She was once targeted for her style, dancing skills and fuller figure, but Vidya Balan, who will be seen in her first item number soon, is now unapologetic about herself and happy to see just how far she has come.
The 34-year-old actress, who made a sensational debut with Parineeta in 2005, faced a tough two-year period from 2007-2008 as her films bombed at the box office, which was accompanied by a lot of personal criticism.
"I am unapologetic about who I am. Now, I am really happy about myself, the kind of work I am doing. I am happy to have reclaimed myself after facing severe criticisms for a period of almost two years. I am not bitter about it but I will admit that it affected me a lot," Vidya told PTI in an interview.
"I believe that it happened for a larger reason, for my good. I have accepted the way I am. I no longer want to be what I am not and people have appreciated that. I have realised that the easiest thing is to try and be yourself," she said.
Vidya is all set to do a 'Lavani' item song for Vidhu Vinod Chopra's forthcoming film Ferrari Ki Sawaari.
"It is a great song. It is strange that I was once criticised for my lack of dancing skills but now have been asked to do an item number. I don't feel vindicated but I am happy to see just how far I have come," she said.
"I am not a dancer. I struggled while dancing in Kismat Konnection. I was almost dying before every shot and on top of that I was asked to dance opposite Shahid Kapoor, who is one of the best dancers in Bollywood. But now I have started enjoying dancing. It all started with The Dirty Picture."
The actress, who surprised everyone by portraying the role of southern sex siren Silk Smitha to the perfection, has taken up another challenging role. She will be playing a pregnant NRI woman in search of her husband in Kolkata in Sujoy Ghosh's Kahaani.