She is Padma Shri Vidya Balan now, but the new prefix hasn’t changed her a bit. The actor whose next release, Shaadi Ke Side Effects, is scheduled for February 28, shares secrets about matchmaking, life after marriage and even a little ‘pillow’ talk. Balan reveals that Karan Johar was responsible for setting her up with now husband Siddharth Roy Kapur, head of Disney-UTV. “We were all at a dinner at Karan’s house. There was Ritesh Deshmukh, Farah Khan, Ranbir Kapoor, John Abraham and Siddharth. Though this happened during the making of No One Killed Jessica, we had not met on the set. When I later asked Karan why he thought of setting us up, he said he had an instinct that we would get along,” says Balan.
“One of the side effects of shaadi,” says the actor, who has often confessed to being an insomniac, “is that after marriage I have begun to sleep really well. I don’t watch TV and at most I will read a book or sit on my balcony for a little while and watch the sea. From sleeping at 4 am, I now go to sleep at midnight. That’s a big thing.”
The couple’s favourite pastime is watching movies together. “We do film festivals – like we watch a few films by any one director or any one actor. Right now we are watching Woody Allen films,” she says. In the mood of Valentine’s Day, I ask her about her favourite romantic film and she says, “Before Sunset, Before Sunrise, After Midnight, and in Hindi, Silsila.” As for her next films, there’s Bobby Jasoos, a film directed by Sujoy Ghosh, which sees her opposite Irrfan Khan, and a film with Emraan Hashmi, directed by Mohit Suri.
Busy on a shoot for Bobby Jasoos, Balan missed a call from the Home Affairs ministry informing her about the Padma Shri honour. She got the message from her husband. “I just didn’t believe him,” Balan recalls. “They called me back a few minutes later and said the President would like to honour you with a Padma Shri. Do you accept it? I was stunned and replied, ‘Most humbly’.”
Shaadi Ke Side Effects is scheduled to release on Februrary 28.