I believe every film has it's own fate - Vidya Balan | Exclusive Interview

She came, she saw and she conquered! Vidya Balan has been one of the few successful leading female actors, who has made it this far without any godfather in the industry. Despite multiple awards in her kitty and memorable characters that any female actor would give her tooth and nail for, the actress is always on the look out for more challenging roles. Be it Silk, Krishna, Parineeta or Vidya Bagchi; the actress stands out for her flawless portrayal of daring characters and is undoubtedly one of the finest performers that Bollywood could ever have. With her latest and certainly the most intriguing sequel - Kahaani 2 coming up, Vidya is leaving no stone unturned to build some buzz around the film and encourage the audience to watch it. In between multiple city tours and hectic activities, we caught up with Vidya (looking stylish as ever) on a quiet Monday afternoon at the Pen India office in suburban Mumbai. In a freewheling chat, the actress discusses Kahaani 2, her rapport with Sujoy Ghosh and why she has always been drawn towards strong, demanding characters.

Both Vidya Sinha and Durga Rani Singh (Kahaani 2) are a breakaway from Kahaani's Vidya Bagchi. What was your experience of playing these two roles?
Durga Rani Singh is an extremely powerful character, while Vidya Sinha has a few shades of the character most people call, Bidya Bagchi (smiles) from Kahaani. But, they are not similar at all. Kahaani 2 is not a direct sequel to the first film and the story is completely different. The two avatars in Kahaani 2 have nothing to do with Bagchi. Also, that's one reason why Sujoy has picked a completely different cast for this film. Dono kahaaniyon mein zameen aasmaan ka farak hain. 

How would you define the two characters that you play in this film?
In Durga Rani Singh's case, what you see is not what you get. She is extremely complicated and prefers living in her own world. She doesn't like interacting with people. But, an incident changes her life forever. She is accused of kidnapping someone, par yeh kahan tak sach hain kisiko nahin pata. You will have to watch the film to unravel the mystery that is both Durga and Vidya.

How different is Vidya Balan from your characters - Vidya Bagchi and Durga Rani Singh?
I think I would never be able to keep a secret for so long, like Vidya Bagchi (laughs). Mere pet mein kuch rahega hi nahin. In that sense, I am very different from Bagchi. As far as Durga is concerned, I can't keep to myself. I need people around me, which is completely opposite to Durga's personality. She really wants to invisible and almost non-existential for the world. I am not like that that at all. I love being around, interacting with and hanging out with people. After all, I am an actor. So, I definitely think we are poles apart.

She (Durga Rani Singh) is extremely complicated and prefers living in her own world

You are also seen sporting a de-glam avatar in the film.
Honestly, I never see a character or her avatar as glamorous or de-glam. I just do whatever is right for the character. I am who I am, but if I can transform into a different person through make-up, hairstyle or outfits, then it's very exciting for me. I am all charged up to don any look. Looking glamorous all the time is not even a consideration in my head.

Was it always planned to have a sequel without any connect to the first film?
After Kahaani, Sujoy discussed several ideas that he thought could suit Kahaani 2. But, none of the ideas really worked for us. More so, we didn't think it could make the cut as a sequel to Kahaani. That's when we thought it's difficult to take Vidya Bagchi's story forward and decided let it go. Durga Rani Singh was originally planned to be a completely different film. It was only last year that Sujoy came up to me with an idea and said that it had the potential to be Kahaani 2. Even then I wasn't very keen. However, I read the idea and realised that it was perfect. Ab yeh kyun perfect hain, for that you will have to watch the film (smiles). All I can say is that this film carries the essence of Kahaani. So, if there ever was a film that could be Kahaani 2 without being a sequel, it was this story.

If I can transform into a different person through make-up, hairstyle or outfits, then it's very exciting for me

Every powerful character brings with it a set of challenges. In Kahaani 2, you are essaying two such characters. What were the challenges like for you?
Honestly, I love challenges. The very fact that my character is so unseemingly complicated, that's what made it tough and exciting. Woh jaisi dikhti hain vaisi hain nahin, and to maintain that throughout the film was tricky. There is also a slight obsessive streak in her. In my career so far, I have never portrayed a character with this kind of a streak. So, if I see something new and interesting, I just love it and grab the opportunity without any hesitation. Apart from that, I didn't really face any difficulty as such.

Would that also be since both you and Sujoy share a great rapport and understand each other?
Absolutely! Sujoy's scripts are perfect and has everything. As an actor, Adha aapka kaam vahin ho jaata hain, aur adha performance mein. It helps that we understand each other very well. A lot of things work out without any discussions. We don't do any kind of preparation before the shoot. Adha samay toh hum bakwaas kar rahe hote hain (laughs).

 I love challenges. The very fact that my character in Kahaani 2 is so unseemingly complicated, that's what made it tough and exciting

Promotions are an essential part of a film's pre-release stage. You have always promoted your films in a unique way, but how involved are you in deciding these activities or events?
In my eleven year career so far, I have always been actively involved in promotional activities. I am always ready to promote the film full on, even if that means standing on top on a high rise building and screaming - "Kahaani 2 is releasing on December 2." I recently promoted the film on Bigg Boss and enjoyed every bit of it. In fact, this is the third time I have promoted my film on the show. However, some events or shows don't work out for me. Like someone asked me if I would go on Comedy Nights Bachao. I don't think I will be able to stomach some of those jokes. You should be able to go there, only if you know you won't feel offended. Honestly, I don't think I am that cool to not feel offended at some point or the other. They may pick a sore point and perhaps, that may hurt you. It's humane. But otherwise, I always go all out to promote my films, even if that involves changing my look.

Demonetisation has been an important issue, especially with recent films getting affected. What are your thoughts on this and how do you look at box office numbers?
I am not a fatalist, but I believe every film has it's own fate. We have made the film and now, it's up to the audience to watch and accept the film. Of course it is heart breaking to see your film not doing well, so box office numbers are very important. We all want the audience to go out and watch the film. For me, that's what BO success really is. All of us put in a lot of effort and if people don't watch it, you do feel bad. For a lot of other people, it's the numbers and clubs. But, I don't understand the business of cinema in that sense. Just the fact that lakhs of people have seen your film or the shows are running full, woh sunke jo sukoon milta hain is very special. As far as demonetisation is concerned, that's not something I am worried about. It was mostly films that were released in the first 1-2 weeks that were affected, but now things are better. Last week's release - Dear Zindagi has performed quite well. So, the situation is definitely looking good.

Most characters that you have played on screen are extremely powerful, be it Silk, Vidya or a Krishna. How has your experience of essaying such strong characters been so far?
You know, they say that when you really want something, the universe conspires to get it for you. For me, it's been a two way street. Strong, women oriented films veer towards me and I am drawn towards them. I am trying to find my feet, realise my work and value with every passing day. Perhaps, that's why I get drawn to stories where the women are doing something similar.

The Kahaani franchise cannot be imagined without you. But, if you were to choose someone else to portray these characters, who would it be?
Err.. then there would be no Kahaani, because I would shoot Sujoy Ghosh (laughs).

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  1. Neha ChattopadhyayDecember 02, 2016

    Love ur interviews
    They are so indepth and natural
    Loved this chat with Vidya

  2. VidyaBalan FanForeverDecember 02, 2016

    She is the best Thank u for this beautiful write up ❤❤❤❤

  3. Vidya Balan FCDecember 02, 2016

    Her fine performance in Kahaani left a deep impact. So bindaas and lovely. Need to do more films. This is her best interview this year. Thank u for this.



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Priya Adivarekar

Priya Adivarekar - Founder and Creative Director at Diary of a Dancebee. She is also a renowned Voice Actress and award winning artiste, with serious passion for dance. When not working round the clock, she can be seen reading, enjoying a movie-binge or listening to music.
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