Happy birthday Bhumi Pednekar: 6 times the actor changed looks to get into her character
Actor Bhumi Pednekar is an oddity in Bollywood - a person who went from casting other people for roles in Yashraj Films to being cast herself as a leading lady in a film. Bhumi is a classic instance of never letting go of one’s dreams. On her birthday today, here’s a look at how the actor has dramatically changed her look to suit her characters onscreen.
In Dum Laga Ke Haisha, Bhumi got a break that most aspiring film actors would run away from - playing an overweight bride. For the role, the actor had to put on as much as 30 kilos, not a mean achievement for even the most seasoned of performers. Yet, Bhumi chose to do so. Playing a character ridiculed by society for her weight and unloved by her under-confident husband, played by Ayushmann Khurrana, Bhumi was a hit.
In her short career, Bhumi has a number of interesting roles, many of them based in rural India. The first of these was her role in Akshay Kumar-starrer Toilet Ek Prem Katha. Playing a woman in an Indian village, she wore cheap saris and had her ghunghat, pallu and sindoor in place, Bhumi not only looked the part, she understood the mind of rural and semi urban India.
With Zoya Akhtar’s Lust Stories, Bhumi Pednekar sprung a major surprise playing an ‘urban poor’ (she appears as a domestic help). Wearing a worn-out salwar kameez with no make-up, with the camera not really focussed on her but always sensing her, Bhumi was meant to be ubiquitous in the short film, but ‘unseen’ by the other characters in it.
Abhishek Chaubey’s Sonchiriya, which also starred late Sushant Singh Rajput and Manoj Bajpayee, was her proper rustic role. Playing a ‘Thakur’ woman on the run from her own family, Bhumi was all grime and soot. Her look aptly mirrors her character’s resolve and helplessness. The mud-laden sari and long blouse are as uneventful and dull as the nondescript badlands of a dust-bowl like Chambal valley.
With Saand Ki Aankh, Bhumi went into Jat heartland of western Uttar Pradesh. Playing an octogenarian shooter named Chandro Tomar, popularly dubbed as Shooter dadi, Bhumi was all spunk in a rural way. With liberal dose of both silver hair and wrinkles and sporting skirt-and-shirt combination, worn by Jat woman in the hinterland, Bhumi sat pretty in her character.
It is to her compliment that though brought up in ‘Maximum City’ Mumbai, Bhumi can understand the milieu and context of semi urban and rural North India to play the characters that she does. However, a desire to break free of being typecast, led her to a more glamorous role of a middle-class but contemporary wife in Pati Patni Aur Woh. Though often seen in saris, Bhumi’s Vedika Tripathi of Lucknow was a girl from the city (with the songs definitely showing her in a glamorous avatar).
In her kitty is Karan Johar’s Takht too, which will see her transform again, this time going back 300-odd years back in history. Knowing Bhumi, she will be comfortable in the skin of her character, all over again.
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