From the time the trailer of the Akshay Kumar-starrer ‘Bell Bottom’ was out, the transformation of Lara Dutta as Indira Gandhi has become a talking point.
In an interview with IANS, the film’s director Ranjit M. Tewari shared why, despite Lara’s facial features not being similar to those of the late former prime minister, she was selected for the part. The transformation, he said, was a reflection of the progress the science of prosthetics had made over the years.
“This was one of the important casting decisions for my film,” Tewari said. “If we look at Lara in real life, she carries herself with a lot of dignity and has a very strong personality. Initially, the idea of casting Lara came from Akshay sir, so the credit goes to him. Then I was wondering how to make her look like Mrs Gandhi. She does not look like her in any way.
“I had two options: either we make Lara look exactly like Mrs Gandhi, or create a similar look, keeping the essence of the ‘Mrs Gandhi look’. Then I sat with (the makeup artist) Vikram Gaikwad and after several discussions and photoshop sessions, finally, we went for prosthetics.
“For the first time, when she had 70 per cent of her prosthetics on, I saw Lara in her Mrs Gandhi look. I was like, ‘That’s it! We found the look!’ I am very happy that the effort that has gone into her look has been appreciated. Lara, on her part, added so much dignity to the character with her performance.”
‘Bell Bottom’, inspired by a real-life hijacking of an Indian Airlines flight in 1984, also features Vaani Kapoor, Huma Qureshi and Adil Hussain in key roles. The film is slated for a theatrical release on August 19.
(Arundhuti Banerjee can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)