Playing the title role of 'Begum Jaan' in Bengali filmmaker Srijit Mukherji's Bollywood debut seems to be taking a toll on Vidya Balan. The actress, who essays the character of a brothel-keeper in the historical film, has been shooting at Patjor, a small village in Jharkhand. The actress, however, has been staying at Shantiniketan in West Bengal, a two-hour drive from the shoot location.
Vidya Balan. Pic/Rane Ashish
Says a source, "Vidya has to get up at 4 am daily for the commute. Since the film is a costume drama, getting ready takes time. An early start to the day ensures that things start rolling by 10 am. The unit has been shooting since last month and the grind is getting to her. By the time she is back at Shantiniketan, it gets late. She gets to sleep for barely four to five hours."
'Begum Jaan' is based on Srijit Mukherji's Bengali film, 'Rajkahini' (2015), starring Rituparna Sengupta. Adds the source, "The shoot has also been exhausting due to the high temperature in the areas. Getting in and out of elaborate costumes, jewellery and hairdos is also gruelling. But the actress enjoys getting under the skin of her character. She is wearing personal vintage costume jewellery for the film."
The current schedule is slated to wrap up on July 17. The unit will then move to New Delhi next month for the next shooting stint and a weary Vidya, we hear, is looking forward to uncompromised rest at home until then.
A source close to the actress says, "The shoot has been pretty exacting, but Vidya loves challenges and wants to push the envelope. The break, no doubt, will do her a world of good."