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Vidya Balan: I would like to spy on Narendra Modi

Last updated on: July 01, 2014 18:38 IST

Vidya Balan: I would like to spy on Narendra Modi

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Sonil Dedhia/Rediff.com in Mumbai

'I'm not a big fan of detective stories. I guess that is why I liked the story of Bobby Jasoos. Detective films are exciting and thrilling but ours is a simple aspirational story.'

Vidya Balan talks about her latest film.

Vidya Balan is perhaps the only actress in Bollywood, who doesn't care to be in a film starring the Khans.

For her, the most important cast member is... well, herself!

Vidya's next film Bobby Jasoos sees her play a detective, who loves to put on baffling disguises. From an astrologer to a beggar, she's played it all in the film.

Bobby Jasoos will release on July 4.

Vidya talks to Sonil Dedhia about film, why she likes to play unconventional roles and why she would like to spy on her husband!

Your last two films Ghanchakkar and  Shaadi Ke Side Effects did not do well at the box office. Is there pressure for you to deliver a hit with Bobby Jasoos?

No. They are different films altogether.

In my career of nine years, I have understood that you can’t predict the fate of a film. You can only do your best and leave the rest to the audience.

I get involved with every film but for Bobby Jasoos, everyone has gone that extra mile. I hope people will embrace it with open arms.

They say in Bollywood an actor is as good as his or her last film

This is true for newcomers, as they are trying to establish themselves. I have passed the stage where I feel the pressure to do certain things.

As an actor, I don’t have any insecurities. I am secure about the relationship with my work.

For established actors, I feel you could be as good as your last film in terms of bargaining power or price.

Every actor goes through successes and failures. Every film will not do the same kind of business so I don’t think it affects the credibility of an actor.

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Image: Vidya Balan
Photographs: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

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'Kangna is an extremely bold and brave person'

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Apart from the films that you have done, is there any film or actress that has caught your attention by doing something different?

Kangna (Ranaut) has really caught my attention. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen Queen but I heard she is unbelievable.

I’ve always liked Kangna. She was incredible in Fashion. She is an extremely bold and brave person. It is interesting to see the kind of work she is doing.

Your character Bobby in Bobby Jasoos has to prove herself to her parents. Was it the same with you when you told your parents that you wanted to become an actor?

My father has always supported me but my mother was a little hesitant.

She wasn’t sure about it because we are not from this industry. But despite her reservations, she eventually supported me.

She came to shoots just to ensure I was safe. Now, I can take care of myself.


Image: Vidya Balan in Bobby Jasoos


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'I am someone who gets bored easily so I need to do different things'

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Your choice of films has been pretty unconventional.

I don’t understand the difference between conventional and unconventional. I am someone, who gets bored easily so I need to do different things.

An actor gets to live the life of a different person on screen. I have got the opportunity to do a variety of roles and I am picking up the best of the opportunities that are coming my way.

As an actress, I keep hunting for different roles. Sanjeev Kumar is one of my favourite actors and he was so versatile.

Someone told me Sanjeev Kumar is the only actor who played as many as nine roles in Naya Din Nai Raat. To get nine different roles in one film... isn’t that amazing?

We don’t see other actresses doing out-of-the-box films like you…

May be they don’t get bored easily. May be their attention span is better (laughs). I just get very fidgety.


Image: Vidya Balan in Bobby Jasoos


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'I feel blessed to have found a partner like Siddharth'

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Do you get bored easily in your personal life? Does your husband (Siddharth Roy Kapur) complain about it?

No, he doesn’t (laughs). We don’t do the same things over and over again. But I do complain to him about the regular things.

It is said that a lot of things change after marriage. What changes do you see in yourself?

I don’t see any changes. I am living with Siddharth and it is beautiful.

I never imagined how it would be to live with another person as all my life I have lived with my parents.

He is a very chilled out person. So there is no surprise or shock for us. We both respect the passion that we have for what we do.

We are not expecting to change anyone. I feel blessed to have found a partner like Siddharth.

Which of your films is Siddharth’s favourite?

He is very proud and supportive of my career. He loves Kahaani and has watched it quite a few times.

Coincidentally, Parineeta was his first film as a producer with UTV and it was my first film as an actor.

We did not know each other then, but I guess we were destined to be together. The universe was already conspiring for us.


Image: Siddharth Roy Kapur and Vidya Balan
Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani/Rediff.com

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'I am not a big fan of detective stories'

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Bollywood has a sudden affinity for detective films. There is Ranbir Kapoor’s Jagga Jasoos and Sushant Singh Rajput’s Detective Bymokesh Bakshi coming up…

That’s because there are too many scams (laughs).

The general mood is that people want accountability from politicians, using of right to information act, so they (people) want to unearth scams and wrong doing, and so there is scope for detective films.

It is a genre that is tried from time to time but it has not fascinated beyond a point.

How did you prepare for the detective role in Bobby Jasoos?

I watched some television shows and read books. Those were the only references. The director had every possible information I needed about detectives.

I called up some detective agencies before I began shooting to ask them how they approach cases. I told them about a fake case and wanted to know what questions they would ask to solve the case.

Are you a big fan of detective stories?

No. I guess that is why I liked the story of Bobby Jasoos. Detective films are exciting and thrilling but ours is a simple aspirational story.

Unlike most detective films, Bobby Jasoos has fun elements, along with the thrills. My character is a pataka and is very vibrant.


Image: Vidya Balan in Bobby Jasoos


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'The toughest disguise was where I play a maulvi'

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Was it easy for you to shoot on the streets of Hyderabad as you were always disguised and no one would recognise you?

Yes, it was pretty easy. I remember once I was disguised as a maulvi (a muslim scholar) and we were all standing outside with the film unit.

A lot of people had gathered to watch the shoot. They became curious when they came to know that Vidya Balan was shooting and started asking when I would arrive, even though I was right there!

There was another incident when we troubled a crew member. I was disguised as a jyotish (astrologer) and the hair-dresser told the junior artiste that I was a theatre artiste who was Dia Mirza's friend. So he gave me a day’s work and would often shout at me.

When he realised that it was me, he was almost in tears. It was really fun to shoot for the film.

How did your family react when they saw the first look of the film?

My family couldn’t believe it, but they loved it. I remember the first photograph that came out of the film had me disguised as a beggar.

My family knew that I was shooting for Bobby Jasoos in Hyderabad but they knew nothing more. When the photograph came in the newspapers my father kept looking at it and felt he knows the person but couldn’t recognise me.

When he read my name in the caption, he was shocked. Everyone in my family, including Siddharth, was pleasantly surprised seeing me look different.

Which was your toughest and easiest disguise?

The toughest one was the maulvi. It wasn’t really tough but I was a bit awkward because I had a prosthetic nose to make it look broad. There was a wig, beard and moustache too.

There were too many things on me and I had to run a lot which made me breathless. It was my most challenging look.

The most fun was of the jyotish. I was half bald, with moustache and dirty teeth. I enjoyed that because I kept looking at myself and laughing.


Image: Vidya Balan in Bobby Jasoos


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'I think I should spy on Siddharth'

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Given a chance, who would you like to do jasoosi on?

I would love to spy on Narendra Modi. I really want to know what’s going through his head after getting this kind of a majority. I want to know how he is planning to do all that he has promised for our country. How is he going to deliver all that and I want to be the first one to know.

I would also like to spy on Amitabh Bachchan. Despite being a public figure for more than 40 years, he has that aura of mystery about him.

We are all fans of his work. I remember the promo of Sarkar where only his waving hand was shown. Even if I wasn’t told who the person was, I would have recognised him by that hand.

We know everything about him but yet we don’t know so much about him. Since the time I was a child I was a fan of his. I want to know more about him.

Wouldn’t you like to spy on Siddharth?

Yes, I think I should spy on him. But since we stay together, I know everything about him.

Maybe I want to know how he is at work. We have not seen each other at work.


Image: Vidya Balan in Bobby Jasoos


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'I have never looked for films where I can work with certain actors'

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There are many actresses who aspire to work with the Khans. You haven’t worked with any of them. Do you feel you have missed out?

No. There has to be a script that has enough for me to do, it has to be exciting for me.

I have never looked for films where I can work with certain actors.

I have never planned my career I have only responded to scripts that came my way. I am very happy with the kind of work I am doing.

Were you ever offered a film with the Khans and you rejected it?

No, I have not really got offers and not in the past seven years.

But if you had a chance to do a film with the Khans, what kind of film would it be?

Honestly, I don’t see myself fitting into those kinds of films.

You mean the commercial masala entertainers?

Yes. I think there is nothing exciting for me to do in such films. It has to offer me something different and exciting.

I only think about myself and not who else is there in the film.


Image: Vidya Balan in Bobby Jasoos

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