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Vidya Balan can’t do theatre as she would ‘die in fright’ before a live audience

Actor Vidya Balan, known for her power-packed performances, says that she can’t fulfil veteran actor Shabana Azmi’s desire to see Vidya in a play, even though she worships Shabana

bollywood Updated: Apr 08, 2017 19:26 IST
Henna Rakheja
Henna Rakheja
Hindustan Times
Vidya Balan,Shabana Azmi,Siddharth Roy Kapur
Actor Vidya Balan says she isn’t bothered by comparison with other leading actors for her character in her upcoming film, Begum Jaan. (Prodip Guha/HT Photo)

Actor Vidya Balan, star of the upcoming Begum Jaan, says that she holds veteran actor Shabana Azmi in very high regard, but nevertheless, she can’t fulfil Shabana’s wish to see Vidya in a live play.

Sometime ago, HT City asked Shabana Azmi whom would she like to see on stage out of the current crop of strong female actors. Shabana replied that she wished Vidya would take that legacy forward.

Recently, when Vidya Balan was in Delhi, to check out designer Gaurang Shah’s latest collection, we asked her if she would fulfil Azmi’s wish, and the actor said, “I don’t read news so Siddharth (Roy Kapur) told me that Shabana Azmi said this, and I was like, ‘Oh my God, what a huge compliment!’ I’ve always worshipped her. Having said that, I’ll die in fright in front of a live audience. So I don’t think I’m ready for that (theatre) yet.”

I’m a huge Shabana Azmi fan, and people told me that it (the film) reminded them somewhere of Mandi (1983), when they saw the trailer. That’s a huge compliment

She holds Shabana in high esteem and says that the biggest compliment she received was when she was compared with the senior actor, soon after the launch of the trailer of her next film. “I’m a huge Shabana Azmi fan, and people told me that when they saw the trailer of my film, my character reminded them of Mandi (1983). That’s a huge compliment. For my role, I don’t think I was inspired by anyone but the script,” says the National Award-winning actor.

Vidya Balan’s character of a brothel head has been drawing comparisons with leading female actors who have played prostitutes on screen. Vidya Balan, however, states, “It’s a different character. There might be some comparison with Rituparna Sengupta, who played the same role in the Bengali version of this film, and I would still think that’s fair, but you know, I don’t get bothered by comparison.”

First Published: Apr 08, 2017 19:25 IST