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Bollywood's leading ladies no more decorative: Vidya Balan
By Subhash K. Jha
Mumbai, April 4 With two hits - "Bhool Bhulaiyaa" and "Heyy Babyy" - in her kitty, Vidya Balan's career is going great guns and she believes the industry has started offering meaty roles to actresses.
"I'm lucky to be a part of the movie industry when leading ladies are no longer decorative. It's providential that I started with 'Parineeta'."
So is she doing her "Heyy Babyy" director Sajid Khan's next film?
"There's been no formal talk on this. Sajid hasn't offered me the role. I've been reading reports that I'm doing the film. Right now he's writing his next film."
Vidya had five releases last year - "Bhool Bhulaiyaa", "Heyy Babyy", "Eklavya: The Royal Guard", "Salaam-E-Ishq" and "Guru". She also made a brief appearance in the title song of "Om Shanti Om".
"I was very happy about all my five releases in 2007, though some of them didn't do well. From the very start when dada (Pradeep Sarkar) showed so much faith in me by giving me 'Parineeta', the industry has made substantial space for me.
"By the grace of god, there're lots of interesting roles happening. I'm in the process of signing some more. Since I came to cinema, my criteria for signing a role remain unchanged. I've never been in a hurry to get anywhere. Things are happening at a pace I'm enjoying. And I'm not insecure."
The actress, who was seen in Rajkumar Santoshi's "Halla Bol" along with Ajay Devgan this year, has no regrets.
"I don't regret anything. I'm a hopeless optimist. I feel what I've to go through will happen regardless of how much I fight it."
The industry is looking at Akshay Kumar and Vidya as a hit pair after "Heyy Babyy" and "Bhool Bhulaiyaa".
"I'd love for us to be seen that way. Even Katrina Kaif-Akshay look great together. I'd love to work with Akshay again. Yes, we have offers together. He's a great co-star. The icing on the cake is our films together have worked."
In "Bhool Bhulaiyaa", Vidya invested demoniacal energy.
"Yes, it was a frightening experience. My director Priyadarshan handled the last 20 minutes of the story when I get into a supernatural rage of dance very intelligently. I love Priyan. He's a man of few words. We even converse in Malayalam."
This year Vidya was supposed to do another film with Priyadarshan. "But there's a problem with the leading man. I'd love to work with Priyan again. I've been fortunate in the fact that directors have signed me more than once."
Any hopes for 2008?
"Add some spice to my own life and not wait for others to do it for me. I would like love to happen. But I'm not holding my breath for it. Yes, there're times when I get lonely. But most of the time I'm quite happy being with my family and myself."
Unlike Preity Zinta, Vidya has made no pledge to stay away from actors in her personal life.
"Some people are doctors, others are actors. My companion can be from any walk of life. If he's an actor we can both carry our own mirrors to the sets and be narcissistic individually. And we can have mirrors all over the house. Instead of looking into each other's eyes, we can look into the mirrors," Vidya joked.
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