Vidya Balan was the latest actor to share her experiences with students of Anupam Kher’s acting school Actor Prepares. It was part of the continuing series of discourses AN ACTOR PREPARES: BEHIND THE SUCCESS. The initiative has been very popular with the students as it gives them a ringside view to the behind-the-scenes stories of the hard work and struggles of the actors, and also directors, in the industry.
Aspiring to be an actor at an early age, National Award winner Balan’s first role was in 1995 in the comedy series Hum Paanch. Subsequently, she has essayed powerful, and critically acclaimed, roles contributing significantly to change the concept of the typical heroine in Hindi films. From her very first Hindi film Parineeta in 2005, Balan portrayed formidable characters in Paa, Ishqiya, No One Killed Jessica, The Dirty Picture, Kahaani and Kahaani 2:Durga Rani Singh.
Introducing Balan, Kher said that apart from emerging as a powerhouse performer among the main stars in the business, he respected her for her perseverance in staying the course to enter films. ‘In a male-dominated industry, it is actresses like Vidya Balan who demand, by the sheer magic of their talent and hard work, equality for women. I respect her as a person and as an actor,’ said Kher.
In keeping with the format of the programme, Balan had a freewheeling and candid conversation with Kher, who quizzed her about her early days in the industry, her style of acting, how she researches her characters and her advice to budding actors. While confessing that she was basically a gregarious person, Balan acknowledged that she would lose that exuberance in front of the camera and turn shy!
‘Watch life and engage in meeting people. That becomes your memory bank which you should dig deep into when it comes to acting a role,’ said Balan. ‘No role is too small or insignificant. Keep doing work and you will get noticed in the long run........There is no substitute for hard work,’ was Balan’s advice to the students.
‘I am glad that Vidya Balan took out time to share her thoughts with my students. She is young and talented and a lot of the students aspiring to become actors would want to emu-late her. Interaction with her on her career and her passion for cinema will only help the students get an insight into Vidya’s beliefs and approach to acting,” said Kher.