HOLLYWOOD BOLLYWOOD VIDYA ISN’T ‘CHASING’ HOLLYWOOD
The actor says she’s not someone who has ever had to ask for work
Vidya Balan (right) is not running any race — certainly not one that leads to Hollywood. At a time when Bollywood actors are making their foray or finding their footing in the West, Vidya is content with her share of work in Indian cinema. “The only thing that guides my decision is the role, the stories that come to me. That could be from any part of the world — Iran, Pakistan, Korea, China — and I am open to it,” says Vidya, whose recent release, Begum Jaan, failed to make an impact at the box office.
The 38-year-old insists that she “isn’t actively seeking roles in Hollywood” because things work differently there. “You have to have an agent [there] among other things. I don’t even know the process correctly. I’m not someone who has ever had to ask for work, thankfully, but also not that I think there’s anything wrong in it. Somehow, it has just happened like that.”
What does she think of her Bollywood contemporaries Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone who have successfully made a mark in international cinema? While Deepika starred in this year’s big Hollywood release, xXx: Return of Xander Cage, alongside Vin Diesel, Priyanka will be seen in an upcoming Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron-starrer. The two have also made their presence felt at international award dos. Vidya says: “It feels great that they are doing mainstream work [in Hollywood] because for a person of colour — like they [people in the West] call those who are not whiteskinned — to have broken into the mainstream is a big step forward. And they’re both playing substantial roles.”
Vidya admits that Hollywood has a global reach, but this doesn’t entice her enough. Mention that unlike in Bollywood, an actor’s age is rarely a hindrance in one’s career in the West, and the Kahaani (2012) star says: “As long as the doors of cinema are open to me, and they will be till I want them to, I am fine. Hollywood is not something I’m chasing.”