'Actors shouldn't take political stands'

Vidya Balan says actors should avoid taking political stands. "Actors shouldn't take political stands. I don't take political stands because I don't want to influence my audience," Vidya said.

Also dwelling upon how films are increasingly becoming the target of activists, she said, "There are a lot of bullies. They wake up before the release of the film and want attention. Some are from inside the industry but most of them are from outside the industry."

Commenting about the torching of an outdoor set of Padmavati in Kohlapur earlier this week, Vidya said, "I am saddened by this incident. Film is an expression of someone's imagination. As a member of the fraternity, it affects me deeply." The 38-year-old actor also came out in support of young singer Nahid Afrin, against whom some Islamic clerics have issued a 'fatwa'.

"Art has no boundaries. If someone is singing, I believe it connects us with God, Allah and Ishwar," she said. The National Award winner will next be seen on screen in Begum Jaan as the madam of a brothel.

"When the film was offered, I was conscious that it can create controversy. But I had the confidence that if needed, they (producer Mahesh Bhatt and director Srijit Mukerji) will fight for the film. I was surprised when the film was passed by censor board with no cuts. It has strong visuals," said the actor, who feels the "boundaries of entertainment have expanded" as "most of the films today give some kind of message.
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