When two of Bollywood's most sought-after come visiting, their infectious smile and quick wit spread like a welcome disease. HT City brings to you excerpts from an afternoon with actors Vidya Balan and Farhan Akhtar:
How different is Shaadi Ke Side Effects from Pyaar Ke Side Effects?
Farhan: The characters' names are the same -- Sid and Trisha -- but the story is completely different. People think it's a sequel because it is about their life after marriage, but in the real sense, it's not a sequel. What we are showing is a relationship; these films are not guides on relationships. It is about a married couple and how they are rediscovering romance after having their first child.
READ: SHAADI KE SIDE EFFECTS HAS NO SIMILARITIES WITH MY REAL LIFE, SAYS FARHAN
How was it, working with each other for the first time?
Vidya: It was great fun shooting for it, as the script itself is funny. The director, Saket Chaudhary, gave us open field to play around, so we could improvise. Sometimes, when you are doing a scene, you just step back and realise that you've been in that situation yourself! Also, when I got to know that Farhan is doing it, I was thrilled; I have been a fan of his for a long time. I was looking forward to acting with him, as he is an actor who makes everything look so effortless and natural. I was very excited, and unlike him, I wasn't disappointed!
Farhan: My first reaction was that of immense excitement and relief. I have admired Vidya's work for many years. Apart from the fact that you know the performance will be good, there is a certain degree of reassurance about your own choice of doing the film. That was till I met her on the set…(winks)
Since you both are married, do spouses try to control each other's mind?
Farhan: When you want to impress someone, you present yourself as Mr or Miss Perfect. You tuck away all your bad habits in a corner. But, when you start living with that person, you have to start exposing that side of you. A certain degree of compromise and control is needed. It's more because of your need to be accepted.
Vidya: The 'need to control' is where it stems from. I hope one doesn't try to change the other person so much that you end up with someone else and not the one you married. Whether we like it or not, to some extent, we do try to control our partner. Don't ask me if I do!
Did competition creep in between the two of you?
Farhan: It's not really about competition, but you do get inspired in a positive way when you are working with someone who is doing great work. It motivates and inspires you. If an actor is listening to the co-actor, it really affects the performance. When you act with such actors, your performance is bound to better, since you are constantly challenged.
Vidya: It was joyous performing with him. The give and take, and how actors feed off each other, it's a high! You go through certain moments on screen. There was a scene after which I just went ahead and kissed his hand; I was so overwhelmed with what had just happened!
READ: SHAADI KE SIDE EFFECTS IS FOR EVERYONE, SAYS VIDYA BALAN
For what reasons should one get married?
Vidya: I can't imagine spending my life with someone I don't want to. A lot of people get married because of parental pressure. I don't know how one can settle for that, but I have heard that over time, out of sheer habit, they fall in love. I hope it turns out well for them.
The scene that you related to the most?
Farhan: When I first hold my baby daughter in my arms. Interestingly, my hands start to shake. I could remember that moment very vividly.
How was it handling the baby?
Vidya: I have gotten better, as my sister was blessed with twins, two-and-half years ago. I used to be petrified of babies earlier, around the time I did Hey Baby.