I didn’t have the body confidence that I have today: Vidya Balan
Vidya Balan speaks about her character Mira Rao in Neeyat, working with director Anu Menon, and other fun facts about the film.
If you were lucky, you might have just spotted Bollywood actor Vidya Balan taking a stroll with her family on Residency Road recently. “People may have seen me on the streets of Bengaluru because we went off to Karavalli for lunch with family. Then, we walked across the street to Corner House for ice cream,” says Balan, as she scrolls through pictures taken in front of a graffiti wall on Church Street from the day out. “My sister and brother-in-law used to live in Bengaluru, so these are old hangouts,” she says.
This jaunt was on her visit to the city for the promotion of her upcoming movie, Neeyat, where Balan plays the role of detective Mira Rao, who is decoding a murder mystery. Set in the Scottish countryside with an uncanny resemblance to Glass Onion: A Knives out Mystery, it won’t be surprising if audiences compare Mira Rao to Daniel Craig’s Benoit Blanc. But Balan affirms that director Anu Menon has made a clear distinction between the two. “Mira Rao is not a classic detective. She does not have that flamboyance and style that one might associate with detectives. Instead, she is socially awkward and is a geek. But she is extremely sharp but shy,” explains Balan, who also played the role of an aspiring detective in Bobby Jasoos.
While she gives most of the credit for creating Mira Rao to director Menon, Balan’s own curiosity has also seeped into the character. “People-watching is my favourite thing to do,” says Balan. This is the second time she is working with Menon, the first one being in Shakuntala Devi (2020), based on the renowned mathematician. “That’s my other connection with the city.
Shakuntala Devi was from here and the movie received so much love from the city,” she quickly inserts into the conversation and proceeds to speak fondly of Menon. “For me, the interesting thing about Anu [Menon] is you can’t predict what she will do next. Her last movie was Shankuntala Devi and then she did Neeyat. So you can’t box her into one category,” says Balan.
Known to be confident in her skin, Balan is idolised by many. “There is a certain part of me that has always been confident. I didn’t have the body confidence that I have today. That is work-in-progress, but I think the confidence comes from the way I was brought up. My sister and I were never compared to anyone,” concludes Balan.
Neeyat has a long list of stars – Ram Kapoor, Rahul Bose, Niki Aneja Walia Dipannita Sharma, Shashank Arora, Shahana Goswami, Neeraj Kabi, Prajakta Kohli and Amrita Puri. Vidya Balan spills the beans about her co-stars in the movie.
Who had most of the gossip?
Niki Aneja Walia. Her gossip came from nostalgia since she has worked in different mediums of entertainment.
The most stylish?
Who was the foodie?
Ram Kapoor. He always talks about different kinds of food
Most social media savvy?
Vidya Balan will be seen in one costume throughout the film. Did she miss trying out different looks? “Not at all,” she exclaims. “And it was so cold, so no changes kept me warm. There were three copies of the same costume but I preferred one piece,” she adds.