This actress was thrown out of 13 films, body-shamed, labelled 'manhoos' by producers, then gave solo Rs 100-crore hit

This actress was thrown out of 13 films and body-shamed by industry insiders, before she bounced back to become the 'female hero'

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This actress was thrown out of 13 films, body-shamed, labelled 'manhoos' by producers, then gave solo Rs 100-crore hit
Vidya Balan


There have not been many actresses in the Indian film industry who have managed to deliver Rs 100 crore hits without any male lead in the film. The list of female-led films in the 100-crore club is small, and it all started barely a decade ago. The actress who did this first also had a ong and winding road to reach there, facing rejections and name-calling.

The actress who was thrown out of 13 films

Vidya Balan began her acting career in her teens when she appeared on the sitcom Hum Paanch. This led to a few films early on. But Vidya has said that she faced more rejections than acceptance in the early phase of her career. “In recent times, I have received calls from them (producers who earlier replaced her in their films) but I politely refused to be part of their films. I was kicked out of 13 films. When one producer replaced me in a film, their behaviour with me was very bad. They made me feel so ugly that for six months, I could not gather the courage to look at myself in the mirror,” she told Prabhat Khabar in 2022.

When Vidya was body-shamed and name-called

In an interview, Vidya recalled that after one of her Malayalam films got shelved, the producer called her manhoos (unlucky), which left a serious dent on her self-confidence. Even after she broke through with Parineeta and saw a string of successes, Vidya faced jibes about her body and dressing. She was called everything from worst dressed actress to overweight.


A post shared by Vidya Balan (@balanvidya)

How Vidya Balan bounced back

After 2010, Vidya turned it around with a string of good performances in films like Kahaani and No One Killed Jessica. But her true life-changing role came with The Dirty Picture, inspired by the life of Silk Smitha. The 2013 release was the first Bollywood film led by a woman to earn over Rs 100 crore in India. Her success led to many calling her a ‘female hero’. “The Dirty Picture is a role that changed not just my life but the narrative of the Hindi film heroine,” Vidya had told DNA last year while talking about the film.

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