Producers Guild, she was reinstated.

Meenakshi Seshadri About Almost Getting Removed from Damini

Reflecting on the incident, Meenakshi said, “(Rajkumar) Santoshi Ji and I decided not to talk about it. It is water under the bridge. But the courage to stand up was important because nobody should be told they aren’t required anymore. It had several implications for rules in the workforce and beyond. I dealt with it by keeping quiet. I just said that I will choose not to comment on this as it is below my dignity to turn this into a fight. This is not a fight.”

She continued, “I stood up for what I believe in, and if things were going to work out, we would work together as a team. That was the message I wanted to give to the film fraternity and the audiences. I was there to make a great film, and Damini was definitely going to be that.”

Meenakshi also expressed her gratitude towards the Producers Guild, stating, “I respect all the people involved with the film, especially Santoshi Ji because his vision was tremendous. Ultimately, they say action speaks louder than words, so the Producers Guild, the Artists Guild, all came together to make it happen.”

Meenakshi and Rajkumar's First Collaboration

This was not the first collaboration between Meenakshi Seshadri and Rajkumar Santoshi. They first worked together on the 1990 film Ghayal. After the success of Damini in 1993, they teamed up again for Ghatak in 1996.

Despite her challenges, Meenakshi Seshadri’s experience with Damini showcases her resilience and dedication to her craft, ultimately contributing to creating a landmark film in Bollywood.

- PTC PUNJABI


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