‘I don’t miss being glamorous on celluloid!’: Bhumi Pednekar on her movie choices and more – She did not have a release last year, but 2019 will be action-packed for Bhumi Pednekar. Coming up first is Sonchiriya that has her playing a feisty girl from Chambal followed by the quirky comedy Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare. In the meantime, she has started shooting for Saand Ki Aankh based on India’s oldest woman shooters Chando and Prakshi Tomar, alongside Taapsee Pannu. The talented actress has also been roped in for the remake of Pati Patni Aur Woh (1978) in which she will essay the role originally played by Vidya Sinha. Here, the Toilet: Ek Prem Katha actress tells us about her slate of films, why she doesn’t miss being the glamorous commercial heroine and more…
Whether it’s films like Dum Laga Ke Haisha, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha or the upcoming Sonchiriya you have played strong characters in them. How do you go about picking the roles you want to play?
I think these scripts choose me. Also, I am a strong person and I consciously relate to films empowering women. That’s because I come from a family which believes in it. I naturally go for such characters. The makers of Toilet: Ek Prem Katha and Sonchiriya have shown faith in me because of my earlier work. It is so flattering to play distinctive women from different parts of India. I am proud of that.
Don’t you miss playing Bollywood’s quintessential glamour girl?
In real life, I am so glamorous that I don’t miss it on celluloid. Bhumi, the person, is nothing like the characters she plays! I am a Mumbai girl, I love vanity, getting ready, and spending time taking care of myself. In front of the camera, I enjoy playing characters that are unlike me. It’s more challenging as I have to do a lot more work.
I don’t just want to play an urban girl — I’m not saying they don’t have problems, they also have their own battles — but as far as the glamour bit goes, I balance my life out. Also, I think the definition of glamour is flawed. In Toilet: Ek Prem Katha (2017), I was glamorous enough in the milieu that it was set. Besides, being glam would not be reason enough to get on board a film. Yes, I would want to be a part of a commercial film, but I’m not seeking it, just like I’m not seeking socially-relevant films. I don’t have a formula. Pati Patni Aur Woh remake could be that fun commercial film with glamour, fun and songs, but again I’m doing it because it’s a good story.
Have you seen the original Pati Patni Aur Woh?
Yes, and it’s a wonderful film. But our movie is a modern take on it. We as people have changed a lot and even the society has progressed a little. I can’t divulge more about it because it’s a remake, and it will take the fun out of it. All I can say is it will be completely different from the original.
Taapsee Pannu said that she was being considered for the role you are playing, in Pati Patni Aur Woh and now you are working together in Saand Ki Aankh. Is there any awkwardness between the two of you?
Not at all. Taapsee and I are great friends and we have started a wonderful journey together. Whatever happened (with Pati Patni Aur Woh) had nothing to do with me. Taapsee is somebody who has a lot of courage and she speaks out on what she feels right and what she doesn’t feel right about. I respect her views and thoughts.
How was it working with Konkona SenSharma in Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare?
This is my favourite script. It’s a quirky film. If you’ve seen Lipstick Under My Burkha, you’ll know what kind of movie this will be. Alankrita Shrivastava (director) is a brilliant woman, she finds these ladies who are warped, crazy, naive and who are survivors. That’s what I love about Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare. For me, this a true chick flick.
As for working with Konkona, by far she is one of my most favourite co-stars. She is such a phenomenal actor, so down-to-earth and no pretense — she is just Koko. Every time I had a scene with her I was so excited, the comfort between us was so refreshing. I had come from a male-dominated set of Sonchiriya and this was completely the opposite. Both the experiences were enriching, but Dolly Kitty… was such fun — girl power all the way.
You have also bagged Karan Johar’s period film Takht…
Yes, and it’s a dream come true. For anybody who wants to be a part of movies, working in a Karan Johar film is a dream. It’s such an honour. I have high regard for him — he is a visionary, who changed the game in the fraternity. Also, I will be sharing share screen space with brilliant actors like Ranveer (Singh), Vicky (Kaushal), Kareena (Kapoor Khan), and Anil (Kapoor) sir and Jahnvi (Kapoor).