Gratifying as it is to have an Abhishek Chaubey film on one's résumé, Bhumi Pednekar says that being part of his universe comes with its share of hard work.
The actor prepped for almost two months to attain the physicality of a woman from the ravines of Chambal, in his dacoit drama, Sonchiriya.
"In our very first meeting, Abhishek Chaubey told me that I had to become physically strong to survive the film and the terrain we were to shoot it in," recounts Pednekar, adding that the director went on to familiarise her with their punishing lifestyle. "He pointed out that Chambal women are fit because of the work they do — apart from working in fields, they walk several kilometres to fetch water. They have to walk a considerable distance even to relieve themselves."
It is this discussion that formed the blueprint of the workout regimen devised by her trainer Neelam Motwani.
Stating that the idea was to gain muscle and develop a robust frame, she reveals, "For a month-and-a-half, I would walk four kilometres in Aram Nagar daily, carrying five litres of water on my head. This would be alternated with another routine where I would run carrying a 10-kilo wheat sack on my back. [To build muscle on my arms], I used to grind wheat every day." Her diet underwent modifications to support the gruelling physical training. "While I had gone off carbs and dairy products earlier, they were introduced in my diet again."