Bhumi Pednekar
Bhumi Pednekar

Bhumi Pednekar

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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, she 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. 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), and the crime drama Sonchiriya (2019). For her portrayal of the septuagenarian sharpshooter Chandro Tomar in Saand Ki Aankh (2019), she shared the Filmfare Award for Best Actress (Critics), along with Taapsee Pannu.

Early life

Pednekar was born in Bombay (now Mumbai) on 18 July 1989. 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. She did her schooling from Arya Vidya Mandir in Juhu. 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. Within a year and a half, she joined Yash Raj Films as an assistant film director, and paid off the loan. She went on to work with the company for six years under Shanoo Sharma.

Early work (2015–2018)

Pednekar's acting debut came opposite Ayushmann Khurrana as an overweight wife in Sharat Katariya's rom-com Dum Laga Ke Haisha (2015), backed by Yash Raj Films. In preparation before filming, she gained close to 12 kg despite being slightly overweight. 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." After filming, she began losing weight and shared methods and tips of the process through her social media and lost significant weight before the release of the film. A moderate success, Dum Laga Ke Haisha won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi and Pednekar was awarded the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut. That year she was featured in Y-Films's four part mini web series Man's World. Based on the subject of gender inequality, it digitally premiered on YouTube.Post a year-long absence, Pednekar headlined the satire Toilet: Ek Prem Katha (2017) as a young woman in rural India who insists on the eradication of open defecation, opposite Akshay Kumar. Despite disliking the story, Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV praised her for "flesh[ing] out a refreshingly relatable college topper who becomes the principal catalyst for a mini-revolution". With a worldwide gross of over ₹3 billion (US$40 million), it emerged as one of the highest grossing Indian films and her biggest commercial success both domestically and internationally. Later that year, her performance opposite Khurrana in R.S Prasanna's Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, an erectile dysfunction-based satire film fetched Pednekar her first Filmfare Award for Best Actress nomination. 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. Shubh Mangal Saavdhan earned a global total of ₹790 million (US$10 million). Zoya Akhtar's segment in the Netflix anthology film Lust Stories marked her sole role in 2018, as a maid who has an affair with her employer. Writing for NDTV, Raja Sen praised Akhtar's segment, calling it as the best among four films in the anthology, and found Pednekar hauntingly good in it.

Rise to prominence (2019–present)

Abhishek Chaubey's crime drama Sonchiriya was Pednekar's first release of 2019; it saw her as a young housewife on the run in rural Chambal, with 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. 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". Tushar Hiranandani's biographical film Saand Ki Aankh saw Taapsee Pannu and Pednekar playing the roles of sharpshooters Chandro Tomar and Prakashi Tomar respectively. In preparation, both she and Pannu spent time with Chandro and Prakashi and trained in shooting a gun. She suffered from skin allergies from filming in the heat wearing prosthetic make-up. Udita Jhunjunwala of Mint said both to be wonderful and spunky, and that both embrace their parts even though their body language and posture is variable". Apart from winning the Screen Award for Best Actress with Pannu for Saand Ki Aankh, Pednekar received two Filmfare Award for Best Actress (Critics) nominations for her acting in Sonchiriya and Saand Ki Aankh, winning for the latter again with Pannu.Continuing her portrayals of headstrong small-town women, Pednekar was cast in Bala and Pati Patni Aur Woh (both 2019). Being her third collaboration with Khurrana, the former saw her play 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. Pati Patni Aur Woh, a remake of a 1978 film of the same name and co-starring Kartik Aaryan and Ananya Panday had her in the role of a wife of 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." Both Bala and Pati Patni Aur Woh were major financial successes, each grossing over ₹1 billion (US$13 million) worldwide.Pednekar's next Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare, an Alankrita Shrivastava directorial and co-starring Konkona Sen Sharma, was screened at the 24th Busan International Film Festival in 2019 and released on Netflix later in September 2020. Nandini Ramnath of wrote that despite doing a "fine job", Pednekar had been overshadowed by her co-star Sen Sharma. Also in 2020 she had extended cameos in the comedy Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan and the horror film Bhoot – Part One: The Haunted Ship. In December 2020, Amazon Prime Video streamed the horror thriller Durgamati, a remake of the Telugu film Bhaagamathie, that starred Pednekar as an IAS officer. It was helmed by G. Ashok and produced by Akshay Kumar and T-Series.Pednekar has completed shoot with Rajkummar Rao for Badhaai Do, a spiritual sequel to the 2018 comedy Badhaai Ho. She has also committed to star in Karan Johar's historical war period film Takht, alongside an ensemble cast of Ranveer Singh, Vicky Kaushal, Anil Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Alia Bhatt and Janhvi Kapoor. In March 2021, she will start Shashank Khaitan's spy comedy Mr. Lele produced by Johar, alongside Kaushal and Kiara Advani.
Source: Wikipedia

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