The ever beautiful, charming and innocent looking Vidya Balan is a Tamilian and was born to Iyer parents in Kerala. She is called the next big thing in Bollywood with reaching new heights of success with every step she takes. Unlike most of today’s actresses she has a traditional Indian look and she banks on her grace and talent rather than on exposure like her other competitors, which sets her a class apart from them. Vidya 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.
Vidya’s first break came in 1998 when she modeled for the Surf Excel ad. That was all she needed to get noticed and after that a number of other ad-campaign offers came her way. Besides acting in Tele-serials like Haste Khelte and Hum Paanch she also appeared in a few music videos with Euphoria, Subha Mudgal and Pankaj Udhas.
n 2005, she debuted in Bollywood with Vidhu Vinod Chopra's Parineeta, directed by Pradeep Sarkar. It was not an easy feat for Vidya to get her Bollywood break. She had to go through 40 screen tests and 17 make-up shoots before she was chosen for the lead role in this film. Still it was nothing short of a challenge for her to capture the grace, elegance and subtle nuances of her character Lolita. But all her hard work paid and she succeeded in playing the role perfectly and was awarded with the Best Debut Award by almost all the awards that year.
Vidya also comes across as a very caring and a genuine person. 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.
Her recent releases include the super hit sensation Lage Raho Munna Bhai, Guru, Eklavya etc. Vidya has many promising films coming up. ‘Hey Baby’ with Akshay Kumar, Bhool Bhulaiya, Halla Bol, Suryamukhi, then there is Stella an English comedy which also stars Hollywood actor Brendan Fraser, along with Madhavan.