Exclusive: Kangana is a mad actor; look at what she's done with the Haryanvi character: Vidya Balan

  • 24
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • Share on whatsapp

Vidya Balan’s honesty & unconditional praise for her fellow actors is charming; as is her full throated laugh. She will play a woman breaking away from conventions for love in ‘Hamari Adhuri Kahani’ and the trailers already promise a complete dose of her brilliant acting . Archita Kashyap catches up with the original breakaway heroine of present day Bollywood.

It’s a role that involves unrequited love; you had a strong, well written script to work with. But your character is close to real women so did you use other material/ influences to develop it?

The material was really the script. It’s a script written by Mahesh Bhatt (saab) so pretty much everything was on paper. But it’s very layered and repeated readings of the script will give the right tone to you. Not just that, in real life we do all have unfinished stories so that aspect wasn’t difficult.

I would say what proved to be a bit of a challenge was to actually believe that there are women like Vasudha. I think all of us are independent working woman . Here she is someone who is giving in at every stage. She is standing by her man and gives in to everything that he demands and he owns her. Bhatt Saab told me that actually this is every second woman’s story. I thought maybe that would be true for the uneducated. But actually when I began to look around, I saw that there were lots of people living in such situations- among educated and financially well off sections too.

In this film, the husband thinks she is his property; and however educated or liberated you are, I think somewhere women often derive their identity from the father/ husband or even brother. Despite women moving forward, centuries of pre conditioning influences how we think and perceive ourselves. Vasudha is a middle class working woman from a traditional background; who has been told right from the beginning that once you get married your last remains will leave from your husband’s home. For me to reconcile to her reality and to become the character was challenging as I had to be convinced about it! As actors it’s always this tussle between our reality & our beliefs and that of the characters.

I suddenly realized that one of my own friends, from a close circle, was leaving her husband after 6 years of marriage. She admitted that she had been beaten up for all this time! I kept asking her why she would subject herself to this- and she said that he was wonderful most times; she had learned to live with it.

In this film, which sounds intense, you have worked with Rajkummar Rao who is a younger actor but a great performer. And you reunite with Emraan Hashmi in it. Tell us about working with them.

With Rajkummar Rao, we had met once at my residence with Mohit Suri. Then we headed out to South Africa. With Emraan Hashmi, I have a comfort level. I love the idea of being in love and falling in love. Those bits weren’t difficult.

It wasn’t just intense- there are layers in the film. Each character has a backstory and that influences their characters. Despite having such a good script, we never knew if we were indeed going to make a great film together. We approached this film with a fair bit of nervousness; all of us. On this one, all of us were trying to do what felt right.

Rajkummar and me on set, a natural chemistry happened; just as actors who literally feed off each other. We have some interesting scenes. There’s one scene when I confess to him that I am in love with someone else. That scene plays out very realistically. First there is the Why bit, why does my character do it. Then there are tears (pauses). There is anger and then there is pain. It was great fun actually!

With Emraan, I have a comfort level and we don’t really need to rediscover each other. We know each other’s ways as actors. But I will say this- on this film, I got to see another side of Emraan as an actor; a more vulnerable side. Normally he gets roles where he is always in control. Here he starts off like that and then he begins to lose control and lets emotions takes over.

I think Emraan cries beautifully (laughs); I have never seen him get so emotional onscreen before.

‘Hamari Adhuri Kahani’ is also a mature love story. We haven’t had a pure love story onscreen for some time now- the last one was ‘Aashiqui 2’. This film is about the love of mature people; previously we have had an ‘Aandhi’ or a ‘Silsila’ but it’s been some time since that kind of love has been shown. Finally we have this story again, which means again, such kind of subjects is being made.

In the last two years, films with strong heroine parts have done very well and have been appreciated. You are the forerunner of such films; you sort of began this trend. Considering success of heroines is also publicized & hyped a lot more these days, which wasn’t your style, how do you view this trend?

You know, as a matter of fact, about two years ago I told my publicist that I will take a break. I don’t know; I am very private person and as much as I am a sucker for appreciation and attention, at times I feel the need to just distance myself from all that the surrounding noise and cut off. And she reacted with a lot of surprise. She said, “are you serious? For there is so much happening!”

And I said, that if all of this is happening then it would happen anyway; I don’t need to keep highlighting anything. So I guess each one has their own style.

But I feel very happy that these kinds of films are being made. I have watched each one of this films- from Dum Laga Ke Haisha, to NH 10, to Piku, to Tanu Weds Manu Returns. Each film is did was very different from the other. For me, all of this started with The Dirty Picture, and Kahaani but I actually think it began before that with Ishqiya & ‘No one Killed Jessica’. All four of these were dramatically different stories telling dramatically different stories. Now the scope has increased even more. It is very exciting.

You have a ‘Dum Laga Ke Haisha’ where the female protagonist is actually a fat girl who is unapologetic about her weight. And she was so beautiful! And what is even more interesting is that they didn’t make a big deal about it during the narration although pretty much everything that is happening in the film is happening because of her weight.. That’s how it is in real life too; no one actually points fingers and tells you anything directly! It’s all in the sub text.

Even in NH 10, the woman is more powerful than five antagonists. And the way she did and the fact that she produced this film was amazing.

I watched ‘Piku’- again, can you imagine a film that spoke so much about potty five years ago? (Laughs) And then look at Kangana in ‘Tanu Weds Manu Returns’! She is a mad actor; look at what she has done with the Haryanvi character.

So when people say I deserve some of the credit, I feel great. I always say that I was just a hungry actor and grabbed all the opportunities that I got. Even if 0.05 percent of that credit comes to me, I feel on top of the world.

I also feel that change is gradually happening not just here in India but around the world and that’s reflecting in our cinema. And then again, you have a ‘Hamari Adhuri Kahani’ where you have a traditional woman breaking the shackles of convention not because she chose the life she leads, but because she was told she has to lead it. We are hopefully, letting go of these constraints.

Stay updated with the latest entertainment,fashion and lifestyle news. Get our Newsletter


Add new comment

Pinkvilla has updated its Privacy and Cookie policy. We use cookies to improve your experience on our site and show you Personalized advertisement.


Pinkvilla has updated its Privacy and Cookie policy. We use cookies to improve your experience on our site and show you Personalized advertisement