While Vidya Balan is still basking in the success of The Dirty Picture, the actor is ready with her next release Kahaani, where she plays a seven-month pregnant woman who comes to Kolkata from London in search of her husband. Sreya Basu catches up with the actor after the launch of the First Look of the film in Mumbai
You have emerged as the new ‘Hero’ of Bollywood post The Dirty Picture. How do you feel?
Really film-making is team effort. It is very elating when people give the actor credit for the success of a film. So I will also not refuse to it. But I think it is team effort and I am hoping that the success of The Dirty Picture will help me get a chance to work with more good directors and good teams; so that I can continue my performance level.
Your Dirty Picture dialogue says a film runs only on three things-entertainment, entertainment and entertainment. What does Kahaani have that will make it run at the box office?
See, there are different levels of entertainment. Even now I will say films only run on three things-entertainment, entertainment and entertainment-and you have to watch Kahaani to find out what kind of entertainment is there in the film. It’s a mystery. So it’s very different.
Tell us about your transformation from a boombat avatar to that of a pregnant woman searching for her husband.
Dirty hone ka yeh hi nateeja hota hai. I am just kidding. As you said in Kahaani I play a pregnant woman and it’s a mystery. But I can’t say anything more at this point about the film. None-the-less, I enjoyed playing a pregnant woman. I am glad that I am getting the opportunities to essay different characters. I am fortunate that I am getting to play characters like Sabrina (No One Killed Jessica), Silk (The Dirty Picture) and Vidya Bagchi (Kahaani).
Do you think the films you signed in the earlier part of your career were mistakes?
I don’t take them as mistakes but learning experiences that didn’t turn out very well. I think if at all they can be called mistakes, they were very important for me to commit so that I can reach here. It’s because of those films, you are calling ‘mistakes’, I realized what kind of work I actually enjoy doing, where I can put my heart-and-soul.
So now that you are being acknowledged as an actor who can pull off a film on her own shoulders, are you refusing hero-oriented films?
No, not at all. It’s God’s grace that my films have worked. But I like always say, it depends on the role and the overall film that’s being offered to me. I am a very greedy actor. I want to play different people, I want to do different kinds of films. So even if the man or the hero is the central protagonist, as long as I have enough to do, I am more than happy. Also let me clarify, money is more than welcome. Maine roles ke bare mein toh keh diya. But as for money, the more the merrier.
When did you actually realize that you want to be an actor?
I think when Ek Do Teen (song from Tezaab, 1988) was released, tab mujhe Madhuri Dixit ka bhoot chara tha. I used to stand in front of the mirror and dance all the time. I wanted to be Junior Madhuri Dixit.
There is a buzz that you are planning to settle down at the end of the year now that your career has reached a peak…
Why? Career is doing well…I am happy…emotionally, mentally I am in a very happy space. I am not at all thinking of marriage as of now. Uska bhi waqt aayega aur zaroor aayega (Time for that will come and surely). I believe in the institution of marriage. So I won’t postpone it for too long; but filhal ke liye taal rahi hoon (For now delaying it).
There was a news that you were in New Zealand with Siddharth Roy Kapoor (boyfriend) recently where you escaped a mild earthquake. Is that true?
Earth toh aab yahan quake ho raha hai. (Laughs) No, I do believe there was an earthquake in Christchurch. But I wasn’t there. So obviously I escaped it like the whole lot of people who weren’t there. But all of it was a bit dramatized.
– Sreya Basu
Trans World Features (TWF) / IBNS