Mumbai: She is Indian cinema`s leading costume designers, but it is her harried, drinking mother act in ‘Vicky Donor’ that made Dolly Ahluwalia a household name.
‘Vicky Donor’ has been getting rave reviews ever since its release - with a scene where Ahluwalia is shown sharing a drink with her onscreen mother-in-law played by Kamlesh Gill becoming the most talked about act of the film.
Ahluwalia, married to actor Kamal Tiwari, who played Kareena Kapoor`s father in ‘Omkara’ and ‘Jab We Met’, admits there were apprehensions about whether the saas-bahu`s drinking sessions would go down well with the audience.
"But to our good fortune, our bonding, including the drinking, has been appreciated."
About Kamlesh Gill, Ahluwalia fondly said: "We really came to care about one another. We`re now bonded beyond just the film. She is like a real mom. We wanted to show how a bickering saas-bahu can actually be like a mother and daughter after a few pegs. I`ve known Ayushmann Khurrana and Yami Gautam from the time I was in Chandigarh. So, we all felt like a part of the family".
Ahluwalia, who is also an alumnus of the National School of Drama, was in Sri Lanka working on the costumes of filmmaker Deepa Mehta`s ‘Midnight`s Children’, when she got a call from director Shoojit Sircar about the role in ‘Vicky Donor’, a light hearted comedy which deals with the issue of sperm donation.
And the costume designer-turned-actress says she couldn`t have got a better opportunity to give her passion of acting a chance.
"He (Sircar) said I was the first actor he was casting for the film. Even the film`s writer Juhi Chaturvedi said the same thing. I was elated. When I read the script I was over the moon. What an opportunity for me as an actor! More than myself, I`m so happy for my director Shoojit Sircar. He has waited so long for this to happen to his career," she said.
"Though I`m known more for designing clothes I`m a gold medalist in acting from the National School Of Drama. I`ve done sporadic roles. But I`ve stayed away from Bollywood because I couldn`t follow their way of working."
"The Hindi film industry has its own clock. Actors wait patiently for hours for a shot. I couldn`t do that. I admire those who can," Ahluwala, who also worked in Sircar`s "Yahaan", eight years back, added.
For now, it`s back to clothes for Ahluwalia.
"I had to dress up over 3,000 characters in Deepa Mehta`s `Midnight`s Children`. I like to recreate another era through my clothes," she said.
"Even when I did Madhuri Dixit`s comeback film, I did only the clothes for the Laila-Majnu stage performance. What`s the point of doing contemporary clothes? You can buy them off the shelf. Now I`m looking forward to desiging clothes for me and my screen-saas Kamleshji at the awards function next year," she added.
Ahluwalia has done the clothes for Vishal Bhardwaj`s ‘Omkara’, Deepa Mehta`s ‘Water’ and is currently working on Farhan Akhtar and Sonam Kapoor`s costumes for Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra`s ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’.