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Yami Gautam On Why She Chooses to Be the Face of a Fairness Cream

Ayushmann Khurrana talk about why he chose not to shave his head for ‘Bala’.

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Ayushmann Khurrana is back once again with an interesting film Bala, which deals with two issues that plague our society. One is premature balding and the other our obsession with fair skin. The Quint caught up with Ayushmann and Yami Gautam, wherein they spoke about Bala, Yami endorsing a fairness cream and why Ayushmann chose not to shave his head for the role.

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From Vicky Donor to Bala, you both have come a long way. Yami, I’ll ask you first, now that he has won the National Award, has this man changed?

I think you should not get embarrassed Ayushmann. I think you completely deserve it. I’m very happy for him. His achievements and accolades are increasing, just as they should be. As a person, Ayushmann is still the same. I’m so proud of him. Still that Punjabi guy. I think our work style is more or less the same. I think it’s very easy. He knows his part, I know mine. I’m calling both of us genius actors.

About the hair. Did you ever think of shaving or getting rid of it for this movie?

Ayushmann: Of course. I had thought of shaving my head for the film. But there were different stages of baldness in Bala, that would be difficult to achieve. I was okay with going bald, seriously.

The trailer of Bala starts with the issues that women with dark skin tone face in India. You have been promoting a brand and I have talked about it with you. Has it ever crossed your mind that I probably shouldn’t be doing this?

Of course it did. It started very strongly, especially when I didn’t even know the meaning of being trolled. When I got trolled, I was fairly new to this industry. Before that people don’t know that right after Vicky Donor when it turned into an endorsement, I had a meeting with the brand. I said, “Listen guys, there is no problem promoting the brand. You have fairness and tanning creams abroad. But the idea to show that not being fair is something to be unhappy about, that’s not right.” Maybe the name Fair and Lovely has been retained, so it is difficult to see beyond that, but the four faces are gone. All this ‘gorapan (fairness)‘ and the kind of ads which were being made, thankfully aren’t there anymore. They shouldn’t be. The fact that I am part of a film like Bala, where the issue is highlighted, shows that I know what I’m doing.

Is that one of the reasons why you said yes?

One of the reasons. Of course, the script, wanting to work with Amar and Ayushmann, the role, Dinu. All these things, somewhere deep down I think it was meant to be. I’m really glad it came my way. I want to add one more thing, just me leaving the brand isn’t the solution. What you’re asking me, what I’m saying, is it reaching that sector where it is so important, the deep-rooted, grassroot level where they are believing that being fair gets you prospects or a groom? It is important to seep in there.

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Another film with the same concept is releasing around the same time, Ujda Chaman. Did you know there was something like this coming up around the same topic? Did you have an idea? When did you get to know about it?

We had no idea. I think Dinu was aware about it. We are actors, we did our job and it is their decision when the release date should be. Distribution is not our call. At the same time, we wish them all the luck, that’s about it.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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