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Farhan Akhtar and Vidya Balan on marriage and its effects

Dubai: Bollywood stars Farhan Akhtar and Vidya Balan will appear in a romantic comedy about marriage and its pitfalls in this week’s release Shaadi Ke Side Effects, but they come with a disclaimer.

“Guys, just because we acted in a film called Shaadi Ke Side Effects, it doesn’t make us natural experts on the subject. I know as much or as less about marriage as you all do,” said Balan, who is married to top film producer Siddharth Roy Kapur.

Balan and Akhtar were in Dubai on Sunday to promote their upcoming release.

Right after her sardonic comment, her on-screen husband Akhtar jumped right in and said: “Nobody warned us that one of the side effects of acting in this film was answering questions about our own marriage.” While the local press was requested not to ask personal questions and respect their private space, the jolly pair was more than happy to answer a few questions that were borderline intrusive.

Asked if the proverbial belief that a way to a man’s heart was through his stomach held any weight, Balan retorted: “I am not a fantastic cook, but I am great at ordering food. So here’s hoping restaurants flourish because I don’t think I will learn to cook anytime soon.” And what if their real-life wedding anniversary fell on same day as the premiere of their films?

“I will make a date night movie out of it,” said Balan. However, Akhtar said he would ditch his movie premiere and spend the evening with his wife Adhuna Akhtar, a hair stylist to the stars and salon owner.

While the two actors are seen in bickering in the film, in real life, it’s a different story.

“I am calmer after marriage and have begun to enjoy life more … Shaadi Ke Side Effects needn’t have a negative connotation,” said Balan, who has acted in award-winning films such as The Dirty Picture and Kahaani. Akhtar, who is on a high after his hit sports drama Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, employed humour to make generic questions interesting. So what made him take on the role of the confused husband Sid?

“I was at gunpoint, they kidnapped my family and forced me to say ‘yes’ to the role … But seriously, this was a role that allowed me to use my instincts. It was less intense and called for less preparation. I had to be spontaneous and in the moment,” said Akhtar.

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Shaadi Ke Side Effects releases in the UAE on Thursday.