Bhumi Pednekar: 'When a film like 'Badhaai Do' is celebrated on a platform like Filmfare, it encourages you as an artist to stand by stories you believe in' - Times of India

Bhumi Pednekar: 'When a film like 'Badhaai Do' is celebrated on a platform like Filmfare, it encourages you as an artist to stand by stories you believe in' - Times of India
Apr 2023

Bhumi Pednekar has been nominated at the 68th Hyundai Filmfare Awards 2023 in two categories - Best Actor In A Leading Role (Female) and Best Actress Critics' for Badhaai Do. She's in the company of some of the finest actresses of Hindi cinema. Other actresses like Kajol (Salaam Venky), Tabu (Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2), Alia Bhatt (Gangubai Kathiawadi) and Neena Gupta have also been nominated. Just before the big night, Bhumi who's brimming with excitement, gets into a quick conversation with ETimes about 'Badhaai Do', her Filmfare memories and lots more. Excerpts:
'Badhaai Do' has got nominated in 14 categories for Filmfare Awards 2023 while you have got two nominations. How does that feel?
I'm thrilled because 'Badhaai Do' is a very special film. It's a very important film for our generation and for generations to come because it speaks about the relevant rights of the LGBTQ community. Even when the film released, it got immense love but when it's celebrated on a platform like Filmfare, it makes you feel validated and you feel encouraged as an artist to stand by the stories you believe in. The film has a message but it is also such a well made film and I feel very proud that even the technical team, and people behind the camera are being recognised.

Your journey with Filmfare began when you won the Best Debut for 'Dum Laga Ke Haisha'. It's been more than seven years since. How do you feel about it?I'm full of gratitude as this would be my fourth Filmfare nomination. After getting the Best Debut, I also won the 'Best Actress Critics Choice' for 'Saand Ki Aankh'. I hope that I win this time around as well but also to be nominated among such brilliant performances is an honour. Whether I win or someone else wins, the idea is to celebrate the spirit of making films.
You're also in the esteemed company of some of the finest actresses. Is there any performance that you really enjoyed?

Being nominated with such phenomenal colleagues is truly an honour because I've seen and loved their work individually - of each one of them. It's such a healthy group of artists, which have come together in the nominees. As I said, whether I win or whether any of my colleagues win, I'm going to be there to cheer for them with all the strength.

Making off-beat, gutsy choices is one thing but being rewarded for them must be making you feel content?

I feel that's the way to be. When you step back from the business of it and look into the art of creating cinema, it lives for ever. The idea is to leave a legacy and when such films are appreciated, be it mine of anyone else's, I feel it inspires many people from the younger generation. It's always encouraging for people who don't identify with mainstream cinema and want to make a difference. It's encouraging for them when films like 'Badhaai Do' are celebrated on a coveted platform like Filmfare.

Do you have any Filmfare memories before you became an actress?

I would really look forward to watching Filmfare on television every year because all I wanted to be was an actor. While growing up, the digital age had not yet started so it was only on television or newspapers that you could witness the action. We would really wait to see our favourite actors walk down the red carpet because that was the only time we would see their actual personality, not the characters that they play. Seeing Shah Rukh Khan host the Filmfare Awards has been my most favourite memory.