Bollywood has always been a male-centric industry and there have been just a few actresses far and between who have managed to portray strong characters time and again. Joining the likes of Smita Patil, Shabana Azmi, and Tabu is Vidya Balan after her stupendous run at the box office with The Dirty Picture and Kahaani.
Vidya has managed to win over everyone in the industry with her performance. So much so that Shabana took time off from her shooting to catch up the movie. “I had to watch Kahaani because of Vidya,” said Azmi, “I was bowled over by her performance. As an actor, I could see she was making all the right moves throughout the film. There was not a single artificial note in her performance.”
However, everything comes with a prize and Shabana warns Vidya against getting into an all too familiar circle. “If she continues to dominate her films, she might very soon face a scarcity of co-stars. Heroes might be apprehensive about being paired with her,” cautions Azmi, “Vidya should avoid the pitfall of only doing central parts. She should also enjoy doing peripheral parts as much as the pivotal ones. Being the center of attention could be addictive. She must learn to also be part of a cinema that doesn’t focus on her but has something important to say.”
Shabana herself had a similar situation when she found herself without male co-stars in many of her movies due to the fear of being over-shadowed. Having starred in movies like Arth, Sparch, Mandi, Shabana also made it a point to star in masala flicks like Amar, Akhbar, Anthony/i>. Balan, who’s already signed up for Gulzar’s next film should probably heed this advice and make the best of both worlds.