Vidya Balan
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Vidya Balan: Film audience no longer feels the need to go to a theatre to watch a star

By HT

Vidya Balan is an actor who is known to pick projects with strong scripts and characters than look for commercial success. 
 
And she agrees that in today’s times, even when Bollywood actors still enjoy a demigod status among fans, film audiences largely value content over anything else when it comes to catching a film in a theatre.
 
“People are so prudent when it comes to spending time and money, so they put thoughts like ‘is it worth my time, money and energy to go to the theatre?’ and if they’ll get to experience something different,” says Vidya, who has won hearts of critics and fans alike with films such as Paa (2009), The Dirty Picture (2011), Kahaani (2012), and her most recent, Tumhari Sulu (2017).
 
The actor points out that film buffs no longer chase star value as “stars have become quite accessible now” through social media and when they promote their films on ground. “So, people no longer feel the need to go to a theatre to watch a star. They want to go into the theatre to experience a good film and characters.”
 
To back her statement that “content wins over anything else”, Vidya gives the example of the controversial film Lipstick Under My Burkha (2017). “Of course, if had some established actors but despite all the controversies it was embroiled in, when it released, people watched it and it was a fairly successful film. It was a film about women’s sexuality, the kind you wouldn’t think will do really well, but it did! So, content is attracting people.”
 
A bankable actor, Vidya is hailed as “an actress who carries the film solely on her shoulders” or as some like to put it, the “traditional hero of a Bollywood flick”. Does that put any pressure on her? “I don’t look at it as any kind of a burden or responsibility,” says the 39-year-old, adding, “We work as a team and everyone is as important as an actor. And honestly, I don’t read much of what is printed in newspapers about how I fared in a film.”