The National Awards are expected to be announced this week and buzz is that Vidya Balan is a frontrunner for the Best Actress award for her bold portrayal of Silk Smitha in The Dirty Picture. As far as popular awards go, Vidya’s scored a hat-trick with Paa (2009), Ishqiya (2010) and The Dirty Picture (2011), but she’s yet to bag a National Award.
“In 2010, I was called and asked to keep my phone free around 2 pm on the day the National Awards were announced. The same happened with Ishqiya last year. This year, I will be in Dubai promoting Kahaani,” she says, adding that though she hasn’t won yet, she’s happy her performances have been recognised and appreciated.
“The National Award is the biggest honour for any actor, not only because it comes from the government, but also because you are competing with actors from every language film made across the country. It’ll happen when it’s meant to be.”
Growing up, she wasn't allowed to read film magazines, so it wasn't till she was in college that Vidya got acquainted with the National Awards through an interview of Shabana Azmi.
“The introduction mentioned that she had won five National Awards. That’s my first recollection of the Award, and in time, I’ve realised that’s some record!” she exclaims, admitting that Shabana, Smita Patil and Rekha have had the strongest influences on her as an actor.
"I've watched Arth (1982) repeatedly and wondered how Shabana did what she did. And Rekha proved that you can marry commercial and meaningful cinema with films like Ghar (1978) and the National Award-winning Umrao Jaan (1981) on one hand, and Khubsoorat (1980) and Silsila (1981) on the other.”Woman power!
At her peak, Madhuri Dixit was known as the female Amitabh Bachchan because she was the only 'bankable' female actor. Today, Vidya Balan is being hyped as the female Shah Rukh Khan because she's made her 'meaningful' films work commercially even in a de-glam avatar.
In her latest release, Kahaani, Vidya who plays a pregnant woman in search of her missing husband, has to not just carry the film on her shoulders, but also sell it since she is the only star involved.
Do you think Vidya Balan deserves a National Award for The Dirty Picture?