Call her a seedhi-saadhi Punjabi kudi or Miss Congeniality, monikers don't faze her. She's undeterred by criticism and praise. Bhumika Chawla, in a way, breaks the norms. She is simple, doesn't mingle with her ilk, and is certainly not ready to drop her clothes at the drop of a hat.
Two of your films, Benam and Gandhi – My Father haven’t been released yet. Doesn't that affect you as an actress?
I'd be lying if I say it doesn't affect me. It does. Frankly, I don’t know why it’s taking time. Benam is a very commercial film by Anees Bazmee. It's a saleable project. Gandhi – My Father is kind of film that isn’t made very often. My role is such that I have scenes with all the actors.
With only two Bombay film projects on hand, shouldn’t you take up more work?
If you track my career so far, I’ve been selective. I've worked with directors I've believed in. It's not always about working with the topline actors and filmmakers, because you never know what works and what doesn't. At the end of the day, you should be satisfied with what you've done.
Down south, I've won three Nandi Awards. It’s like what Aamir Khan does. A few but good films. Of course, he's on a higher level. It's like someone running a race, if he or she stops to catch up with some breath, has fears that someone else may race ahead. I don’t want that fear to come to me.
After films in Telugu, Tamil and Hindi, you’ve now finished your first Punjabi film, Yaariyan. Is this because you are a Punjabi yourself?
It’s got nothing to do with my being a Punjabi. Earlier, I had refused many Punjabi films. This time, I liked the story and the concept. The advantage is that it is my mother tongue.
Yours has been a multi-lingual career, hasn’t it?
I like exploring new languages. I have grown up in different parts of the country, because my dad was in the army.
It is believed that you are not daring enough to do glamorous roles..the ones which actresses like Koena Mitra, Yana Gupta and Celina Jaitley do?
I am not averse to doing such roles, but I have set myself some limits, and I will never cross them. After I did Tere Naam, everybody thought that I could do only such seedhi-saadhi girl roles. Then, I did Silsilay, which was quite a glamorous role by my standards. I admire Koena, Yana and Celina, because they are doing well for themselves. But maybe I can’t do what they can.
Do you miss being a star daughter?
Not at all! I have wonderful parents. Professionally, being a star son or daughter helps to a degree, but in the long run it’s your work that counts.
I have heard that you like writing. What do you write?
I have written about 70 poems in English and Hindi. I like writing on life, people and relationships. I hope to publish my collection very soon. It could happen this year.
You are one of the few actresses who’s in a contented relationship with your boyfriend, Bharat Thakur. You’ve never hidden your relationship. Why?
Yes, I am happy with the relationship. There is nothing to hide, but I wouldn’t go public with my feelings. When you fall in love, you see a future ahead. So, see I’m a positive person. Why say anything beyond that?