Talking about his latest film Sarbjit, director Omung Kumar said, “My biggest triumph was when fans came to the Wagah Border or the India Gate for Ash’s autograph and failing to recognise her, would start looking around for her.”
An almost unrecognisable Aishwariya Rai plays Dalbir Kaur, sister of the titular Sarbjit, a farmer from Indian Punjab who strayed across the border and was subsequently jailed for 23 years.
To achieve this look, the director used make-up to make Aishwariya appear older and more stressed, reports Mumbai Mirror, He first settled on her final look as an older woman:
“I would apply make-up on myself to show Ash how it would look on her,” he said, adding that as she put on weight with the years and fashions changed, her clothes moved from tight-fit to padded, vivid to de-saturated colours and muted prints.
Kumar recalls that when Aishwarya looked at her reflection as a woman with grey hair, wrinkles and glasses staring back, even she exclaimed, “OMG, is that me!”
Kumar then worked backwards to determine how her character should look in her younger days:
“In the film you also see Ash as a young, carefree girl, happily married and pregnant, before some personal tragedies slowly bleach out the colours from her face, clothes and the backdrop,” added the director. “The eight months when she has no idea what happened to her brother, add lines of worry which get deeply entrenched when she learns his whereabouts.”
“I also gave her a mole on the left cheek and played with its size. It was my signature dot,” he added.