Vidya Balan smoked 10 cigarettes while shooting for one scene for the film The Dirty Picture. By the time the take is okayed, she had a long bout of cough and had taken a break. Director Milan Luthria insisted that Vidya actually smoke for the sake of authenticity. This is the first time Vidya smoked in her life. She has not enacted any smoking scenes so far in her films. The film The Dirty Picture is based on the life and times of Southern actress Silk Smitha and Vidya is said to be playing a very bold and challenging role. She is said to have done research along with the director on the character she is playing. She had also seen most of the films of Silk Smitha to get hold of her mannerisms and body language, The film is being produced by Ekta Kapoor under her Balaji Films banner. The shooting is now in progress at the Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad.