‘My skin was peeling off, but it never deterred me’: Bhumi Pednekar on playing a dacoit in Sonchiriya – Bhumi Pednekar won a lot of praise for her realistic performance in Zoya Akhtar’s anthology from Lust Stories. The actress, who will be seen next in Abhishek Chaubey’s Son Chiriya, is kicked about her upcoming project.
She tells us, “This is one film where people have come together with the intention of just being part of a lovely story. Everyone was trying to ace what they were supposed to do. I’ve never seen a set like that, where people were so calm and happy.”
Against All Odds
The entire team camped in Chambal for months to wrap up the project. Bhumi says, “We shot in tough conditions as there was extreme weather and we were in the middle of nowhere. I came back burnt, my skin was peeling off, but none of it deterred me. Son Chiriya has been my most difficult, yet fulfilling role.”
Along with Sushant Singh Rajput’s look from the film, her first picture from the sets, too, made its way to the Internet. Although she hasn’t spoken about her character, we hear she also plays a dacoit. The Shubh Mangal Saavdhan actress points out, “People haven’t seen Sushant, me or Manoj (Bajpayee) sir looking like that. They will either be pleasantly surprised or they’ll be taken aback.”
A Realistic Dacoit Drama
While dacoit dramas were quite prevalent in the ’70s, over the years, there have hardly been such films. The last memorable movie in this genre was Shekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen (1994), which was based on the life of bandit-turned MP, Phoolan Devi. In an earlier interview, Manoj Bajpayee, who featured in the movie, had said that Son Chiriya is for the younger generation who may not have watched the Seema Biswas-starrer. Bhumi hopes ‘it turns out to be true’. She says, “Once the trailer is out, viewers will understand the kind of work that has gone into it. Every movie is tough; people put in their heart and soul in it. But for this film, we prepped for four months. Abhishek (Chaubey) has a great vision. Sushant (Singh Rajput) and I never saw a single frame or even went up to the monitor and checked how the shot had turned out.”
Abhishek, who has helmed Ishqiya, Dedh Ishqiya and Udta Punjab, is known for adding a realistic touch to his movies. Like his earlier works, Son Chiriya, too, will have cuss words. Bhumi reasons, “I don’t think abusing is a big deal. This is how people talk in the smaller parts of India.” Quiz her if our society is getting more comfortable with women abusing on screen and she replies, “People are gradually accepting women with power. I admire Ekta Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and Indra Nooyi, who have held their ground and put our country in the spotlight. I want to do the same with my films. I’ve been fortunate to be a part of movies that comment on so many existing issues in an entertaining way. Son Chiriya also makes a comment on a lot of such issues.”