Bhumi Pednekar | Personal Life, Filmography, Social Work, Controversies
Bhumi Pednekar's Family and Bhumi Pednekar's Education
Bhumi Pednekar is of Konkani and Haryanvi ancestry; her mother, Sumitra, worked as an anti-tobacco crusader after her husband passed away from oral cancer; and her father, Satish, was a former home and labour minister of Maharashtra. Bhumi Pednekar has a twin sister named Samiksha Pednekar who is a lawyer by profession and did her college at Jindal Global School. Bhumi Pednekar attended Arya Vidya Mandir in Juhu for her schooling. She went to study acting at Whistling Woods International when she was 15 years old, but she was ejected for having a terrible attendance record. She later joined Yash Raj Films as an associate film director. After that, she spent six years working for the company under Shanoo Sharma. She completed her graduation simultaneously by getting a correspondence degree in Bachelors of Commerce (BCom) from the University of Mumbai.
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Bhumi Pednekar's Struggles
Bhumi Pednekar always dreamt of becoming an actress. However, she does not come from a family with a film background. She had a very humble childhood and would always value things and not misuse them. She belonged to a typical middle-class Indian family were acting as a profession is termed unconventional. However, she gathered enough courage and speak to her parents about her dream of becoming an actor. Initially reluctant, they gave in and took a loan amounting to INR 13 lakhs to get into Whistling Woods International Institute in Mumbai. She was an excellent student but was expelled from the school for having poor attendance. Petrified about how to repay the loan amount, she decided to work with Yash Raj Films as an Assistant Casting Director and managed to pay off the loan and also be in close proximity to the Film Industry.
When things started working out for Bhumi Pednekar and she was making a decent career for herself as an Assistant Director, tragedy befell upon her and her family as her father, Satish Pednekar, passed away after battling oral cancer for years. She was just 18 years old when her father passed away and all financial responsibilities fell upon young Bhumi's shoulders. She had to work 10 times harder to survive in the city of Mumbai and also pay for her sister Samiksha Pednekar's college studies. Her life took a 180-degree turn when she signed her first film Dum Laga Ke Haisha and there has been no looking back ever since.
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Bhumi Pednekar's Career
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. She then went on to feature in a number of movies with social messages like Badhai Ho, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha and Bala for which she received critical acclaim thereby establishing herself as a dependable actress. Bhumi Pednekar also featured in a biopic called Saand Ki Aankh which was praised by critics and audiences alike. Her upcoming films include Raksha Bandhan, slated to release in August 2022 and Govinda Naam Mera, in which she will star opposite Vicky Kaushal and Kiara Advani.
Dum Laga Ke Haisha
Bhumi Pednekar made her acting debut in 2015 as the overweight wife of Ayushmann Khurrana's character in the Yash Raj Films-produced and Sharat Katariya-directed romantic comedy Dum Laga Ke Haisha (2015) In preparation, she gained almost 12 kg body weight. After filming, she began losing weight and shared methods and tips of the process through her social media. 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.
Dum Laga Ke Haisha, also known as My Big Fat Bride, was written and directed by Sharat Katariya and features Ayushmann Khurrana, Bhumi Pednekar, and Sanjay Mishra, and Seema Pahwa in the key roles. The background music for the movie was written by Italian composer Andrea Guerra. The movie debuted on February 27, 2015, to positive reviews. After a five-week run, according to Box Office India, the movie brought in 42 crores (US$5.5 million) domestically. On April 16, 2015, the picture marked 50 days in theatres. The movie ultimately made 71.85 crores ($9.4 million) globally.
Dum Laga Ke Haisha received five nominations at the 61st Filmfare Awards, winning two, Best Female Debut for Pednekar and Best Cinematography. The song "Moh Moh Ke Dhaage" got three nominations for its lyrics by Varun Grover and vocals by Papon and Monali Thakur. The film also won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi.
In the same year i.e 2015, Bhumi Pednekar was featured in Y-Films's four-part mini web series Man's World. Based on gender inequality, it digitally premiered on YouTube.
Toilet Ek Prem Katha
Two years later, Pednekar was paired with Akshay Kumar in the parody Toilet: Ek Prem Katha (2017) as a young Indian woman who insists on ending open defecation. NDTV's Saibal Chatterjee lauded her for "fleshing out a wonderfully relatable college topper who becomes the major cause for a mini-revolution" despite his disliking for the plot. It became one of the highest-grossing Hindi films of the year and Bhumi Pednekar’s highest-grossing movie with a global gross of over 3 billion (US$39 million).
Shubh Mangal Saavdhan
Later in the same year, she starred in Shubh Mangal Saavdhan opposite Aayushman Khurran, a satire on erectile dysfunction, earning Pednekar her first nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Actress. 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 grossed ₹700 million (US$9.2 million) worldwide.
Bhumi Pednekar made just a solo appearance on screen in 2018—a section in the Netflix anthology film Lust Stories with Zoya Akhtar. Ajit (Neil Bhoopalam) and Sudha (Bhumi Pednekar) are secretly having a passionate sexual relationship. It is made known that Sudha is his housekeeper, who comes each day to clean his bachelor pad. When Ajit's parents come to visit for a while, Sudha is seen working extensively for the family despite receiving just a blank stare from Ajit. One day, a family with their daughter shows up for a marriage proposal, and Sudha is left speechless and devastated. She is preparing dinner while she observes the two families finalizing their marriage and talking about their children's prospects. Sudha serves them tea and finds Ajit romancing his bride-to-be in his room. She appears to be desolate as Ajit's mother distributes sweets and congratulates her. Sudha slowly eats a piece of the sweets and resuming her normal routine, is shown to leave the apartment after yet another day of work.
Sonchiriya, a criminal drama directed by Abhishek Chaubey, was Pednekar's first film of the year. She appeared with Sushant Singh Rajput and Manoj Bajpayee as a young housewife on the run in rural Chambal. She trained physically for two and a half months to mimic the mannerisms and walk of her role, and she even learned how to shoot a rifle. The film's delicacy and the actors' performances were complimented by Rahul Desai of Film Companion, who also gave Pednekar credit for "lending an unavoidable feeling of gender to the voiceless." Its dialogues are entirely in the Bundeli Dialect.
On March 1, 2019, the movie opened on 940 theatres around the world, including 720 in India and 220 abroad. Critics gave the movie favourable reviews, praising the direction, script, cinematography, and visual aesthetic.
Saand Ki Aankh
Saand Ki Aankh is a 2019 Indian biographical drama film directed by Tushar Hiranandani and produced by Anurag Kashyap, Reliance Entertainment and Nidhi Parmar. In addition to Pawan Chopra, Vineet Kumar Singh, and Shaad Randhawa playing supporting roles, the movie stars Taapsee Pannu, Bhumi Pednekar, and Prakash Jha in the key roles. Based on the real-life experiences of expert shooters Chandro and Prakashi Tomar. On February 10th, 2019, filming in Baghpat started. Some scenes were filmed in Mawana and Hastinapur. It was made available on October 25, 2019. Taapsee Pannu and Bhumi Pednekar learned to shoot a gun and spent time with the two women in advance. She had skin sensitivities as a result of wearing prosthetic makeup while filming in the heat. 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". Both actresses were jointly awarded the Screen Award and Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress.
Bhumi Pednekar made her third collaboration with Aayushman Khurran in Bala, she portrayed a dark-skinned woman who encounters prejudice because of her skin tone. A fair-skinned woman being cast in the role caused controversy, but Pednekar defended herself by asserting that actors should be permitted to play any role. Based on an original screenplay by Bengali film director Pavel Bhattacharjee, the 2019 Hindi-language satirical black comedy film Bala is directed by Amar Kaushik, written by Niren Bhatt, co-authored by Ravi Muppa, and produced by Dinesh Vijan. Balmukund Shukla, played by Ayushmann Khurrana, is a young guy with male pattern baldness who lives in Kanpur. The plot centers on his lack of confidence and the pressure that comes with early balding in society. The movie also addresses colorism as a theme. Bhumi Pednekar, Yami Gautam, Javed Jaffrey, Saurabh Shukla, and Seema Pahwa appear in supporting roles.
Pati Patni Aur Woh
Pati Patni Aur Woh, a remake of a 1978 film of the same name and co-starring Kartik Aaryan and Ananya Panday, featured her as a housewife with a cheating husband. Written by Anupama Chopra "The vibrant Vedika played by Bhumi Pednekar is what raises the quality of the writing. Some of the craziest parts in this movie are saved by Bhumi's intelligence, especially at the end." Pati Patni Aur Woh was financially successful, earning over US$13 million globally.
Dolly Kitti Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare
The film Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare, which also stars Konkona Sen Sharma and was directed by Alankrita Shrivastava, premiered at the 24th Busan International Film Festival in 2019 before being made available on Netflix in the latter half of 2020. According to Nandini Ramnath of Scroll.in, despite doing a "great job," Pednekar's co-star Sen Sharma stole the show. Nevertheless, both actresses have been given Filmfare Critics Award nominations for Best Actress.
Durgamati is a remake of G. Ashok's original Telugu-Tamil bilingual film Bhaagamathie. Durgamati is a 2020 Indian horror thriller film in the Hindi language (2018). In addition to Mahie Gill, Arshad Warsi, and Jisshu Sengupta playing minor roles, Bhumi Pednekar plays an IAS officer in the film. Under the auspices of T-Series, Cape of Good Films, and Abundantia Entertainment, the movie is made by Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, and Vikram Malhotra. The movie and Pednekar's performance received a negative review from Hindustan Times' Rohan Naahar.
Badhaai Do is a 2022 Indian Hindi comedy-drama film written by Suman Adhikary and Akshat Ghildial and directed by Harshavardhan Kulkarni. The movie, which is a spiritual sequel to the 2018 film Badhaai Ho, is made by Junglee Pictures. Rajkumar Rao and Bhumi Pednekar play a lavender-marriage pair in it. The movie Badhaai Do was released in theatres on February 11, 2022.
Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan
Bhumi Pednekar had brief roles in the comedy-drama Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan. Aanand L. Rai, Himanshu Sharma, Bhushan Kumar, and Krishan Kumar are the producers of the 2020 Hindi-language romantic comedy film Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan. It was written and directed by Hitesh Kewalya. It stars Ayushmann Khurrana alongside Jitendra Kumar, Neena Gupta, Gajraj Rao, and Maanvi Gagroo as the spiritual sequel to the 2017 movie Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, whose script was also written by Kewalya. In the movie, a gay guy and his partner struggle to persuade the former's parents of their relationship.
Bhoot Part One: The Haunted Ship
Bhoot - Part One: The Haunted Ship is a 2020 Hindi-language horror thriller film written and directed by Bhanu Pratap Singh. Karan Johar, Hiroo Yash Johar, Apoorva Mehta, and Shashank Khaitan also served as co-producers. Vicky Kaushal plays the lead in the movie, which is the first instalment of a planned horror film series.
The movie, which is based on a true event about the MV Wisdom incident that happened in Mumbai in 2011, depicts the tale of an officer who must move a ghostly, abandoned ship that has been standing still on Juhu Beach.
Raksha Bandhan (Post Production)
Raksha Bandhan is an upcoming Indian Hindi-language comedy-drama film directed by Aanand L. Rai and produced by Zee Studios, Colour Yellow Productions and Cape of Good Films. The brother-sister bond, love, and attachment are the fundamental themes of the Himanshu Sharma and Kanika Dhillon narrative. Along with Sahejmeen Kaur, Deepika Khanna, Sadia Khateeb, and Smrithi Srikanth who play Kumar's sisters, Raksha Bandhan stars Akshay Kumar and Bhumi Pednekar. The movie will premiere in theatres on August 11, 2022.
Govinda Naam Mera (Post Production)
Govinda Naam Mera is an upcoming Indian Hindi-language comedy thriller film written and directed by Shashank Khaitan and produced by Dharma Productions and Viacom18 Studios. The film stars Vicky Kaushal, Kiara Advani and Bhumi Pednekar.
Bhumi Pednekar's Career Timeline
Bhumi Pednekar Controversies
Bhumi Pednekar was bashed on the internet by the netizens for portraying the role of a darker-skinned woman in the film Bala when in reality, she is relatively fair-skinned. People questioned the choice of the filmmakers and asked why wasn't a naturally dark-skinned woman cast for the role that Bhumi played. She defended the criticism by saying that actors should be allowed to play any part they prefer without the fear of judgement.
Bhumi Pednekar was once again caught up in a controversy, this time for being cast as an elderly woman in the movie Saand Ki Aankh. Netizens once again questioned the filmmakers for their decision to cast young actors instead of veteran actors for a plot that revolved around older people. Bhumi defended the decision by saying - If a filmmaker has taken me, it is because I add some value to the film. I am a half-decent actor. I do bring in a lot to a movie. It can’t be a person’s physical appearance that an actor is cast in a film. There is a lot more that an actor brings in a movie. We need to look at the whole creative process more holistically as opposed to that only a lean can play a lean’s part or only an obese can play obese. Then what will we actors do? I will be sitting at home. Here is a clip from PinkVilla where she discusses the controversy
Bhumi Pednekar's Net Worth
Bhumi Pednekar's net worth as of 2022 is around $2 Million or INR 15 crores. Her salary per movie is around INR 2 crores and her monthly salary is close to INR 30 lakhs. Most of Bhumi Pednekar's income comes from her movies and brand endorsements. Her brand endorsements include the cosmetic brand Nykd by Nykaa for which she is the Brand Ambassador. Her other endorsements include other well-known cosmetic brands like MAC, Boddess and WOW Skin Science.
Bhumi Pednekar also owns a plethora of luxury car like Land Rover, which costs around INR 80 lakhs, Mercedes-Benz S350d, a luxury sedan worth INR 1.60 Crore, Audi Q7 that costs around INR 82.48 Lakh and a BMW 730Ld for INR 1.42 Crore. Bhumi Pednekar also owns a sea-facing apartment at one of Mumbai's poshest localities where she lives with her mother Sumitra Pednekar and sister Samiksha Pednekar.
Bhumi Pednekar's Awards and Achievements
- Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut.
- Producers Guild Film Awards for Best Female Debut.
- Screen Award for Best Female Debut
- Zee Cine Awards for Best Female Debut.
- Stardust Award for Superstar of Tomorrow - Female.
- BIG Star Entertainment Award for Most Entertaining Actor in a Social Role - Female.
- IIFA Award for Star Debut of the Year - Female.
- Zee Cine Award for Best Supporting Actress.
- Screen Award for Best Actress (Critics).
- Filmfare Award for Best Actress (Critics).
Bhumi Pednekar's Social Work
Bhumi Pednekar is known for her social work. The young actress has proved time and again that she cares about the underprivileged and the environment and makes great use of her popularity and her wealth to contribute towards the society. She has been involved with a lot of social initiatives like Climate Warrior, where she talks to people who contribute towards making a better environment and Dharti Ka Dil, where she has partnered with the Bhamla Foundation to restore our bond with Mother Earth. With this initiative, she has also partnered with other actors to educate people about the positive effects on humankind of saving the environment.
Bhumi Pednekar has also been very vocal about reproductive hygiene where she has collaborated with Whisper to talk about reproductive health and the benefits of using safe and hygienic sanitary napkins. Although still a taboo subject in India, Bhumi Pednekar took this initiative because she believes that menstruation is a biological phenomenon; one that a human has no control over and should be considered very normal in every household. Another instance where she helped the needy was during the COVID 19 pandemic, where she worked with Art of Living and donated generously for the project Mission Zindagi. She also helped in spreading awareness about the Pandemic and gave relevant and useful information regarding the same.
5 Interesting Facts About Bhumi Pednekar
- Bhumi Pednekar worked as an assistant director under Shanoo Sharma for Yash Raj Films for 6 years before bagging her first movie.
- Bhumi Pednekar gained around 20 kgs for her role in Dum Laga Ke Haisha. She weighed 90 kgs and eventually lost all the weight she gained within 5 months by following a strict diet.
- Bhumi Pednekar is an ardent climate activist. She even turned vegetarian to help with the sustainability of the planet.
- Bhumi Pednekar was not the first choice actress for the movie Dum Laga Ke Haisha. She took auditions of many candidates but all were rejected. She then made a demo video for the candidates to follow but the makers liked her demo video so much that she was cast as the lead actress for the movie which was also her Bollywood debut.
- Bhumi Pednekar assisted Yash Raj Films in casting for movies like Chak De! India, Rocket Singh: Salesman of the year and Teen Patti.