She is busy winning accolades on screen for her realistic on-screen portrayal of gritty women – trailblazers in their own right.Her debut as the uncharacteristically obese teacher in Haridwar, wife to actor Ayushmann Khurrana in her debut film Dum Laga Ke Haisha in 2015. Following up with her socially driven projects in movies like Toilet: Ek Prem Katha where she fights for the basic rights of women in rural areas. Her award-winning performance as a lesbian in Badhaai Do; living the dark-skin bias in Bala, and the criminal thriller Sonchiriya.
Each movie has been another game changer, just like her portrayal of the 65-year-old sharp shooter Chandro Tomar in Saand Ki Aankh. While she is on a high with six projects unfurling during 2023 (upcoming releases include The Ladykiller, Mere Husband ki Biwi, and Bhakshak), Bhumi Pednekar joins the swish club with the likes of Elton John, Arianna Grande, Rihanna, Lady Gaga…as cosmetic giant MAC co creates a limited edition lipstick with her, with hundred percent proceeds earned from its sale going towards charity.
Excerpts from a conversation:
If you were to describe your current state? Super excited. Whatever is happening today is too big a deal. As a young girl I always dreamed of this life. MAC has created and named a lipstick after me, as part of the Viva Glam series, considered me worthy of carrying the responsibility of honouring the brand commitment to inclusivity and philanthropy. I have wished so hard for this, dreamed of this happening.
It’s a smashing contrast. From your simple, passive aggressive roles on screen to the glam Bhumi…What’s with the small-town warrior mode? I don’t mind being the face of small-town India, it is home to beautiful stories. I’ve played a woman of every age in my films. I would say God has been very kind.
Six releases in 2023. That’s a coup today with the industry brimming with new talent. What inspires you? I seek good roles as an actor. I have been fortunate to work with leading directors early on in my career who have drawn out the best in me. I also draw inspiration from my mother. I don’t want to sound cliché, but I do admire my mother deeply. She has raised me and my sister as a single parent. I embody her zest for life, her strength and independence and the fact how fair and non-judgemental she is.
Something about you that no one knows I am always very confused. My decisions sway a lot. I come across as very sorted and composed but the actual process of decision making is the part that is very confusing. Like I am confused about what I want to eat.
Where and when are you the happiest? Spending time with my family – my mother and sister, in the garden, with my puppies, reading books, eating my comfort food in dal chawal and aloo ki sabzi
A secret wish I wish I could compose music. I simply envy musicians and artistes; I feel a music composer is like God’s special child.
A pearl of wisdom for all who aspire to be in your shoes
There is nothing more valuable than time. It is the only thing you have no control over. Make the most of it. Spending time with your family, invest hundred percent in your work, give time to your hobbies. Don’t waste time doing nothing.
A compulsive, non conformist wordsmith. A sybaritic connoisseur of all 'tis epicurean. An insatiable sybarite. An incurable book-chomper. For me, there is nothing more powerful than the excitement of shaping the written word. I simply live to write.