Movies

Aaditi Pohankar on her Netflix series 'She' and working with Imtiaz Ali

The Mumbai-based actor talks about preparing for the role of Bhumika Pardesi

Aaditi Pohankar’s phone hasn’t stopped buzzing. After the release of her first Netflix series, She, praise and congratulatory messages are pouring in from around the globe, she says.

“I am so overwhelmed. Finally, the thing that I worked so hard on for months is out for people to see and they are liking it. This feeling is incomparable,” says the 25-year-old. Aaditi portrays the role of Bhumika Pardesi, a timid cop who explores her sexuality when she disguises herself as a sex worker for a mission to expose a drug lord in Mumbai. The series has been written and co-directed by Imtiaz Ali.

“Imtiaz has written the characters so well, that I could easily understand the nuances of Bhumika as a sex worker and as a cop. While she is in her uniform, she is restricted and speaks in a very timid way. But as a sex worker she is free and wild,” she says.

Working with the famed director was a dream-come-true for Aaditi, who met him at the screening of Laila Majnu almost two years ago. “I was just a movie old when I met Imtiaz. I sent him a showreel that I had shot in Goa. Imtiaz watched it and invited me to meet him. He narrated the character of Bhumika to me and called me to do a screen test, and in a week I got the confirmation for the series. At that time, I knew that she played an important role in the series but I was unaware she is the protagonist,” adds the actor.

She went on shoot last year in November, but before that, Aaditi spent months preparing with reading sessions with Imtiaz and co-actor Vijay Varma. “I am a very observant person, so when I had to play a Marathi cop, I brought into play all those years I had watched cops at bus stops and traffic signals. I am not one who watches movies to prepare for my role, I would rather look at real-life personalities. My Marathi lineage made it easier for me to adopt the accent that Bhumika has,” she adds.

Born and raised in Mumbai, Aaditi wanted to be an athlete. “I come from a family of Hindustani classical musicians, but my dad was a sportsperson. Everyone in my house was an art enthusiast, so the dinner table conversations always revolved around Vijay Tendulkar or Anton Chekhov. It was in my school that I was drawn to theatre, and by Class X, I had started working with Satyadev Dubey and Makarand Deshpande,” she adds.

Aaditi made her film début with a Marathi movie titled Lai Bhaari opposite Riteish Deshmukh. Currently, the actress is waiting for the release of her next web series Ashram by Prakash Jha that is slated to release this May.

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Printable version | Jun 2, 2020 8:24:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/actress-aaditi-pohankar-talks-about-her-recent-netflix-series-she/article31245123.ece

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