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Vidya Balan: I can be the story, not the storyteller

Vidya Balan in an interview with mid-day talks about returning after a hiatus and her forthcoming films 'TE3N', 'Ekk Albela' and 'Kahaani 2'

Vidya Balan returns to the big screen with 'TE3N', 'Ekk Albela' and 'Kahaani 2' after a hiatus. The actress also has two other films lined up — 'Begum Jaan' and the Kamala Das biopic — which means she has a packed schedule till next year. Vidya enjoys the process of film promotions and even steps out in her character's garb for that instant connect with the audience. The last few days have been busy for her. Excerpts from an interview with the actress:

Vidya Balan
Vidya Balan

Q. You are back full-throttle.
A. Yes. I am back to getting up in the morning and been told what I have lined up for the day. I had taken a break due to health issues. I had to give my health priority. I needed that time off. During that period, I only focussed on eating, sleeping, chilling, watching movies and listening to music. But I did miss the adrenaline rush. It takes a toll on you sometimes. So I spent time without making a list of what to do everyday.

Q. Did you not mull on what kind of films to do or pen your thoughts?
A. I am not someone who has the discipline to be a writer. I have lots of ideas which I keep discussing with writer friends. I do not have the talent to be a writer. I can be the story, not storyteller. Nor do I keep thinking about what type of films I should do. I take it as they come my way.

Q. There had been buzz about you doing a TV show.
A. Yes, I had given a nod to a concept. I was excited about the idea, but when it was developed and came back to me, it turned out to be routine stuff.

Q. You have been promoting 'TE3N' despite doing a cameo in the film.
A. I am part of the film ultimately. I told them I will do whatever they want. I have done 'TE3N' for sheer joy. I liked the story and it gave me an opportunity to work with people I am comfortable with — Sujoy (Ghosh, creative producer), Ribhu (Dasgupta, director) and of course Amitji.

Q. You have branched out to Marathi films.
A. 'Ekk Albela' is a special film. It is a biopic on Bhagwan Dada for which they recreated his most memorable film, 'Albela' (1951). They wanted me to play Geeta Bali. I feature in two songs and two scenes. I am comfortable speaking in Marathi, if I am not being judged. But I mess up on the grammar when I am surrounded by Maharastrians. My sister's husband is a Maharashtrian and so are my several staff members including the hairstylist and make-up person.

Q. Buzz is that the thrill quotient in 'Kahaani 2' has been upped.
A. I can't say anything on this. You will have to wait till November. The Kahaani unit is home to me. I am working with Arjun Rampal for the first time. He is a cool and fun guy. He took a while to understand Sujoy's sense of humour, but when he did he would say, "Dada...khoob bhalo lagchi." We would all be talking in Bengali, and he would come up with the two-three words he knows.

Q. You soon start shooting for 'Begum Jaan'.
A. The film rolls on June 18. It is based on the Bengali film, 'Rajkahini' and is a fictional period film. (2015). The setting of the film has changed from Bengal to Punjab. I have not done a historical film till now. I am also looking forward to the Kamala Das biopic. She was a controversial woman with a great sense of humour. We will be shooting later in the year.

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