Having been part of many women-centric award-winning films such as Paa (2009), The Dirty Picture (2011) and Kahaani (2012), Vidya Balan is associated with female-centric content-driven cinema. The 38-year-old, who was last seen in Sujoy Ghosh’s Kahaani 2, feels that she was “at the right place, at the right time”.
There is a notion that you started the trend of women-centric cinema. Do you believe that you should be credited for it?
I am glad that I am credited for it. However, it is just the function of the time we are living in. We are ready to tell these kinds (women- centric) of stories. If you look around, girls and women are no longer playing supporting roles. Women are no longer just someone’s daughter, wife or mother. We have an identity and that is translating on-screen. So, those kind of stories are being written. I was at the right place, at the right time. I took the opportunities when they came my way.
So, is it a conscious decision to do women-centric cinema?
I get drawn to scripts where the woman has a very substantial role. And therefore, women-centric films appeal to me. By that I don’t mean that I have to play the central role. My character has to be such where, if she doesn't achieve anything in the beginning of the film, she ends up doing that at the end. Those kind of stories inspire me in real life as well.
At times, there is a vast difference between the script and the final movie. Did you ever experience something similar?
That happens when you aren’t too confident about asking too many questions, which is why now I’m the exact opposite (laughs). There have been times when what was told to me and what I read [later] was different because they didn’t have scripts [at the first place] at that time. If I had a [big] role, it turned out to be much shorter in reality. It was shocking. I have actually walked out of the theatre because I was shocked with what I saw. And I have till date, not seen the rest of the film. The film turned out well eventually, but, I felt cheated. It happened to me with two to three films, successively. That’s when I decided that unless there’s a bound script, I won’t do a film. Now, I think nobody works without a script, barring one or two directors.