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From Shraddha Kapoor to Bhumi Pednekar: Actors lose weight, add kilos for films

Female actors are no longer afraid of putting on or losing weight to be able to do justice to their roles; filmmakers say they are happy to work with artists who are willing to challenge themselves.

bollywood Updated: Aug 21, 2017 14:03 IST
Monika Rawal Kukreja
Monika Rawal Kukreja
Hindustan Times
Shraddha Kapoor,Haseena Parkar,Swara Bhaskar
Shraddha Kapoor put on 9 kg to play the role of Haseena Parkar in the upcoming biopic being helmed by Apoorva Lakhia.(Viral Bhayani)

Female-fronted films have become a trend in Bollywood with scriptwriters penning compelling characters for women. Female actors, too, are willing to do everything that it takes to give a flawless performance. And this includes extreme body transformation to fit into a role. While Shraddha Kapoor put on 9 kg for her film Haseena Parkar, Swara Bhaskar lost 10 kg for Veerey Di Wedding after gaining 8 kg for Nil Battey Sannata. Bhumi Pednekar who weighed 92 kg for her debut film, lost 27 kg for Toilet: Ek Prem Katha.

Bhumi says that it was high time that female actors started experimenting with their looks. “In the West, when actors transform themselves, it doesn’t mean that they are not glamorous. Audience expect acting and not just glamour in films and if they get both, it’s a bonus. But sadly, in Bollywood, if you do content driven roles, you fear getting typecast.”

Bhumi Pednekar in Dum Laga Ke Haisha (2015) when she weighed 92 kg. She lost 27 kg for her latest release Toilet: Ek Prem Katha.

Swara says that things are surely changing for women. “Over the last decade, female actors have become conscious of different forms of preparations for their roles. They work hard and it’s reflecting in great performances,” she says.

Swara Bhaskar gained 8 kg for her 2016 release Nil Battey Sannata . But she has lost 10 kg to portray her character in her upcoming film Veerey Di Wedding.

Earlier, female actors would be conscious of how they will look after gaining weight, but today’s generation is flexible about it. Experts say that female actors have set a high benchmark for themselves, and are least bothered about body shaming on social media.

Shraddha Kapoor in the film Haseena Parkar.

Apoorva Lakhia, director of Haseena Parkar, says that women in Bollywood are fast raising the bar. “I don’t know if it’s competition or self belief but they want to be counted for their talent and not just for being pretty,” says Lakhia. “As directors, we are lucky to have female actors who are willing to challenge themselves to take greater risks,” he adds.

Film critic Omar Qureshi agrees. “Hats off to these women, who wear layers of prosthetics or undergo physical changes to essay characters. Their devotion shows in their performance.”

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First Published: Aug 21, 2017 14:03 IST