Vidya Balan belongs to the rare league of actresses ‘who know how to act’ and do not restrict themselves to the glam doll act. She is one of the few TV actresses to have successfully made a mark on the big screen. She is also one of those who slip into a controversy before the previous one hasn’t died down.
In her forthcoming film Kismat Konnection, Balan essays the role of a joyful and vivacious character that fills Shahid’s gloomy life with a lot of positivity. Sounds a lot like Geet and Aditya from Jab We Met… but Vidya refutes and believes this correlation is highly superficial. We speak to the actress on the songs, the dances, and her ‘kontroversy’ connection.
The glimpses of Kismat Konnection are drawing inevitable similarities and comparisons with Jab We Met. How would you react if after the release of Kismat Konnection, your performance in the film is judged against Kareena’s performance in Jab We Met?
Jab We Met and Kismat Konnection are youthful films, but that does not call for a comparison. Also, I don’t think Kareena’s performance can be compared with mine because the two are very different characters with no similarities.
My character in the film, Priya loves life and brings a smile on people’s faces wherever she goes. But Geet did it very differently from Priya. There are different ways of bringing these emotions out. The comparisons are very superficial.
How difficult was it to shake a leg with Shahid in the songs of Kismat Konnection?
I think anyone who dances with Hrithik or Shahid is bound to face difficulties, except if it is Madhuri Dixit, of course! The dance moves in Kismat Konnection were new for me and there were no dance rehearsals due to shortage of time. So I landed up giving more takes during the shooting and Shahid managed to do it all in half a take, so that is not my fault. But at the end of the day, I did something new and I am happy.
You have often been praised for your acting caliber and more often than not, been criticized for your dressing style…
As long as people are happy with my acting, they can go ahead and criticize me for my dressing sense. I hope that people do not find any faults in my acting talents. I am still raw and I am putting in a lot of efforts to present the best because I am not an Amitabh Bachchan who can give the best shot every time.
Have you ever faced peer pressure when you see the way other actresses have moulded their career by signing multiple film deals and endorsements?
I don’t normally face any kind of peer pressure. Luckily, I believe that what is meant for me will come to me; all I have to do is try and do my best. My competition is with trying to do my best in any given situation.
Are you happy with the way your career shaped up as an actress or do you wish you could change a few decisions?
Everything has been a lesson. I hail from a complete non-film background and to have reached so far is a big thing according to me. Yes I have made some; I won’t say mistakes, I would call them learning and lessons. I have tried to choose the best from the opportunities that I got.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
I would be married five years from now, after having worked in a lot of good films. I do not know who the person will be, if he will be from the industry or not, but I firmly believe in the institution of marriage.
In recent times, you have been linked a lot with Shahid…
With all honesty, I am saying that there is nothing between me and Shahid that I cannot speak about. We are friends and good co-actors. That’s it!
As an actress who started her career with television, have you ever thought of going back to television, more so because many film actors are hosting reality TV shows?
If there is an interesting show, then why not? Right now I cannot afford to act in a serial because their requirements for time commitments are too high and I am happy doing films. Television requires a lot of hard work and I am very lazy. But I will surely do a reality show, which taps my area of interest.
Recently you have also taken up a lot of ad assignments…
Yes, these ad assignments did not happen in the initial two – three years as I was caught up with completing films, dubbing and promoting them. It is now when I got a breather that I could endorse Toshiba and Airtel. Otherwise I cannot multitask.
What are your forthcoming films?
There is a film, which Sanjay Leela Bhansali is producing for his assistant Vibhu Puri, who is debuting as a director. The film is titled Chenab Gandhi and it stars Amitabh Bachchan, Harman Baweja and me. Vishal Bharadwaj is also producing a film for his assistant Abhishek Chaubey who is debuting as a director. This film is titled Ishkiya and it stars Naseeruddin Shah, Arshad Warsi and me.
Pa has been offered to me and I have liked it, but there are no confirmations on it as of now. There is a film called Beehad being produced by Sanjay Dutt, which Milan Luthria is directing, but we haven’t locked in on any dates.
Are you looking at doing South Indian language movies also?
Actually, Kamal Hasan’s Dasavtharam was offered to me but I was unable to do it because the film required me to shoot for 20 days every month for six months continuously. This would not have allowed me to shoot any films in Hindi; moreover I had already committed my dates for Hindi films. But I would definitely like to work in South films.