The makers of Leo are also drawing a lot of appreciation for their gestures towards #MeToo activist Chinmayi Sripaada.
The trailer of Thalapathy Vijay's highly-anticipated movie Leo was released on October 5. The trailer instantly sparked a fan frenzy , elevating the movie's anticipation to a feverish level. Amid the excitement, singer and #MeToo activist Chinmayi Sripaada found personal triumph in the trailer's release. While she was overjoyed on the account of being part of Leo, she also became emotional.
"I am a million times grateful to Mr Lokesh Kanagaraj and Mr Lalit for having taken this stand. THAT. IS. MY. VOICE. IN. LEO. FOR. TRISHA. And guess what? I have dubbed in Tamil, Telugu AND Kannada," tweeted Chinmayi, while sharing the trailer.
"When I faced the mic in the studio. I teared up. I wasnt sure if my voice will be retained. That I was not allowed to work. I am not sure what the future holds. But I am happy," she added.
Many may wonder what's the big deal about dubbing for Leo. Isn't she already a popular dubbing artist? Why Leo is such a big deal in her career?
The ban against Chinmayi
Chinmayi has dubbed for several leading female stars in the South Indian film industry. However, due to a shadow ban imposed on her in the Tamil film industry in recent years, she has not been able to dub for as many films as she would have liked.
Chinmayi became one of the leading voices in Tamil cinema at the height of the #MeToo movement. In 2018, she extended solidarity with women who accused senior actor and politician Radha Ravi, who is also the president of the dubbing union, of sexual misconduct. She also publically slammed Radha Ravi for his undue control over the union, which led to an unfair and toxic work culture in the industry.
She also made sexual harassment allegations against celebrated poet and lyricist Vairamuthu.
At the peak of the controversy, Chinmayi's membership in the the South Indian Cine, Television Artistes and Dubbing Artistes Union (SICTADAU) was cancelled citing some clerical error. Chinmayi approached the court and secured a stay on the ban. While she continues to be part of the union, her dubbing opportunities have dried up.
However, actor Samantha Akkineni stood by her during her trying times and continued to engage her for dubbing in her films.
Chinmayi grateful for Leo makers
Leo represents a significant milestone in Chinmayi's career after an extended hiatus from such projects. Director Lokesh Kanagaraj and producer Lalit Kumar's decision to hire her for Leo is seen as a gesture of solidarity with her.
The makers of Leo are also drawing a lot of appreciation for their gestures, prompting calls for others in the Tamil film industry to take a similar stance against toxic practices.
Reacting to Chinmayi's emotional tweet, Trisha also expressed her gratitude. "And I am so grateful to you Thank you Chin," Trisha wrote back to Chinmayi.
Directed by Lokesh, Leo will hit the worldwide screens on October 19.