Vidya had to undergo 60 tests to bag Parineeta

Mumbai: She is one of the most sought after actresses today but her journey in filmdom wasn`t a cake walk. Vidya Balan had to give over 60 screen tests for her debut Bollywood film, `Parineeta`.

After appearing in several ad films and music videos, she made her debut in B-town with Vidhu Vinod Chopra`s home production in 2005.

"I was doing ad films and I had signed quite a few South films but then I went through a phase of being called jinxed because my first South film was stopped midway and then even other directors threw me out of their films. Then I started doing music videos…but Dada (director Pradeep Sarkar) had told me he would make a film with me," Vidya told reporters here, on Friday night at the Vidhu Vinod Chopra festival.

"He (Pradeep Sarkar) went to Chopra (Producer) with the script and the latter wanted a bigger star but he also said if I am able to show that I can do the role then they will take me. I gave over 60 tests..right from Indian look, western look, curly hair, straight hair, song, emotional scene..etc. I kept doing it but later I was fed up as I was not aware if they were really going to take me or not," Vidya said.

"And the moment I gave up was the time when I got the film," 34-year-old actress recalled. Producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra made her undergo gruelling tests for the role of Lalita, till she got it right.

"We tested her 60-65 times..after a few tests I saw her looking at the camera and abusing me. The fact that she was desperate to do the showed in those 60-65 tests. But when she did not give a damn was the time when she performed. If you are desperate for something you won`t get it," Chopra said.

"Vidya became Vidya Balan when she stopped caring. I am happy that she sustained those 65 odd tests and did not give up and look where she is today," he said.

The `Dirty Picture` star also revealed that even director Pradeep Sarkar, made her do 28 takes to capture an emotional moment in the song `Raat Humari Toh`.

`Parineeta` besides Vidya, also starred Saif Ali Khan and Sanjay Dutt in pivotal roles and was a hit at the box office.

PVR Cinemas, in association with Chopra has organized a first of its kind retrospective of his films as a tribute to mark his completion of 30 years in the film industry.

On the second day of the fest when `Parineeta` was screened, those present on the occasion included Vidya, Raima Sen, Pradeep Sarkar, cinematographer Natarajan Subramaniam and music director Shantanu Moitra among others.