Tabu on completing 25 years in films: 'I consider strong relationships to be my biggest achievement'
Tabu doesn’t play by the rules, and that’s what makes her an extraordinary actress. She has been branded as a powerhouse of talent for her performances in films like Vishal Bhardwaj's Maqbool and Haider, Mira Nair's The Namesake, R Balki's Cheeni Kum and more recently Drishyam, for which she gathered heaps of critical acclaim. Over 25 years in the industry, Tabu, known in the industry as an unstarry star, says that it is her relationships that matter to her; more than even movies and her career. And, perhaps, that’s one of the reasons why she accepted to do Missing, a small-budgeted psychological thriller produced and directed by her friends Manoj Bajpayee and Mukul Abhyankar respectively.
“I liked the story and the treatment meted out to it. It’s a very small, compact film with just three characters. The film was shot immediately after I finished Haider. We completed the film in flat 20 days in a resort in Mauritius. It's a whodunit involving two people that unfolds in a hotel room. I have known Mukul since college days and Manoj was the producer as well as my co-star, so it was an interesting experience for me but I didn't know that there would be so many expectations and the project will suddenly become big," says Tabu, who seems to enjoy pulling Bajpayee's leg time and again. And as she does that she laughs boisterously and hides her face in her dupatta.
“My life’s savings are my relations that I have built over the years. Some people are extremely close to my heart. I consider my strong relationships to be my biggest achievements and I want to protect them. I’m incomplete without them. I am happy with these gifts of life, whether I am working or not, whether I have a career or not, these deep bonds mean a lot to me. But how I wish I could explain this to my friends like Manoj who love me unconditionally,” Tabu says on a serious note.
Missing reunites her with Bajpayee after a gap of 18 years. Both were seen together in Hansal Mehta’s Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar (2000) followed by Ghaath in the same year, and they formed a close bond since then. “It’s a great combination of having a fantastic co-star who you are also comfortable working with. Sometimes I had to remind myself that we are shooting a film because Manoj doesn’t carry the baggage of being an actor. He gets so involved in every scene that you also tend to get into that zone,” says Tabu, the recipient of two times National award for Best Actress.
Interestingly, Bajpayee noticed a huge change in Tabu’s personality while working with her after so many years. “She would be very reserved and guarded earlier but now she easily expresses, talks to people and even welcomes new people. Also, at that time she wouldn’t sit with so many media-persons,” said Bajpayee. Tabu finds similar changes in her co-star. “Same goes for Manoj, too, because earlier he was very shy and I would have fun teasing and embarrassing him. He would turn red and would be unable to speak. I would flirt with him and he would almost die. Once I entered his van at Filmalaya studio and he almost jumped out of the van out of embarrassment. He has no choice around me and he is resigned to his fate,” she laughs out loud.
She further adds on a serious note, “We have spent so many years in the industry and now we have left with no choice but to mix around because after all it’s people’s industry and we have to deal with whole lot of people these days. Also, after a certain stage of your life and experiences, all your reservations, apprehensions, fear of people gets reduced. Then you get more welcoming and confident,” she says.
Tabu may be seen mostly in intense roles but off-screen she's fun, loves to laugh, has a great sense of humour and loves out-and-out mainstream commercial cinema, as we have seen how she even gets drawn to rib-tickling comedies like Golmaal. In the past, too, she has been part of David Dhawan’s laugh riots like Saajan Chale Sasuraal (1996) and Biwi No. 1 (1999). As she told this writer recently, ‘When I am part of serious films, most of the time pressure is on me. I do feel it and get bogged down by it, and hence, doing films like Golmaal is a refreshing experience because I will just go, shoot, have fun and come back’.
Tabu will be next seen with one of her closest friends, Ajay Devgn, in a romantic comedy on urban relationships. To be extensively shot in Himachal Pradesh and London, the film is directed by film editor Akiv Ali and produced by Pyaar Ka Punchnama fame Luv Ranjan, and Bhushan Kumar. “I enjoy the atmosphere on the sets of comedy but I personally like doing drama. But I do Golmaal kind of films without judging them,” says Tabu. Bajpayee adds his observation while analysing Tabu's shift towards comedies, “Tabu does Golmaal kind of films because she wants to take a break and go on a picnic, she has to unwind. She thoroughly enjoys that. I have seen her go happily on all the promotional tours of comedies but when she does a film in drama genre she is quite finicky and wants to know how many media-persons were coming to meet her, whereas when she is doing Golmaal, she changes many clothes throughout the promotions.” Hearing this Tabu breaks into peals of laughter.
While the criteria for selecting a film and script remains the same for Tabu that she has practised over the years, now she is looking for more comfortable set-up, environment and good money as well. “If I like the character I will do otherwise no. Producer should be good, project should be sound, people around should be bankable and dependable and that has now become more important. I want to be paid well and should also be looked after well. Just that, these days when you are working with new people and when you go on sets you don’t know what you will encounter. You don't know anything about their nature or their behaviour. Ideally I would like to work with friends but that is not always possible. So now I have accepted that and I am ready to make slight adjustments because even they don’t know how to be around you,” she says.
Further, commenting on the much-hyped social media, Tabu says, “Social media has become almost every actors’ personal media. But I would still like to give lot of importance to credibility which depends essentially upon us.” And when asked whether the current generation of actors were spoilt as pointed out by Rani Mukerji recently, who believes that there can't be any pressure on the stars these days as they have a huge entourage of people taking care of them, and Tabu agrees with Rani, saying, “The actors are themselves inviting that kind of pressure. We ourselves create it. If you don’t take pressure, you won't be burdened with it."
Updated Date: Apr 05, 2018 09:10:43 IST