Bhumi Pednekar: I'm the go-to female actor for risk-taking directors
Carefully charting her growth with each film, Pati Patni Aur Woh actor Bhumi Pednekar says she will only approve roles that see her headline the film
Evidently a front-runner among actors making it big in Bollywood without the nudge of a godfather, Bhumi Pednekar has been as particular about the films she zeroes in on as she has about the finesse of her act. It comes as no surprise then that the actor —who delivered films like Sonchiriya, Saandh Ki Aankh and Bala in the recent past — will no longer be wooed by roles that have her play second fiddle.
"I have done a certain amount of work, which has been of a certain quality. That's why I am a leading lady today," says the Pati Patni Aur Woh actor, without mincing words. "My definition of the leading lady could either be a [solo] act, or [as a co-actor] in a film that has two women in prominent roles. Today, writers and directors are willing to push the boundaries with their scripts. If I have become their go-to female actor, I will seek such roles."
With the trailer of Kartik Aaryan starrer Pati Patni Aur Woh seemingly making light of marital rape, Pednekar too found herself in the eye of a storm. But, she holds her ground when reiterating that the film — a comic take on BR Chopra's 1978 film by the same name — is not sexist. "The furore with regards to the marital rape dialogue [resulted from our] lack of judgment. Our intention was not to hurt sentiments. We speak of infidelity, but don't take a cheap dig at women. Just because we are playing to the gallery does not mean that we are being condescending. We are not showcasing the [infidel] husband as a lord. Both Ananya [Panday] and I have strong characters. This is what a modern-day relationship is; where nothing is black or white."
Despite a resume that boasts of varied characters, including an overweight woman, a helper, and an athlete aged 60, Pednekar says she fears being monotonous. "I'm scared of doing something mediocre. I must outperform myself."
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