Actor Yami Gautam tells Ayushi Sharma that whatever makes one happy is beautiful
Though we are warned ‘appearances can be deceptive’ yet all of us are guilty of making judgments based on people physical appearance. Else, what would explain the plethora of magazines that talk about ways to become sexier, more beautiful and the like? With the rise of social media a premium is certainly placed on physical appearances.
Actor Yami Gautam says that there are two kinds of people. One, who feel embarrassed and desperately seek a solution because the idea of beauty is, “Oh you need to have thick and shiny hair or it’s important to fit within the framework of ‘tall, dark and handsome’. But it does not matter to the other kind. They don’t care and are pretty confident irrespective of how they look.” With her latest release Bala, she hopes to bridge that gap. For her, beauty is an individual’s perspective. “Whatever makes you happy is beautiful. Nobody should tell you that you have to look a certain way including your skin colour, hair or for that matter, anything physical. No one should ever give you the guideline. It’s the person’s prerogative to decide. To be able to see perfection, you need to accept your imperfections,” says she.
The film revolves around actor Ayushmann Khurrana who stars as Bala, a man living in Kanpur, suffering from alopecia. The story is about his lack of confidence and societal pressure that comes with balding.
Yami plays Pari. And it’s an appropriate name for her as she lives in a bubble and treats herself as a princess. Everything is larger than life and dramatic for her. She says that her character represents a mindset which has a guideline for physical beauty. She is delighted to be a part of the film that talks about changing that perception, which actually isn’t one as “it’s a harsh reality of life. It’s time to change that. Na sirf aap mein or mujh mein lekin jaha sabse zyaada zarurat hai, in small towns,” says she.
In metro cities, people are broad-minded and understanding. Whereas it’s the exact opposite in small towns. “People like you and I can talk. I have a mic and you have a voice. We have social media, we can easily voice our opinions and choices. I am glad that at least a dialogue has been initiated. There are some very important points being raised. But the question remains — is it even reaching the sector where it is needed the most? There are so many people out there who should be aware of various things. Some of them don’t even know that alopecia is a real problem. It becomes a way of life for them. It is so important to have conversations like these,” says she. Yami feels that films are a convenient way to seep in a social message among people on such topics because it is done in an entertaining manner, it has something that can be comprehended well and has a strong message to convey.
The definition of a hero in Bollywood has undergone a considerable change. And arthouse stories like these, which were not paid enough attention, are now mainstream. The Uri: The Surgical Strike actor says that Bollywood films have always had a very high aspirational value. “If you go back in time, when we were all growing up, we would look at the screen and say, ‘I want to look like that actor. I want to be able to look like her.’ That time has come in everybody’s life, be it a girl or a boy. Vicky Donor, for instance, paved the way for unusual content and it was a path-breaking film because it put a common man on that pedestal on big screen,” she says. Yami believes that its success gave confidence and faith to a lot of other stories. “I am sure a lot of people would agree that it’s time to shift the gear and bring the transition in cinema,” says she. If you give the audience the right film, right topic and the right kind of execution, it’ll always work. That’s the reason why so many stories are coming from the heartland, says Yami.
Is comedy a great way to address all social issues? Of course, she says and adds that humour in real life also is the best way to convey anything and everything. “Even the most serious things in life. If we say something with a straight face and we convey the same thing with a smile, there’s a huge difference in the attitude and the approach, and the manner it’s going to be received,” she says.
Yami is one such actor, who has always opted for characters that are different from her previous roles. So what’s her process of picking a film? The idea is to keep reinventing herself and changing the graph. Also the script should be exciting and a role that she hasn’t done before. “I would want to do something which people have not seen me do. Something which could turn out to be a complete surprise for the audience so that they can say ‘Oh she can pull this off as well’.”
This isn’t the first time Yami and Ayushmann are paired together on the big screen. One can easily recall Vicky Donor. What does she think of Ayushmann now? Does this not being their first film together add to the comfort factor? “Ayushmann has become a National Award winner now. I cannot be happier for him. He deserves all the recognition and love. It’s not easy to maintain this kind of consistency. But Ayushmann is the same. The vibe on the set and the way we work as well. Actually it was the same during Vicky Donor also. The difference was that both of us were starting at that time. And we had no idea what lay beyond it. We were just in that moment giving our best and that’s exactly what we did in Bala also. Now there are so many memories that we can cherish. But we had never imagined that one day we’ll be talking about our second film and people would be asking us about where we have come now,” says she.
Despite the plethora of female oriented films being made, Yami hasn’t been able to get hold of one. She says it’s not that she hasn’t been offered any but there’s nothing which she has felt was substantial. She doesn’t believe in doing the work just for the heck of it or something that is trending. “No! I think, it’s very important to have a good storyline, a great filmmaker and an interesting character. The day I feel I can carry the streak of doing something entirely different, I’ll take it,” says she.
(The film releases on November 7.) Photo: Pankaj Kumar
Saturday, 02 November 2019 | Ayushi Sharma | in Vivacity
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