Pakistani actor Veena Malik has secretly been meeting sex workers in Mumbai. The actor, who recently signed on to play a prostitute in the film Zindagi 50:50, is determined to prepare for the role with proper research. Her character in the film is based on a well known Mumbai-based sex worker named Madhuri. “This film has changed my life and my attitude towards women, and sex workers in particular.
I insisted on playing Madhuri, because I empathised with her. Maybe because I come from a family of five daughters and one son. But, I understand what it feels like to be a woman in a male-dominated society,” says Malik, 27. The actor, who spent hours with Madhuri, says she lives a dual life. “During the day, she’s a normal middle-class girl. At night she puts on her burqa and goes to work in the red-light area,” she says.
Malik adds that Madhuri lives her life with a certain dignity, which she hopes to portray on the screen. Malik says she was shocked by how these women are treated: “Who cares about them? I am appalled at the way they live in the red-light areas, not just in India but across Asia. These women deserve a much better life.”