While Vidya Balan did go the de-glam way for her previous movie Ishqiya, it’s probably unfair to compare her looks in the former film and No One Killed Jessica. But one thing is for sure, Vidya manages to carry off a range of looks and emotions with the ease of a pro. In NOKJ, inspired from the Jessica Lal murder case, Vidya’s role is based on Jessica’s sister, Sabrina Lal, who fought for her sister’s case. “There’s a real, vulnerable, raw quality to Sabrina,” says Vidya, “She likes to get lost in the crowd. She’s very young when this incident happens in her life and it shows.” Vidya adds that she took special care to look the character by wearing loose, ill-fitting shirts and even adding a slight hunch to depict the body-conscious young Sabrina.
Surprisingly, Vidya met the real Sabrina only after the filming of the movie. So why did it take her so long to meet Sabrina? Vidya winces, “I thought it would be really insensitive to just ask Sabrina what it felt or what she went through. Sabrina did meet (director) Raj Kumar and discussed a few things with him. Later, Raj Kumar and I sat down and created the character of Jessica. So any resemblance between reel and real life Sabrina is just coincidence.”
About her earliest memories of the Jessica Lal case, Vidya recollects, “I was in college when I heard about the case. There were signature campaigns to show our support and even I signed up for them. When the verdict did come out finally (a few years ago), it wasn’t relief that I felt, but I was just happy that justice had been served. It was the way the case brought all of us – the media and the public – together that gave me hope.”
Crusader For Justice to Sexy Siren
You won’t be seeing Vidya in her coy avatar too soon. Next on her radar is Dirty Picture (working title), a film inspired by the life of south India’s sexy siren, Silk Smitha. Vidya Balan’s character is inspired by the late sex bomb who committed suicide. And she has also done a special dance number for Urumi, a Malayalam film directed by Santosh Sivan, and co-starring Genelia D’Souza. “I was actually surprised when Sivan came to me with this song. I had just recovered from a shoulder injury and was getting back to exercising. That’s when he told me that he didn’t want me to lose weight! He said that they don’t like skinny girls in Malayalam films. And to top it, I was dancing in front of Prabhu Devaa. I was so conscious that I asked him to close his eyes because I didn’t want him to see me dance!”
Silk Smitha or Sabrina Lal, Vidya sure is giving us a hell lot to look forward to!