For someone notoriously referred to simply as a “soft porn actress”, South sex siren Silk Smitha was an enigma. That said, there has been much hype surrounding Ekta Kapoor and Milan Luthria’s The Dirty Picture that chronicles Silk’s meteoric rise and subsequent fall. Vidya Balan, who will play the part, has been tight-lipped so far. Here, she talks to BT for the first time about the role…
What was your first reaction when you saw yourself in this getup?
It’s for you to react, not me! I’m beginning to feel like Silk… a bit slippery. Silk was made to give Indian men sleepless nights!
But you liked what you saw?
I loved it because it was the character that we were all trying to create.
Have you seen any of Silk’s films?
I’ve seen Sadma and some of her South songs earlier. She doesn’t leave much to imagination. Silk is every woman’s wild side and yet she’s soft where it matters (smiles). She was spunky, yet she can shock you with a straight face.
Have you gained weight for this look or is it a lot of padding up as was reported?
You’ll have to watch the film for that. All I know is that as a woman, I’ve always loved my curves and curves loved Silk. What is it that they say anyway, the more of me there is, the more there is to love. This film isn’t about weight, it’s about what sells. Need I say more? The Dirty Picture is a Moulin Rouge meets Himmatwala kind of a film.
But as an actor, you would be wary of putting on kilos as shedding it might not be easy…
My vanity lies in wanting to look like the person I’m playing, so I don’t think beyond the film.
Was it a little tough getting into the skin of this character, considering it’s very different from what you are in real life?
That makes it more interesting. It’s no challenge to be playing yourself. And as an actor, I would like to do different kinds of roles. Bette Davis is my inspiration and like her, I want to play a new character each time. You’ll see me playing a pregnant wife in search of her husband in Sujoy Ghosh’s Kahani.
Over the past couple of years, you’ve done a wide range of films. Unlike your contemporaries, they’re not masala flicks…
I feel lucky to be doing the kind of work I’m doing and by God’s grace, it’s working. I’m happy. TOI