Bhumi Pednekar (born 18 July 1989) is an Indian actress who appears in Hindi films. After working as an assistant casting director at Yash Raj Films for six years, Pednekar made her film debut as an overweight bride in the company's romantic comedy Dum Laga Ke Haisha (2015), which earned her the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut.

Bhumi Pednekar
Bhumi Pednekar promoting Sonchiriya.jpg
Pednekar promoting Sonchiriya in 2019
Born (1989-07-18) 18 July 1989 (age 30)
OccupationActress
Years active2015–present

Pednekar rose to prominence by playing headstrong small-town women in the comedy-dramas Toilet: Ek Prem Katha (2017), Shubh Mangal Saavdhan (2017), Bala (2019), and Pati Patni Aur Woh (2019).[1] For her performance in Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, she received a nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Actress.

Early lifeEdit

Pednekar was born in Bombay (present Mumbai) on 18 July 1989.[2][3] She is of Marathi and Haryanvi descent; her father, Satish, was a former home and labour minister of Maharashtra, and her mother, Sumitra, worked as an anti-tobacco activist after the death of her husband from oral cancer.[4][5] She did her schooling from Arya Vidya Mandir in Juhu.[6] At the age of 15, her parents took out a study loan for her to study acting at Whistling Woods International, but she was expelled due to poor attendance.[4] Within a year and a half, she joined Yash Raj Films as an assistant film director, and paid off the loan.[4] She went on to work with the company for six years under Shanoo Sharma.[6][7]

CareerEdit

Early work (2015–2018)Edit

 
Pednekar in 2017

Pednekar made her acting debut with Sharat Katariya's romantic comedy Dum Laga Ke Haisha (2015). Starring opposite Ayushmann Khurrana, she featured as Sandhya, an overweight woman who gets married to Khurrana's character. In preparation for the role, Pednekar gained close to 12 kg, despite being slightly overweight before filming commenced.[8] Rajeev Masand reviewed, "Pednekar steals the film with an assured turn, effortlessly making you care for Sandhya, without ever reducing her to a slobbering, self-pitying caricature."[9] After filming, she began losing weight and shared methods and tips of the process through her social media.[7] She lost significant weight before the release of the film.[10] The film proved to be a sleeper hit, and Pednekar won the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut.[11][12]

That same year, Pednekar appeared in Y-Films's mini web-series Man's World.[13] The four-part series about gender inequality was digitally premiered on YouTube.[14][15] After a year-long absence from the screen, Pednekar appeared in the social problem film Toilet: Ek Prem Katha (2017), alongside Akshay Kumar, which tells the story of a young woman in rural India who insists on the eradication of open defecation.[16] Despite disliking the picture, Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV praised Pednekar for "flesh[ing] out a refreshingly relatable college topper who becomes the principal catalyst for a mini-revolution".[17] With a worldwide gross of over 3 billion (US$42 million), it emerged as one of the highest-grossing Indian films of all time.[18][19]

Pednekar followed the success of Toilet: Ek Prem Katha with Shubh Mangal Saavdhan (2017), a satire on erectile dysfunction, which reunited her with Khurrana.[20] Reviewing the film for The Indian Express, Shubhra Gupta wrote that Pednekar "once again reminds us just how convincing she can be as a real honest-to-goodness young woman in search of love", but bemoaned that she was being typecast in such roles.[21] It earned over 790 million (US$11 million) against its 250 million (US$3.5 million) budget to emerge as a commercial success, and garnered Pednekar a nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Actress.[22][23] Her sole screen appearance of 2018 was in Zoya Akhtar's segment in the Netflix anthology film Lust Stories (2018), in which she played a maid who has an affair with her employer.[24] Writing for NDTV, Raja Sen considered Akhtar's segment to be the best among the four films in the anthology, and found Pednekar "hauntingly good" in it.[25]

Rise to prominence (2019–present)Edit

 
Pednekar at the 2019 Screen Awards

Abhishek Chaubey's crime drama Sonchiriya was Pednekar's first release of 2019. She played a young housewife on the run in rural Chambal, alongside Sushant Singh Rajput and Manoj Bajpayee. In preparation, she underwent two and a half months of physical training to portray her character's mannerism and gait; she also learned to fire a gun.[26] Rahul Desai of Film Companion praised the subtlety in the film and its performances, and credited Pednekar for "lend[ing] an inevitable sense of womanhood to the silenced".[27] She next starred as the septuagenarian sharpshooter Chandro Tomar in Tushar Hiranandani's biographical film Saand Ki Aankh, opposite Taapsee Pannu who played her sister-in-law Prakashi Tomar. In preparation, Pannu and Pednekar spent time with the two women and trained in shooting a gun.[1] She suffered from skin allergies from filming in the heat wearing prosthetic make-up.[28] Udita Jhunjunwala of Mint wrote, "Pannu and Pednekar are wonderful and spunky and embrace their parts even though their body language and posture is variable".[29] Both actresses were jointly awarded the Screen Award for Best Actor Critics Choice (Female).[30]

Continuing her portrayals of headstrong small-town women, Pednekar starred in Bala and Pati Patni Aur Woh (both 2019).[1] The former marked her third collaboration with Khurrana, in which she played a dark-skinned woman who faces prejudice due to her skin colour. Controversy arose for casting a fair-skinned woman in the role, but Pednekar defended herself by saying that an actor should be allowed to play any part.[31][32] The romantic comedy Pati Patni Aur Woh was a remake of 1978 film of the same name, co-starring Kartik Aaryan and Ananya Panday. She played Vedika, a housewife with a philandering husband. Anupama Chopra wrote that "it’s Bhumi Pednekar’s spirited Vedika who lifts the material up a notch. Bhumi has an intelligence that rescues some of the silliest scenes in this film, especially in the climax."[33] Both Bala and Pati Patni Aur Woh were commercially successful, each grossing over 1 billion (US$14 million) worldwide.[34]

Pednekar will next star opposite Vicky Kaushal in Karan Johar's horror production Bhoot – Part One: The Haunted Ship and alongside Konkona Sen Sharma in Alankrita Shrivastava's comedy Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare.[35][36] She will portray the titular character in Durgavati, a remake of the Telugu horror film Bhaagamathie (2018), and appear in Shashank Khaitan's action comedy Mr. Lele alongside Varun Dhawan and Janhvi Kapoor.[37][38] Pednekar has also committed to feature in Johar's historical period drama Takht alongside an ensemble cast.[39]

In the mediaEdit

The journalist Priyanka Roy of The Telegraph wrote in 2019 that Pednekar specialises in playing "women of fortitude with a strong moral fibre, mostly hailing from small towns".[40] She was featured by Forbes India in their 30 Under 30 list of 2018.[41]

In 2019, Pednekar began a campaign named Climate Warrior to raise awareness on environmental protection and global warming.[42] She is also vocal about issues such as pay parity and has spoken out about the gender pay gap in Bollywood, calling it "insulting" and "heartbreaking".[40] In 2020, she teamed with MTV India for their Nishedh campaign, which aims to create awareness about health issues, including reproductive health, among the youth.[43]

FilmographyEdit

  Denotes films that have not yet been released
Year Title Role Notes
2014 Dum Laga Ke Haisha Sandhya Varma/Tiwari
2015 Man's World Unnamed Web series
2017 Toilet: Ek Prem Katha Jaya Joshi/Sharma
2017 Shubh Mangal Saavdhan Sugandha Joshi/Sharma
2018 Lust Stories Sudha Zoya Akhtar's segment
2019 Sonchiriya Indumati Tomar
2019 Saand Ki Aankh Chandro Tomar
2019 Bala Latika
2019 Pati Patni Aur Woh Vedika Tripathi
2020 Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan   TBA Special appearance[44]
2020 Bhoot – Part One: The Haunted Ship   TBA Post-production[35]
2020 Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare   Kitty Post-production[36]
2020 Durgavati   Durgavati Filming[45]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Film Award Category Result Ref.
2016 Dum Laga Ke Haisha Filmfare Awards Best Female Debut Won [46]
Producers Guild Film Awards Best Female Debut Won
Screen Awards Best Female Debut Won
Zee Cine Awards Best Female Debut Won
Stardust Awards Superstar of Tomorrow – Female Won
BIG Star Entertainment Awards Most Entertaining Actor in a Social Role - Female Won
International Indian Film Academy Awards Best Female Debut Won
2018 Toilet: Ek Prem Katha Zee Cine Awards Best Actor – Female (Viewer's Choice) Nominated [47]
Best Actor – Female (Jury's Choice) Nominated
Shubh Mangal Saavdhan Screen Awards Best Actor – Female (Popular) Nominated
Filmfare Awards Best Actress Nominated [48]
News18 Reel Movie Awards Best Actress Nominated [49]
International Indian Film Academy Awards Best Actress Nominated [50]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Dubey, Rachana (16 October 2019). "Bhumi Pednekar: I don't mind being the face of small-town India, it is home to beautiful stories". The Times of India. Retrieved 27 December 2019.
  2. ^ Sangghvi, Bhavikk. "Movie prediction for ´Dum Laga Ke Haisha'". Planet Bollywood. Archived from the original on 1 August 2016. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  3. ^ "15 women of courage share their inspiring stories". India Today. 11 June 2015. Archived from the original on 22 April 2016. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  4. ^ a b c Khandekar, Omkar (27 December 2019). "Bhumi Pednekar: 'As I get more successful, I realize how sexist the world is'". Mint. Retrieved 27 December 2019.
  5. ^ Raja, Aditi (5 October 2012). "Ex-minister's wife takes on gutka manufacturers". India Today. Retrieved 27 December 2019.
  6. ^ a b Presenting Dum Laga Ke Haisha's leading lady Bhumi Pednekar, the slim-fit version Archived 7 February 2016 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  7. ^ a b ‛Lose it' like Bhumi Pednekar! Archived 26 November 2015 at the Wayback Machine, Bhumi Pednekar has shared "the fun little things" she did to lose weight.
  8. ^ My Cinderella Story: Bhumi Pednekar Archived 18 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine, DNAIndia 7 March 2015.
  9. ^ "Think Big!". RajeevMasand.com. 27 February 2015. Archived from the original on 15 August 2017. Retrieved 15 August 2017.
  10. ^ 7 things you don't know about Bhumi Pednekar. 6th is shocking Archived 30 November 2015 at the Wayback Machine, India Today.
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  25. ^ "Lust Stories Movie Review: 4 Directors Explore The Idea Of Lust, Without Caution". NDTV. 29 July 2018. Archived from the original on 27 July 2018. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
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  42. ^ "All about Bhumi Pednekar's impressive Climate Warrior campaign". Filmfare. 13 November 2019. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  43. ^ "Viacom18 and the MTV Staying Alive Foundation collaborates with partners for the launch of MTV Nishedh campaign". Financial Express. 16 January 2020. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
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  45. ^ "Bhumi Pednekar's Durgavati goes on floors, Akshay Kumar shares glimpse from sets". Hindustan Times. 23 January 2020. Retrieved 23 January 2020.
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External linksEdit