After keeping a low profile for a few years, Tabu returned to the limelight with Jai Ho in 2014, and followed it up with Haider (2014). The actor also has a couple of releases lined up for the next one year. While the 43-year-old is known for mainly portraying author-backed roles in films, she says she is trying to consciously stay away from extremely grim characters now.
“Bahut ho gaya yaar (it is enough)... Even my mother is bored of them (intense roles), and she asks me not to do them. When I tell her about any role that I’m doing, after hearing the ending of the film, she says, ‘Tauba, bahut depressing hai (oh my, it is very depressing).’ In fact, she has even asked me to tell the directors to change the ending. She wants every character of mine to have a happy ending, not like the ones where I die, like in Hu Tu Tu (1999), Maqbool (2004), Life Of Pi (2012), and Haider,” says Tabu.
As a result, the actor, who has done only a few comedy roles in her career — Chachi 420 (1997), Biwi No. 1 (1999) and Hera Pheri (2000) — feels that she should tap that aspect of her personality in films more often.
“I keep telling David Dhawan (director) that we should work together. Comedy is something that very few people have been able to tap in my career. I also want to work with Farah and Sajid Khan (siblings and film-makers). My humour comes from them; I picked it up while hanging out with them, and watching them ham scenes together,” she says.
The actor also feels that there are a few things that she can do now, but couldn’t 10-15 years ago. “You automatically become a bit image conscious over a period of time… you don’t want to do something that will harm your image. But, at the same time, you don’t mind experimenting when the risks are not too high,” she says.
Currently, Tabu is looking forward to reuniting with Ajay Devgn on the big screen after 16 years. They last worked together on Thakshak (1999). “Our equation was formed when we were 12-13 years old (they are childhood friends), and such equations are very different. I am happy that he has grown to be such a big star… he has created a great space for himself [in Bollywood],” says Tabu.
She is also part of director Abhishek Kapoor’s next, which is an adaptation of Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations. The actor will essay the role that Rekha was initially set to play. But Tabu says that there is no bad blood between them because of this film. “I was 12 when my sister (Farah Naaz; actor) did her first film, and Rekhaji was part of that movie (Faasle; 1985). That was the first time I met her because I used to often go on the sets. I have grown up watching her, and she has seen me as a child. She is very fond of my sister and mother. She loves me, and I love her from the bottom of my heart,” says Tabu.
Ask her what she would say if she was ever asked to define herself, and the actor says, “I don’t think I can. I can’t step out of my body, and look at myself. Sometimes I’m shy, sometimes I’m outgoing. Also, you keep evolving everyday.”