Vidya Balan in a still from The Dirty Picture.
Vidya Balan in a still from The Dirty Picture.

Vidya Balan says people thought she was ‘mad’ when she signed The Dirty Picture, reveals her parents’ reaction

Vidya Balan said that though she did not have any apprehensions about doing The Dirty Picture, many people thought that she should not do the film.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By HT Entertainment Desk
UPDATED ON AUG 10, 2020 08:08 AM IST

Actor Vidya Balan revealed that when she signed Milan Luthria’s The Dirty Picture, people thought she was ‘mad’ and told her she could not be ‘doing things like these’ as she had a girl-next-door image. However, her parents asked her to follow her intuition.

In an interaction with India Today, Vidya said that she had no reservations about doing The Dirty Picture. “The moment I met Milan, he inspired faith in me. So I knew that he has a certain aesthetic sense, I knew it won’t be cheap. Also, Ekta (Kapoor, producer) was involved and she is a woman. I knew her, I started my career with her. So I was safe on those accounts. But there were people who told me that ‘Are you mad? You are a girl next door and you can’t be doing things like these.’”

When Vidya went to her parents for advice, they asked her to go with her gut feeling. “I remember speaking to my parents at that time and I asked them ‘Should I do it?’ My parents, they are obviously not from this industry, so they kept saying ‘No, do what feels right’. I asked myself ‘what feels right’ and the answer was loud and clear: ‘Do the film’. So I went ahead and did it,” she said.

In The Dirty Picture, which was a semi-biographical story of the controversial actor Silk Smitha, Vidya played a small-town girl who comes to Chennai to try her luck in films. Her character, Silk, embraces her sexuality and does not hesitate to use it to get what she wants.

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Vidya said that she felt quite comfortable wearing skimpy outfits in The Dirty Picture, as she was not expected to have the ‘perfect body’. “You know, as a child, my mom had made me wear shorts and everyone teased me because I was really fat. After that, I had never worn shorts in my life. And during the first costume trials, Niharika Singh gave me a pair of hot shorts/hot pants and I came out in that and I actually felt fully okay.”

During the dance rehearsals, the choreographer kept asking Vidya to ‘thrust’ more, she said. “So I think slowly I was letting go of my inhibitions and maybe that’s why when I wore the shorts and walked out I was fine. Because there was no expectation of being perfect. I was not expected to have the perfect body in the shorts. Because Silk was big,” she said.

The Dirty Picture, which came out in 2011, also starred Emraan Hashmi, Tusshar Kapoor and Naseeruddin Shah. Vidya won a National Award for Best Actress for her performance and the film was a huge box office success.

Vidya was last seen as maths wizard Shakuntala Devi in a biopic directed by Anu Menon. The film, which got a direct-to-digital release on Amazon Prime Video, received a mixed to positive response from critics. It also starred Sanya Malhotra, Jisshu Sengupta and Amit Sadh in pivotal roles.

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