“Akshay Kumar kept staring at me”: Lara Dutta on her transformation into Indira Gandhi for BellBottom
Lara Dutta’s first contact with cinema was during her childhood years with other “fauji children”. She recalled how there were screenings at an airport near where she lived as a child. “The screening took place at the airport where everyone was invited. It was never a last movie but a movie released a few months ago. However, it was great fun because for all of us fauji kids, as we called ourselves, this was the ultimate outing. The first time I went to the theater was when I moved to Bangalore. Like any other Indian family, the greatest family fun was being able to watch a movie together in the theater. And I don’t think that feeling has changed, even now. I would say that watching movies is an integral part of our culture ”, Lara said indianexpress.com.
Lara’s movie BellBottom is ready for a theatrical release. In Akshay Kumar, Lara plays the role of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The actor even says she couldn’t recognize herself when she first saw herself in the mirror.
“I couldn’t recognize myself. First of all, being offered the role of a personality like Indira Gandhi is a dream come true for any actress. You wait years to play such an iconic role on screen. But it is also needless to say that this is a huge responsibility because you have to correctly portray a legendary figure on screen, ”said Lara, adding,“ Getting the likeness was an integral part. “
Congratulating the prosthetics team for their excellent transformation job, Lara said that once the look is in place, her job is to improve her performance to justify playing Ms. Gandhi on screen.
“As far as performance goes, I knew I had to pull my socks up to make myself believable on screen. There was also a lot of preparation to be done. I watched a lot of Indira Gandhi’s stock footage and videos. I was also fortunate to have notes from my father. While in the Indian Air Force, he served Ms. Gandhi as a personal pilot. Thus, it has become a full-fledged source of information for me. Through him, I got an insider perspective rather than just what was available to me through the creators and what was out there on the internet, ”Lara said.
She even recalled that as soon as she transformed into Indira Gandhi, people around her behaved differently. In fact, her daughter Saira and her husband Mahesh Bhupathi had some funny reactions.
“My daughter was amazed by the whole concept. She was there during the whole process of my transformation. But when they put mold on my face for the dentures, she got worried. She was like ‘What are they doing to you Maa! You can’t breathe. You will die!’ For my husband, it was very unsettling. Once he saw me transformed, he said, “I don’t know if I can kiss you or not,” Lara laughed.
“Even when Akshay first saw me as a character, I remember he was sitting next to me and he kept looking at me. I was like ‘What- What’s wrong with you? Why are you looking at me? ‘ He replied, ‘It’s so strange. So strange.’ So, those were the reactions on the sets at BellBottom. And those reactions kind of tell you what kind of aura and feeling Indira Gandhi still has on people now. People were behaving very differently. They were suddenly polite, suddenly standing up for me. To me, it seemed like they had forgotten who I was and what I really look like, “Lara continued.
When asked if she shared any qualities that Indira embodied, Lara called herself totally opposed to the legendary political figure. “The film deals with a situation of hijacking that occurred during his tenure. Considering the dramatic events that were unfolding, she was someone very centered, poised, in control and little inclined to drama. It was therefore important to represent it in this form. When Akshay offered me this role, he told me he was looking for an actor who had a certain screen presence and screen restraint. He believed that I would be able to play the part. But as a person I’m a lot more dramatic, which is why I had to do a lot of work on myself to portray someone like Indira Gandhi on screen. It was certainly a challenge. But now when I look at myself on the screen I think I did a good job. I am happy. I can’t wait for the public to see the film, “replied the former Miss Universe.
Interestingly, Lara started her career with Akshay. The two have featured in several films, including Lara’s first film Andaaz, released in 2002. Identifying Akshay as her friend, Lara said working with him has always been like a vacation. “With Akshay, work is not like work. It feels more like a vacation. He was my supporter and someone who constantly challenged me and pushed me to do better. My equation with him goes way beyond the co-star. We share a special relationship, ”Lara said with a smile.
Lara is set to complete two decades in the industry. When asked about her journey in the film industry and whether she had witnessed internal policies in Bollywood, the actor said, “I’ve always been a foreigner. In fact, I still am. me, being an actor or being part of Bollywood was not like the end of the world. It was not a definition of who I am. I love the job and I respect it a lot. But I never put all of it. my eggs in one basket. So to be quite honest I have never encountered any petty politics going on inside Bollywood. I was very lucky in that sense. Of course you have your share of successes and failures, but when I look back I don’t think I’ve ever experienced anything that stood out or stifled me. Maybe it’s because of my attitude of live and let live. So Bollywood has been extremely nice to me. I have no regrets.
But why has she stayed away from the big screen? “Well, there’s a lot going on in my life. I am a producer, entrepreneur and mother. Today, as an actor, I want to take on a role that is stimulating enough that I can take time out of the things that are already happening in my life. It’s not about being seen on screen. It’s about doing something that’s worth your time. There will be a time when you will see me a lot, there will be a time when I will not make as many films as others. This is me. This is how I want to balance my life, ”she concluded.
BellBottom, a director of Ranjit Tewari, is set to hit theaters on August 19. The film also stars Vaani Kapoor and Huma Qureshi in the lead role.
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