Actress Bhumi Pednekar says she has always strived to break stereotypes through her work but it is upsetting to be trolled throughout the year, first for playing an older woman and now for playing a dark-skinned woman fighting societal prejudice in Bala.
The actor said it is wrong to assume that the physical appearance of an actor alone decides casting. "I am an actor and it's my job to do different kind of parts. With this logic, I should not have done Dum Laga Ke Haisha because I gained 30 kgs for the film. I shouldn't have done most of the films I do.
"Watch the film, if you have a problem, comment on my work but don't comment on my choice because I am going to continue doing this," Bhumi said in a group interview here. Bhumi also faced flak for playing a character double her age in Saand Ki Aankh and now for going several shades darker for Bala.
"Why a filmmaker has taken me in his film is his choice, I am sure he's taken me because I add some value to the film. It just can't be the physical appearance, there's a lot more an actor has to do.
"We need to look at the creative process holistically as opposed to say, only a slim girl can play a slim character, or a fat girl will play the role of a fat girl. So what will we do? I will have to sit at home then," she added.
Bhumi said her character in Bala strives to constantly break stereotypes, just like what she tries to do off screen. "She's a complete girl, beautiful, strong, independent, a lawyer. But the society feels she isn't because of her colour. Throughout the film she's trying to break the stereotype which has been created by the people, this standard of beauty.
"I am trying to do something similar with my work. That's something that really resonated with me. In my personal life I've tried to break these stereotypes."
Bala is scheduled to release on November 7.