When Dum Laga Ke Haisha released in 2015, it was a small-scale film that warmed up the audience’s hearts and eventually became a success because of its simplicity. The story of Sandhya, played by Bhumi Pednekar, and Prem, played by Ayushmann Khurrana, was the age-old tale of an arranged marriage where the bride and groom don’t get the opportunity to choose their partners, and have to just go along with whatever their parents say but it was in this world, that we got to meet the strong-willed Sandhya who won’t just settle. The headstrong, liberal Sandhya isn’t shy of dancing at her own wedding and is well aware that society looks at women her size a little differently, but she loves herself regardless. Sandhya is educated, has definitive aspirations for her career so when she finds herself married to a man who can’t get himself to look at her beyond her weight, she breaks down, but only in the privacy of her own room when no one can see her.
Dum Laga Ke Haisha was Bhumi Pednekar’s first outing in the movies. From what we have learnt since then, Bhumi chose to put on weight for her role and shed those kilos later. While we have heard such stories of actors molding their bodies for the role before, we have hardly heard a newcomer do this. This act in itself speaks volumes about Bhumi’s commitment to Sandhya and how she accepted her as it is.
The actor has famously said that she put on 30 kgs for the film and lost 35kgs in the span of four months after the film ended. She has famously said that when she was trying to gain weight, she would wake up to a butter chicken breakfast. “I’m in love with the film and have watched it innumerable times! There wasn’t a moment’s doubt about the role, I was being paid to do two things I love, eat and act!” Bhumi had said at that time. On her weight loss and a healthy lifestyle, the actor told Vogue, “I’ve lost over 35kg, after gaining 30kg for a film. Since then, it’s been a constant process of improvement—but I didn’t do it by starving myself. I work really hard; it’s become an active part of my routine. I like to mix it up—pilates, running, strength and weight training,” she said.