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July 2012
for some moments of quietness
The world pauses when she struts around to make a spectacular appearance. Vidya Balan, the lady who seems to have it all and still keeps herself grounded, opens up to Lubna Parveen about showbiz, style statement, her feel good fitness, and unabashedly speaks about what it takes to ride the wave of stardom.

From a lean Parineeta to a fuller Dirty Picture to a yet fuller woman in Kahaani – it must take some mental and physical effort! How did you manage your weight?
The most exciting thing about being an actor is that I get to play different kinds of characters on screen, trying to bring them alive on screen. In a movie, when the look of the character becomes very crucial, my body is one of the tools, besides the hair, make up and clothes that help do justice to the role. Talking about my weight in Dirty Picture, initially I was resisting it. But seeing the character emerge, I got greedy about putting on weight. For me, it was like half the battle won. I went the whole hog, and did whatever it took to get it right.

What health issues have you dealt with in undergoing weight fluctuations to fit the different roles that come your way?
I don’t get so bothered about weight fluctuations. There are no real health issues. I still haven’t dropped all the weight. But I am fine. I just felt a bit, when I had to do that for Dirty Picture. I kept up the exercise, as I didn’t want to feel flabby because I was shooting different phases of the character at the same time. Both costumes and camera contributed a lot, but I think it’s all mental preparation.

Tell us about your tryst with dance and your conscious efforts to master dancing skills. How has it worked out for you as an actor?

I would like to say that I am not a dancer and I am always nervous when I dance. But now I’ve come a long way. Now I have begun to enjoy dancing. Silk was not a polished dancer, but when you saw her on screen, she was mesmerizing. So, that was what we kept in mind. I am someone who likes to get it right, but sometimes the director and choreographer would say that we need that imperfection. And it was during the shoot of Dirty Picture that I began to enjoy dancing. In Bhool Bhulaiya, I did Bharatnatyam; now in Ferrari Ki Sawari I’ve done a Lavni.

What is your fitness regime like, on a daily basis?
It’s weight training, not necessarily big weights. It’s largely your own body weight that you are using. This year my workouts have been very infrequent.


Post Dirty Picture I still haven’t got into the extensive workout regime that I am used to. My fitness trainer is Vilayat Hussain. I’ve been training with him for a couple of years now. He constantly throws challenges and makes me do new things.

Do you follow a specific diet?

I eat every two hours. Initially I could not understand the concept of two-hourly eating. But now it’s become a part of my daily routine. And also, I don’t deny myself anything. Eat in small portions, but eat everything. Otherwise, you tend to lose control on your diet. And my food comprises all basic stuff like roti, dal and sabzi. I am happy when I eat at home. When I am out, everything goes for a toss.

Do you believe in crash diets or weight loss supplements?
No, not at all. I believe that both exercise and diet should be in moderation. There may be days when it is more intense or lax. What is important is to keep fit and healthy. A little gain here and there is okay. For me fitness and exercise is all about feeling good. And I do it regularly. It reflects on everything, your skin glows, your hair improves, etc.

What are your skin and hair care secrets?
Lots of water and eight hours of sleep… This is really one thing that affects the way you feel about yourself and also your performance – be it any kind of work, it ultimately affects your confidence.

Do you practise Yoga?
No. I tried Yoga, even its different forms, but not for a while now.

Are you into sports? Any favourites?
I am not really into sports. But yes, I watch cricket and tennis, once in a while.

How do you de-stress?
Sleep is a great de-stressor. The other thing I do is pray. My concept of prayer over the years has evolved. Now I don’t meditate, as I don’t know how to meditate in a conventional way. But yes, some moments of quietness and it’s just a simple conversation with God.


Love: Life
Family: Unconditiona llove
Inspiration: A smile
Dream guy: Is in my life
Sex appeal: Eyes
Favourite dish:Anything cooked by my mother
Dream co-star: Shaun Bean
Most romantic destination:Yet to happen

Diet Chart

Breakfast: Cornflakes with half a glass of milk, or idli or chilas with a cup of chai.
Lunch: Rotis with sabzi and dal. Dahi, watermelon and amla juice.
Dinner: Very much like lunch.

Tell us about wearing the Sabyasachi brand and your other favourite designers.
Sabya works with lots of weavers across the country and therefore there is a huge range in his collection. He always comes up with new designs and his work is constantly evolving. I like that. The others are Anamika Khanna, Masaba Gupta and Anuradha Wakil.

Other demands notwithstanding, what would be your dress code on a given day?
It would either be a cotton salwar kameez, largely kurtas with Patiala salwar or jeans with a cotton shirt or top. My attire to work is the ‘juti’, jacket and a track pant.

What are some of the musthave accessories in your wardrobe?
I love collecting sarees and jhumkas from all over; also sunglasses and perfumes.

If you were to give yourself a style statement, what would it be?
I would choose an autumn white long shirt, the kind that the Europeans wear: tunic shirts with jeans, a nice big bag, a nice pair of sunglasses with 4-5 inches-heels. I love the colour white and also peaches and oranges; I also love earth colours – browns. I am not a blue person at all.

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