South Indian actor Kamal Haasan gestures during an interview.
In an era of #MeToo and consent being the most important issue raised, an incident that took place almost 3 decades back with South Indian actor Kamal Haasan and Tamil actress Rekha has come to light.
The beautiful actress claims that a scene was shot without her consent and that has raised concerns among fans and followers.
Rekha's shocking revelation about the "unplanned kiss" by actor Kamal Haasan in filmmaker K. Balachander's 1986 film "Punnagai Mannan" has raised a storm on social media.
Many netizens have said that the veteran superstar Kamal Haasan should apologise to the actress for the kiss that, she added, was filmed on her without her consent when she was just 16.
"I've said this a hundred times. They shot the scene without me knowing about it. People ask me the same question and I'm fed up of answering it," Rekha told a section of the media, insisting Kamal Haasan and the late Tamil cinema doyen Balachander tricked her into doing the scene.
She added that the kiss helped the film in totality to bring out certain needed emotions.
"The kiss didn't look ugly or aggressive on screen. There was a need for it, but I was a very young girl and I didn't know about it. He (director K Balachander) said, 'Kamal, close your eyes! You remember what I told you, right?' and Kamal said that he did. Then we had to jump when he said 1, 2, 3... we kissed and then jumped. It was only when I watched it in theatres that I realised it had such a huge impact," she said.
Rekha was only 16 when she did the film after completing Class 10.
She also talked about being told that the Censor Board would not approve of the kiss.
She claimed: "They continued after that shot also, we had a location shift. Suresh Krissna and Vasanth were the associate directors, and I told them I wasn't informed about the kiss and that I wouldn't have agreed to it. But they told me to think of it as a big king kissing a small child. They told me it wouldn't be passed by the Censor. I asked them what the Censor was!"
Rekha says nobody believes her when she says the kiss happened without her consent and that Kamal Haasan was aware of it.
She said: "Only he and the unit that was there can confirm what I've said. Balachander sir is no more. Only those who were there at the shoot know that the kiss happened without my consent."
According to the portal, she also said that neither Balachander nor Kamal Haasan apologised to her after the scene.
"Why would they apologise? The film was a superhit! I got many films after that, too, with Ramarajan and Ilaiyaraaja, like 'Namma Ooru Pattukaran'. We were all so busy in those days, going from one schedule to another," Rekha recalled.
She added that she would never have agreed to kiss if she was aware of the same in advance.
Rekha never demanded an apology from either Kamal Haasan or the late Balachander for the incident but, as the news spread, sections of social media said the actor should say sorry, reports sify.com.
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