Vidya Balan: “Kolkata is my second home, I just cannot stay away from it”
he is always regarded as the quintessential Indian beauty, one who can spell hr mystic charm over anyone. And clearly a bong at heart, Vidya Balan’s Bangali avatar took us much by surprise as she opened up on her Shaadi ke Side Effects, her Bong connections and why she loves coming back to Kolkata!
Your film is named ‘Shaadi Ke Side Effects’, so what are your shaadi ke side effects in real life with Siddharth Roy Kapoor?
My shaadi ke side effects are that I have done a film called Shaadi Ke Side Effects (laughs out loud). No, marriage is then good so far and I have reason to believe that if the marriage is good then the side effects are also good. Kuchh toh hone hi chahiye but woh ache hi hai. I think I am a lot calmer today because I am a very restless person otherwise. So that has helped me focus and channelize my energies even better at work. My concentration has improved and generally I am a happy person. I have just become a lot happier!
Can you shed some light about the character you play in Shaadi Ke Side Effects?
Shaadi Ke Side Effects is just a relationship comedy. It’s not just a romantic comedy. It’s about two people who are happily married and then some things happen that challenges their relationship and then what happens, you have to go to the theatre and see, but I think it’s very identifiable. Lots of people who have seen the promos and lots is an understatement, have said that you know I felt like watching myself in the promo. Every girl has had the reaction that I have said this to my husband or to my boyfriend at some point or the other that “Mein chahti hoon ki tum chahoon ki tum naa jaaon.” And there are various other points of identification, when the child comes in and the mother knows that she knows that the father is a bit unsure about the child.
This is the first time where you have shared the silver screen with Farhan Akhtar. How is your experience working with him?
It was wonderful. To say the very least, because he has got an unbelievable sense of humour. I have enjoyed his work as an actor on screen and as a director, probably because I was familiar with his work. But working with him was a different experience. And I cannot think of another actor who brings as much sincerity to every moment to screen as he does. It’s been wonderful.
What has been the side effects of working with Farhan on the sets of Shaadi Ke Side Effects?
The side effects of working with Farhan are that, first and foremost, you are smiling all the time. It’s just a happy environment to be in. Secondly you have to be on your toes because he is not really the kind of the actor whose acting is so subtle, and effortless and new. So you are constantly on the ball and you cannot just say that Acha hai, yeh scene karlenge, ab yeh admi hai toh fir thora sambhalke chalna padhta hai, which I love. I love that. It’s been very side effects that you are smiling constantly and you are on your toes.
You speak Bengali really well. So have you tried pulling Farhan’s legs with one or two words in Bengali?
We were shooting in Gold coast, Australia for one of the songs and I was talking to someone else in Bengali when he said that this is really rude, “You can’t be talking in Bengali. I don’t understand the language.” And I decided to teach him the language and I taught him rubbish. I would not be able to tell you what that is but he was mouthing it. Kintu ami bolte parbohna. Ekhane bolte gele amake Kolkata chharte hobeh!
After Shaadi Ke Side Effects what are your upcoming projects?
I have just completed work on a film called Bobby Jasoos where I play the jasoos. I am very excited about the film and it’s really very interesting. We worked really hard and we got a wonderful team and we did not really feel the pressure. We just worked towards giving the best to the character.
Did you help Farhan learn some Bengali?
Well, I won’t tell you the full story because if I do, I would be banned from entering this city. So it was in Gold Coast in Australia where we were shooting and I was talking to someone else in Bengali. Farhan saw me and said this is really rude, ‘You can’t talk to people in Bengali, I don’t even understand that!’ So I just said that I will teach it to you and I taught him rubbish. I am not going to tell you what that rubbish is but he was mouthing it (Laughs) Kintu ami bolte parbo na ki seta. Ekhane bolle amake Kolkata chhere chole jete hobe. (Laughs)
You have considered Kolkata as your own city. What would be your message to all your Bengali fans?
Well, honestly, Kolkata has always been an integral part of my life, right from the very beginning. I did my first film in Bengali, Bhalo Theko and people say that I look like a Bengali too. So I never miss the opportunity to get back to Kolkata. I try and find small excuses to travel to Kolkata because this city has made me its own. It has become my second home. And to all the Bengalis out there, onek, onek, onek, onek, onek ador sobaike!
Pictures by: Rahul Banerjee