Lara describes getting goosebumps on set playing the role of Indira Gandhi Image Credit: Supplied

While excitement runs high with today’s theatric release of the first major Bollywood film amid the pandemic, fans could not help but admire the amazing transformation of actress Lara Dutta into a role that had always been at the back of her mind since she was young – and we all have Akshay Kumar to thank for it.

Bellbottom is an Indian spy action thriller film set in 1984 headlined by Akshay in the title role, with Lara playing the former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Lara’s look for the film has been a big trend as the actress recently revealed that even lead star Akshay could not stop staring at her.

The film’s director Ranjit M Tewari says Lara’s epic transformation reflects the big advances in the field of prosthetics and its use in filmmaking, while producer Jackky Bhagnani credits the casting of Lara to Akshay himself. "Lara’s panache and strong persona made her the first choice for bringing this important role to life."

A video released by Pooja Entertainment shows Lara in a make-up chair with specialists led by eminent make-up artist Vikram Gaikwad working on her looks. She reportedly spent up to three hours every day to look the part.

Lara described the role as a milestone in her acting career. "Recreating these moments gave me goosebumps on set!!," she said in a social media post. "This will always remain a most memorable role and opportunity for me!"

Lara, who reigned as Miss Universe in 2000, said she received invaluable pointers for the role from her father, retired Wing Commander LK Dutta, who had served as Gandhi’s personal pilot. Lara describes having "an indirect personal connection with her"; growing up she has heard many first-hand accounts from her father about India’s only female prime minister, who served from 1966-77 and from 1980 until her assassination in 1984.

The film, headlined by Akshay Kumar, also stars Vaani Kapoor Image Credit: Supplied

Bellbottom will be presented in 2D and 3D formats starting today. Based on true events around India’s first covert operation, it features Akshay playing a RAW agent on a mission to thwart the plans of a gang seeking to take over an Indian plane.

The film also stars Vaani Kapoor and Huma Qureshi.

Watch: Akshay Kumar wants to impress wife at Bellbottom set

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