Kamal Hasan, the king of celluloid nirvana, is under pressure to delete scenes where he has posed in nude in his upcoming bi-lingual Tamil-Hindi movie Abhay. Relaxing from his shoot in Ooty, Kamal said that is was surprising that people are reacting negatively to his nude portrayal. He said the neo-victorian morals that the british imposed on us are the root of the sexual taboos in India today. Ancient India was far more comfortable with sexuality, nudity and sexual assertiveness. The nudes on various temples and monuments including the world famous Khajurao are a witness to the by-gone era of honest presentation of sexuality. He added that the West especially Hollywood is very understanding about nudity. The stars, both male and female, do not hesitate to strip if the character demands it. In any case, this was not the first time he has posed nude. In his first film Unarchikal, he did a most disturbing nude scene as the lead actor. In the film, Kamal is shown changing a dhoti. He has just a small shirt on. Kamal plays a star dying of veneral disease, oozing pus and body fluids. The story was written by Kamal himself. He was forced to become the lead man as no actor was willing to take up this bold role. Kamal is passionate about values and the message he wants to drive home through his films. He is playing the character of an HIV positive patient to break the myths around AIDS. "You see, all the matinee idols from MGR, Amitabh and Dev Anand have set standards and expectations of what a lead man should look like and do. I grew up as a technician. For me, acting is one of the tools to tell a story. By a happy coincidence, I am a star who's got clout for financing such daring films like Abhay.' He dismissed rumors that Aishwarya Rai turned down Abhay, as she was required to do a passionate kissing scene (aka Hey Ram). He said that Aishwarya was never even considered for a role in Abhay. Raveena Tandon was finalized as the role suited her the best.
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