Master Class with Vidya Balan, moderated by Anupam Kher
Vidya Balan was the latest actor to share her experiences with students of Anupam Kher’s acting school Actor Prepares today. It was part of the continuing series of discourses AN ACTOR PREPARES: BEHIND THE SUCCESS. The initiative has been very popular with the students as it gives them a ring-side view to the behind-the-scenes stories of the hard work and struggles of the actors, and also directors, in the industry.
Aspiring to be an actor at an early age, National Award winner Balan’s first role was in 1995 in the comedy series Hum Paanch. Subsequently, she has essayed powerful, and critically acclaimed, roles contributing significantly to change the concept of the typical heroine in Hindi films. From her very first Hindi film Parineetain 2005, Balan portrayed formidable characters in Paa, Ishqiya, No One Killed Jessica, The Dirty Picture, Kahaani and Kahaani 2:Durga Rani Singh.
Introducing Balan, Kher said that apart from emerging as a powerhouse performer among the main stars in the business, he respected her for her perseverance in staying the course to enter films. ‘In a male-dominated industry, it is actresses like Vidya Balan who demand, by the sheer magic of their talent and hard work, equality for women. I respect her as a person and as an actor,’ said Kher.
In keeping with the format of the programme, Balan had a freewheeling and candid conversation with Kher, who quizzed her about her early days in the industry, her style of acting, how she researches her characters and her advice to budding actors. While confessing that she was basically a gregarious person, Balan acknowledged that she would lose that exuberance in front of the camera and turn shy!
‘Watch life and engage in meeting people. That becomes your treasure trove which you should dig deep into when it comes to enacting a role,’ said Balan. ‘No role is too small or insignificant. Keep doing work and you will get noticed in the long run. There is no substitute for hard work,’ was Balan’s advice to the students.
‘I am glad that Vidya Balan took out time to share her thoughts with my students. She is young and talented and a lot of the students aspiring to become actors would want to emulate her. Interaction with her on her career and her passion for cinema will only help the students get an insight into Vidya’s beliefs and approach to acting,’ said Kher.
About ACTOR PREPARES:
Actor Prepares is Asia’s finest acting school for talented individuals who wish to pursue careers as actor-performers in the entertainment industry. Established in 2005 by Anupam Kher, it is the only such institute in the world to be founded by an actor who is professionally active. Over the years, Kher has been the acting guru for a generation of the most successful actors in Hindi films. The current female superstar Dipika Padukone is the most prominent alumna of the institute.
Actor Prepares has also played host to several Hollylwood actors and directors when they visit Mumbai. Among the visitors have been Robert De Niro, Ang Lee, Danny Boyle, the Wachowskis, Jason Isaacs, Russell Peters and others. The institute is also privileged to have been the only acting school to be listed among the 22 ‘most unique’ institutions in the world.
The classes at Actor Prepares are conducted by competent in-house faculty members who passionately teach the craft through theory classes, games, exercises and extensively filmed practicals. In addition, there is a roster of Indian film celebrities who share with students their invaluable on-the-job experiences and tips to success in the BEHIND THE SUCCESS discourses. Anil Kapoor, Ranbir Kapoor, Preity Zinta, Boman Irani, Seema Biswas, Jackie Shroff, Abhishek Bachchan, were among those who were kind enough to share their knowledge and experience with our students.
Above all, each student at ACTOR PREPARES receives guidance and counselling from the country’s most successful, trained teacher-actor and motivational speaker Anupam Kher, throughout the programme.