Mumbai: Despite delivering several duds and being subjected to body shaming, there was never an off-time for Vidya Balan. Each time she bounced back with the same confidence. In an exclusive interview with Deccan Chronicle, Vidya Balan tells us why she disregards her oozing stardom, her love for Sridevi, upcoming slice-of-life Tumhari Sulu and more. Excerpts:
You still don’t realize your stardom…
I feel very blessed that I am living my dream, the only dream I had was to be an actor. It has been 12 years now. I belong to a completely non-filmy background. I found my way into cinema by doing ad films, music videos and I enjoyed everything. It is also about your upbringing. My family, my sister, brother-in-law have been a support system. All the name, fame and glory that come are an added bonus. I am just happy to be an actor, play different lives, and tell different stories. I have always worked to be an actor and nothing else. This is probably inculcated in me by my family.
How different is this RJ from your Lage Raho Munnabhai act?
Quite different- she was an early morning RJ in Lage Raho Munnabhai. She was very energetic. Also I watched Malishka a lot during that time since Raju love her so he asked me to follow her. There is no real reference for Sulu. Suresh thought I have a voice for a late night RJ. What I found interesting is that she is a homemaker and RJs during nights. I have also not done humour in a while, though Ghanchakkar and Shaadi Ke Side Effects had little humour. Sulu is mad and relatable, so when Suresh narrated the story, I said yes.
Were you nervous revamping a Sridevi song in your film?
I love Sridevi. She is an encyclopaedia on acting for me. Whenever she is on television, I just stand to watch her. In fact, I make my niece and nephew watch her songs. I told Suresh, if you want me to recreate Hawa Hawaai, then it is impossible but he convinced me saying it is an office party song, I said ‘Main Kar Sakti Hai.’ I truly enjoyed the song.
What made you say no to the Sadma remake?
I can’t. I just can’t do. Such films are cults and I feel they shouldn’t be touched. In fact, Shabana Azmi Ji suggested my name for the Arth remake and that’s very large hearted and generous of her but I feel ‘Mujhme Itni Himmat Nahin Hai’.
Do you think with films sinking at BO, actors should have a back up plan?
I don’t think so. Films like Judwaa 2 and Golmaal Again worked so hugely which are again big budgeted films and at the same time films like Bareilly Ki Barfi, Toilet Ek Prem Katha also worked. One film isn’t a superstar make or break.
Despite your films failing at the BO, your image has been constant of a great actress, how do you manage that?
Films are a tricky business. I think I chose the films for all the right reasons. I did whatever I could do during promotions. I love and believe in what I do. I want to do exciting roles. But again, films are a collaborative effort.
How was working with Manav Kaul?
It was superb. We have been married for 12 years in the film so we need to look bonded. He is very secure. Sometimes actors are little caught up in their own world but it wasn’t the case with him....