Although born in Palakkad in Kerala in January 1, 1982, 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. She is a Tamil Iyer.
Her father PR Balan is the Vice President of ETC Channel and her mother is a home maker. She has an older sister, Priya. She loves Indian classical music from Shiv Kumar Sharma and Hariprasad Chaurasia to Shubha Mudgal and Kishori Amonkar.
When she was doing her MA from Mumbai University, she was offered a role in a Malayalam film titled Chakram with Mohanlal, one of Vidya’s favorite actors. However, the project was shelved mid-way and Vidya had to wait for few more years to make her movie debut.
She made her debut as a model in a Surf Excel advertisement in 1998. She has acted in scores of ad films, most of which were directed by Pradeep Sarkar.
A couple of months later, she featured in three music videos (again directed by Sarkar) for ‘Euphoria’, Shubha Mudgal and Pankaj Udhas.
Vidya Balan started work as an actress in the Malayalam movie Chakram, paired against Mohanlal, however the film was abandoned mid-way through production. After making her debut in television advertising as a model for a Surf Excel advertisement in 1998, she proceeded to do over 25 TV ads, (mostly directed by Pradeep Sarkar), followed with a variety of acting stints in music videos (Euphoria, Shubha Mudgal and Pankaj Udhas), Hindi TV soap operas (Hanste Khelte and Hum Paanch) and a Bengali movie, Bhaalo Theko, for which she won the Best Actress Anand Lok Puraskar award in Kolkata.
It was in Mumbai, during a pop concert, when filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra approached her to play the female lead in his movie Parineeta, to be directed by Pradeep Sarkar.
Vidya had to go through 40 screen tests and 17 make-up shoots before she was finally chosen for the lead role in the film Parineeta.
Vidya has a very traditional Indian look in contrast to most of today's Bollywood starlets. She is associated with AmFar (Americans for AIDS Research) and Hale House, a home for children born with HIV and those affected by Drug Addiction. She also involves herself with the Harvard AIDS Institute, by Hosting Forums and participating in events throughout the year. No wonder that Vidya Balan is one of the most talked about names in Bollywood today.
Jhoom Barabar Jhoom (2007)
Shankardada Zindabad (2007)
Halla Bol (2007)
Hey Baby (2007)
Salaam E Ishq: A Tribute to Love (2007)
Lage Raho Munnabhai (2006)
"Hum Paanch" (2000)
Bhaalo Theko (2003)
Her Likes & Dislikes
Likes: indian classical music
Favorite films: DDLJ, Dil Se, One fine day
Favorite clothes: saris
Favorite food: home-cooked
Her hero: Amitabh Bachchan
Her heroine: Madhuri Dixit
Other facts: Vidya is spiritually inclined
Hobbies: reading - all of Paulo Coelho’s books, listening to music and watching films
Occupation: bollywood actress / fashion model
Debut Film: Bhaalo Theko
Languages: tamil, hindi, english, malayalam, Bengali
Star Screen Award Most Promising Newcomer - Female, Parineeta (2005),
Filmfare Best Debut Award, Parineeta (2005)
Zee Cine Award Best Female Debut, Parineeta (2005)
IIFA Award Best Female Debut, Parineeta (2005)
Stardust Superstar of Tomorrow - Female, Parineeta (2005).
2005: Anand Lok Puraskar Award, Best Actress for Bhalo Theko
We wish her all the best for all her forthcoming movies.