‘Don’t need a break­through’

Ac­tor Vidya Balan says she chooses char­ac­ters for the ir­re­sistible power they ex­ude

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Monika Rawal Kukreja monika.rawal@htlive.com

Ac­tor Vidya Balan (above) has never fol­lowed any set norms; she has bro­ken stereo­types with her path­break­ing char­ac­ters. Her choice of films ap­pears to be driven by a sub­con­scious need to do some­thing dif­fer­ent and achieve a break­through. But Vidya thinks oth­er­wise. “I don’t need a break­through. I don’t choose char­ac­ters, they choose me,” she says (laughs). “I do roles that em­power me and that I find ir­re­sistible for the power they ex­ude,” she adds. Vidya’s tal­ent and her power as a woman was given free rein by the script in her films such as The Dirty Pic­ture (2011) or Ka­haani (2012). Strongly feel­ing that women to­day need to be more vo­cal about what they feel, Vidya says that she tries to build that con­nect through her roles.

“As women, we feel the need to com­pen­sate some­where. We feel a bit awk­ward about be­ing pow­er­ful. We feel we have to tone it down. That makes me an­gry. We’re told, ‘Don’t raise your voice, girls don’t do that.’ That anger was pent up in me, which I hadn’t ex­pressed as I was sup­pressed. So I needed a role where I could give ex­pres­sion to my anger,” she says of her lat­est film, Begum Jaan.

This char­ac­ter, says Vidya, is some­thing of what she’d like to be in real life. “She stands on her own feet, doesn’t de­pend on any­one. She can put up a fight alone,” says Vidya, who is proud to be part of this new phase of In­dian cinema. Is Begum Jaan ad­di­tion to that stream of films? “I don’t want to make any tall state­ments about my role but per­son­ally speak­ing, it’s one-of-a-kind films. That char­ac­ter has got at­ti­tude like what I’ve not seen be­fore, on screen or off it, in any woman. Play­ing it has helped me come to terms with my own power as a woman [and as a per­son],” she says.

PHOT: PRODIP GUHA/HT

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