About a year ago, she was busy auditioning actors. Little did she know then, that soon, she would be the one auditioning for a film.
Last week, 25-year-old Bhumi Pednekar made her acting debut opposite Ayushmann Khurrana. The film opened to rave reviews, and since then, she has been inundated with congratulatory messages. From working as a casting assistant to making an acting debut — life sure has taken a 360 degree turn. In her first-ever interview, the naturally overwhelmed, and visibly nervous Bhumi lets her guard down as she talks about her new life.
* How did it all start?
I have always had a flair for acting, maybe that’s why I enjoyed casting so much. Then, one day, I was told that they are considering auditioning me. Initially, I went through a series of auditions where I wasn’t told that I was being considered for the lead part. I found out only later. Then, at one point, Mr Sharat Katariya (director) was auditioning me, and I was auditioning other girls.
* Has life changed completely?
It has been a life-changing experience. This is something that I wanted to do, but I didn’t know if it would ever happen.
* Would you prefer commercial or offbeat movies now?
I really don’t know what will come my way… I hope good work does. But today, I don’t think there’s such a big difference (between commercial and offbeat cinema). I just want to work with talented people and learn from them. This (Bollywood) is my school.
* Do you have a wish list of actors you want to work with?
Of course, I’ve had my fan moments. I’m a very big Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan fan. I’ve grown up seeing them, and they’re larger-than-life in the true sense for me.
* What kind of work are you looking forward to now?
I am certain that I want to do films that have a message and are impactful.
* What was your reaction when you were asked to put on weight for the role?
I gained close to 10 or 12 kilos. But I’ve always been an overweight girl, and I’ve never had an issue with that. I’m very comfortable with my body. But gaining weight for the film was amazing. I am very passionate about food, and I got to eat everything possible with no guilt.
* How did your family react to the news of your debut?
They were very happy. My mother was thrilled and very proud. This is probably the most excited I’ve seen her in a while. They’re just happy. They love me. But nothing else has changed. I still get shouted at; I’m the child of the house.
* Were they ever apprehensive about your choice to act?
I have been associated with this company for a while, so somewhere they knew that this is what I want to pursue. I’m sure it wasn’t much of a shock. They’re my parents, so they always want to keep me protected.
* How about your friends?
I have a huge friend circle and they’re so happy for me. They’re going all out on social media, and when you start seeing people put in such efforts for you, you tend to start valuing people more. I have immense gratitude and love for each and every person who has gone the extra mile for me.