Vidya Balan needs no introduction. She has broken stereotypes in a regressive industry like Bollywood and continues to amaze us. Here are eight times when she did what is generally not expected or seen of Bollywood’s leading ladies:

#1. When she experimented with different genres

In Bollywood, we have actresses for every genre. Some are meant to be romance, some for ‘vamps’, while others always play supporting characters. Vidya has done it all and flawlessly.

vidya balan movies
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#2. When she didn’t hesitate to say ‘No’

Vidya carved a niche for herself in Bollywood. She has worked in films on her own terms and even turned down the Ajay Devgn-starrer Drishyam as she felt it was not for her.

drishyam
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#3. When she put on weight for a movie

Most Bollywood actresses would not agree to put on weight for a film, especially when they work so hard on staying fit. Vidya has no reservations about the way she looks.

vidya balan weight
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#4. When she did not need a hero to save her film

Many Bollywood films are all about the hero, but to have a woman-centric film with the absence of a male lead is rare. Vidya, however, doesn’t need a man to deliver a super-hit.

bobby jasoos women centric
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#5. When her films broke glass ceilings

Several of her movies including No One Killed JessicaKahaaniBobby JasoosBegum Jaan, and Gulaab Gang broke gender-based stereotypes in the Hindi film industry.

vidya balan
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#6. When she played the lead in a thriller film

Most women-centric films are about empowerment or finding yourself (Jia Aur Jia). But Vidya chose to do a thriller film playing the lead character (Kahaani) and her film has us all gripped.

kahaani vidya
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#7. When she played grey characters

Women in Bollywood generally play black-and-white characters. But Vidya has more than once taken up roles (IshqiyaThe Dirty PictureKahaani) where her character is more realistic.

vidya grey characters
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#8. When she did not let her marital status affect her career

Who says a woman’s career lasts until she gets married? Vidya entered the Bollywood industry in her late 20s, married in her mid-30s, and does not let age or marriage affect her awesomeness.

vidya marriage
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Which one is your favorite?