Wednesday, July 2, 2014

In Conversation With Vidya Balan: 'Kahaani' & 'Bobby Jasoos' are my most special films

'Detective' Vidya with actor Ali Fazal at Ambience
Mall, Gurgaon to promote 'Bobby Jasoos'.
A disarming smile and indubitable charisma make it hard not to take an instant liking to the 36-year old actress, as she walks in, with an unaffected ease and grace galore. From being labeled a "jinx" down South, years back, to resuscitating the woman-centric phenomenon in Hindi films to earning a National Award and a Padam Shree, Vidya Balan has aced the road less traveled.

We talk to the actress about what's different then and now, her upcoming film 'Bobby Jasoos' (releasing July 4) and more!

What’s the hardest part about being a celebrity?
Vidya Balan: I think the invasion of privacy and the prying eyes all the time. I genuinely love people and being with people. Being a public figure, I know people will speculate about us. And I'm open to talk about things and enjoy the fame that comes with it but there are things that are very personal. When someone crosses that line, is the only time I get a little irritated.

From being rejected in the Tamil and Malayalam film industry, to being of the most celebrated actors in the Hindi film industry, how has Vidya changed as a person and as an actor?
Vidya Balan: I have just realized that all that happens, happens for the best. When we’re going through tough times or when things aren’t going the way we expect them, we are frustrated and disillusioned. But it all works out even better than we’d imagined and I think that’s been the biggest lesson. I am generally a happy person. I like to be around happy people. I look for reasons to smile. Life gives us enough reasons but I think we choose to focus on the not-so-good reasons. I have come to understand that and become more positive over the years.

Of all your films, which is the most special?
Vidya Balan: 
I have had the opportunity to work on some amazing films but I think Kahaani, for one, is extremely close to my heart. I felt that the pregnant stomach I was carrying was actually the film. Kahaani was my baby. And here, in Bobby Jasoos I've been made to feel like a baby. (smiles). The producers - Diya (Mirza) and Sahil (Sangha), the director Samar(Sheikh), the writer Sanyukta (Shaikh) took care of me and every single person on the set. Bobby Jasoos is a story that touches your heart, makes you smile, makes you laugh. It's a fun family entertainer. It is one of my most precious experiences, even as an actor.

Tell us about your character in Bobby Jasoos.
Vidya Balan: 
The beauty of Bobby is she’s very one of us, very real, very aam. She’s not shatir (cunning). She’s untrained. Unlike your Sherlock Holmes, Byomkesh Bakshi, Karamchand, her approach is very simple. Her presence of mind, street smartness are striking. She’s a go-getter.

Of the 12 different looks I've donned in the film, the jyotish one, with those dirty buck teeth, paan-stained teeth was the funniest to me. Every time I would speak, some sound would come out of my mouth, because of the gaps in the teeth, which would make me laugh and the teeth would fall out.

Slightly difficult was playing a maulvi, where you'll see me wearing me a pagree (turban), with a beard and thick bushy eyebrows and there was something in my nose to make it look broader. There was teeth, there was mustache, there was beard, and there was a body suit in which I had to run and do some stunts. 

Your last two films weren't received too well. How important is it that Bobby Jasoos works for you?
Vidya Balan: 
Every film working is important and its disheartening when you’ve worked so hard on something and it doesn’t work well but I didn't really worry about Shaadi ke Side Effects just because Ghanchakkar didn't work. Similarly, I'm not worried about Bobby Jasoos because Ghanchakkar or Shaadi Ke Side Effects didn't work. Every film has its fate and there's a reason they say it. We've done whatever was humanly possible. In fact, I watched the film yesterday, and we all felt we've put in our best. Isse zyada kuch karne ko hai nahi… ab bas divine intervention ki zaroorat hai (laughs).

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