In an industry which stereotypes actors easily, Vidya Balan, who has essayed a variety of roles, says she is very selfish as an actor and she only works for herself.
The actress has charted herself a different trajectory with her film choices be it 'Paa', 'Ishqiya', 'No One Killed Jessica', 'The Dirty Picture' or 'Kahaani'.
"I only work for myself. If I like something, I don't think about what people are going to say or whether the story is 'different' enough. I am very selfish, I don't think of anything but what I want to do," Vidya told PTI in an interview.
Her last two films 'Ghanchakkar', a comedy, and 'Shaadi Ke Side Effects', a romantic comedy, did not work well at the box office and interestingly she was not the central protagonist. Vidya, however, says she was too close to these two projects to know exactly what went wrong.
"It is sad that two of my films did not work. 'Shaadi...' was a very regular role. If the film had worked people would not have minded. The film did not work so they are saying probably it was not different. It is flattering but I can't restrict myself to a type. I can't play central protagonist in all my films."
It is an hard-earned wisdom for Vidya, who was once at the receiving end of critics be it her films, her life or the sartorial choices. "It was in 2007 when I was being badgered for everything. Whatever I did, someone or the other had something to say. I realised that if I was going to let my happiness depend on other people's approval then I would keep trying for the rest of my life.
"I also realised that there is one person whose happiness is in my control and that is me. I started living according to what made me happy and it has changed my life." In her latest release 'Bobby Jasoos', Vidya plays an earnest 30-something aspiring detective in Hyderabad. Happy with the initial response to the film, which has been produced by her 'Parineeta' co-star Dia Mirza and Sahil Sanga, she is hoping the film does better through word-of-mouth publicity.
"The film has done better than what we expected. We knew that it would gain audience through word-of-mouth publicity because it is not an appointment film. The response has been very encouraging so far," Vidya said.The actress, 36, says she was drawn to the movie, helmed
by debutant Samar Shaikh, for its human story.
"What appealed to me was the human story because I am not a detective story fan. I had to strike a fine balance in playing Bobby and all the credit goes to Samar. He kept telling me that she is not your know-it-all detective. She is learning along the way. She is a novice so there had to be a certain innocence while portraying her."
Vidya will next be seen in Mohit Suri's 'Hamari Adhuri Kahani', the story of which has been written by Mahesh Bhatt.The actress says she is looking forward to begin shooting for the movie in September this year as it is her first love story after her 2005 debut 'Parineeta'."I am very excited that Bhatt saab is writing the script.
'Arth' had the strongest influence on me as an actor. I wanted to work with him but he has stopped directing when I joined films so I am thrilled that he has written the story. I love Mohit's direction. He is great with relationship stories," Vidya said.