The Dirty Picture’s Silk knew what made showbiz work, and the actor himself was deeply involved with it. After making a remarkable debut in Parineeta, she has gone ahead with films like The Dirty Picture, Kahaani, Tumhari Sulu, Bhool Bhulaiyaa among many others. Last year, she immortalized the math genius, Shakuntala Devi in her biopic and is now all set to don the uniform of a forest officer for Silk Lioness.
The actor, in an exclusive conversation with thetimesofcapital.com, said that the lioness will help people take a stand for nature. “The balance between development and the environment is very important,” she said. Directed by Amit V Masurkar, the film revolves around Vidya Vincent (Balan), who is assigned a special task in the jungles of Madhya Pradesh. Apart from the pressure of her work, she also needs to change the mindset of her team members who believe that jungle is no place for a woman. According to the information received, excerpts from a detailed conversation with Vidya Balan about lioness, sexism and how OTT has become an alternative medium for Bollywood films.
What was your reaction when a film like Sherni came out?
This story is not only about the jungle but also about the jungle. It’s the first of its kind, at least the one I’ve been offered. Sherni also had an unusual director with an unusual story in Amit Masurkar, and I knew it was something I had to do. You also met real forest officials to know more about their lives.
How was your experience?
3 years hard work I was really surprised to know that there are so many women forest officers. All of them will have to undergo three years of rigorous training before being deployed. And sometimes it is quite difficult and difficult posting, like in Naxal areas. There are enough women stationed in these areas and they all told me that, like all of us, there is inherent sexism in their world. And sometimes it comes from loved ones, however, they find their way around it. The film was shot in real locations during the pandemic.
What were the challenges before you?
I didn’t miss the feature or the set at all. The production team really made it smooth for all of us. We worked in the fresh air, and I could take a walk during breaks. Also, Amit the whole team had prepared very well. It was actually the easiest shoot ever. When it comes to your career or your personal life many people assume that you are a tigress in real life. did you feel yourself like a tigress (laughs) I feel this way when I’m angry. When I get really angry, I’m kind of waiting, I’ll teach this person a lesson or show them what I’m made of. That’s when I feel like a lioness. But to be honest, you don’t need to roar to be a tigress. I think every woman can be dangerous, she is a lioness. Who is the lioness in your life? Mother is undoubtedly a lioness. She is absolutely fearless, she has been a housewife all her life but I have seen that boldness in her. She is courageous and, like a true tiger mother, is very protective of her children. She has a lot of interest and as her kids were growing up, my mom is not afraid to learn and actually knows technology better than me. In the trailer, we also see how your character deals with gender inequality at work. As an actor, which hasn’t really been specified as a gender role,
Have you ever felt it?
We women have faced this everywhere throughout our lives, sometimes even with our loved ones. This is sometimes the result of security, and more often from ignorance. I think we have all experienced it. There is also a scene where Ila Arun (who plays her mother-in-law) is asking you to put on some jewelry before leaving the house. As a society, we have evolved and evolved but women are asked to show the symbols of marriage.
Your reaction on this?
Not only the symbols of marriage but also the outward appearance of femininity. There is a certain mold in which we want our woman to be seen, especially after marriage. And it’s very common, my mom keeps asking me to wear some jewelry but I don’t think it’s a big deal. don’t miss these stories Vidya Balan stopped playing by the rules and became the lioness of Bollywood
Now with the lioness she has become the new OTT queen. As a Bollywood star, how do you see the web space as an alternative option,
especially in times like these?
Thank God for OTT. Will release simultaneously in 240 countries. This is an unimaginable achievement and wider than any theatrical release. Lioness is a universal film with a universal theme and I could not have asked for anything better for this film.
Lioness will stream on Amazon Prime Video from June 18.