While Bhumi Pednekar is celebrating the success of her last outing Bala, Ananya Panday is enjoying her smooth landing in Bollywood with Student Of The Year 2. And now, the two actresses are sharing screen space in the forthcoming film, Pati Pati Aur Woh, which also stars Kartik Aaryan. In conversation with BT, Bhumi speaks about the tag ‘queen of the heartland India’ conferred upon her, and Ananya opens up about her link-up with Kartik and her two-year journey in Bollywood. Read on:
Bhumi, due to the kind of roles you have done so far, you have been tagged as the ‘queen of heartland India’. In your upcoming film Pati Patni Aur Woh, you essay the gharwali, while Ananya is the baharwali. Will we see you stepping out of the space that you revel in so much?
Bhumi: Honestly, I don’t seek roles in particular, but a good script. I own up to my tag as the ‘queen of heartland India’. This is the space I have created for myself, and I have no intention of sharing it. I don’t want to give away my crown to anyone. I am very clear about it. In this zone, I got to essay such varied characters. I played an overweight girl (in Dum Laga Ke Haisha), a 70-year-old (in Saand Ki Aankh) and a 20-year-old (in the upcoming Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare). I am satisfied in this space, but my greed isn’t satiated yet. Along the way, I was also offered films that were to be shot at exotic locations, where there was scope for glamour, but I had nothing qualitative to do in those films. I did not want to be a part of such films. For me, the script is very important. I am not going to compromise on my characters. If I have to be at exotic locations and look glamorous, I can go on vacations there with my own money.
Ananya: I am happy that Bhumi is doing these roles so well. I would like to do something like that, too. In my debut film Student Of The Year 2, I played a glamorous part in the film. In Pati Patni Aur Woh, too, I am glammed up, so now people feel that I wouldn’t be open to doing certain kind of roles.
Bhumi: Having said that, in this film, I am not a coy girl from a small town. Vedika is upfront and just because she wears sarees doesn’t mean she is bichari. She is very ambitious. Likewise, Ananya, who plays the ‘woh’ isn’t vampish. Actually, with this film, we are breaking the stereotypes; we represent the modern Indian girls.
Kartik and Ananya are reportedly seeing each other. How true is that, Ananya? And Bhumi, at any point, did you feel that there was a lot of attention specifically on them for the same reason?
Ananya: (Cuts in…) What are these reports? Anyway, what would be worse is if Kartik and I get affected by these rumours. People are going to talk no matter what, so I might as well do whatever I want to. Even if there are rumours, I will not stop hanging out with him. He is my friend and co-star. I am going to chill and spend time with him. We didn’t know each other before we started working on this film. We both talk a lot. In fact, we are the kind of people who can talk to the walls, too. We both think that we are really funny and pretend to laugh at each other’s jokes when we are actually laughing on our own jokes.
Bhumi: As far as I am concerned, well, I am third-wheeling with them.
Ananya: (With an irritated look, turns to Bhumi and says) After all the bhashan I gave, you had to end it with this line? (laughs!). What I like about Kartik is that he is extremely genuine. He hasn’t forgotten his roots. When you reach so far, you tend to forget where you have come from, but he hasn’t. That’s a nice quality that I see in him. He speaks in Hindi; he is just how he is and is not afraid of people judging him. People are often afraid of being themselves or acknowledging their background in this industry. On the contrary, he is proud of where he has come from.
Considering you claim to be single, what kind of a guy are you looking for, Ananya?
Ananya: I would want someone who is extremely loyal, who is my friend and is fun to be with.
…and Kartik has all these qualities, right?
Ananya: Yeah. By the way, Bhumi is single, too. Please tell us what qualities are you looking for in your man, Bhumi?
Bhumi: I am a very rock-solid girl, so I need a very rock-solid man; someone who’s brave and gutsy. I am a handful, especially because of the kind of work I do. As an actor, I live extreme lives. It is never unidimensional for me. It’s very complicated as I am going through some transformation or the other for every project. So, I need someone who uplifts me, and I uplift him in return. Also, I need someone who can deal with my family and my girl gang.
Ananya: Oh ya, her mother, sister and she are like this holy trinity. When they walk in, it’s like the Pednekars have arrived (laughs!).
Haven’t you found any such guy in the film fraternity, Bhumi?
Bhumi: I am not looking for love in Bollywood. I don’t have the time. Unless you are working on a film together, like Deepika (Padukone) and Ranveer (Singh), who did three films back-to-back. Well, Ayushmann (Khurrana) and I have done films together…if he was single, he would be a great catch.
Bhumi and Ananya’s fidelity fundas
Considering their upcoming film deals with an extramarital affair, we test Bhumi and Ananya’s thoughts on fidelity, infidelity and how they would tackle the tricky situations in a relationship.
Have you ever cheated on your boyfriend?
Bhumi: Never. However, I don’t know if I can say the same about the guys who dated me. I am a very loyal person; it is my biggest attribute.
Ananya: I have been cheated on, but I never cheated someone.
Your longest relationship has lasted for…
Ananya: Mine lasted for two-and-a-half years. It began when I was 16 years old.
Bhumi: It lasted for three years, before that there were smaller stints, as short as six months. The thing is that I have dated a lot.
Ananya: That’s okay, you have to kiss many frogs before you find your Prince Charming (laughs!).
If you were two-timing your partner, what would the number of your ‘woh’ be saved as in your phone?
Ananya: I will save his number under the name of my best friend.
Bhumi: But what if your partner answers the call thinking your best friend is calling? In that case, I will save it as ‘work’. I am sure my partner wouldn’t want to interfere with my work. He won’t bother answering it.
If you were caught two-timing red-handed and both men suddenly came face-to-face with each other, you would…
Ananya: Run! Barefoot (laughs!).
Bhumi: I would sprint away. Toodles…bye! Just take a flight to the next country (laughs!)
What are the three must-haves in your partner that will stop you from looking elsewhere?
Ananya: If my partner is giving me undivided attention, love and respect, then I won’t look elsewhere. Loyalty!
Bhumi: He needs to have six-pack abs, smell good at all times and spoil me.
If you were to move on with another man, your last message to your ex would be…
Ananya: I would be extremely respectful. I don’t want bad blood or bad karma. I will be apologetic if it was my fault or forgive him if it was his fault and end it saying, ‘peace and love’.
Bhumi: My last message will also say that. I will also mention that I will always be there for him, and he can reach out to me whenever in need because I have had some good times with that person. I have been in a situation like that.