The latest sensation in Bollywood, Bhumi Pednekar is busy accepting accolades for her exceptional performance in Yash Raj Films' 'Dum Laga Ke Haisha'. Bhumi, who worked at the production house's casting department, gets candid about her debut film, her desire to work with Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan and much more. Read onâ€¦
Congratulations for the success of 'Dum Laga Ke Haisha'. Which has been the best reaction you received after the film's release?
The best reaction has come from my mother. It is a very emotional answer but that's the truth. The kind of sensibilities my mother had, I completely trust her. And when she said that she loved the film and was all teary eyed, I believe there couldn't be a better reaction than that.
How did you bag the role?
For starters, I have been working with YRF for really long time, almost 6 years. Basically the script came in, Shanoo and I read it because we had to cast for the film. We were looking for the right girl and then Shanoo told me to do a mock audition. When I read the script, I could connect to Sandhya's character. I gave my audition and got selected a few weeks later. Though initially, Sharat wasn't happy with me, eventually I convinced him. I went through the same process what the other contenders go through.
What preparations you did to get into the character?
In terms of weight, I have always been on the heavier side. So when the makers told me that you have to eat and put on weight, I was more than happy. So I was really happy because I am passionate about both acting and food. But the role was tough and challenging. Sandhya was different from Bhumi. I am a Bombay girl, I wasn't exposed to the 90s so I had to adjust to all that.
Now you are back in shape. How did you manage that?
My weight has never been an issue for me. It has never been a hurdle. I have always worn whatever I wanted to, I always ate whatever I wanted to eat. I didn't set out on a journey to lose weight. But when for a year you are told to eat butter chicken and dal makhni, and then you leave eating that, you are bound to lose weight.
Bhumi, even Parineeti is a YRF girl. Have you ever worked with her before?
Parineeti was Marketing and I was in Casting and our office is also in Juhu, hence didn't really interact with her. YRF is a big organization and hence it is difficult to know everyone. But when Shanoo was auditioning her, I met Parineeti. And now of course, we have been exchanging pleasantries. She is very excited about DLKH.
Did you have jitters when you realized Ayushmann Khurrana was cast opposite you?
More than jittery, I was actually prepared for this because I knew an experienced actor would be cast. Rather when I came to know it was Ayushmann Khurrana, I was relaxed because I have always loved his kind of work. I was at content and ease. And when an actor like him said yes to doing this film, it gave me little more confidence and trust in the film.
Are you happy with the low-key promotions for the film?
I am an actor and I have done my work. I always knew the film will work because the script was very strong. Hence I think they wanted the film to do its promotion.
We hear that Rani Mukerji has been impressed by your work. What was her reaction?
Rani is really impressed with the film. Her reaction was amazing towards the film. She was thrilled and enjoyed it. I really can't quote her because I was in shock when she praised me. Rani told us how much she loved our work, it didn't appear to be my first film and that I looked beautiful in the movie.
Now that you have stepped into acting, have you said bye bye to casting?
Definitely. I have signed a three film deal with YRF. I have always wanted to be an actor and people close to me knew about my dreams and ambitions. I am not saying that casting is a shut chapter and I value it a lot but that was never my goal.
So what's next on the cards?
I don't know what is next. Currently I am busy enjoying the 'Dum Laga ke Haisha' moment. I havent thought about anything yet.
Are you open to doing Marathi cinema?
Absolutely. The way Marathi cinema is changing today, I am definitely open to working there. Why wouldn't I? The quality of films being made there is outstanding! For me it all comes down to script. I don't believe in limitations.
Who is your favourite Bollywood actor with whom you would want to work?
OMGâ€¦ I am a very big Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan fan. They are the ultimate heroes. For me as a fan girl, SRK and Salman are the best! Among the younger lot, all of them are amazing. I respect them for their job. Shah Rukh and Salman are the last generation of stars! The stardom they have don't think anyone else has.
SRK tweeted about DLKH. What was your reaction?
I was just blushing when that happened.