A new chapter

Actress Vidya Balan who brought in her birthday on January 1, plans to travel more, make her presence felt on the new media and indulge in some data detox every now and then. Here’s looking at the actress who, after a career lull in 2014, is raring to go in the New Year

Written by Priyanka Sinha Jha | Mumbai | Updated: January 9, 2015 1:00:34 am

Vidya Balan Vidya Balan

Do you make New Year resolutions?

I have stopped making resolutions because I realise the moment I say I am not doing something, I end up doing it on the very first day of the year. It’s almost as if, I don’t like knowing that something is off-limits. I am, you know, a rebel without a cause (laughs). So no resolutions for me. I am in a better space though, health-wise and mentally too. I had gone through a few tough months (healthwise), so I am glad that all that’s behind me and now, I am feeling healthy and refreshed.

Is there anything in particular that you are looking forward to in this year?

There’s no agenda as such, but what I am looking forward to in the New Year are more exciting scripts. I won’t say there is a dearth of good scripts, but I haven’t come across anything that has excited me for a while now. There are two-three scripts that are under consideration, and it’s going to be a toss-up between them. I also hope to travel this year. The past year was not that great on travel. Siddharth (Roy Kapur) and I have begun to enjoy travelling and exploring new places.

Tell us about something special that you usually do on your birthday that falls on January 1?

Birthday plans are always about being with Siddharth and the family—to go home and wake my parents, even if they are asleep and ask them to ‘wish me’!

Are you finally getting on to the new media bandwagon—Twitter and Facebook etc?

So many people have been asking me to sign up for Twitter. I have been thinking about it, so I might just relent. In the past year, I have had regular people come up and ask me, ‘Why aren’t you on any social networking site? There is so much that we would like to chat with you about.’
I have always wondered about what I am going to Tweet. But may be, there is something to it. It could happen that I might disappear after the first tweet, but so what? I should at least give it a shot. So that is perhaps the only resolution for me— to be more connected.

After a spate of successive hits like The Dirty Picture and Kahaani, your recent films didn’t work. Did that affect you?

Oh yes! When Ghanchakkar didn’t work, it really affected me because I had given five back-to-back hugely acclaimed hits, and then the Ghanchakkar fiasco happened. It was a shocker. With Shaadi Ke Side Effects, I dealt with it in a better manner. I still feel Bobby Jasoos is one of those films wherein we put our best efforts. The entire team was in touch with each other, and we wondered why the film wasn’t working. But we also knew that we had done all we could. A lot of people told us that it was because we had positioned a human interest story as a detective film. But even if that was true, there’s nothing much that could be done. It’s not that I was not disappointed, it’s just that I dealt with it in a better manner, though it’s never easy when a film is riding on you. Luckily, I was in a better frame of mind, so I wasn’t personalising anything. It’s not being thick-skinned, but you learn to deal with such things.
What’s interesting is that 2014 was the year of women-centric films. Someone told me a few days ago that I had started the trend. I don’t mean to take credit for it because it is a function of the times — we are ready for these kind of films. This year several women-centric films worked but Bobby Jasoos didn’t, so it really depends on many elements. In a strange way even though I didn’t believe when people kept saying that I had started the trend, somewhere, I was scared. I kept feeling that the bubble will burst and it did.
Ups and downs, ebbs and flows happen, and it validates some of your beliefs. It’s also humbling, but nothing that I wouldn’t stand by. That’s a consolation that I still stand by each one of my films. I hope that Hamaari Adhuri Kahaani works and that people really love it.

A year older now , would you say you are wiser?

(Laughs). I have said this a while ago that after marriage, I actually began to feel that I was becoming younger. And now, I feel that I have a certain weightlessness, not literally but figuratively. May be with increasing age, there’s decrease in pressure. That’s making me feel lighter and joyous. About my films not working — firstly, there is no existential crisis at this point. I realise that a film depends on so many variables so, when things don’t go well, you realise that you are not the only one responsible for its fate. May be, I have reached a stage where success and failure is affecting me less. And after going through a spate of success and then going through this low phase, may be I have become a lot more ambivalent about these things.

Bobby Jassos had you sport multiple disguises. What’s the one you resort to when you are stepping out?

(Laughs). I have actually gone to marketplace with my hair falling on my face. That worked because you realise that in Mumbai people are so busy that they don’t have the time to stop and stare. And then when you cover your face with your hair, they just think of you as some whacko chick walking around. The other interesting thing is that even if they saw you, by the time it strikes them, you pass them by. So, I have had those reactions a lot of times and it’s been great fun. I could go everywhere. I could do all the things I want to do. There’s a friend who’s got a bike; I don’t drive it, but I sit pillion and we ride off sometimes. People give her those looks which say, what’s a girl doing, driving a bike? And then you have someone sitting peeche, who is completely dhakoed with a dupatta and you can barely see my eyes. It’s great fun.

What’s next and is there any likelihood of you collaborating with Sujoy Ghosh again on Durga Rani Singh?

Like I said earlier, there are two-three scripts which I am considering. I opted out of Durga Rani Singh because of health reasons. I don’t know what the status is on the movie, but I am definitely not doing it. Honestly, as things stand I have no news from him (Sujoy) at all. I have been threatening to do a Marathi film for the longest time. As I have been born and brought up in Mumbai, my Marathi is as good as my mother tongue. There are some very interesting scripts (for Marathi films), so I just might do it, although some things are still being worked out.

priyanka.sinha@expressindia.com

 

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