Vidya Balan (pronounced [ʋɪd̪jaː baːlən]; born 1 January 1978) is an Indian actress. She has established a successful career in Bollywood and is the recipient of several awards, including a National Film Award, five Filmfare Awards, and five Screen Awards, and was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2014. She is known for portraying strong female protagonists and has been acknowledged in the media for pioneering a change in the concept of a Hindi film heroine.Vidya aspired to a career in film from a young age, and had her first acting role in the 1995 sitcom Hum Paanch. She pursued a master's degree in sociology from the University of Mumbai and simultaneously made several unsuccessful attempts to start a career in film. She subsequently featured in various television commercials and music videos, and in 2003 made her feature film debut as the protagonist of the independent Bengali drama Bhalo Theko. In 2005 Vidya garnered praise for her first Hindi film, the drama Parineeta, and followed it with a leading role in the highly successful 2006 comedy film Lage Raho Munna Bhai.This initial success was followed by roles in the romantic comedies Heyy Babyy (2007) and Kismat Konnection (2008) which met with negative reviews. The year 2009 marked the beginning of the most successful period in Vidya's career as she portrayed five consecutive roles to wide critical acclaim in the 2009 drama Paa, the 2010 black comedy Ishqiya, the 2011 semi-biographical thriller No One Killed Jessica, the 2011 biopic The Dirty Picture, and the 2012 thriller Kahaani. These roles established her as a leading actress of Hindi cinema and earned her the tag of a "female hero".In addition to acting in films, Vidya promotes humanitarian causes and supports the empowerment of women. She initially drew criticism for her fluctuating weight and "questionable" dress sense, but was later credited in the media for "not morphing herself to fit into any conventional slot". She is married to the film producer Siddharth Roy Kapur. Wikipedia
Since Silk Smitha was known to be a heavy smoker, Vidya Balan took up heavy chain smoking to prepare for her role as her in her film "The Dirty Picture" (2011). She would smoke around a pack a day, and sometimes before shooting she would smoke up to ten cigarettes consecutively to get in character. She claimed she would get big headaches and sometimes the crew had to assist her because she'd feel sick. Once filming ended, she immediately quit smoking.
Dubbed for actress Sharbani Mukherjee in the film "Sankaal - The Latch".
Daughter-in-law of actress, model Salome (Tu Hi Mere Zindagi 1965).
Granddaughter-in-law of Producer, Director G Rakesh.
Listed as number 8 of 'Top Bollywood Actresses' of 2006. (rediff.com, 8-25-2006)
Speaks English, Hindi, Malayalam, and Tamil. After filming Parineeta (2005), can also speak Bengali quite well.
Did her schooling from St. Antony's School and later on at St. Xavier's College where she graduated in Sociology. She soon started work on her MA from Mumbai University when she was offered a role in a Malayalam film starring Mohanlal, but it was later shelved due to issues with the director.
A Tamilian from Kerala, she hails from the Iyer community in Palghat, on the border of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
Neither of my first two Malayalam films got completed, and I walked out of the third, a Tamil film, because I was not comfortable. I was replaced in another Tamil film with the excuse that I could not act. They made me feel ugly to the point where I was scared to look in the mirror. In retrospect I thank God, and by God's grace today the going is good.