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Vidya Balan on How Bollywood Behaves with Married Actresses & Its Impact on Her

  • IWB Post
  •  June 11, 2015


Vidya Balan, in one of her latest interviews with Indian Express has spoken openly about the way Bollywood behave with married actresses and what impact it had on her psychologically. Read the excerpts below:

On how she ‘tried’ to fight the stereotype in Bollywood:

I had decided to get married and I felt if I said no to the film, the industry would think ki chalo ab yeh shaadi kar rahi hai toh iska pack up! I didn’t want to send across that message. That’s the reason I went ahead with Shaadi Ke Side Effects , which was my first film after marriage.

How she forced herself out there:

I was putting tremendous pressure on myself not just to perform well, but also to prove to people that I wasn’t slowing down after marriage. I was feeling insecure. How could I not? Because this is the only thing I’ve done in my life. Being an actor is my identity.


I remember so many people asking me if I was sure I wanted to marry when I was at the peak of my career, but I was very sure about Siddharth (Roy Kapur) and that I wanted to marry him. But at the same time, I didn’t want anyone to say that I was slowing down or losing interest in my career.

Dealing with flop films:

I was shattered when Ghanchakkar flopped. When Shaadi Ke Side Effects also didn’t work, for a brief moment I did question ki maine shaadi karli toh uski wajah se are my films flopping?

Siddharth would keep telling me that why are you putting extra pressure on yourself? Why do you want to prove that you are a superwoman?

Lessons learnt:

I realized that the audience perception doesn’t change every Friday, it’s only the industry’s perception that changes. We have been conditioned to live in fear, and so we limit ourselves. There was a lot of anger in myself which I was bottling inside. I stopped personalising anymore.


I’m married, only my husband needs to be invited and I can be his plus one! Look, I’m not a feminist but these past couple of years, the ideas of me being free, liberated and independent were being questioned. I had to find myself once again.

Lesson for other women:

I think, as women we put too much pressure on ourselves. When Indra Nooyi said that women can’t have it all, it created quite a furore but I think she was right. The fact is that women need not have it all. We are trying to do too much. We need to tell this to our women that if they want to take a break when they have a child then they must. Nobody should judge them because they want to be with their baby. It should not be taken as a signal of slowing down. Women should be allowed to breathe…

Women should not be too hard on themselves. I’ve realized that there is no need to prove anything to anyone beyond a point.

All the best, Vidya. We’re going to watch ‘Hamari Adhuri Kahani’ that’s releasing tomorrow, and you?

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