Just days after Varalaxmi Sarathkumar had announced that she was happy to be back in the Malayalam film industry with Aakasha Mittayee, the remake of the Tamil film Appa, the actor declared that she'd walked out of the project.
Varalaxmi tweeted on Tuesday that she'd decided not to continue with the film because she didn't want to work with "male chauvinists and mannerless prods". She'd also included the hashtag #respectwomen in her tweet and had thanked director Samuthirakani and fellow actor Jayaram for supporting her decision.
Producer Sudev had earlier told the Times of India, "We had decided to cast her because we needed someone on chubbier side like her character in Kasaba. However, Varalaxmi has trimmed down considerably, and does not match the character profile now. So, we had to drop her and choose Ineya to play the role instead."
Speaking to The News Minute, Varalaxmi rubbished producer Sudev's claim that she'd been dropped from the film as she'd lost too much weight and didn't suit the role.
"If you think about it logically, I was exactly the same when the script was narrated to me," she said. "I lost weight before I signed the film, not after. So, this is not about that."
Varalaxmi made it clear that the decision to leave the project was hers, and had to do with how she and others were treated.
"After I signed the film, they behaved very, very badly and very, very crassly. The way they were treating people was not right and I didn't think I could stand for it," she said, adding that she didn't want to elaborate further.
Varalaxmi was supposed to join the sets of Aakasha Mittayee on April 1. Incidentally, Asha Sharath was considered for the role but was later dropped for unknown reasons. Aakasha Mittayee has Jayaram playing the lead role and Kalabhavan Shajohn, too, is part of the cast.