Vidya Balan is known for essaying characters who dared to dream big and expressed their own voice, in films such as The Dirty Picture (2011), Tumhara Sulu (2017) and her latest, Mission Mangal.The actor, who has majorly contributed in bringing life to such roles on screen, has been one of the front runners as far as women led films are concerned. Talking it a notch further, Vidya will be seen playing the late Indian writer and mental calculator, Shakuntala Devi in her next. Excerpts.
Does the success of Mission Mangal, only empower you to take up more new content?
I am so grateful for its success. I received so much love for it. I knew it would turn out to be a good film. Everyone unanimously loved it. They said how my character was reflective of every Indian woman, who balances work at home and work outside. Now, my focus is only on Shakuntala.
You’ve mentioned how Shakuntala Devi’s personality was quite fun, and you’re having a ball playing the role. However, would you like to essay the opposite – an out-and-out negative role? Are you an audience for dark cinema?
Absolutely! But, I am not always in the mood to watch the darker stuff. I am okay to watch it in the confines of my home, when you are binge watching. But when I go to the theatres I like to watch happy stuff. When you are going with a group of people, you want it to be a happy experience. So, unless I was doing it for a platform, I think I’d choose the lighter, brighter stuff over everything else. Having said that I don’t have set rules. If something really excites me as an actor, I’d go ahead and do it.
The Kahaani series has been one of your biggest hits. Is there scope to make it into a bigger franchise?
Sujoy (Ghosh; director) keeps threatening me that he will write Kahaani 3 (laughs), but he hasn’t written it. I am also waiting! Of course, we would love to go ahead with the franchise. It’s crucial that we first find the right story.
You’ve co-produced a short film this year. Any plans of turning full-time film producer?
This was not on the cards at all. Short films have no budget. So, Ronnie Screwvala offered me the producer credit as barter. There was no scope to learn as a producer, and I don’t have the plans of doing this any further. With due respect, it’s not of interest to me. I am only interested in being an actor. My interests are very different; it is more creative.
Would you want to take up something on the digital platform?
I am commitment phobic that is why unless something blows my mind; I can’t commit to so many months. (Laughs)