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Vidya Balan: People told me I was shortening my career by doing Ishqiya

Vidya Balan discussed gender inequality at the recently held Voot Select Film Festival.

Vidya Balan: People told me I was shortening my career by doing Ishqiya
Vidya Balan in Ishqiya.

Last Updated: 03.42 PM, Jul 23, 2021


Vidya Balan has become a force to reckon with in the film industry. The actress has been taking up projects which break stereotypes and look at women as equals. Expressing her happiness about it, Vidya, while talking at the Voot Select Film Festival, said, "Cinema has started giving women their due. It is so refreshing and heartening."

She also mentioned that people warned her against working on Ishqiya with a veteran actor like Naseeruddin Shah. "People asked me why would I do a film like Ishqiya where I was cast opposite a veteran and much older Naseeruddin Shah. They told me I was shortening the span of my career. I just thought that I should do it because I liked it. Because that film did well, things started opening up. That's the domino effect," she shared.

Her upcoming film Natkhat also deals with gender inequality and the roots of it being questioned. Vidya says that women have grown up in a way that they accept men as superior to them and thus, accepting the change is a long journey. Narrating how a friend was worried after firing her male househelp, she asked, "Would we have felt the same way if it was a woman? The patriarchy is really deep-rooted in us and we don't even realise it."

Vidya is not new to facing gender inequality in her real life too. She narrated a tale and said, "Many years ago, my uncle told my father that his son would take care of me. It frustrates me to date because we are capable and didn't need him to protect us."

In a more recent incident at her home where she lives with her producer husband Siddharth Roy Kapur, Vidya saw a hint of inequality. "Even my househelp once just came to me, just because she did not want to disturb Siddharth in the middle of a meeting. She didn’t know that I was in a meeting too," she recalled.


"It's a part of our upbringing, it’s subconscious," the actress stressed. For the uninitiated, the child actor who played Vidya's son in the film is actually a girl. She had to play the role of a young man who unknowingly learnt and accepted molesting, raping and killing a woman as a way of dealing with them.

Vidya was completely taken aback by the fact that despite such a heavy subject which Sonu (the child actor) probably didn't even understand, she didn't flinch when it came to the dialogues. "We were in a closed room. She was constantly falling asleep but every time during the dialogues, Sonu looked up on cue. I just thought, who is this wonder child?" the actress said.

Natkhat is the first film to be released as part of the Voot Select Film Festival. It starts streaming on July 24.

Fooling people with its title, Natkhat is the story of a mother who has to deal with her son who is on his path to becoming a criminal or inhuman, at the very least. How she deals with the situation is the crux of the film.

Apart from acting, Vidya has also produced the film along with RSVP (Ronnie Screwvala Production). However, the actress has no intentions of pursuing a full-fledged career in production anytime soon.

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