The distinctive white streak in her stylish short hair wasn’t the only thing that defined the looks of the late Indira Gandhi, India’s former Prime Minister. Actress Lara Dutta has astounded social media with her complete makeover as the iconic leader in the recently-released trailer of the movie Bell Bottom. She’s not the first actress, though, to assay the role of the ‘Iron Lady’ of Indian politics. Nor will she be the last.
Some actresses aced Indira Priyadarshini’s looks, while others didn’t quite hit the mark. Sarita Choudhury fell into the latter category as Indira in the Deepa Mehta film Midnight’s Children, and so did Kishori Shahane in the film PM Narendra Modi. Avantika Akerkar was perhaps more convincing in that role in Thackeray.
Manisha Koirala had done a photoshoot to play the lead in N Chandra’s A Tryst with Destiny, but the film was shelved.
Meanwhile, Kangana Ranaut and Vidya Balan will both soon be seen playing Indira Gandhi.
“Yes, I am trying to make a web series on Indira Gandhi. I would say that it is still an attempt. A web series means a lot of work and a lot of research and it takes a lot more time than making a film. But when I do it, I will do it very well,’ says Vidya who bought the film rights of the Sagarika Ghose book ‘India’s Most Powerful Prime Minister.’
Kangana Ranaut shared a picture from an old photoshoot a few months ago, saying she was looking forward to playing the late leader in her film Emergency. The movie was to have been directed by Sai Kabir, but Kangana has now taken over that mantle. “After working on Emergency for more than a year, I finally figured no one can direct it better than me, collaborating with fabulous writer Ritesh Shah; even if it means sacrificing various acting assignments, I am determined to do it. My excitement is high. This is going to be a tremendous journey, my leap to another league,” says Kangana.
Interestingly Kangana, who plays the late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in the film Thalaivi, shares screen space with Flora Jacob who plays Indira in the film. Flora had also done a cameo as Indira in Ajay Devgn’s Raid.
Another actress who played Indira twice is Surpiya Vinod — in Madhur Bhandarkar’s Indu Sarkar as well as Jabbar Patel’s Yashwantrao Chavan.
Other films which will have Indira Gandhi as a character in the future include Nikhil Dwivedi’s film 1971 and Meghana Gulzar’s Sam Bahadur.
Coming back to Lara’s portrayal of Indira, she says, “All it took was a call, saying, ‘Lara, this film is being made and we are casting for Indira Gandhi’s role.’” But the former Miss Universe adds that “it is a great responsibility when you are portraying somebody who is an iconic figure like her. It was very important to get her body language right.”...