Akshay Kumar was not the first choice for 'Padman', reveals wife and producer Twinkle Khanna

Twinkle Khanna, Akshay Kumar and Radhika Apte during the song launch event of 'Aaj Se Teri' from 'Padman'. Photograph:( PTI )

PTI Mumbai, Maharashtra, India Dec 21, 2017, 03.05 AM (IST)

Twinkle Khanna, one of the producers of  Padman, said her actor-husband Akshay Kumar was not the first choice to play Arunachalam Muruganantham in the film.

Directed by R Balki, Padman revolves around Muruganantham, a social activist from Tamil Nadu, who revolutionised the concept of menstrual hygiene in rural India by creating a low-cost sanitary napkin machine. When asked if Akshay was her first choice, Twinkle, said, "No. R Balki convinced me that Akshay should do this part."

When prodded further as to who she thought could have played the role when the film was being conceptualised, Twinkle quipped, "Are you trying to create trouble in my marriage now?"

Akshay joked, "You already said that now (I was not your first choice for the film), there is already a problem."

Twinkle said she had some names in her mind but realized Akshay would be perfect for the role.

Akshay Kumar during the song launch event of 'Aaj Se Teri' from 'Padman' (PTI)

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"The thing is if we had somebody who the Indian public idolises and men look upto and he who could wear a sanitary pad, I think (it is) Akshay.

"I think what Balki has made Akshay do, and of course Akshay is very talented, I don't think anyone could have played it better than him."

She was talking at the song launch event of Aaj Se Teri from Padman. Twinkle said she approached Balki because she admires the fact that he gives prominence to female voices in his movies.

"Once I came across the story of Muruganantham I felt it has to reach across states, borders, religions...And there are only two things that work in this country - cricket and cinema.

"Our cricketers have their own pads and they are busy with that. So we needed cinema to tell this story, I just had his (Balki) name on my mind. I have seen his films and have liked it. He is a sensitive filmmaker, he understands women partly because of his wife Gauri Shinde, she is a good influence on him," Twinkle said.

The film, which also stars Radhika Apte and Sonam Kapoor in key roles, is set for January 26 release.