Bhumi Pednekar: Not scared of being stereotyped as a small-town girl in films

Published on Mar 27, 2022 08:11 PM IST

The Badhaai Do actor is proud of playing a small-town girl in films, says she likes ‘representing 70% of the country’

Bhumi Pednekar was recently seen in Badhaai Do where she played a homosexual woman
Bhumi Pednekar was recently seen in Badhaai Do where she played a homosexual woman
ByTitas Chowdhury

In her debut film Dum Laga Ke Haisha (2015), actor Bhumi Pednekar played a teacher based in a small town in Haridwar. She followed it up with films like Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, Shubh Mangal Saavdhan (both 2017) and the recently released Badhaai Do, where she was seen playing a strong-spirited small-town girl. While these performances have fetched her acclaim, she has also been stereotyped for being caught in the template.

We catch up with the 32-year-old actor to address this. Excerpts:

Having done so many films where you play a small town girl, do you worry about being stereotyped?

No, I’m not scared of that at all.

How do you look at it then?

I don’t think representing 70% of the country can stereotype me. I want to represent them (small town girls) and would love to be a part of stories that represent them.

What scares Bhumi Pednekar, the actor, then?

What I’m wary about is repetition but that hasn’t happened so far. I’ve never had anyone telling me, ‘I’ve seen you do this before’.

So, what do you then? Do you have a formula?

Even if I’m playing a girl who’s from the same milieu in different films, I make sure that the ways they lead their lives are very different, and that requires a lot of unlearning about heartland India.

Having been a city-bred girl, has it been difficult to sink your teeth into these characters?

Yes. In fact, it’s still very tough because I’ve not lived that life. I’m a Mumbai.

How do you resonate with them then?

I’ve had that exposure through my films. Every film comes with a lot of prep. I take on these roles and as I said, I try my best to make them different from each other.

It’s been seven years for you in the film industry. Do you feel that you are getting roles that fit into your sensibilities more than ever now?

I always had films that fit into the kind of cinema that I want to do. And a lot of credit for that goes to my first film because it set the tone and path of what I want to do.

So, no complaints at all?

As you become more successful, your options open up. I don’t want to complain. It’s a great for me at the moment.

What has changed in these seven years?

It’s been a few years that I’ve been acting but I feel like I’ve started now because there so many things about myself that I’ve begun exploring.

So, that’s the goal now?

Yes, I want to do films that help me explore myself more and more.

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