If Abhishek Bachchan has carried his dad playing the progeric Auro piggyback in Paa, Vidya Balan had to carry another actor playing the same character’s younger version.
The problem was, the physically-challenged 3-foot actor was almost the same weight as Vidya. She tripped and fell while doing the scene.
His name is Little Kiran. But he’s anything but little age-wise. Though height-challenged 3-feet nothing, Little Kiran who has played parts in a number of Hollywood films including segments of Narnia, The Lord Of The Rings and Star Trek was brought to Mumbai to play Vidya Balan’s progeric son at a younger age than the Big B.
It was when the shooting started that the director Balki suggested she carry him piggyback, the way Abhishek carries the older Auro later in the film.
Says Vidya, “At first the idea of carrying a 53-year old man who happened to be a very warm and talented Gujarati artiste from London was very discouraging. But when you’re doing a film that you know somewhere is creating an unprecedented world, you tend to get defiant as an actor.”
Vidya recklessly agreed to carry a man who was older than her and almost the same weight. In doing so she tripped and fell and suffered an acute back-ache for a long time.
But it was all worth it.
Says Vidya, “It’s a passing shot. But I don’t think any actress in the world has done it. Carried a 53-year old man playing her son. But then which other actress my age gets to play Mr Bachchan’s mother?”
Vidya says she might have hesitated in playing a mom if it was to a real child. “But with Mr Bachchan it was a straight yes.”
The effort has paid off. On Saturday night Vidya’s family saw Paa for the first time along with the Bachchans. “And my sister Priya howled all through. To her I’ll always be the little baby of the family and she the protective Didi. She couldn’t believe the trauma of a mother that I was projecting in Paa.”
Be shocked if you like, but Vidya with all her nurturing personality can’t get along with kids in real life. “If I hold a baby for a while I get stressed. In Heyy Babyy, the baby would bawl every time I had to carry it. In Paa I had to mother a man who was far older. It took a lot of getting used to. The fact that Mr Bachchan kept referring to me as ‘Maa’ as soon he entered the sets, sure helped.”
And now Vidya goes straight into playing his daughter in Sanjay Leela Bhansali-produced Chenaab Gandhi.
“Isn’t that amazing? It takes a lot of getting used to. But I feel blessed. I’m done with trying to be someone I am not. I went through a period of tremendous turmoil when I was struggling to do roles that didn’t come naturally to me. But now in hindsight I think that confusion helped me pick Paa, Ishiqya and Chenaab Gandhi. It’s gratifying to know today directors think of me for specific roles and not just as one of many choices.”
A lot is being said about Vidya’s aesthetic clothes in Paa. “All thanks to Sabysachi Chakraborty. I think he understood my body language and my personality perfectly. And he dressed me up beautifully without overstepping the parameters of my character.”