From the demure woman in Parineeta to the bold and sexy Silk Smitha Vidya Balan has come a long way. With every film she has become matured and touched the new height of success. Touted in the industry as the ‘hero’ of Bollywood, Vidya Balan has become one of the bankable stars. In spite of being at the peak of her career, Vidya’s feet are still grounded. In a tee-a-tee with Sakhi, Vidya shares her heart out.

After ‘Dirty Picture’ the scenario seems to have changed. Did you get time to take rest?

I planned to take rest and chill with family members post Dirty Picture, but I could not; my every plan didn’t fructify. I took only 10 days break during which I went on a short trip to New Zealand .After returning to India, I resumed my work without wasting a day. I finished dubbing for Kahaani, went on promotional tours for it. Amidst all these, I have to manage time to complete the shooting of my upcoming item dance number from the movie Ferrari Ki Sawari.

You have emerged as the ‘Hero’ of Bolywood and become the centre of attraction as well. Still you feel grounded?

Every time before the release of one’s film he or she becomes the talk of the town. It is not the first time I am getting attention, only the meaning of it has changed. There are so many events, offers, interviews and everybody just wants my time. As I am running short of time, I don’t spare with a single second to set back and think about my success. I am happy to be busy. But my family friends admit that success has not changed me, my feet are still grounded.

Are you feeling any change…………?

I am feeling pressurized. Though I am patient and calm, nowadays I am feeling restless.

It is said that you have put your career in danger by doing two woman centric movies back to back, Dirty Picture and now Kahaani. In the era of Heroism in Bollywood, is there any place for Heroinism? It is said that Vidya is creating more trouble for herself. After doing woman centric movies like Dirty Picture and Kahaani, will she be able to fit herself in a Hero centric films? Is there any place for heroinism in Bollywood?

I must appreciate the word Herionism. If we talk about the kind of movies made during a decade there has been no good roles crafted for women. Be action or romance heroines have nothing to do without crooning and dancing around trees. I am thankful to God that I have been able to challenge this tradition with my strong woman-centric roles. I have emerged as the face of change.

Today’s heroines are not treated like commodities in movies rather they have strong roles to portray. After Paa, everyone asked me what I will do because I played a mother in that film. Then I came in de glam avatar in movies like Ishquia and No One killed Jessica. Both the films did well at box-office. But critics did not spare me and they criticized me and expressed their sheer doubt on my career. In response to their qualms, Dirty Picture and now Kahaani have been released. But I know I would face the same question again. Despite all critics, I am getting good offers and most importantly these movies are entraining. Earlier, directors used to give a social message through their movies, but contemporary filmmakers handle this issue smartly. They put forth any burning social issue though movies but in a entertaining manner. They know the showbiz world is all about entertainment, entertainment, and entertainment. Dirty Picture was such an entertainment movie with a strong social message.

Was it tough to portray the role of a heavily pregnant woman?

I had to prepare myself for this role in 2 stages. It was little tough to adopt the movement and pain of a heavily pregnant woman. In order to give flesh and blood to ‘Vidya Bagchi’ I asked for a prosthetic a make-up of a pregnant woman with the same weight. Even I consulted a doctor to know the walking style and postures of a pregnant lady. I had to slip into the skin of Vidya Bagchi. I remembered each and every reference. While performing my role in the film, I had to apply make up my mind to think fast but at the same time I had to appear a bit confused to the audiences. That means the character who speaks something but appears to be thinking something else.

Are you prepared to take up films where you are supposed to be swinging around trees wearing skimpy clothes with heroes?

While deciding over a film I only see the importance of my character. My role must be indispensible for the film. Initially, I felt hesitate to say no to producers face to face but now I am accustomed with it. I want to do films which give me space to show my potential as an actress.

Even few years back producers didn’t take you as a bankable star. But now scenario has changed and you have emerged as the new ‘Hero’ of Bollywood. Do you feel proud for that?

I feel proud to think that I have carved a niche in this industry with my talent. Now people know me, they appreciate me; they seek my time to meet me. Those, who criticized me at that time, now are praising me. It’s a great feeling for me.

In our Hindi film industry a heroine can’t charge money for a film like a male actor. What are your views on this biasness?

Neither I nor any of the actresses get angry because of this biasness as we are accustomed with the system. While a hero gets 10-20 crore for a film, actress only gets 1-2 crore. Instead of wasting my energy in these silly matters, I focus on work. However, this difference hurts me, but it didn’t start from the film industry. This ugly practice is deep rooted in our society and culture. Be it our Bollywood or your own home, women are everywhere deprived and dominated.

Tell us something about your love life?

It’s true that I am in love with someone and I am very happy. But please don’t ask me anything else about my personal matter. This relationship has given me confidence and a friend with whom I share anything.

(Ajay Brahmatmaj)