Name: Vidya Balan
Born: January 1, 1978
Zodiac Sign: Capricorn
Birth Place: Palghat, Kerala, India
Nationality: Indian
Mother Tongue: Tamil
Religion: Hindu
Occupation: Bollywood actress / Fashion model

Family:
Father: PR Balan – Vice President of ETC Channel
Mother: Home Maker
Siblings: Elder sister Priya
Marital status: Single
Education:
School: St. Antony’s School
College: St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai University. She has sociology degree
Likes: Indian classical music
Favorites:
Films: DDLJ, Dil Se, One fine day
Clothes: Saris
Food: Home-Cooked Food
Actor: Amitabh Bachchan
Actress: Madhuri Dixit
Other Facts: Vidya is spiritually inclined
Hobbies: Reading – All of Paulo Coelho’s books, listening to music and watching films
Debut Film: Bhaalo Theko (Bengali Movie-2003), Parineeta(In Hindi-2005)
Languages Known: Tamil, Hindi, English, Malayalam & Bengali
ENTRY TO THE BOLLYWOOD FILM INDUSTRY:
Vidya Balan (born January 1, 1978 in Palakkad, Kerala, India) is an Indian actress based in Mumbai, India.
EARLY LIFE:
Although born in Palakkad to Tamil Iyer parents in Kerala, Vidya Balan grew up in Mumbai and attended St. Anthony’s Girls High School, St. Xavier’s College, Bombay and later the University of Mumbai. She graduated from college with a Sociology degree. She speaks several languages including Tamil, Malayalam, English, Hindi, and Bengali.
CAREER:
Vidya Balan, then Vidya Iyer, was signed to appear in the Malayalam film “Chakram”, which was shelved. She was then signed in Tamil by Lingusamy for his Run, but for reasons undisclosed, she was dropped after a first schedule and replaced by Meera Jasmine. In the jinx driven industry Vidya was dropped from her second Tamil movie “Manasellam” opposite to Srikanth, on the grounds of ‘non-performance’ and replaced by Trisha Krishnan.
She then turned to television advertising. From 1998 onwards, she appeared in numerous television ads, many of which were directed by Pradeep Sarkar. She also took supporting roles in music videos, appearing with singers and bands such as Euphoria, Shubha Mudgal, and Pankaj Udhas, and acted in Hindi soap operas like Hum Paanch. She portrayed the role of Radhika Mathur in few episodes of season 1 of “Hum Paanch” (sitcom) which was first aired in 1995. Since she is obviously older than 13 in these episodes, her repeated claims to have been born in 1982 is believed to be false.
In 2005, she finally made her appearance on the big screen, in two movies. She appeared in a Bengali film, “Bhalo Theko”, for which she won the Best Actress Anand Lok Puraskar award in Kolkata. Also in 2005, Balan made her Hindi film debut in “Parineeta”. The film was very successful at the box office.
After the success of Parineeta the same producer who dropped Vidya Balan from Manasellam saying that she was not emoting properly & non photogenic, was after her to sign her opposite to none other than Kamal Hassan for Dasavatharam. But Vidya Balan rejected the offer and Asin Thottumkal was signed instead.
In 2006 she appeared opposite Sanjay Dutt in the film “Lage Raho Munna Bhai”. The movie was a major hit within India and was ranked #1 on the box office for eight weeks after its release. Telugu Superstar Chiranjeevi who is enacting the remake of Lage Raho Munnabhai desperately wanted to sign Vidya Balan and the producer even offered her a remuneration of Rs. 1 crore, but Vidya Balan was not tempted to return South again.
Vidya was recently seen in a supporting role in Mani Ratnam’s Guru; she played a woman with a physical disability and she played a woman with amnesia in the multi-starrer “Salaam-e-Ishq: A Tribute To Love”. Her latest release is “Eklavya: The Royal Guard” which got mixed reviews.
Vidya’s next release will be Priyadarshan’s version of malayalam hit “Manichitrathazhu” that roughly translates to “magic lock”. The movie is about the mysteries of superstitions, supernatural power and split personality. Vidya essays the role immortalised by Shobana, who had bagged the Best Actress Award in 1990. Priyadarshan worked in the second unit of the original as a tribute to his master Fazil. Priyadarshan thought that Vidya Balan is a good dancer as she was a Palakkad Brahmin. He was shocked to discover that the actress has two left feet. But Vidya took it as a challenge and supposed to have practised hard for the crucial dance sequence in the climax where the Ganga transforms into the dancer Nagavalli by personality disorder.
PERSONAL LIFE:
Her father, P. R. Balan, is the Vice President of ETC Channel and her mother is a housewife.
In a video interview, Vidya has stated that she is “extremely spiritual”, has a “firm faith in God” and visits temples everyday .
Gossip columnists linked Vidya with one of her co-stars, John Abraham. She strongly denied the allegations, saying that the rumors were “vile”.
VIDYA BALAN TRIVIA:
* She signed on for the role of Anaida Raza (Lara Dutta) in “Jhoom Barabar Jhoom” (2007). After finding out the script required her to dance, she dropped out.
* Speaks English, Hindi amd Tamil. After filming “Parineeta (2005)”, can also speak Bengali quite well.
* She has been linked to actor, Madhavan several times: she has paired with him in Guru and was set to pair with him in Run. Other films such as Suryamukhi, Stella, Once More and Oru Naal Podhuma were announced with the pair of them in the lead roles only to be called off or postponed.
* A Tamilian from Kerala, she hails from the Iyer community in Palakkad, on the border of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
* Vidya Balan was signed to appear in the Malayalam film Chakram, but the film was abandoned mid-way through production
* She is from the Iyer community
* She made her debut as a model in a Surf Excel advertisement in 1998
* She decided to join films the day she interacted with Shabana Azmi while in college
* She is trained in Carnatic music
* Vidya had to go through 40 screen tests and 17 make-up shoots before she was chosen for the lead role in Parineeta
* Vidya Balan has acted in more than 25 ad films, most of which were directed by Pradeep Sarkar
* 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.
* Listed as number 8 of ‘Top Bollywood Actresses’ of 2006. (rediff.com, 8-25-2006)
VIDYA BALAN PERSONAL QUOTES:
“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.”
“I have enjoyed the success my work has brought me. Some might say I haven’t really struggled to be successful. I think it is my perspective that is utopian. My state of mind is positive and peaceful. And I dare to dream”
“Our city has been ravaged by the monsoon. There’s mayhem and disorder every where. Lives have been lost and property destroyed.”
“My attitude towards the tragedy has been mixed – on the one hand, I have utmost faith. On the other hand, I question the powers above. Property is replaceable, life is not. Why have innocents died? I have asked myself this question again and again. It’s when a tragedy of this scale that has no apparent reason occurs that I wonder how I can continue to look at the brighter side of life… The answer eludes me.”
“I am extremely spiritual. Spirituality, for me, is unmoving faith in the force above. Though I have firm faith in God, I refuse to follow meaningless rituals. And I am certainly not superstitious. I believe there is one supreme power, a governing force that rules the world. I derive my strength from that force. It could be a manifestation of the sun or the moon. I call it God.”
“Even in times of adversity, I believe everything that happens, happens for the best. I am a die-hard optimist. People say this bent of mind is fatalistic but I don’t think so. There’s a light at the end of every tunnel. Every moment I think God is around me, there’s never any reason to fear. I have never slotted things as good and bad – they are always good and not so-good. I believe we should make the most of what we have.”
“I have enjoyed the success my work has brought me. Some might say I haven’t really struggled to be successful. I think it is my perspective that is utopian. My state of mind is positive and peaceful. And I dare to dream.”
“I must say Mumbai is a relatively safe city for women. They can and they do deal with hooliganisn when they have to be. For years I was train commuter in Mumbai. And I was a victim of eve-teasing a lot many times. There have been instances when I’ve slapped men and screamed at them for staring or misbehaving.I was warned against retaliation. But I think if male aggression isn’t nipped in the bud, they finally gather the courage to get worse in their behaviour. Societal fear is so large that women keep quiet when they’re subjected to indecent behaviour. Not me. When I commuted by train I’d pull up men for staring at me. As a woman you instinctively know a man’s intention by the way he shakes your hand.”
“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.”
VIDYA BALAN AWARDS:
Winner:
* 2005: Star Screen Award Most Promising Newcomer – Female for Parineeta
* 2005: Star’s Sabsey Favourite Nayi Heroine for Parineeta
* 2005: Stardust Superstar of Tomorrow – Female for Parineeta
* 2005: Filmfare Best Debut Award for Parineeta
* 2005: Zee Cine Award Best Female Debut for Parineeta
* 2005: International Indian Film Academy Awards, Best Female Debut for Parineeta
* 2005: Anand Lok Puraskar Award, Best Actress for Bhalo Theko
Nominations:
* 2007 : International Indian Film Academy Awards: Best Actress for Lage Raho Munnabhai

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