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I have challenged Bollywood stereotypes: Vidya Balan

Vidya Balan has repeatedly challenged Bollywood stereotypes with her roles, living up to her characters with strong acting. The actress says it was not something she did consciously.

Ever since she made her Bollywood debut with ‘Parineeta’ in 2005, Vidya has enthralled the Hindi audience with her work in films like ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa’, ‘No One Killed Jessica’, ‘The Dirty Picture’, ‘Paal’. ‘Kahaani’, ‘Ishqiya’, ‘Mission Mangal’, ‘Tumhari Sulu’ and ‘Shakuntala Devi’. She will next be seen in ‘Newton’ producer Amit Masurkar’s ‘Lioness’, which will feature her as a forest officer.

National Award and Padma Shri awardee Vidya said, “I was not ready to break stereotypes, but I feel that through my experiences in life, especially as an actor, I have realized that I am in my own right.” I will not let anything get in the way.
The 42-year-old actress continued, “So if you tell me I am too young and too fat to be an actor. I’m too bold, too brazen or too intelligent or whatever, I’m just saying random things, I can’t change who I am but I can still find my way.

She said, “I have found passion for what I do because I can’t really change anything about myself, so I didn’t set myself up to break stereotypes.” I just said if it doesn’t work, too bad it has to work, because I’m going to work for it. It has to work because I want to be an actor.

The actress, who starred in the sitcom ‘Hum Paanch’ at the age of 16 and played the role of Radhika in the sitcom, ‘did not challenge the stereotype with a conscious mind.’
So, I think those stereotypes were challenged not intentionally but perhaps unintentionally.
Currently, she is awaiting the release of ‘Lioness’, where she plays a conscientious forest officer battling the social constraints set by a patriarchal society and the weak attitude within her department.

‘Every one of us is a lioness, but it’s too nice to be called!’ She smiled, and added, they are all women who make their mark by their work. She is very passionate about her work, because I feel that I am that woman too. So, I am moving towards these characters. I like women with purpose and that’s why I choose them.

Vidya further said, the more I look around me, more and more of us are finding that purpose, living our dreams. I think it is also a reflection of what is happening in the world around us because cinema is a reflection of reality.

‘Sherni’ released digitally on June 18 on Amazon Prime Video.