In The Dirty Picture Vidya Balan has seven different looks that not only called for long hours of make-up, but some scenes also required face and body prosthetics. “Since the character Vidya plays is from the South film industry of the 1980s, she needed to be more curvaceous and even though she put on a few extra kilos, which was courageous for a beautiful woman who is a Bollywood star, she still needed prosthetics to get the over-all look right,” points out the film’s director, Milan Luthria.
For a recent schedule in Film City, Goregaon, Vidya needed to go through two-and-a-half hours of make-up every day to ‘reconstruct’ herself. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the heat and the humidity post the monsoons caused the make-up to melt, leaving her with no option but to go through the arduous process all over again.
“Our make-up expert Vikram Gaekwad had mentioned to us that prosthetics work well in cold climes abroad and could go haywire in the city’s October heat. But we were still unprepared for the meltdown when it happened,” admits Milan. “The Dirty Picture has been a learning curve for all of us, including Vidya.”
He says that the biggest challenge was the early trial-and-error phase when Vidya’s character is that of a struggler with stars in her eyes and not much work at hand. “Also, the last phase when she’s going through a personal and professional low is reflected through the extra lines on her face and the bags under her eyes that needed to be touched up every half hour during the shoot. This resulted in unprecedented delays and added to the stress Vidya was already going through in bringing this complex character to life.”
Produced by Shobhaa and Ekta Kapoor, The Dirty Picture is reportedly modelled on the rags-to-riches story of south’s item girl Silk Smitha. Co-starring Naseeruddin Shah, Emraan Hashmi and Tusshar Kapoor, the retro-drama will release on December 2, that happens to be Silk Smitha’s 51st birth anniversary.