I am a director's actor: Bhumi Pednekar
The Toilet:Ek Prem Katha actress talks about her upbringing and how it affected her preparation for her role
Bollywood actress Bhumi Pednekar, who was last seen in Dum Laga Ke Haisha, is next featuring in two interesting films - Toilet: Ek Prem Katha and Shubh Mangal Saavdhan - says being a Mumbai girl, she is very well-versed with the reality of social issues, be it gender equality or open defecation.
As her upcoming film Toilet: Ek Prem Katha deals with the issue of open defecation, has she ever has faced such a situation in her life? "No, I am an urban girl, born and brought up here in Mumbai and never faced such things. However, I come from a family where my parents are not just busy in the daily chaos of life, but also read newspapers and are well aware of the reality in our society. Therefore, though I am urban, I've never lived in a bubble."
Bhumi said she understood the intensity of the situation further after coming on board for the film. "Like many commoners, even I used to think that maybe our government is not doing enough. What I did not understand is, it is the mindset that is stopping people from using those public toilets made available by the government."
She added, "In this film, I felt connected with the character Jaya as a woman. Imagine a girl who came to live in a house after marriage, where she has to control her toilet urge for 14 hours and then only can go before sunrise and after sunset. During her open defecation, she has to be conscious as there's insecurity in the dark; she might get raped. How much she must have gone through, especially during her menstruation days."
According to Bhumi, it was not difficult to empathize with the character, since Jaya represents many women in the country who are facing the same problem every single day.
Was there any moment when she felt emotionally overwhelmed while portraying the character? "That's where the director comes in. See, I am an emotional person and since I was emotionally connected to my character, while performing it was bound to happen. But our director (Shree Narayan Singh) had a strong vision and whenever I got carried away, he showed me the way," she said, adding that as an actor, she believes "making a film is a collaborative effort and if critics appreciate my performance, I do not take full credit for that, because I am a director's actor."
Toilet: Ek Prem Katha is releasing on August 11.