In the Hindi film industry, where most actors choose to maintain a political stance, Vidya Balan is one the few actors who has always spoken her mind. While she credits that to her ‘South Indian upbringing’, Vidya is of the opinion that a woman should choose to retain her personality after marriage. Excerpts from an interview:
After The Dirty Picture, you were offered multiple biopics. Have you liked any of the scripts that were offered to you?
I would love to do a biopic on Meena Kumari. In all fairness, I was offered one right after The Dirty Picture but it was so soon, that I didn’t want to do it. May be Indira Gandhi, Meena Kumari, and M S Subbalakshmi. I came very close to playing her and it didn’t happen, so still hoping and praying that it happens someday.
Do you think the situation has improved for married actresses in Bollywood today vis-à-vis their careers?
All around us, nobody’s lives are stopping after marriage. The industry is a part of society so that’s bound to happen even with actresses. It’ a great thing that we are not pressing the pause button on our careers anyway, whether it is after marriage or child birth. We don’t need to prove to anyone that we are as dedicated. But yes, maybe we’re just more committed to ourselves.
It’s been four years that you have been married. Has marriage changed you?
Initially, you know that there is some change happening but you aren’t really about to figure that out. But you finally realise that you don’t really think of yourself. When you get married, people are seeing you only as unit and not as two individuals. And then, it is up to you whether you still want to retain your individuality, which I think I have managed to do. I am only talking about myself because these questions are never asked to Siddharth (Roy Kapur, husband).
And now, I have reached a stage where I am saying that I am okay with the fact that I am a unit. I know that even if we are a unit, it does not mean that I am compromising my individuality. Initially, it seemed to me like that was what was expected of me. I don’t feel the need to prove that we are a unit and those things confused me initially, but now I think I am fine.
Does the ‘when are you starting a family’ question bother you?
It used to be annoying, now it’s amusing. Now I have started embarrassing people so they’ve stopped asking me. They ask me when you are having a baby, so I say that the next time we are together, we will definitely call you.
And what the pact where you have decided to not work with Siddharth?
It’s complicated. When Ghanchakkar didn’t work I went through a lot of guilt and he kept telling me that it’s ridiculous. It could have been any other actor in that place and the film would've still not worked. But I don’t want to go through all that ever again. Also you want some difference between a studio and a house because you don’t want to talk about the same thing everywhere.