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Vidya Balan – “Siddharth doesn’t treat me as if I were his property”

Was it difficult to romance the much younger Ali Fazal in Bobby Jasoos?
Romance has no age, no bar. I don’t think age has anything to do with chemistry. I have worked with Naseer sir in Isyqiya and The Dirty Picture and people loved our chemistry. Ali is a fabulous actor and when I was working with Ali, I didn’t think of his age or mine.

You (Vidya Balan) are the only actress to have done so many women-oriented films of late.
95 per cent of the films have stereotypical representation of women. From the rest five percent, I am happy that 3 per cent are coming to me.

How is the woman represented differently in Bobby Jasoos?
In Bobby Jasoos, the girl belongs to a very modest family in Hydrabad. She may not be a rebellious soul but she goes about doing things her way. I don’t know whether five years back we could have done a story like this. She is a fun girl.

“When I was working with Ali, I didn’t think of his age or mine.”

Do you think you have brought in the change in the industry?
It’s the era in which writers are penning interesting scripts for the female actors and people are ready to invest. The actor gets most of the credit because films are a visual medium. For me an actor is someone who lives different people’s lives by attempting different roles. I get bored easily. So I find the womencentric films exciting.

Would you describe yourself as unconventional in your choices?
I don’t understand labels like conventional and unconventional. As an actress I keep hunting for different roles. Sanjeev Kumar is one of my favourite actors. Someone told me Sanjeev Kumar is the only actor who played as many as nine roles in a film, Naya Din Nai Raat. To get nine different roles in one film … isn’t that amazing?

Your character, Bobby, has to prove herself. Did you have to rebel at home to work in Bollywood?
My father has always supported me but my mom was not ready to support me initially. She was wary because we are not from this industry. But despite her reservations, she eventually supported me. She came to shoots just to ensure I was safe. Now, I can take care of myself.

You have become a brand name.
I don’t think of myself as a brand, I consider myself an actor.

Have things changed between Siddharth and you over the years?
We respect each other’s passion for our work. Since 2007 I have been doing one film at a time so that has not really changed post marriage. For me nothing has changed I am the same person before and after my marriage to Sid. He doesn’t treat me as his property.

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