Bhumi Pednekar (born 18 July 1989) is an Indian film actress. After working as an assistant casting director for several years for Yash Raj Films, she signed a three-film deal with the company as an actress and made her film debut with a leading role in the 2015 romantic comedy Dum Laga Ke Haisha–which won her a Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut. In 2017, she played a headstrong woman in rural India in Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, which proved to be a major commercial success.
Pednekar was born to a Maharashtrian father and a Haryanvi mother. She did her schooling from Arya Vidya Mandir in Juhu Mumbai. She was an assistant casting director for six years under Shanoo Sharma of Yash Raj Films before venturing into acting.
Pednekar played the role of Sandhya Varma, a chubby girl in her debut film, Dum Laga Ke Haisha in 2015. As reported by Daily News and Analysis, she was quoted as saying that in order to play the role of an overweight woman, she gained close to 12 kg despite being overweight before the shooting had commenced. It is also reported that Pednekar has signed a three-film deal with Yash Raj Films. Rajeev Masand wrote in his reviews: " [Pednekar] steals the film with an assured turn, effortlessly making you care for Sandhya, without ever reducing her to a slobbering, self-pitying caricature." After filming, she began losing weight and shared methods and tips of the process through her social media. She lost significant weight before the release of the film. The film proved to be a sleeper hit and Pednekar won the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut for the film.
That same year, Pednekar appeared in Y-Films's mini web-series Man's world. The four-part series about gender inequality premiered on YouTube on 29 September 2015. It also featured the actresses Parineeti Chopra, Kalki Koechlin and Richa Chadda.
After a two year absence from the screen, Pednekar appeared in Shree Narayan Singh's directorial debut Toilet: Ek Prem Katha (2017), alongside Akshay Kumar, which tells the story of a young woman in rural India who insists on the eradication of open defecation. Despite disliking the picture, Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV praised Pednekar for "flesh[ing] out a refreshingly relatable college topper who becomes the principal catalyst for a mini-revolution". The film proved to be a major commercial success.
|Denotes films that have not yet been released|
|2015||Dum Laga Ke Haisha||Sandhya Varma|
|2017||Toilet: Ek Prem Katha||Jaya|
|2017||Shubh Mangal Savdhan||Sugandha||Post-production|
|2018||Abhishek Chaubey's Next||TBA||Announced|
|2016||Dum Laga Ke Haisha||Filmfare Award||Best Female Debut||Won|
|Producers Guild Film Awards||Best Female Debut||Won|
|Screen Awards||Best Female Debut||Won|
|Zee Cine Awards||Best Female Debut||Won|
|Stardust Awards||Superstar of Tomorrow – Female||Won|
|BIG Star Entertainment Awards||Most Entertaining Actor in a Social Role - Female||Won|
|International Indian Film Academy Awards||Best Female Debut||Won|
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