Five years back, Bhumi Pednekar, who had put on 20 kilograms to look the part for her lead role in her debut film Dum Laga Ke Haisha, became the most unconventional heroine in Bollywood.
A few months later, Bhumi, weighing 30 kgs less, rose to the skies. Films like Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, Saand Ki Aankh, Sonchiriya, Pati, Patni Aur Woh and Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitaare followed. But the road has not been easy.
Bhumi says, “I am not an accidental actor. This is something that I really wanted to do and I have worked really hard to be here. It’s been five years and it still feels like a dream! I am a Mumbai girl and that helped, because having a support system in the city makes your journey easier. However, because I am not from a traditional film family and I really didn’t have any contacts, I was very confused at first about how to go about it.”
The actress adds, “First, I tried to convince my parents that I want to be an actor. I finally mustered the courage to speak to them about it. They weren’t very happy and I think they were being protective of me. So, I decided to join film school. The fee was high, so I took a loan.”
Bhumi is considered one of the best actresses today, but she tells us she failed in film school and that it really shook her. “I failed film school not because I wasn’t a good actor but because I wasn’t disciplined enough and that was the biggest jhatka. I was like, I have screwed up — and I had this `13 lakh loan on my head — it’s a huge amount.” She says she began looking for a job for survival and to safeguard her dream of being an actor.
Bhumi then joined YRF as a casting assistant. “When I was doing casting, my intent wasn’t to gain insights about whether I wanted to be an actor. I was just observing as a filmmaking student. I wanted to be a part of this world and whatever door opened, I would go through.”