Tabu has been part of the film industry for over two decades now. Her filmography has a mix of commercial and offbeat films. In this interview, she talks about how she never consciously chose the films she did and why she never chased stardom.How have you managed to strike a balance between mainstream and unconventional films?
I have never planned this. I have only done films that interest me. When I do a film, I don’t know how it is going to shape up. At the beginning of my career, I had no understanding of what a mainstream film is. My priority was to create an identity for myself.
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Do you believe that actresses have a short shelf-life in Bollywood?
I don’t think that is true anymore. Like in any other profession, one won’t be given the same kind of work when one grows older. I believe that in Bollywood, too, roles keep changing, but you will definitely get work if you have the talent. I will keep getting work, but [they will be] different kinds of roles.
In a bid to remain popular, most actors make safer choices in terms of the kind of films they do. You chose to experiment. Why?
When you start working at a young age, and your second film becomes a hit, you become popular. Once you see that kind of fame, then beyond that you want to do something for yourself. Stardom was never on my mind.
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How do you think the industry has changed in the last two decades?
Today, everything is commercial, yet content-driven. There is no demarcation. The actors are experimenting. We have improved technically too. People from across the world are participating in Bollywood projects. Also, there is no hierarchy any more. The industry has revolutionised for the better.
Are you confident about your next with Vishal Bhardwaj?
Vishal’s films are always high on content. I know that he will put together a good film. Also, just knowing that there is an audience for every kind of film today gives one confidence. You don’t feel that it’s such a risk to experiment.