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Ahead of Animal, Shalini Pandey Recalls Backlash Arjun Reddy Got For Its Misogyny, Says ‘I was Naive…’ | Exclusive

A scene in Animal where Ranbir Kapoor catches Rashmika Mandanna by her neck to silence her has been receiving flak.

Animal has brought back the focus on misogyny that Arjun Reddy and Kabir Singh were also accused of promoting. Arjun Reddy’s Shalini Pandey recalls the backlash.

The trailer of Animal has received a unanimously positive response from the audience, who are waiting to see Ranbir Kapoor and Bobby Deol in never-seen-before avatars. Having said that, it has also brought the spotlight back on the topic of misogyny which engulfed Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s last film, Kabir Singh, as well.

For the unversed, a particular scene in Animal where Ranbir’s character is seen holding Rashmika Mandanna’s neck in rage in order to silence her has created ripples on social media. While a section of netizens are angry over how Sandeep has once again resorted to male ego and abuse of power despite the flak he received post Kabir Singh (2019) and Arjun Reddy (2017), others have taken a jibe at the filmmaker by expressing their disappointment for not incorporating a slap scene between the leads.

And now, in an exclusive chat with News18 Showsha, Arjun Reddy star Shalini Pandey, whose character was seen getting slapped by Vijay Deverakonda in the film, reacts to how she still gets questioned about it. She tells us, “I was 21 when I signed the film. For me, it was bigger than anything else. I was acting in a film, being paid for it and it was my first step towards becoming an actor. It was like a dream. Nothing else mattered to me at that point.”

Talking about how she would rather focus on the enriching experience she had on the sets of Arjun Reddy, which marked her acting debut, Shalini states, “When we were shooting for the film, Sandeep, Vijay and I had so much fun. I was so young and naïve at the point. The film and my character in it will always be very close to my heart. I’m not trying to defend the film here. In fact, I don’t think I would want to put any opinion out there because it doesn’t matter in any way.”

Despite all the negativity and polarised reactions to it, she reveals that the film ‘will always be dear and special’ to her. The Jayeshbhai Jordaar (2022) actor remarks, “It gave me so much and I couldn’t have imagined that. It’s my baby. But I’ve no opinions on how people took it. We’re all evolving. Everybody has their own opinion and has the right to speak about a film in the way they want to.”

Speaking about the cult status Arjun Reddy has received over the years, Shalini says, “I’m very grateful and fortunate because I couldn’t believe the love I had got then. People still remember the film and the characters. When I go to Hyderabad even now, they still call me Preeti and come to me with so much love.”

The actor, who will next be seen in Maharaj alongside Junaid Khan, continues, “In fact, I’ve met so many Hindi-speaking audience in Bombay who have spoken to me about Arjun Reddy and my character. It feels surreal because it has been six years since the film released but it’s still so fresh in their minds.”

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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