Joined: 21 June 2005
An astounding movie for a debut, two awards in the first year in the industry and three important films in the kitty will give even the most modest of people a swagger, if not a football-sized attitude.
But not Vidya Balan.
Shorter than what she appears on screen, Balan is the typical girl next door. Yet, none of this takes away from her the aura of a brilliant acting talent.
Balan talks to Krishna Kumar about her forthcoming releases, what Parineeta has done to her life and more. Excerpts:
About her forthcoming releases
I am doing three films at the moment.
Munnabhai Meets Mahatma, with director Rajkumar Hirani and Sanjay Dutt. I loved Munnabhai MBBS. It is a genre by itself. I found the movie very funny; it choked you!
I wasn't even in movies when it came out. So, I was really thrilled when the offer came along.
I play Sanjay Dutt's love interest in Munnabhai Meets Mahatma. The characters Munna and Circuit are there in this movie also, but it is not a sequel to Munnabhai MBBS.
One of the great things about the film is that everyone sees it as a fresh film, including Rajkumar Hirani. The entire team is so charged up! It's really infectious and brings the best out of you.
Eklavya is set in a small town in Rajasthan. I play Saif Ali Khan's love interest. The similarity between the character I play in this movie and the one I played in Parineeta is that both are traditional.
All the characters are true-to-life Rajasthani characters. Like in Parineeta, I don't have the typical song and dance routine here.
And though I don't share screen space with Amitabh Bachchan, I got a chance to speak to him. He praised me for my work in Parineeta. For him to even acknowledge me was a very humbling experience.
Nikhil Advani's Salaam-e-Ishq is very different from Parineeta, Eklavya and Munnabhai. It is an urban love story, which revolves around the love stories of six couples.
John Abraham and I play one of them.
I've always wanted the song and dance routine secretly, and I have it here. I am looking forward to it.
Now, I have graduated to movies from ads and music videos. I graduated to movies late. I got Parineeta on a golden platter.
I think people who debut at an early age have had to wait a few years to get that kind of a role. In that way, I am very happy. I can go to my grave with this one!
On her Pakistan visit
I was in Karachi last month for the launch of the Urdu version of a children's book called Mo's Star. It has been written by London-based international lawyer Mahnaz Malik.
The proceeds of the book sale will go towards educating underprivileged kids in Pakistan.
At the launch, I read out from the Urdu version. I have always liked the language. Before the launch, I had worked on my Urdu.
There, I also met the director Michael Radford. His Il Postino is one of my all time favourites. When I introduced myself to him, he said that on knowing that I was one of those invited for the launch, he had read up about me on the Internet. It was such a humbling experience.
Though everyone compares Karachi with Mumbai and Lahore with Delhi, I felt Karachi was more like Delhi than Mumbai. The city was very beautiful, the roads were clean and wide and most of all, the language those people speak is more like what you hear in North India than Mumbai.
They are pretty much cued into what is happening in Bollywood. Most people I met asked me about Mr [Amitabh] Bachchan and the latest gossip.
Rajneeti is my first role with grey shades: Ranbir
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