Samantha Akkineni pulled off the character of rebel Raji in Raj & DK's recently released web show, The Family Man 2, with uncanny ease. She packed punches, brutally killed people and was a tough soldier who was fighting for the freedom of Sri Lankan Tamilians. While many can't get over Samantha's effortless performance, some people were quick to slam the makers for giving her a noticeably browner skin tone. Amid the criticism, Raj & DK, in an interview, revealed the reason behind Samantha's 'brown skin'.
Raj said, "This whole thing comes in the context of beauty when you're trying to say dark skin is not beautiful and fair skin is beautiful... This is not that context, number one. There is no context of skin beauty in this. We are all shades of brown. Now, the idea is that if each one is a shade of brown, so it's not about getting a different race to play this (character). It's not a race thing either. These are the two contexts where it should be looked down upon, and that's where the main problem is. And we are well aware of it; it's not like we are irresponsible filmmakers, to propagate something of that kind."
He further added that for Raji, a soldier, there is no time to worry about self-care. "Here, we are trying to get the character of Raji right. We want her to speak it, we want her to look it, we want her to be that action girl who can land the punch; someone who can be physically fit and take on a guy double her size. That's our main challenge. So if you look at what she wears... She's a soldier, she's a weather-beaten girl, there's no time for worrying about self-care. If you're a soldier in the Himalayas, your face is going to be red, that's the makeup," Raj shared.
DK revealed that Samantha trained for the role of Raji, learnt martial arts and also worked on a particular dialect of Tamil. "In a way, it's the character, right. And the character demanded that she had to be fit, because she's a military person. And what did Samantha do for the role? She actually trained. For three months she did intense training and got these biceps. She learned martial arts from the choreographer and took classes, and that's why the action is good. She learned this particular dialect of Tamil, which is not her usual Tamil. Now add to that the concept of hair, makeup and costume, that is a complete character that we are presenting. This is the character of Raji; she looks a certain way, she walks a certain way, and she's a killing machine, and that's all there is to it," DK shared.
The Family Man 2 also stars Manoj Bajpayee, Sharib Hashmi, Priya Mani, Sunny Hinduja, Shahab Ali, Ashlesha Thakur, Abhay Verma, Vedant Sinha, Mime Gopi, Ravindra Vijay, Abhishek Shankar, Mime Gopi, Azhagam Perumal, Srikrishna Dayal and Anand Sami among several others. The web show premiered on June 4 on Amazon Prime Video.
(Source: Film Companion)