"It wasn't easy at all. But when Nagesh came to me with the one line about the child prostitute, I knew I had to do the film. I had to be part of something as brave as this," said Shefali, last seen in the film "Kucch Luv Jaisaa" three years ago.

She admits she had to cross self-imposed limits of censorship and her inbuilt code of morality to play the character in ‘Lakshmi’.

The problem was the graphic nature of the dialogues and visuals of sexual violence. Shefali says she had to work on getting over her inbuilt inhibitions.

"I had to stop thinking and reacting like Shefali Shah. I had to look at the situations in the script as Jyoti, the brothel runner. For her mouthing the filthy words commanding the sex workers to get on with their jobs are as natural as a housewife telling the maid, 'Put the rice in the pressure cooker, off after four whistles.' She's doing a job. It has nothing to do with me," she said.

Having said that, Shefali admits she had a helluva problem mouthing a certain dialogue inviting an old lech for a spot of fellatio.

"There was that one dialogue, which I just couldn't bring myself to say. Nagesh was amused. He said, 'Kamaal hai. You've gone through scenes of the most gruesome torture and violence and now you can't say that one line', she said.

Shefali created a back-history for her character in her own head. "I had to strip myself completely naked emotionally. There was nowhere for me to run to. My character didn't allow me any escape routes."

Shefali admits that roles such as the one in "Lakshmi" are hard to come by.

"I am not holding my breath for such opportunities. Neither am I going to grab anything that comes my way. Luckily, for me I've a life beyond acting. My two sons and my husband and home keep me very busy. If they weren't in my life, I'd probably have grabbed everything that came my way. I am content doing the work that I want to," she said.

(JPN/Agencies)

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