Vidya Balan’s much hyped film ‘The Dirty Picture’ released this Friday and it was declared an instant hit. Her performance in the film won her many accolades and she has been receiving appreciation from fans and critics all over. To get a sneak peek into the versatile Vidya’s life and work, Zeenews.com’s Swati Chaturvedi caught up with the actress for a candid chat on her show Kahiye Janab.
Swati : You have been the hero of your films, does that make you feel good or is that threatening?
Vidya : I think god has been very kind to me. There is a change in the film industry now; the kind of films that are being made now have different subjects. And I am lucky enough to get such roles in my career. I completely enjoy it.
Swati : You are not a typical heroine of Bollywood?
Vidya : Yes I am not. Three years ago when I did ‘Kismat Konnection’ and my other films were not doing well, I could not figure out what was going wrong. But now I have and I am glad I went through that phase. Because that made me discover who I am, the kind of films I want to do. I am now celebrating my individuality and doing my kind of work. I think god has been very kind he made me realize all this so early in my career.
Swati : You have always been considered as the girl next door, so then where did this sexy new avatar come from?
Vidya : I always had it in me, I think we all have it in us but we are inhibited because of the conservative society we live in. But when I got the opportunity to work in one I went ahead and brought out the best in me.
Swati : What do you think about the kiss scenes? Who has been the most exciting on-screen kiss?
Vidya: Kiss scenes are quiet awkward. There is always something holding you back. But kiss with Arshad in ‘Ishqiya’ was the most difficult as it had to show raw passion. We were scared that it should not look vulgar or indecent. But I think we both submitted to the moment and tried to do it in all honesty to make it look as natural as we can. As performers we did to our best and later when I watched it I could not believe it was me in that scene. However, you always wish such scenes get done in one take.
Swati : You had an impression that you’re a great actor but you cannot dance, so in ‘The Dirty Picture’ how did you do it with so much oomph and in those clothes?
Vidya: I did not get the chance to dance in my earlier films the way I wanted. I have always been fond of Sridevi’s and Madhuri’s dances with all the jhatkas and matkas and always wanted to do it. In this film, when I got the opportunity to do it, I completely exploited it, in order to celebrate feminity to the fullest.
Swati : Your other contemporaries have language and looks issues, but where do you get your uninhibited raw passion from, that you bring to the screen?
Vidya: From within! First as a woman and second as an actor, it’s all there in me. As an actor you understand what resources to tap into to bring this out of ourselves. And this is very enjoyable for me, living a new character with every new film I do, which is the reason I chose a career of an actor.
Swati : It is said that actresses are exploited in the industry. Do you agree?
Vidya: I think times have changed, by the grace of god I have never had to go through casting couch or any such things. It also depends on the way you conduct yourself. Sometimes people get pressurized and resort to some short cuts, but that depends from person to person. Every individual reacts according to their circumstances and situation.
Swati : Woman in the industry are portrayed as an accessory to the actor, don’t you think?
Vidya: I think I am witnessing a change. The change has come in already and I am happy to be a part of it.
Swati : But what about other actresses, they are still doing the typical roles. You don’t fall in that category because you are that change!
Vidya: Initially I was confused but now I have learnt to believe in who I am, everyone here tries to give you a formula for success but there is no such formula I feel. No one knows you more than what you do, so it is important for us to discover ourselves and choose the kind of work.
Swati : What is the most difficult part of surviving in the industry after coming from TV?
Vidya: Continuing to believe in yourself! There is no such pressure to adhere to the norms, but with time it becomes difficult to retain your individuality and belief.
Swati: You did a special screening of the film for your family but wasn’t it awkward as you have a bold performance in it?
Vidya: This is always awkward since we as Indians, do not feel comfortable about physical display of affection. But my family looked at my performance and appreciated it, when my father came out of the theatre he appreciated my performance. He said, ‘you brought a lot of dignity to this role.’ I take that as the biggest compliment.
Swati: Which of your films has been your favorite?
Vidya: ‘Parineeta’ will always remain special as it was my debut film. Apart from that, ‘Paa’, ‘Ishqiya’ and now ‘Dirty Picture’.
Swati : You had to work a lot to get the right look for the role in ‘Dirty Picture’?
Vidya: I put on 12 kilos for this role. I continued to exercise but I ate rich diet to put on the weight, which dint make me flabby. But then I ended up working so hard in all the promotions and other work that I lost that weight without much of an issue.
Swati : You are the female- Shah Rukh Khan of Bollywood?
Vidya: (Laughs) I like the sound of it, but I don’t think so. Shah Rukh is phenomenal. I am happy being me right now, it will take very long before I can imagine to match SRK.
Swati: So what after this?
Vidya: After this, I am looking forward to the next year. My film ‘Kahani’ releases in January. I play the role of a 6 months pregnant woman who comes to Kolkata from London in search of her husband in the film. So that is what I am looking forward to next.
Adapted by: Ridhima Mangal