Vidya on her films, her reasons for doing ‘meaty roles’ and not preferring the Khans over newcomers
Vidya Balan is taking it easy for some time. Her last three releases were not hits at the box-office. But the actress, who had a patch of poor health — not pregnancy — to blame for a long absence from films, is looking at a return from that break positively. She’s got one film coming up — Humari Adhuri Kahaani and other scripts she’s looking at (“They’re all relationship stories”, she says). Currently out of the country, she finds time to reply to some of our questions...
Humari Adhuri Kahaani was delayed, while you opted out of Sujoy Ghosh’s film. Was it the only one you opted out of?
Yeah, but I had told Bhattsaab the same. I told him I won’t be able to do the film. But what happened with HAK is because of Emraan’s son’s health, the film got pushed to the end of the year. Bhattsaab said that there was enough time for me to still do the film. If it was getting pushed anyway, then I said I’d do it. But I never wanted them to wait for me and delay the film. We ended up starting in September. But I would have had to opt out of that film had it started in April.
Mohit had clearly said that he would not have made the film without you...
I didn’t expect that from anyone, as a matter of fact. But Bhattsaab and Mohit were very clear and they had told me this, ‘If you are not doing the film, the film is not happening’. The film got pushed, so I was able to do it. Bhattsaab is someone who I wanted to work with forever. He has been one of those few directors whose work I really enjoy. But he stopped directing even before I joined films. So this is just another way of me getting to work with him.
What is HAK all about?
For me, it is an intense love story. A love story that I have been dying to do ever since Parineeta. It is the story that interested me and I hope people like the film because it is something that people have not seen me doing for the longest time. It has been a revelation for me as well. It is the strength of the role, the story. The fact that it’s been written by Bhatt saab and directed by Mohit made me say yes.
Did you lose weight for the film?
Surprisingly, Mohit never asked me to. We never had any such discussions. I also read it somewhere and I was like, ‘Okay, when did this happen?’ If he had asked me to, I would have not minded it. I like to change my appearance for every film. But he did not ask me. That’s the truth.
Tell us something about your character.
I can’t tell you much now. But yes, I play a florist who works in a five-star hotel and (pauses) the fragrance of love fills up her life!
You have two heroes in the film – one is a commercial actor, the other an unconventional star. How different was it on the sets?
Not really. Rajkummar and I are working for the first time and he is an extremely exciting actor. All I can say is that he’s an actor who is unafraid to look into his co-star’s eyes while acting and I enjoy that. Very rarely do you come across actors like that.
Is HAK a love triangle?
Parineeta too was like a love triangle but not a triangle in that sense. But every love story has a triangle in it. That’s all I will say.
Has the film wrapped up?
Almost. It releases this June.
Have you signed anything after HAK?
I am still reading scripts. I haven’t decided which ones to say yes to. I’ll decide soon, though.
Previously, you always said that a film with SRK, Salman or Aamir looked difficult because of the length and strength of the role of the heroine. Do you think you can take that risk now?
It is not difficult for me to say yes to a film with them. A script has to have enough meat for me to be a part of the film. I am happy to be cast opposite anyone. The actor can be the icing on the cake but they can’t be the reason I take up a film. If there’s a good script coming my way which stars any of the Khans, then fine. Else maybe not!
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