Vidya Balan on Tumhari Sulu co-star Manav Kaul: No one could have played Ashok like him

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It is early evening and her drawing room is bathed in soft sunlight but there is no doubt that Vidya Balan is the warmest person in the room. Chatting up with her is always a delight as she is friendly, witty and articulate. There are very few actors who inspire as much respect as she does. Her upcoming film, Tumhari Sulu has already made an impression with its quirky trailer. In the film, she is Sulochana, a housewife who gets a job as a late night RJ. This is the second time, Vidya is planning a radio jockey. We caught up with the actress for a free-wheeling chat about the film. Excerpts…

How different in Sulu from Jhanvi of Lage Raho Munnabhai?
It was very different because Jhanvi of Lage Raho Munnabhai was a morning jockey while Sulu is a late night RJ. She is a homemaker in the day and an RJ in the evening. It is an unusual mix and not an easy association. During Lage Raho Munnabhai, I went to many radio stations met and observed many radio jockeys at work. Since, I have been interviewed by so many of them and now I know quite a few. This has worked in my favour but Jhanvi and Sulu are not similar.” (Also Read: Bigg Boss 11: Vidya Balan finds Akash Dadlani “funny”, and Salman Khan’s reaction to it is priceless – watch video)

The character instantly reminds us of RJ Nasar from Naughty Nights. What is your take?
I don’t think there are parallels between Nasar and Sulu. Of course, he is the easiest reference you can give. Having said that, Sulu does it her own way.

We see Sulu as a person with an alter ego. How close is she to the real Vidya?
Well, people who know me will say that I have a sense of humour. I laugh and smile at all times. This film let me be my happy self. You see the crazy laugh of Sulu at the end, I do things like that.

In the film, we see her husband enjoys her initial success but later he is upset as he does not get enough time from his wife. Has that ever happened to you?
It happens all the time doesn’t it. No, thankfully I have not seen it but I know many who have faced it. I feel men are very used to being the centre of a woman’s attention. So, work deflects a woman’s attention they don’t like it. It is common but I don’t think it is unfair. I feel it will change over a period of time as men will get used to women being independent.

People are liking Manav and your pairing. He is also a fine actor. How was the bonding on the sets?
He is a fabulous actor. I have only nice things to say about him. We had great trust on each other’s as actors. I feel we inspired that kind of respect right after our first meeting. The film required us to be really comfortable. They have a certain casualness in their relationship as they have been married for 12 years. Our comfort level was established easily. I don’t think anyone could have played the character as nicely as Manav.

Your last few films have failed at the box office. What are you hopes from Tumhari Sulu?
I know we have made a good film, for sure.

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