An interview of South actor Rekha a year ago recently went viral where she had claimed she was not aware that Kamal Haasan would kiss her for a scene in Punnagai Mannan. Her statement brought the focus to the importance of consent again and even celebrities like Chinmayi Sripaada reacted to it. Though she had claimed that she didn’t want any apology, many fans on social media demanded that Haasan apologises.
Rekha opened up on the hype over her 2019 statement in a recent interview with an entertainment portal. The actor stated that she has stated it numerous times that it was shot without her knowledge and now she was ‘fed up’ of answering the question.
In the film, the duo play a young couple, who kissed before jumping to death after not receiving the permission to live together.
Rekha also revealed that veteran director K Balachander, also Kamal Haasan’s mentor had told Haasan, ‘Kamal, close your eyes! You remember what I told you, right?’ before he planted a kiss on Rekha.
She shared that the kiss did not look ugly or aggressive and that it was only after she saw it in the theatres that she realised its impact. Rekha revealed how she had shared it only with the associate directors that she did not know about the planned kiss, sharing that she wouldn’t have said yes otherwise. Being only 16-years-old then, she stated how the crew asked her to look at it as a ‘big king’ kissing a ‘small child.’
She also didn’t know what a ‘censor’ meant when the associate directors shared that it wouldn’t pass through the board.
Kamal Haasan and K Balachander did not apologise to her, Rekha shared, adding that she herself didn’t feel they would because the movie was a superhit and led to her receiving numerous films in the future.
Rekha also revealed that since that incident, she has always been very clear on what she’s comfortable with and what’s she’s not comfortable with. The actor said she never agreed to wear swimsuits or sleeveless dresses, since she preferred to play ‘homely’ roles over ‘sexy’ ones. She also never faced unpleasant situations in her 28-year-career, like the recently #Metoo movement portrayed.
Rekha added that audiences till today don’t believe that the kiss happened without her consent. She also said that only Kamal Haasan or the associate directors could confirm it, since K Balachander was no more.
She concluded by stating that Kamal Haansan is 65 today and there was no point talking about it anymore and that she was also not keen to revisit it.
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