Rattled by recent rumours that her one-and-a-half-year-old marriage with entertainment honcho Siddharth Roy Kapur is on rocks, Vidya Balan talks exclusively to HT City and clears the air.
In a candid chat, the 36-year-old actor slams speculation that her husband’s reported closeness to a colleague has led to a rift, and says she wonders “why people find it difficult to stomach that Sid and I are happy with each other”.
What do you have to say about reports suggesting that there are problems in your marriage?
We are happy with each other. There is no chink in the armour. Sorry to disappoint you.
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It’s been reported that you are unhappy with Siddharth’s proximity to a female employee, and that she was given too much authority in his company.
I have no desire to comment on the structure of Disney. (Siddharth is the managing director of Disney India). I don’t know who these references are to, firstly, so I think it’s a figment of someone’s imagination. At a time when the country is wondering who’s going to be the next Prime Minister, I must admit it feels important that there is enough space being created for Siddharth and me.
You think the rumours are being spread on purpose?
Obviously, someone who is unhappy is doing this. But I don’t believe in witch-hunts, so I wouldn’t want to give it that kind of credence. I don’t have any problem with anyone. I don’t watch TV, I don’t read anything unless I’m told. Since 2007, I stopped reading anything, because there was too much criticism about me, and I decided this was the only way to retain my sanity.
I think these rumours started because I opted out of Sujoy’s (Ghosh, director) film, and IIFA awards. I said that there’s a niggling health issue. But people said, ‘Maybe it’s not.’ Honestly, when a male actor — and I’m talking about superstars — has walked out of films one week before it started, and this has happened several times, why aren’t they judged? Why don’t people speculate about their personal lives? Why then, if I’m taking time off, there has to be a personal angle? I think it’s just extremely judgmental. May be people can’t stomach the fact that an actress will actually take a break. It’s amusing, the kind of stories floating around. One week, I’m pregnant; the next week, there’s a problem; the week after, I’m unprofessional.
Why did you step out to vote with your parents, and not with Siddharth? It’s also been reported that you have been spending a lot of time at your parents’ house in Chembur, lately.
Siddharth votes in Cuffe Parade, I vote in Chembur (both in Mumbai). And, for the record, I went to Cuffe Parade with him. I hate having to give such justifications, but I went at 7am with my parents and sister to vote ... then Siddharth and I headed to Cuffe Parade, and I was waiting at his parents’ place while he voted. Also, my parents don’t live in Chembur. The person who wrote that piece needs to get his/her facts right. My parents live five minutes away from me. And when I’m not shooting, I like to spend time with them, and with my twin niece and nephew.
Rumours have it that you are not your calm self and have been snappy with people of late.
I’ve not met anyone to be snappy. Put it down to that time of the month if that’s what they’re saying. I’m allowed that, right?
Sujoy Ghosh was very vocal about being disappointed with you backing out of the film after allotting dates.
Of course he’d be unhappy. But the health issue has reached a stage where I felt I shouldn’t delay addressing it anymore.
What is the health issue?
That’s something I don’t want to discuss.
So, things are fine between you and Sujoy Ghosh?
Yes, it’s always been. Because I told him the truth. Everyone’s still wondering what the health issue is, but he respected the fact that I couldn’t tell him; and he was okay with it. And it was a difficult decision for me. We’ve done Kahaani together; we’ve built a relationship. But there are calls you have to take… Thankfully, it’s not a big health issue, but it needs attention, and probably some lifestyle changes.
Is it true that you also parted ways with your publicist?
Yes, more than a year back. Honestly, I don’t give out any stories. So I just felt there was no point in having a publicist. And around the time there’s a film, the film has a publicist. Between films, I never do anything.
Like other couples in recent times, are you and Siddharth planning to release a joint statement about all being well?
There is no need for a joint statement. He’s working very, very hard. And I think it must be a bit much (for him)… It’s okay for actors to be written about like this, but really, I think it’s unfair to write about him.
Do you discuss work with each other?
We don’t – neither him, nor me. What I do, or don’t, is my prerogative. But both of us are – I’d like to believe – competent and secure. We’re not 16-year-olds who got together on a whim. We’re mature individuals who went out for a bit and decided we wanted to spend our lives with each other.
What are your views on those who speculate over other peoples’ marriages?
I am amused. When I begun seeing Siddharth, they said, ‘Oh, they’ve gotten married already’; ‘They went to a temple down south’; ‘They’ve got their marriage registered’; and god knows what! At an awards function, I made a joke about getting pregnant. It was not even 15 days to the wedding, and they said, ‘Oh my god! Maybe she is pregnant’. And then, of course, they started saying that, ‘Oh! She’s looking bigger.’ Then, when I said no baby, they’ve come up with something else.
Why didn’t you ever clarify these rumours?
I don’t feel the need to justify. Why should I? As long as Siddharth and I know what we share, which we do, and our families do, I think everything else really doesn’t matter. We’re human beings. If a couple has a difference of opinion – about the maid, for all you know – and you see a little stress on their faces, you can’t assume things.
How long will your break from work go on?
For another month. I start promoting Bobby Jasoos then. I’m the kind of actor who needs breaks. Sometimes I like to just sit and watch the sea, read a book, listen to music, go for drives, watch films, and meet friends and family.