Mane magician Adhuna Bhabani-Akhtar is no stranger to makeovers. She famously gave Aamir Khan one for 'Dil Chahta Hai' (2001) and hair has never been the same in Bollywood films again. Now, in keeping with the current trend of Bollywood stars making a foray into television, the creative director at b:blunt, her chain of exclusive salons, has also decided to ride the airwaves with TV series, 'Be Blunt', where she gives six young women a hair (and image) makeover, ably assisted by younger brother and co-founder and director of b:blunt, Osh Bhabani. And while her filmmaker husband Farhan Akhtar does make a brief appearance on the show, along with popular stars like Shah Rukh Khan, Arjun Rampal and Preity Zinta, among others, it’s the experience of planning and actualising the new looks, as well as giving viewers a peek into their work lives, that has got the brother-sister duo excited.
Excerpts from an interview:
You've always been low-profile and media-shy. What convinced you to take on a TV show?
It was a great opportunity for us to showcase our work and our philosophy on hair. I’m not particularly media-shy; I just feel that it’s only worth talking about important things, which my work is to me. My private life will always remain private.
What, according to you, is the show’s USP?
It’s a six-episode makeover show that is hair-centric. We take six very different women and follow their story through our makeover. Though the focus is on hair, we cover makeup and fashion too, as I believe that hair is about a total look; we never see just the head in isolation. The high point of the show is that each of these lovely ladies gets to meet a celebrity from the Indian film industry.
What were the challenges while making this show?
There were long shooting hours and lots of leg work had to be done to rope in our celebrity friends, primarily because they are all so busy. So dates often went haywire. Besides this, it was a lot of fun and a new experience for Osh and I.
Has the Indian woman’s attitude towards hair changed over the years?
Yes. I think there is a lot more access to knowledge and information about what can and cannot be achieved with hair today than there was perhaps 18-19 years ago, when I first came to India. Therefore, people expect more from their hairdresser.
With your roster of celeb clients, it’s only natural that Bollywood stars make an appearance on the show. Do you think hair trends and styles in India are still defined by film folk?
I think there is a large influence from films, and hair has been noticed on this platform, though I would not say that actors are necessarily experimental. I think they consider what will work for the role and (what will) help them to create that character. Films are not always set in present day, so the looks may not necessarily be cutting edge.
Who are some of your more versatile celebrity clients?
I think Aamir Khan, who is a b:blunt client, has always been very willing to experiment and I really appreciate that about him. He has been working with Avan Contractor from our team since Dil Chahta Hai and continues to keep us on our toes.
Osh and you have taken your working relationship another step further with this show. Why do you think you both work so well together?
It’s trust! We are on the same page when it comes to aesthetics and that is crucial. We know each other very well and are able to lend support where needed and we know when to step back.
Will there be another season to follow this one? If yes, what would you do differently?
That would be fun! There is nothing set in stone yet. We need to wait and watch what kind of response we get from this show. (We’ll) maybe do family makeovers, whole offices or teams of people — something where we can get more of our team involved and have more makeover madness going on. It would be fun to travel more and even to do some kind of a road-show.
Any celebrities you’d like to give a makeover to in real life?
It would depend on the conditions attached. If I had a completely free reign, I would love to work on Katrina Kaif, Deepika Padukone and even Hrithik Roshan.