With one National Award and a plethora of stand-out performances to her credit in her over a decade career, one would think Vidya Balan would not be very comfortable taking directions from the filmmakers she collaborates with now, as is the case with many top stars, who think they know enough to be told what to do. But Vidya, who will soon get seen in Tumhari Sulu, has observed it is the other way around, wherein directors become so lazy once they have a star headlining their project that they put the onus on the actors to lift even their poor scripts.
During a session at Jio MAMI Movie Mela with Star, Vidya, while discussing her upcoming film, Tumhari Sulu, where the actor has been directed by debutant Suresh Triveni, said she loved the fact that the filmmaker pushed her out of her comfort zone.
“I love it when directors direct me. A lot of times it happens that with success, a lot of directors get complacent and lazy with actors. Sometimes with half-baked scripts, they will convince you that you will fill in the gaps. Sometimes, even if it is all there, on the set, they let you be because of who you are. But when I met Suresh, I was so happy that he was pushing me. That is very important. Of course, I love the fact that you have faith in me and you think I am capable of doing everything but I am an actor and you are the director so, you should direct me. Even on ad films, I tell people, ‘I don’t mind doing 20 retakes but just push me’,” Vidya said.
At the session, held on Saturday, the actor also spoke about five of her favourite characters from Hindi cinema. Talking about the character of Seema Sahini from Mr India, played by Sridevi, Vidya could not stop gushing about the veteran actor. “I don’t think there’s anything that Sridevi can’t do. You can’t do a Charlie Chaplin, but look at the way she did. Generally, directors don’t visualise physical comedy well for female actors but you are blown away when you see Sridevi doing what she did in Mr India. And the fact that she is so shy in real life shows what a fantastic actor she is,” Vidya said.
The team of Tumhari Sulu, which is a light-hearted story of a housemaker-turned-late night radio jockey, has paid a tribute to Sridevi by having Vidya dance on her iconic number, “Hawa Hawaii” (from Mr India). Vidya said that when she first heard the idea, she freaked out. “You can’t do ‘Hawa Hawaii’. I told these people that are they mad that they want me to do that? But they had already bought the rights and we decided to go for it.” The film also stars Neha Dhupia and Manav Kaul, and is slated to release on November 24.