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From Showbiz To Business: Dynamic Actor Bhumi Pednekar Shares Her Journey

Staying true to her name, immensely talented actor Bhumi Pednekar shares snippets about her brave choices on- and off-screen, being a climate warrior, and turning entrepreneur.


Born To Shine!

You can say that acting is in my blood. My grandfather left his village in Goa to become a theatre actor in Mumbai (then Bombay). And my mother was a part of one of the first Haryanvi language films ever made. So naturally, there was always a lot of conversation about cinema at home. Growing up, we were exposed to some great films. From a very young age, I was that child who would always perform at family functions. Looking back, it’s not surprising I’m an actor today.

Casting Call

I had some friends within the assistant directors’ circuit in Mumbai and asked them if there was an opening somewhere. They told me that Yash Raj Films (YRF) is looking for an assistant casting director. I didn’t even know what the job entailed! But I went for the interview, only to get rejected. Then destiny played its part and the girl who was hired quit the job within three months and I was asked to join. It happened just like that!

For the first two years, I did casting, and then worked within the YRF ecosystem on a bunch of things. Subsequently, I rejoined casting for shows, post which Shanoo Sharma (famed casting director) asked me to join her as an associate. For me, YRF was like a film school becauseI got the chance to work with so many directors   understand their unique voices. At one time, I was auditioning more than 150 actors in a day! I learned to be resilient and independent. I wanted to be so good at my job that nobody could replace me. And that has been the ethos of my career as an actor, as well.

Time For A Breakthrough!

My debut, Dum Laga Ke Haisha, happened because of years of manifestation. I didn’t tell anyone that my deepest wish was to be an actor. My cues were really good during auditions and, at some level, I wanted to impress the directors. Adi sir (Aditya Chopra) felt I had talent, but he wasn’t sure what kind of role would suit me. Then Dum Laga Ke Haisha came up and he suggested my name to Shanoo. They started auditioning me while I was auditioning other girls for the same part! At the end of three gruelling months, it came down to me and a few other phenomenal girls. I worked really hard to get that role.

Films Of Change

It’s because of that movie such high- performance films came my way. I’ve always played women who have agency, and, usually, such women come from a similar thought process, where they are fighting for independence and for what’s right. I’ve always believed in impact-driven work, whether it’s off- or on-screen. I believe that art and artistes have a huge hand in writing history. And I want to leave behind work that created some impact, whether it is with a Badhaai Do, Afwaah, or Bhakshak. Do I have a natural tendency to gravitate towards social-driven cinema? At the start of my career, I thought maybe I don’t. But now, I’ve realised I am that person.

Climate Warrior

When I was younger, I had climate anxiety because I always thought about what would happen when all our natural resources are finished? How will I survive? I love my family so much, but will I be able to protect them? As an adult, I have realised that this is not my battle alone. This is a battle that all of us need to join hands in because I truly believe that climate change is one of the largest growing threats that humanity is facing.

We live in times when people are constantly trying to come up with greener alternatives. There are many little things that one can do at home. Be aware of how you are using electricity and other resources. We have put water stoppers in all our water sources at home and are very aware of the way we order food. We try not to use single-use plastic as much as possible, and also carry our own water and cutlery everywhere we go. I’ve even invested in a firm called EcoSoul that makes biodegradable and compostable single-use cutlery. It’s truly the need of the hour!

I was so honoured to be recognised by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader (YGL). I have always striven to ignite conversations, inspire action, and foster tangible impact in the realm of sustainability and climate change. And I am committed to continuing my efforts.

Bhumi, The Entrepreneur 

Kaiā Oceanfront is my first foray into the world of hospitality. My family roots are in Goa and, so, when the opportunity presented itself, I was really excited about it. The whole concept is centred on slow living, as well as responsible tourism, luxury, and hospitality—issues that resonate with my personal thoughts and practices. I genuinely love the villa at Kaiā and go there to disconnect, whenever possible. You can see and hear the sea waves there. It’s so stunning; I love the food they serve, too.

Travel Tales

Travelling is important for me as an artiste; it helps me rejuvenate and meet new people. I enjoy going to Ayurvedic centres to detoxify my system. I also love hiking in the mountains. When it comes to holidaying in India, Goa, Uttarakhand, Spiti Valley, and Rishikesh are close to my heart. One of my most memorable trips took place a year after we lost my dad. I went on a road trip from Mumbai to Haridwar with my mother and sister. We had suffered immense grief; that 10-day road journey helped us reset as a family. We made pit stops in Jaipur, Delhi, and Ahmedabad, ate at dhabas, and travelled at night. We bathed in the Ganges after reaching Haridwar. It’s a precious family trip I cherish to this day.

The Future Is OTT Bright

I am super excited about my OTT series debut with Daldal. It’s a very complex show and a part I have not played yet.


What’s in your travel kit?

A whole lot! A bottle, cutlery, make- up pouch, AirPods, a battery pack, an extra pair of clothes, and a book.

Your go-to make-up hack?

Using lip balm as a tint on my lips.

Three words to describe Bhumi.

Resilient. Earnest. Empathetic.

Favourite midnight craving?

Pizza, granola with almond milk, or an ice cream.

What would you wear on a date?

A lot of make-up and an LBD.

On a girls’ night out, you like to…

Dress up and have a beautiful meal.

A quote you live by…

Live in the present!

Something that nobody knows about you?

I am a closet singer.

Related: Actor Sumeet Vyas On His Latest Projects And Self-Care