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My films first need to make as much money as an Aamir Khan film does: Vidya Balan

Often tagged as the Aamir of heroines, Vidya busts the myth at the launch of Kahaani 2 trailer; also confesses that there was a period when she was not on talking terms wiith Sujoy Ghosh.

Photo: Shutterbugs Images

Mayur Lookhar

The year 2016 will be remembered as, among many other things, the year Vidya Balan and Sujoy Ghosh were reunited.

The duo came together earlier this year for Te3n, with Amitabh Bachchan. The film tanked at the box office, but Vidya and Ghosh have great expectations from Kahaani 2, their second collaboration this year, which is scheduled to be released on 2 December.

The trailer of Kahaani 2 is out and it looks like a gripping film. The first Kahaani was made in 2012 and liked by critics as well as audiences. So, four years is a rather long gap for a sequel. In the interim, there were rumours of Vidya having fallen out with Ghosh and walking out of Kahaani 2. Apparently, the buzz was that Ghosh had no proper script and had abandoned the idea for the sequel.

“It’s not true that I had rejected the script," Vidya said. "In fact, I had agreed to do another project with him. However, as I had said then, I had health issues and so could not take up that project. I went on a break. Then of course Sujoy and I love fighting with each other.”

Ghosh was open about the delay in making the second film and attributed it to Vidya having no dates for him.

The actress then made a cheeky confession, “Of course, Sujoy and I fight a lot. So, we are either fighting or we are working hard making a film. In between, we weren’t talking to each other. It was a cold war. Actually, not a cold war, but we just weren’t talking. The moment we started talking, we did two back-to-back films – Te3n and Kahaani 2.”

The Kahaani 2 trailer is out today, but the poster, which was released a few days earlier, shocked fans as Vidya's character Durga Rani Singh was shown as a 'wanted' woman. The actress spoke about two different reactions to the poster. 

“My maid told me that finally there is a charge against me. And I was informed by someone else that a child was so scared that he didn’t go to class,” she said.

What is eye-catching about both the trailer and the poster is that Vidya has no make-up on and her skin looks dry. Commenting on the look, she joked, “Go to Kalimpong if you want dry skin. Ghosh wanted the character to have a very realistic look, with no make-up. In fact, my make-up artist specialises in giving me a ‘no-make-up’ look."

Kahaani (2012) was Vidya's last commercial hit. Since then, she has been seen in half a dozen films, but none of them has hit the mark at the box office. Asked about this low phase, Vidya replied, “Look, this always happens. I didn’t plan five successive hits. So, I didn’t plan the films that didn’t work in succession either."

Vidya said she had given of her best to each and every film, including Kahaani 2. "With experience, you learn that there will be hits and misses," she said, "but you have to keep moving forward. I’m just an actor who wants to get in front of the camera and live another person’s life every single time. Of course, when a film doesn’t work it is heart-breaking, but you have to move on."

Vidya was once labelled the Khan among heroines. Her career choices drew comparisons with Aamir Khan. But the actress refuses to get carried away by such tags.

“My films first need to make as much as money as Aamir’s films," she said. "This tag is far from the truth. He is someone who has been around for a long time. He is a marketing guru. I have a long way to go before I can be compared to him.”

Vidya was also asked about not working with a top star. Her reply was the same as it has been in the past: that she wants to stand on her own and not lean on anyone's shoulder.

The press conference ended on a lighter note when Vidya was put in a corner by one reporter who said, "Vidya, you like to fight a lot. Have you ever fought with your husband and has Siddharth [Roy Kapur] ever come out with pink cheeks?”

“If you have ever seen him come out of the house with pink cheeks, then perhaps we have,” she laughed.

Kahaani 2 is scheduled for release on 2 December. The Dirty Picture was released on the same date five years ago. Vidya would certainly hope her latest film makes a similar mark at the box office.