Bhumi Pednekar recalled auditioning other women for Dum Laga Ke Haisha and wondered if she was being ‘unfair’ to them as she was being considered for the role herself.
Bhumi Pednekar, who worked as an assistant to Yash Raj Films’ casting director Shanoo Sharma, recalled conducting auditions for the lead role in Dum Laga Ke Haisha at a time when she was being considered herself. She said that she wondered at the time if she was being ‘unfair’ to the other aspirants without realising it.
Dum Laga Ke Haisha marked Bhumi’s Bollywood debut. She played an overweight teacher who has an arranged marriage. Ayushmann Khurrana was paired opposite her.
Acting was not on her mind during the casting process, Bhumi said. “Honestly, I never had that thought about it. I was dedicated to my job and I am a very honest person and take a lot of pride in saying that. I was so dedicated to what I was doing that there wasn’t once that I thought, ‘Oh, I can do that better’. But what I was doing simultaneously, while conducting those auditions, was that I was playing those parts, sometimes I was a 6-year-old child or an aged woman trying to extract a performance out of them.”
“So, everything was prep for me but the most weird time was when I was auditioning girls for Dum Laga Ke Haisha. Because I was being auditioned simultaneously, I thought that am I being unfair to these girls in any way because we have an equal opportunity. I remember going up to Shanoo and saying – I feel like maybe unknowingly I am not being fair to them. We auditioned 200-250 girls for the part and I didn’t get the part so easy,” she added.
Bhumi said that director Sharat Katariya ‘was a little tough on’ her and it took ‘four months of rigorous auditioning’ before she landed Dum Laga Ke Haisha. “I can say it with a lot of pride that I really, really worked hard and it took me 6 years of working behind the camera to get my first film,” she said.
Dum Laga Ke Haisha became a sleeper hit and Bhumi won the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut for her performance. She went on to star in successful films such as Toilet: Ek Prem Katha and Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan. She will be seen next in Badhaai Do alongside Rajkummar Rao, and Raksha Bandhan alongside Akshay Kumar.