Mumbai: She is one of the most sought after actresses today but her journey in filmdom wasn't a cake walk. Vidya Balan had to give over 60 screen tests for her debut Bollywood film, 'Parineeta'.

After appearing in several ad films and music videos, she made her debut in B-town with Vidhu Vinod Chopra's home production in 2005.

"I was doing ad films and I had signed quite a few South films but then I went through a phase of being called jinxed because my first South film was stopped midway and then other directors threw me out of their films. I started doing music videos...but Dada (director Pradeep Sarkar) had told me he would make a film with me," Vidya said.

 "He (Pradeep Sarkar) went to Chopra (Producer) with the script and Chopra wanted a bigger star but he also said if I am able to show that I can do the role then they will take me. I gave over 60 tests...right from Indian look, western look, curly hair, straight hair, song, emotional scene...etc. I kept doing it but later I was fed up as I was not aware if they were really going to take me or not," Vidya said.

"And the moment I gave up was the time when I got the film," 34-year-old actress recalled.    Producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra made her undergo grueling tests for the role of Lalita, till she got it right.

 "We tested her 60-65 times...after a few tests I saw her looking at the camera and abusing me. The fact that she was desperate to do the film...it showed in those 60-65 tests. But when she did not give a damn was the time when she performed. If you are desperate for something you won't get it," Chopra said.

"Vidya became Vidya Balan when she stopped caring. I am happy that she sustained those 65 odd tests and did not give up and look where she is today," he said.

Pradeep Sarkar, made her do 28 takes to capture an emotional moment in the song 'Raat Humari Toh'.'Parineeta' besides Vidya, also starred Saif Ali Khan and Sanjay Dutt in pivotal roles and was a hit at the box office.

PVR Cinemas, in association with Chopra has organized a first of its kind retrospective of his films as a tribute tomark his completion of 30 years in the film industry.

On the second day of the fest when 'Parineeta' was screened, those present on the occasion included Vidya, RaimaSen, Pradeep Sarkar, cinematographer Natarajan Subramaniam and music director Shantanu Moitra among others.

(Agencies)