VIDHYA BALAN Biography - Theater, Opera and Movie personalities


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Vidya Balan, the Tamilian Iyer girl from Palghat  grew up in Mumbai, did her early years of education at St. Antony’s School and later graduated in Sociology from St. Xavier’s College. While she was doing her MA from Mumbai University, she got an offer in a Malayalam film titled ‘Chakram’ with Mohanlal. Unfortunately, the film was shelved mid-way because of some issues between the director and Mohanlal. Then Vidya had to wait for a few more years to make her movie debut.


In 1998, this elegant beauty started her career as a model in Surf Excel advertisement. Later she appeared in more than 25 ad films like Ponds, Bajaj etc. Before getting her big break in Bollywood, she acted in a few music videos with Euphoria, Shubha Mudgal, Pankaj Udhas etc. She was also seen in TV serials such as Ashok Pandit’s ‘Hanste Khelte’ and Ektaa Kapoor’s ‘Hum Paanch’ as well as a Bengali movie ‘Bhalo Theko’ with actor Joy Sengupta. She won the best actress award, ‘Anand Lok Puraskar’ for the movie in Kolkata.


In 2005, she debuted in Bollywood with Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s Parineeta, directed by Pradeep Sarkar. It was nothing short of a challenge for her to capture the grace, elegance and subtle nuances of her character Lolita. She succeeded in making the role perfect with her natural beauty and talent. But it was not an easy feat for Vidya to get her Bollywood break. She had to go through 40 screen tests and 17 make-up shoots before she was chosen for the lead role in this film. After that, she read Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s book on which the movie was based and saw the 1953 celluloid version of ‘Parineeta’ by filmmaker Bimal Roy. She has a number of future projects lined up for release.


Vidya has a very traditional Indian look in contrast to most of today’s Bollywood starlets. She is associated with AmFar and Hale House, a home for children born with HIV and those affected by drug addiction. She also involves herself with the Harvard AIDS Institute, by hosting forums and participating in events throughout the year. No wonder that Vidya Balan is one of the most talked about names in Bollywood today.