“I am not a trained actor”: Vidya Balan
The versatile actress is now all set to spring a surprise on her fans with her portrayal of the late actress Geeta Bali in the Marathi film Ekk Albela. Here in this article the actress talks to our maven in Mumbai, Jyothi Venkatesh, about her role in this movie and more… What made you agree to act in a Marathi film like Ekk Albela? I had always wanted to act in a Marathi film as I was born and brought up in Mumbai and am well versed with Mumbai’s culture. My make-up man Vidyadhar Bhate who has been with me since the beginning of my career, makes it a point to get me til ka gul every Sankranti and when I asked Vidyadhar Dada to produce a Marathi film so that I can act in it, he suggested the name of producer Dr Mohnish Babre. How happy are you? When I was told that I was wanted for Geeta Bali’s role, I was deliriously happy, because frankly, I feel that there could not have been a better film than Ekk Albela for me to make my debut in Marathi films. I have always been a great fan of the late Geeta Bali. I know that I do not look like Geetaji from any angle but I tried to look like her. It helped me that the producer had worked on the research on her for three years before he launched the film. Though I had seen the film earlier several years ago, I made it a point to see the film Albela again and again to get the correct nuances of her. How is Mangesh Desai who plays the role of Bhagwan Dada in your film? When I went for the rehearsals, though he was standing at the entrance, I just said him politely and went in and only later when I was introduced to him did I realize that it was he who was slated to play the role of Bhagwan Dada. I was appalled by his body language. How has the experience of working in the film been? My husband Siddharth Kapoor has a collection of several old posters in his house but since he can keep only 70 posters at a time, he has been rotating the posters. The poster of Albela has been there all the time and has not been rotated since my wedding. Also, Sid’s maternal grandfather was a pioneer of Western dances. After The Dirty Picture this is your second biopic. You would not believe it but I was offered 18 biopic after The Dirty Picture but I turned down each and every offer. I agreed to do Ekk Albela because it is not just a biopic. Geetaji was a star and I am only trying to recreate her because I got drawn to the real story. You acted in The Dirty Picture though you had never met Silk Smita and you have never met Geeta Bali and have acted in Ekk Aklbela. It is easier to act in a biopic of a person who you have not met, because you will not be limited by what you know of the person in her real life. The next biopic that I am going to do is in Malayalam and is on the late poetess Kamala Das. I have not met her either How would you describe yourself as an actor. I’d say that I am not a trained actor. I am not a method actor either. I just act as per instinct.