With her roles in Ishqiya (2010), The Dirty Picture (2011) and Kahaani (2012), Vidya Balan’s on-screen performances had become synonymous with ‘women-oriented’ roles. The Dirty Picture, which was inspired by the life of the South Indian actor Silk Smitha, won her the National Award.
Now, her next film Begum Jaan will see her playing the “most powerful” role in her career. “I don’t know about brave, but this is definitely the most powerful role I have played, or let me put it this way: I have played strong characters but this is the most powerful one. I feel I haven’t seen this powerful a character on or off screen,” says Vidya, who plays the role of a brothel owner.
She says, “I am confused about the definition of a feminist, because it has become so random. Being a feminist is being someone who knows that she has equal rights, opportunities, and therefore, a right to live her life on her own terms. But the good thing is that feminism is in our collective consciousness.”