Bollywood superstar Vidya Balan talks travels to US, Tampa

12:07 AM, Mar 14, 2014   |    comments
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Video: 10 Exclusive: Bollywood starlet's trip to Tampa, US

Vidya Balan talks with 10 News weeks before the Bollywood Oscars take place in Tampa.


Tampa, Florida-- Ahead of the International Indian Film Academy Awards, possibly the biggest movie festival on the planet, Bollywood starlet Vidya Balan is on a whirlwind US tour.

SEE ALSO: IIFA Awards Tampa Bay: What to expect

"I was in New York, I went to Houston, and then here to Tampa, and then back to New York, and then FINALLY back to Bombay," Vidya told 10 News. "I almost don't know where I am anymore!"

The tiny, immaculately groomed movie star with the warm demeanor and big laugh, has certainly been soaking up all things United States...even her favorite fast food.

"Chipotle!  Every time I come here, that's the one thing I get, and if I can't get it, I get someone to get it for me!" she laughed.

She's also partial to Thai iced sugar added, please. 

A three-time International Film Academy Award winner herself, Balan is India's version of Charlize Theron, and she's here on a mission: To show the world, Hindi films aren't as stereotypical as they once were. 

Meet Vidya in Tampa Friday!

"It's not just about song and dance; it's about small little moments- about you, and me, and all of us," she explained.

Balan's latest film, a romantic comedy called "Side Effects", is just an example of India's views on society is evolving.

"Especially for women," added Balan. "We were expected to act a certain way, while it may be true, change is happening."

A new role, Balan is happy to take on.

"I'm a greedy actor. I'm looking to play different people and live people's lives."

As for American actors she admires? She's got many.

"George Clooney has been my eternal love of my life. My God, is it possible for a man to be that handsome?"

And as a Netflix, House of Cards series fan as well, Kevin Spacey comes up in conversation. In fact, she'll be hosting a private workshop with the actor during IIFA weekend in April.

The festival is expected to draw an international crowd of 30,000 to Tampa Bay. It's the first time in the festival's 15-year history that it will be hosted on American soil. 

Despite a relatively low Indian population in our area, Balan says, that doesn't matter.

"IIFA is about building bridges. The idea is one world, one people."

And before we knew it, our time with the Indian starlet was up. Before being whisked off to her next press event, she gave a friendly reminder with a big laugh...

"You better be here! It'll be great fun!"


-What to expect
-IIFA puts Tampa on international stage
-Bollywood event on track to be biggest awards ever
Housing for visitors: From deals to lavish luxury
-Bollywood stars come to Tampa
-IIFA Awards to bring Bollywood stars to Bay area
-Itinerary: 15th Annual International Indian Film Academy  

PICS: IIFA Celebrations, a look back

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