Working with the Khans is considered to be the benchmark of success in Bollywood. People who have got a chance to work with either of the Khan– Salman Khan, Shahrukh Khan, or Aamir Khan is considered lucky. And the ones who get a chance to work with all three of them at any point of time in their career are considered to be successful. Their names are then counted as A-listers.
But the question is- Is working with the Khans actually a benchmark of success in Bollywood? Well, there’s an actress who has never worked with either of the Khan and still made her way into the glamour industry. Not only did she became popular and won our hearts, but also broke several stereotypes about women in the film industry. We are talking about none other than Vidya Balan. She is known for bringing a change in how an actress is looked at in the film industry by playing strong-willed women in her several films.
It is hard to imagine a Hindi film without a hero. After all, that is what sold to us. But Vidya has proved that she doesn’t need a hero to make her film superhit. With films like Tumhari Sulu, Kahani, The Dirty Picture etc, she broke several myths and stereotypes.
Vidya started her acting career with a popular TV Show named Hum Paanch. She was merely sixteen years old at that time. Despite her inclination towards acting since teenage, she gave equal importance to getting an education. She pursued a master’s degree in sociology. During her college days, she kept looking for opportunities in films, but all her attempts were unsuccessful. She tried in Telugu, Malayalam and Tamil film industry, but nothing worked out. However, Vidya didn’t give up. During her days of struggle, she did commercials and music videos to sustain herself.
In 2005, she finally got the big break with Pradeep Sarkar’s Parineeta. The film became a hit at the box office and people loved this new girl in town for her amazing performance. She even won the Filmfare award for best debut.
Later, she was seen in Rajkumar Hirani’s Lage Raho Munna Bhai in which she played the role of a Radio Jockey. People fell in love with her voice when she said ‘Good Morning Mumbai’.
She later went on to do various films like Heyy Baby, Salaam-e-Ishq, Guru etc. Her career was then boosted again with films like Bhool Bhulaiya and Kahaani. With her film Kahaani, she proved that she doesn’t need a hero. And it is continuing till date with her latest film Tumhari Sulu.
People often slam her for not having that ‘perfect figure’. But the body shaming never bothered her and she did ‘The Dirty Picture’ while embracing her body. Vidya has always been comfortable in her skin and has told several times that she is least interested in getting the zero figure.
In an interview in 2017, she was asked by a reporter, “We have mostly seen you in women-centric movies, so will you continue to appear in such women-centric roles or have you thought about losing your weight?”
To this, Vidya had a befitting reply and we couldn’t agree more. She replied to the reporter, “I’m very happy doing the kind of work I am. It would be really great if you people could change your mentality.”
After proving herself as an actress in Kahaani, The Dirty Picture and Bhool Bhulaiya, she went on to sign several other films like Bobby Jasoos, Shaadi Ke side effects etc.
In her 14 years of Bollywood career, she never felt the need to work with any Khan just to make her film hit. She has the capability to make a film successful on her own.
Well, seems like times are changing in Bollywood. We probably need more actress like Vidya Balan!