Bollywood actress Vidya Balan says because of her films and the amount of time she spends in Kolkata, people often think she is a Bengali. The actress made her debut in films in a leading role with the Bengali movie 'Bhalo Theko' in 2003 before debuting in Bollywood with 'Parineeta'.
Vidya Balan. Pic/Santa Banta
The 38-year-old "Ishqiya" star will be next seen in "Te3n" which is set in Kolkata. "I don't think there is a question of returning to Kolkata because I spend half my days there invariably. But it was wonderful. People are so warm and welcoming, my debut film was a Bengali film, even before 'Parineeta', so they actually think I am Bengali," Vidya told reporters.
The actress garnered acclaim for her portrayal of Vidya Bagchi, a pregnant woman searching for her missing husband in Kolkata in "Kahaani" and will be back to the city for the sequel. "Everyone speaks to me in Bengali and I show off my Bengali wherever I can, I know songs, rhymes and slangs... When I am in Kolkata, I don't miss home that much. I am back there for 'Kahaani 2' now and it feels we went there for 'Te3n' and just stayed back."
Directed by Ribhu Dasgupta, 'TE3N' also features megastar Amitabh Bachchan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and is about a crime that affects its three lead characters. Bachchan, 73, stars in the film as John Biswas, a grandfather on the pursuit of justice since eight years while Siddiqui plays Father Martin Das, whose life was changed forever by the same crime that claimed the life of John's granddaughter.
Vidya will be seen in a special appearance as the cop who swings into action when an identical crime is repeated eight years later. The 'Paa' actress says it was nice to work with Nawazuddin after their hit film 'Kahaani'. "Nawaz and I were meeting in Kolkata after six years, after we shot 'Kahaani'. In these six years post 'Kaahani' we hadn't met at all. Both of us had lots of films in between but it was nice catching up with him and working. Most of my scenes are with Nawaz."
The actress learnt how to drive for her role and says filmmaker Sujoy Ghosh, who is the creative producer in 'TE3N', was her driving instructor. "I know how to drive but I've never been a confident driver but for this I wanted to do it myself so I actually drove around Kolkata. Sujoy was my driving instructor. That's the only real preparation I did." The film is scheduled to release on June 10.