Vidya Balan describes as the most blatant come-hither gesture she has ever seen any actress in Hindi cinema make, in Ishqiya she was required to take Arshad Warsi’s thumb in her mouth and suck on it suggestively.
Each time she did so in the rehearsals, Vidya would burst into uncontrollable giggles. And Arshad would join in. Recalls Vidya, “Fortunately, Arshad is a friend. We’ve gotten along well from the time we did Lage Raho Munnabhai together.
I don’t know if I’d have been able to do a scene like putting my co-star’s finger in the mouth if it was some other actor. That gesture of sucking Arshad’s thumb was so raunchy and sexy, and that’s so not me, I couldn’t connect with it all.”
That sense of non-connectivity, says Vidya, runs through her character in Ishqiya. “I play this rustic voluptuous woman. All my weight-loss happened after I did this film. I had to look filled up for this part. In Ishqiya, everything from the way I wore my saree to the way I looked at men, was alien to me. The role exposed me to a new way of interpreting a liberated woman. My character in Ishqiya may not know about feminism. But she’s truly liberated.”
Vidya is now looking forward to the release of Ishqiya in January. “The director Abhishek Chaubhey had to constantly keep giving me a pep talk. Quite often I was stuck because of the language and content.”