She’s been known to be true to her art, putting on weight for some films, wearing hideous clothes in others. But it’s that devil-may-care attitude that makes Vidya Balan stand out in the sea of Bollywood actresses today. She tells Metrolife about her upcoming film Ghanchakkar, her love for Bangalore and married life.
As can be seen from the trailers, Vidya is playing Emraan Hashmi’s over-the-top, funnily dressed Punjabi wife in the movie.
“I’m not too much like my character Neetu Bhatia except in the sense that she’s very happy being who she is. She’s bizarre, gregarious and vivacious. Her take on modernity is the clothes that she sees in fashion magazines and eating roti with a fork. But she doesn’t know or care that people find her funny or outlandish. That’s my point of identification with her,” says Vidya.
After ‘No One Killed Jessica’ in 2008, this is her second film with director Rajkumar Gupta. Comparing the experiences, she states, “He’s one of those directors who will go down in history as someone who did groundbreaking work with every film that he made. I have a sense that whenever he does a comedy, it will be fantastic. There was a scene in ‘No One…’ where my character Sabrina bursts out laughing in court. It was such an unexpected moment but that made me realise that there was some comedy waiting to come out.”
The actress adds, “It’s interesting that the same director who cast me as Sabrina wanted me to play Neetu. As little as I spoke or smiled in ‘No One…’, there was that much more in Ghanchakkar. Even in terms of the colours, Sabrina was a Plain Jane but Neetu is dressed like a Christmas tree most of the time.”
Though her look in the film has been a topic of discussion, she confesses that she signed the film partly because of the challenge it presented.
“Raj came to me after ‘The Dirty Picture’ and told me not to lose weight that I had put on. He said he wasn’t going to shoot me like a heroine, that the clothes may not be flattering. But he explained that this was only because Neetu was a real person. If ‘The Dirty Picture’ challenged my vanity, Ghanchakkar has destroyed my vanity,” she laughs, adding, “it isn’t me at all, but that’s the fun and joy of it. When I can’t recognise the woman on screen, it’s another high!”
Is she a natural at playing the role of a wife in real life too? She grins and replies, “Yes, married life is treating me very well. Ghanchakkar is Siddharth’s (Roy Kapur) and my first film together after marriage and so, it’s even more special for us. But he and I don’t discuss the film at all.”
She’s no stranger to the City and has, over time, accumulated fond memories of the gardens and restaurants here. “I have lovely memories of Bangalore. My sister used to live in Cox Town and I used to come down at any given opportunity. It’s just so airy, bright and cheerful,” she says, recalling how she used to have coffee at Indian Coffee House for only Rs 4.