Akshay Kumar paid Bhumi Pednekar the best compliment for Toilet Ek Prem Katha – Bhumi Pednekar talks about the success of Toilet Ek Prem Katha, her Bollywood journey and mentor Aditya Chopra in an EXCLUSIVE interview with BollywoodLife.
Bhumi Pednekar is definitely a happy girl. Not only has this Yash Raj find won over the audience with her performance in Toilet Ek Prem Katha, the young heroine has managed to stand tall opposite Akshay Kumar in this film. With an interesting lineup in the upcoming days, Bhumi is ready to win over Bollywood. The actress will be seen opposite Ayushmann Khurrana in Shubh Mangal Savdhan and Abhishek Chaubey’s next featuring Sushant Singh Rajput. We spoke to the actress who was amidst the post promotions of TEPK and here are the excerpts…
How does it feel to stand tall before Akshay Kumar in TEPK?
Honestly I’m blushing all the time. I’m so overwhelmed. I can’t believe firstly that Toilet has released. Every morning when I wake up and see my tweets and whatever messages I get I’m like Oh My God, my second film’s out! It’s done, after Dum Laga Ke Haisha I’ve gone through this entire process, which was like a whirlwind and now a very big chapter of my life is sort of concluded. I’m overwhelmed, grateful to God. My second film has been as important as my first film, I really feel like Toilet is like my relaunch into films because I look like a completely different person as compared to my first character. I’m very proud of the film and I’m very attached to it.
One compliment that you received for TEPK that you cherish.
Akshay Sir is so kind and so generous that at various places he has said, jis tarike ki acting he did his 90th film I’m already doing. It was very sweet of him to say. This is a compliment I’ll really cherish. I really look up to him and I really adore sir. And you know when you get a compliment from your co-star who’s been there and ruling for so long, it’s really heartfelt.
How much does BO success matter to Bhumi as an actor?
This is the first time that I’m really understanding the numbers. My only thing with Toilet was that I hoped it reaches out to maximum number of people and it gets the kind of love and respect that my first film got. For me Dum Laga Ke Haisha gave me so much love that I was like this film has to do that, by love I mean my work was appreciated. I’m very happy that the film is doing really well at the box office. Because I also feel that returns need to be good, so that more people should be able to make such films.
Did you show the film to your mentor Aditya Chopra? What did he say?
Yes, Adi Sir has seen the film and he really liked the movie. He’s a constant source of motivation in my life. He’s a man of very few words, but yeah he really liked the film. He was very happy with my work. He has been a part of my transformation because I’m with YRF and Adi Sir has seen me through my weight loss journey. He’s always motivating us, always telling us don’t slack, don’t take anything for granted, work hard. He’s a great mentor to have.
Akshay Kumar’s joke on Aditya Chopra helping you with choosing the right films.
See by the end of it the call is ours, it’s always an individual’s call. But yes, Adi Sir is always a part of the process. I can speak for myself, I have a huge process that I go through before I choose a film, very internal, I take my time, I have a few people that are involved and Adi Sir’s opinion is very important to me, but at the end of the day it’s my call.
What makes you take up a film?
It has to be a perfect balance where I’m contributing something in the film, where my character is important and where the story is good. Especially I’ve only worked with first time directors, so I don’t really have anything to go by, except for my faith in the director and faith in the script. So I think it’s just a chance that you take, when I’m reading the script itself I sort of visualise doing it or not doing it to the best of my power. It needs to be a powerful role with a strong powerful script.
Do you think Shubh Mangal Savdhan will benefit from Toilet Ek Prem Katha‘s success?
Well, I really hope. Because it’s such a sweet film, it quirky and funny and I really hope that Toilet does give it a push. I hope it turns into a domino effect.
You seem to have a great comic timing.
Thank you so much! That’s very encouraging.
How much of your personal sense of humour translates on screen?
I think I’m a fun person. I’m not somebody who’s out there to make people laugh, but I think I’m witty and I guess it comes from intelligence. I’m not trying to be pompous, but you know… I think I’ve been to have directors who have tapped into that aspect of my personality. I think the humour in films are so subtle that it stands out.
Can you tell us a little about your upcoming film with Abhishek Chaubey and Sushant Singh Rajput?
I actually can’t really talk about it. I’d rather have my seniors talk about it.
What was the biggest challenge that you had to overcome as an actor?
I think the biggest challenge is to find that balance between how you look off and on screen, I’m still sort of trying to figure out what works for me. The vanity bit of it. I barely have makeup and hair done in my films. The acting bit is the easiest bit for me, I’ve danced in both my films so I don’t know. And I’m like an over critical person and I don’t get easily pleased by my work. So I’m always kind of on it.
One film genre you’d not attempt…
I don’t there’s anything that I possibly won’t do. I’m such a hungry actor. At this point considering that I’ve just entered the film fraternity, I’d literally want to do everything.
As an individual
I believe in realism, I don’t know how good I’d be with an over-the-top in your face, slapstick, exaggerated acting. I don’t know that’s my cup of tea, I think I sort of believe in realism.
Bhumi Pednekar will next be seen in Shubh Mangal Savdhan and we cannot wait to see what the actress has in store for us.