What was unique about the preparations you (Vidya Balan) did to play a detective in Bobby Jasoos?
I googled a lot of detective agencies and then got in touch with them! I wanted to know their way of working. But I don’t look at it as preparation because the way they approach their cases and the way they were giving me instructions was all fun.
Your character dons several disguises in the film.
Disguises gave me an opportunity to play a man onscreen; I have done lot of male disguises in the film and I have worn moustaches, beards, stubbles … and even a balding wig.
What was it like to play a man?
The best part was that the moment I get into the male disguise, my body language would change and my voice would change. I say that that Bobby Jasoos has tapped into the man within me. (laughs)
It was all the more thrilling because people wouldn’t recognize me when I was in disguise; it would happen time and again.
Do you personally like detective stories and films?
I remember reading (Enid Blyton’s) The Famous Five and The Secret Seven as a kid so that’s where the detective bone in me got tickled. Over the years, what you read and watch like Sherlock Homes has been a bit of inspiration to do jasoosi. I think all of us like to do a little jasoosi on people we know.
That’s interesting. Any incident where you have done jasoosi on somebody?
I remember following a friend once. I was in a car when I suddenly saw this friend of mine who had told us that he was out of town for the day. I was with a bunch of friends and we started following him and we discovered his love story! But we waited for him to come and tell us about this girl; only then did we tell him about our jasoosgiri … he was shocked.
You have played some unusual characters of late. What is Bobby all about?
Bobby is the kind of girl who is fun, energetic, spunky, always jumping and running. She is from a small town and aspires of do something unusual, and as a result people around are constantly wondering what the hell she is up to. She is child-like but grows up during the course of the film.
I think the writer Shayukta has done a great job capturing the mohalla world in Hyderabad also and Diya (Mirza, the producer) knew Hyderabad really well so she contributed a lot too. My contribution was really to absorb and imbibe from everyone.
Like Bobby, you too are full of life.
I just love characters who spread joy and cheer wherever they go. At the same time, Bobby will pick up a fight at the slightest instant, she is not scared of anyone. I did identify with her a great deal; also because she is very spirited and nothing can get her down. I heard Narendra Modi’s speech some days back in which he said ‘Main nirash kabhi nahi hota’. Bobby is a lot like that. Bobby almost symbolizes the hope and aspiration that fills India at this point.
Much has been made about your decision to walk out of your Kahani director Sujoy Ghosh’s next.
I had some niggling health issues which I choose not to talk about because there are some things which are very, very personal but because of this I had opt out the film unfortunately.
Has this soured your relationship with Sujoy?
No, I don’t think so. I have not met him in a while but I think he understood where I was coming from.
How you doing now health-wise?
It’s not anything to worry about. In our industry we don’t prioritise our health but I just thought I should take it easy and address what was bothering me for a while.
The buzz that all this is just due to a pregnancy refuses to die down …
The day I got married they started saying I was pregnant (laughs). They think that people who get married have no better work than to get pregnant, their only job is to get pregnant.
Your husband Siddharth Kapoor is a producer. Any plans of helping him in producing any film?
I don’t have a frame of mind to be a producer at all. I am only happy being in front of the camera.
-By Anita Britto, Bollywood News Service