The very beautiful Aditi Rao Hydari has just finished with the most emotional experience of her career. She has played daughter to Sanjay Dutt on Omung Kumar’s Bhoomi.
Aditi is filled with hope and magic. “It was so fulfilling. By the end of it, I really felt like we had developed a father-daughter relationship.”
Aditi now has a special name for Dutt. “I call him BFG. Have you read Roald Dahl’s book and seen Spielberg’s film? Mr Dutt is like the Big Friendly Giant in that film. He was so protective and so affectionate throughout the shooting. And what I really liked about Mr Dutt was that, like me, he doesn’t like to rehearse. I get very nervous working with actors who rehearse. I like to go on camera and then get into my character. He likes to do the same. That made our on-screen chemistry really interesting. Each time he would do a take differently. If, in one take, he would pull my ear, in the next one he would tap my head affectionately. So there was always that sense of the unknown when facing the camera with him.”
Incidentally, both Dutt and Aditi Rao Hydari dug into their lives to add a certain heft to their father-daughter bonding in Bhoomi. Dutt has a real-life daughter just about Aditi’s age.
“That did help,” she concedes. “I lost my father three years ago. There were moments while we shot when my eyes would well up with real tears. There is specially one sequence with Mr. Dutt where I needed no glycerine.”
In Bhoomi, Aditi Rao Hydari plays the title role and she’s excited about it. “It’s my first title role. Omung Sir writes his women’s roles very feelingly. We only have to look at Mary Kom and Sarabjit to know what I mean.”
Bhoomi is shot in Agra. And Aditi enjoyed every minute of her stay there. “Every city, every film is a learning experience.”