Vidya Balan calls herself a selfish actor, who doesn’t care about what anyone expects of her. She might have pioneered the trend of women-centric films with her roles in Kahaani (2012) and The Dirty Picture (2011), but now she feels that the gender of the lead actor doesn’t really matter anymore.
After your films did well, many other actors also chose women-centric movies. What’s your take on this trend?
I am grateful that people feel that I started the trend. But I believe it is really a product of the times that we live in. And because my films worked, people are showing interest and making more women-centric movies. In the past year, Queen, Highway, Mary Kom and Mardaani performed well. Today, good films will work irrespective of them starring a male or a female actor in the lead.
Your last releases, Ghanchakkar (2013), Shaadi Ke Side Effects (SKSE) and Bobby Jasoos (both 2014), didn’t do well. What do you think went wrong?
I was distraught after Ghanchakkar didn’t do well. I’d had back-to-back hits before that. For the next two films too, I had given my all. But I realised that at times films connect and at times they don’t. What’s heartening is that people are open to trying different kinds of subjects. Success and failure don’t bother me because, as an actor, that is beyond my control.
In the recent past, we’ve seen younger actors such as Alia Bhatt and Kangana Ranaut do strong lead roles. Do you think that the success that comes with such films is sustainable?
Stardom and success are cyclical; I have been here (in Bollywood) long enough to realise that. I am a very hungry and shameless actor — if I find a good role, I don’t think about anything else and simply sign it. I don’t think about what the audience expects of me. A lot of people asked me to not do SKSE, but I was excited by the role. I don’t think stardom can be planned. So far, I’ve only followed my heart, and that as worked for me.
Like some of your peers, have you thought of branching out into production or writing?
Yes, I have an idea, and I’m getting a writer to work on the film with me as I do not have the discipline to sit and write. It will be an emotional drama. It will be a relationship story; more realistic, but romantic. If I write anything interesting for a male actor, then why not for Shah Rukh Khan?