‘Sex­ual ha­rass­ment is not some­thing that peo­ple feel com­fort­able talk­ing about’

Vidya Balan opens up about Bol­ly­wood’s big si­lence on the dis­cus­sion of sex­ual ha­rass­ment. She also talks about the joy of play­ing a late night ra­dio jockey in Tumhari Sulu re­leas­ing this Thurs­day in UAE theatres

Khaleej Times - City Times - - YOUR DAILY DOSE OF BOLLYWOOD - ARTI DANI arti@khalee­j­times.com

I am against giv­ing out a mes­sage or preach­ing in any­way through my film. I sign a film when I feel that I want to live this per­son’s life through my film.” Vidya Balan

IT IS AN open se­cret that the cast­ing couch has been part of the In­dian film in­dus­try but it is sad that the in­dus­try is silent about its preda­tors whereas in Hol­ly­wood more and more vic­tims are nam­ing and sham­ing their as­saulters. While talk­ing to City Times, Vidya Balan said that women take time to talk about sex­ual ha­rass­ment. “I do think that this dis­cus­sion is re­ally im­por­tant. I def­i­nitely think that peo­ple are open­ing up be­cause you re­alise that Hol­ly­wood ac­tresses are amongst the most pow­er­ful in the world and yet they have kept quiet for so long. That’s be­cause sex­ual ha­rass­ment is not some­thing that peo­ple, es­pe­cially women, feel com­fort­able talk­ing about but fi­nally they are talk­ing about it. In In­dia, of late we have been talk­ing about var­i­ous is­sues that should be talked about, which we were ear­lier not talk­ing about. So I don’t see why women should not be nam­ing and sham­ing peo­ple who are per­pe­tra­tors of sex­ual ha­rass­ment.” Vidya was talk­ing to us while pro­mot­ing her up­com­ing film Tumhari Sulu where she plays the role of a home­maker who takes up the job of a late night ra­dio jockey. We asked her if she is con­sciously sign­ing films that are about fe­male em­pow­er­ment. “Hon­estly, no. I am against giv­ing out a mes­sage or preach­ing in any­way through my film. I sign a film when I feel that I want to live this per­son’s life through my film. It’s a very in­stinc­tive de­ci­sion. Hav­ing said that I do re­spond to scripts where women are go­ing strength to strength, some­times find­ing her voice, her iden­tity etc. There is no at­tempt to choose scripts which talk about women em­pow­er­ment.”

She has not taken up any other project af­ter Tumhari Sulu. “I haven’t de­cided on what I want to do next. As soon as this film re­leases, I will start read­ing more scripts.” She also gave us rea­sons as to why she will never turn a writer, di­rec­tor or pro­ducer. “I don’t write at all. I don’t plan to di­rect or pro­duce. Writ­ing re­quires too much dis­ci­pline. Di­rect­ing re­quires han­dling too many peo­ple and the en­tire film. As a pro­ducer, you have to han­dle too many egos. So, no thank you. I am happy be­ing an ac­tor.”

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