This year has brought tremendous success for Bhumi Pednekar. “I started the year with Sonchiriya, which may not have shown (box office) numbers, but the kind of acclaim the film and my performance got at film festivals across the world was very gratifying. I will always be proud of Sonchiriya,” she smiles.
Ditto for Sand Ki Aankh, Bala and even Pati Patni Aur Woh. “I am proud of all my films. Saand Ki Aankh is special not only because it was such an inspiring story and one that gave me a chance to play a woman much older than my real age, but also because it gave me a friend in Taapsee Pannu,” she gushes. “The whole team was lovely. The director Tushar Hiranandani came from hardcore commercial cinema, and here he was directing a film that was highly inspirational. I fell in love with the script immediately,” she says.
In her other highly acclaimed role of the year in Bala, Bhumi was severely criticised for colouring herself dark to play a dark-skinned woman. Taking a deep breath, she explains, “I will say only this about the colour of my skin in Bala: The way my character Latika looked was entirely the director’s decision. Amar is a filmmaker who knows his mind, and I knew he would never do anything he didn’t believe in. I trusted his judgment completely and I’m so glad that I did. There is so much more to my character in Bala than the skin colour. Her journey as a human being and a woman is so fascinating. I am glad I played Latika.”
Speaking of Bala, Bhumi is full of praise for her co-star Yami Gautam. “She just killed it; she was absolutely fantastic in her difficult role. I am so proud of her and this film,” she smiles.
The actress is also happy that she did the ambivalently-received comedy Pati Patni Aur Woh, co-starring Kartik Aaryan and Ananya Panday. “I can’t only be doing films that go to film festivals. It was light and fun, and people have loved it. I am so proud of what Kartik has achieved. Like me and Taapsee, he is from outside the industry and has found stardom on his own strength,” she says.
While 2019 was deeply satisfying, 2020 promises to be no different. “I first have Bhoot coming up. I always dreamed of being part of a Karan Johar film; I’m glad I’m part of this anthology,” she expresses.
Another film Bhumi is looking forward to next year is Alankrita Shrivastava’s Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare. “It’s been a joy sharing screen space with Koko (Konkona Sen Sharma). The film has been to film festivals across the world and has made a name for itself. Now I’m waiting for it to release in India,” she shares.
Meanwhile, she is looking at several other projects. “I am giving myself some breathing space. I am reading all the scripts that are coming to me, but I am taking my time in signing a new film. Whatever I do take up next, it would have to take me somewhere I haven’t been so far. That’s a pre-condition,” she concludes.