Vidya Balan's full name is Vidya P. Balan. She is a well-established Indian film actress and a national award winner. She stood her ground with her spectacular performances in Indian cinema. Balan created her own set of a pathway for her choice of movies. Vidya Balan has proven herself in many movies that, regardless of whatever the role, it is. She won numerous awards for her performances nationally. Balan is also the prestigious Padma Shri award recipient. Vidya Balan has always wanted to be an actress since the beginning. It was tough for her to get through her way in the movie industry as she comes from a non-film background. All of her performances show versatility in acting.
Vidya is a multi-lingual actress who has done films in Hindi, Malayalam and Bengali. She kind of broke barriers on stereotyping actresses who are dedicated to smooth and comfortable characters. She also played powerful characters and proved her potential to be the best. Balan is a promising and dedicated actress, according to Indian film directors. She is forty-three years old and still paving her path in Indian cinema.
Initial Life and Family:
Vidya Balan's origin is from south India, Tamilnadu. She belongs to the Tamil Brahmin family. She was born on the 1st of January 1979. Even though her origin is Tamilnadu, she was born and brought up in Mumbai. Her father's name is P.R. Balan. He was the vice-president of a cable and networking company, and her mother's name was Saraswathy Balan. She is a homemaker. Balan has an elder sister who works in the advertising industry. Her name is Priya Balan. Vidya Balan's schooling happened at Saint Anthony's High School in Mumbai. Since she had a great interest in movies, vidya started acting at sixteen. She decided to complete her studies as well. Her parents supported her while she was acting in the TV series. She then joined college for her bachelor's. She has done a bachelor's in sociology at Saint Xavier's College. After her bachelor's, she studied at Mumbai University for her master's. While doing her master's, she got an opportunity for a Malayalam film along with Mohanlal, a reputed actor in Malayalam. But that movie could not be released on screen because of production issues.
She signed for 12 back-to-back Malayalam films at that time. Unfortunately, the Malayalam industry did not click her as much as the Hindi industry clicked for her. So she switched to other languages after Malayalam for better exposure and scope. She tried approaching the Tamil industry and got an opportunity for a film called 'Run' opposite Madhavan, a big star in the Tamil industry. But Vidya experienced a bad situation there too. Another actress replaced her. Not just in this film, she constantly was getting replaced by other actresses for some reason. She then shifted to acting in television commercials. She has done nearly sixty television commercials and quite some music videos.
Hustle in the Career:
She made her debut with a Bengali film called 'Bhalo Theko' in 2003. She has played one of the film's lead roles with two other actors in the film. After a consecutive bitter experience with films, she finally got to play a good role in 'Bhalo Theko'. She won an 'Anandalok Purashkar' for her performance in the category of Best Actress. In 2005, she acted in a Hindi film called 'Parineeta'. She got the role after a constant test for her fit in the role for six months. Initially, the director and the producer thought of casting a bigger actor since Vidya Balan is just one film old in the movie industry.
Still, after rigorous testing, vidya was finally the cast in the film. Balan acted opposite Saif Ali Khan. Her performance has received a good response from the audience and critics. Later she did a comedy film, 'Lage Raho Munna Bhai' in the direction of Rajkumar Hirani along with Sanjay Dutt 2006. It grossed almost one hundred and ten crores. It is recorded as one of the highest gross earned films.
From 2007, she was open to supporting characters too. She worked with many renowned directors like Maniratnam. Vidya Balan has shown her versatility in every character she performs. She then acted in the film 'Guru' directed by Mani Ratnam. The film starred Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachan. She has done smaller roles in the films called 'Salaam-e-Ishq,' and 'Eklavya.' The royal Guard.' They did not record a higher gross, but in Vidya's perspective, those films made her learn and improvise her acting skills. Even though 'Salaam-e-Isq' did not do well at the box office, the movie 'Eklavya' was nominated for the 80th Academy Awards.
In 2007, Vidya signed a film called 'Heyy Babyy,' and she played a westernized woman role. The movie did well near the box office commercially but did not satisfy critics. One of the critics said that Vidya was trying to look 'over the top' in her role. Balan then did a film called 'Bhool Bhulaiyaa', which belongs to the comedy-horror genre. The film was a Malayalam film 'Manichitrathazhu' remake directed by Priyadarshan. Vidya's role in the film was challenging as she played the role of a woman suffering from an identity disorder. The sources reportedly said that Vidya Balan isolated herself for three days to fit into the role. Because of this, she once fainted on the sets too. She also learnt kathak as her role demanded it. The film grossed highest at the box office, satisfying the critics too. 'Bhool Bhulaiyaa' made Vidya Balan win a Filmfare award for Best Actress nomination.
In 2008, Balan acted in a film based on social activist 'Safdar Hashmi.' She has a supporting character in the film. She acted along with Ajay Devgan in the film. Later starring opposite Shahid Kapoor, she acted in 'Kismat Konnection.' As Shahid Kapoor is a good dancer, Vidya Balan learnt the dance to make herself equal to Shahid Kapoor. The film did not go as well as expected near the box office. Vidya was again disappointed with the result.
In 2009, Vidya got a setback in success with the film 'Paa.' That film gave a break to her career. She acted with the legendary actor Amitabh Bachan. Initially, Vidya was not confident about the film, but Vidya Balan pulled her part well. She acted as Amitabh Bachan's mother. The next film was 'Ishqiya.' Abhishek Chaubey directed the film. She acted as a widow coming from a village. Many critics praised her performance.
In 2011, She gave two consecutive commercial hits at the box office. One is 'No One Killed Jessica.' co-starring Rani Mukerji. Her role in the film is hideous, but she acted apt to the role. Even though there was no scope for glamour in the film, she managed to play her role with emotions. There have been articles about Vidya's acting in 'The Hindu' newspaper. In the Malayalam film 'Urumi', she made a guest appearance. Even though her screen time is short, her performance was impactful.
'The Dirty Picture' was her next film. It was a huge controversy, but it grossed the highest near the box office with eighty-nine thousand crores. In 2012, she acted in the 'Kahaani' film. An interesting fact about 'Kahaani' is that the film was shot on a micro-budget in the streets of Kolkata. In just sixty-four days, the whole film was shot. The media and newspapers have given very positive feedback on the film. Vidya has again grossed as one of the highest-budget films at the box office. The consecutive success of her two films made her one of the most successful female-led movie actresses. In the same year, in 2013, Balan acted in a film called 'Ghanchakkar.' In the film, she acted opposite Emraan Hashmi. She has also given a voice-over as Draupadi in one of the animated films 'Mahabharat', an Indian epic story. Even after earning a name as a female lead actress, Vidya was open to doing films with minimal screen time of hers. With this pace, she starred in the film 'Shaadi Ke Side effects' in 2014. The film was not up to the expectations of critics but did average at the box office. Her next film was 'Bobby Jasoos', in which she played a detective, which did not do commercial justice to the film and failed at box office collections.
After two consecutive flops, she was devastated. Vidya Balan then decided to do a film 'Hamaari Adhuri Kahani.' The film was written and produced by Mahesh Bhatt. The story of the film is based on Mahesh Bhatt's mother. He thought Vidya Balan would be a better fit to do the part. So, he chose her to act in the film. Balan portrayed her emotions as a woman whom her terrorist husband constantly abused in a spell-bounding manner. Later on, she acted in a supporting role as a police officer in the movie 'Teen' in 2016. Amitabh Bachan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui acted as the main leads in the movie. She then acted in a Marathi film biopic, 'Ekk Albela', as Geeta Bali, who is an Indian actress too. Then comes 'Kahaani2: Durga Rani Singh,' which made her receive a nomination for Best Actress.
In 2017, She acted in the period drama film 'Begum Jaan,' where she played a sex worker. Her performance in the film has received mixed reactions, both good and bad reviews. Then Vidya played a typical housewife as 'Sulu' in the film 'Tumhari Sulu.' She pulled her character so well as a radio host. The movie has given Vidya Balan good commercial success after a long while. With constant success, Vidya wanted to expand her career in the south industry. So, in 2019, she did a film with two sequels 'N.T.R: Kathanayakudu' and 'N.T.R: Mahanayakudu.' But Unfortunately, both the sequels did not do well commercially. She acted in a Tamil film called 'Nerkonda Paarvai,' the remake of the movie 'Pink.' That film did quite a well collections.
After that, in 2019, She acted in 'Mission mangal' along with Akshay Kumar. 'Mission mangal' was a movie about space and rocket sending missions. She portrayed herself as a scientist and a homemaker who balances both. The film grossed almost three billion and was recorded as the highest collection at the box office.
In 2020, Vidya proved there was no shame in acting in a short film regardless of how big an actor is by acting in the short film "Natkhat." It was released on Youtube. Later, She has done a couple of films and has yet to sign and produce films.
Awards and Honours:
There was also an honour that happened for Balan in Australia. At Bollywood and Beyond festival, a retrospective performance was dedicated to Vidya Balan. She was invited to the Cannes Film Festival in 2013 as a jury member. For the film 'Tumhari Sulu,' NDTV quoted her acting as the best performer in the Hindi Cinema.
Off-Screen Vidya Balan is so generous and kind, as many of her friends and co-actors say. She is one of the members of 'The Indian Central Board of Film Certification.' She has got a lot of many rumours about dating her co-starts, but Balan denied every rumour, and she got married to Siddharth Roy Kapur, who is the CEO of UTV Motion Pictures. She learned Carnatic music and knows Bharatnatyam and Kathak dances.
Balan is a vegetarian, and Vidya loses and gains the weight required for the role Vidya does. She also campaigned for World Wildlife Fund's Earth Hour in India, Child In Need Institute in India and many more non-profit organizations in India.
It has been a big controversy about her film 'The Dirty Picture.' That film drew much attention from the media stating that the director deliberately made the movie out of the story of Silk Smitha, who was the then film actress. The movie involves the sexual portrayal of a woman's journey, which is similar to Smita's journey. So the media claimed that it was the autobiography of Smitha. Amidst all the controversies, the film did great at the box office.