Lara Dutta speaks about how difficult it was to get the body language of her role, former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, perfect during the trailer launch for BellBottom.
The media who were invited to cover the trailer presentation of BellBottom on Tuesday were stumped trying to figure out the persona played by Lara Dutta in the 1980s spy thriller starring Akshay Kumar.
In 1984, an Indian plane is hijacked with all of its passengers taken hostage, according to the film’s trailer, which begins with a disclaimer. In the next scene, the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is seen consulting with her advisors for a possible way to tackle the crisis. She is then referred to Kumar’s character, a RAW operative, code-named ‘BellBottom’. The rest of the trailer focuses on the covert operation pulled off by his character.
Dutta was asked about the character she plays in the film during a press conference following the trailer’s release.
Initially, the actor asked members of the press to guess the persona.
“If anyone is able to guess, then I will take all their family members free to the theatres,” she promised.
After much prodding, even by Kumar, Dutta said, “So you did see me in the trailer. I’m playing Mrs Indira Gandhi. That’s me.”
The former Miss Universe revealed that she received a call from the makers about playing the former PM in the movie.
“All it took was a call and they said that Lara this film is being made and we are casting for Indira Gandhi’s role. It was before I heard the script…
“But yes, of course, there is a great responsibility when you’re portraying somebody who is an iconic figure like her,” she said.
It was a challenge to get the body language of the character right, added Dutta.
She shared that it would take her three hours to transform into the former PM. She adds that they created the entire mould of her face and then started making prosthetic features and this was done last year in June, before they could start shooting. Lara Dutta even says that getting her hairstyle was also a crucial part as the Iron lady was known for her iconic hairstyle.
“As you all know that the film deals with a hijack situation that happened during her tenure. Given the dramatic events that were unfolding, she was somebody who was very centred and not prone to any dramatics. So it was important to portray her in that form.
“I had a great time. There was a lot of homework and research that went behind it. But it was an opportunity of a lifetime that I’m thankful for,” she added.
BellBottom also stars Vaani Kapoor and Huma Qureshi in key roles.
Kapoor, who portrays the wife of Kumar’s character, said she was thrilled to get to shoot a movie during the pandemic.
“My heart is full of gratitude. During the pandemic where so many people, including us, were not able to get out of our homes, I was lucky that I got to work. I’m grateful that he worked with me,” she said.
It is now time for people to come to the theatres, the actor said.
“But at the same time, take precautions and safeguard yourself. Follow the guidelines mandated by the government, so that this can continue and I hope that theatres don’t close again,” Kumar added.
Directed by Ranjit M Tewari, BellBottom is produced by Vashu Bhagnani, Jackky Bhagnani, Deepshikha Deshmukh, Monisha Advani, Madhu Bhojwani and Nikkhil Advani.
The movie will be released in theatres on August 19.