Probably better known as Captain Vidya Sharma of last year’s smash hit Chak De India, Vidya Malvade has taken a drastically different role in this weekend’s Kidnap where she stars opposite Sanjay Dutt as Minissha Lamba’s mother. Even though she’s only a few films old, it’s clear that Vidya is not afraid of taking risks. Earlier working as a flight attendant and model, Vidya began her filmy career with Inteha and Mashooka which didn’t do so well at the box office. However, her hard work finally paid of in Chak De India which catapulted her to the top of her game, making her one of the most sought after newcomers in the industry. Since then she’s taken things slowly and Kidnap is her first release in over a year. In an exclusive phone interview with BollySpice, she spoke to us about Chak De, Kidnap, her favourite films, and more!
Like many other actresses, you’ve been in modeling and now films. Did you ever anticipate having a career in films or did it just happen?
I think it just happened for me. When I was a model I was also a flight attendant and I guess somebody saw me in one of my ad films, really liked me, and I started doing movies. It wasn’t a very easy ride and my first film didn’t do well so it wasn’t a very nice period. But then Chak De happened and after Chak De it just worked out fine!
Did you find your role difficult in Chak De India?
It was very not like me, very different from the way I am as a person. But no, I think it wasn’t really difficult in terms of performance. It was really about underplaying it completely and I just wanted it to come across as very strong but very silent and strong. So it wasn’t exactly the most difficult, but yes, I had to work on it and only after that it became easy.
What did you think of the final product? Did you enjoy watching the film yourself?
Absolutely! I thought it was a brilliant script which is why the film turned out so well. I wanted more of my scenes because a lot of my work was not there and you fell as an actor, you are obviously selfish and you want more. But having said that, I think I’m an actor and I have to do my job, and after that I leave it to God and to the director to do what’s best for the movie.
Since Chak De India, how do you think your life has changed?
I love it! Chak De India has given me so much recognition, so much fame and adulation. People love us and we’re just so proud to be a part of a film like that. Really.
Are you still in contact with the girls from the team?
Oh yeah, all the time! We meet all the time. If for a few months or a few days if we don’t see each other we sort of get withdrawal symptoms and start calling each other saying ‘When are we meeting?’ and all that. So yeah, we’re still in touch, it’s like a family now.
That’s great! So now you have Kidnap which has released. Have you seen it yet?
Yes, I have seen it and I think the film is very good. But unfortunately I was just told yesterday that five of my scenes are going to be deleted so I was a bit upset. But you know, I think that’s again a part of the game and for me it started with Chak De and has followed on to Kidnap. But if the final product works out [then it's worth it]. But as an actor, you want to see much more of yourself, you want people to see all the scenes you are very good in so if somebody says ‘Sorry those scenes are not there!’ you feel bad but that is [also] part of the game. But I love the film. I really like it. I think everyone has done a very good job in it and the film completely rocks!
What drew you to accepting the part in Kidnap even though the character is older than your age?
I think everyone is talking about that right now—why did I have to be a Mom so soon! But being an actor I have got to do every character I find interesting and I really liked the character and I really liked the way Sanjay Gadhvi [the director] was looking at the character. So I said, well it is a huge risk but if it pays off for me it will actually pave the way in Bollywood for actresses to be even more open about accepting something like this. If it doesn’t pay for me and if it doesn’t work and if I start getting slotted in, if everyone starts to give me a Mum’s part I can always say no to it. I can always say ‘Listen guys I did it once it does not mean I am going to do it again’ and I can always say ‘I’m sorry I am not going to do it’. The choice always remains with me, right?
Were you nervous before your first shot with Sanjay Dutt?
Well, a little bit. My first shot with Sanjay Dutt I had to be screaming my head off. I was a bit nervous. But he was just too cool. He said just do your thing babe, don’t even worry about me, it’s just like I’m not there. So he was quite nice, he was really sweet. It just sort of went off and I was literally shaking because I had so much anger in me in that shot. So I was shaking after I finished that shot and he was like ‘You were good’ so I was very happy!
What was your favorite scene in the film?
Well, my favorite scene in the film is not there…quite a few of them! But of the ones that are there, well, I don’t know…I think my favourite scene is gone and that’s all I can say! (Laughs)
What’s your favourite track on the Kidnap album?
I really like ‘Mausam’ which is a love song between Imran and Minissha, but my song is what I must like the best. So I’m going to say also ‘Haanji’ which is with me and Sanjay Dutt which I think is so nice.
What is the hardest for you thing about acting?
I don’t think it is really hard for me to be the character that I am supposed to play. What’s worse is the stuff around acting. I really like to do my job and go back home and feel good about something or try and do something better. What I do not like though is the whole media attention and the little, little things that they keep talking and bickering about. Like it has become a national issue as to why I am playing a mother of an eighteen year old. For me, it is just another part so just let it be and don’t judge me before it comes out! Everybody is sitting there only to judge you which is so stupid. I mean I just feel I’m doing my job,let me do it well, so don’t tense me up like that.
What genre do you think you are most suited for? Would you like to try them all?
Of course! Like I said I am an actress; I can play a mother of an eighteen year old and I think I could just about play just about anything.
Who would you love to work with?
My list is really endless! I have just worked with Shah Rukh Khan and Sanjay Dutt so I would love to do an encore with them. Then there is Aamir who is absolutely superb, there’s Hrithik, there’s Imran, there’s Ranbir. There’s so much talent right now, I would love to work with all of them and I don’t want to limit myself to anything!
What inspires you?
As an actor, a good performance by anybody, anywhere in the world would inspire me, really. [When] you feel happy about someone’s performance, it inspires you.
If you regularly watch movies, which are your recent favourites?
I just loved Jab We Met which I think was absolutely wonderful; fabulously directed, great acting. After that I really liked Rock On!! and loved A Wednesday. I loved Welcome to Sajjanpur. I think they are such nice films!
What do you think of Bollywood films today? Do you think the industry is growing and getting better?
Absolutely, I think it is growing, I think it’s getting better, it’s getting larger. There are all kinds of parts played and all kinds of parts made for lots of people. It’s not just very male-centric. It is evolving and I like this evolution process that has started.
Can you provide a piece of advice that will help someone break into Bollywood?
I think it is a very tough place to be, but a very lovely place to be. All I can say is you can’t give up because there will be lots and lots of distractions or disappointments but you just cannot give up because if you dream big they will come true. It has happened in my case. I have just never given up. There were times when I did feel “Oh my god, I can’t, I can’t…another failure, I can’t do this! I did so well in the video test.” But you just can’t give up, there’s that one shot waiting for you out there somewhere.
There are rumors that you are in Chandan Arora’s next, Striker. Can you clarify this?
That is correct.
What kind of projects do you have coming up?
There is another project with Suniel Shetty called Tum Milo Toh Sahi and there is another one with Govinda. It’s Tigmanshu Dhulia’s film which is called King Kaun.
Sounds great! Do you have any final message for your fans at BollySpice and around the world?
I would just say thank you so much for loving me and thank you so much for loving me in Chak De. I hope you like Kidnap as well. We have all worked very hard and I think it’s a fun film, it’s a fantastic film! Please continue with your support for me. It is something extremely different that I have tried to do. I know it is a very big risk but all I need is your support. If you guys keep cheering in, I think I will sail through this beautifully. Thank you very much for everything!
We would like to thank Vidya for taking the time to speak to us. It was an absolute pleasure and we are sure she has a very bright future ahead. From Chak De India to Kidnap, she continues to grow and we are certain that she will join the ranks of Bollywood’s leading ladies very soon! If you don’t know her yet, you will!
Don’t forget to check out Vidya’s latest release, Kidnap, which opened on October 2nd!