Actor Tabu, who admits to have made a “conscious decision to keep away from the maddening crowd,” in a frank chat, reveals that women are expected to be younger and good looking, not just in Bollywood but in all industries. Excerpts from the interview:
Is Bollywood unfair to female actors who are past their prime?
There was a time when the film industry had a regressive attitude and mature heroines were
losing out. But now, mature actresses are sensible enough to know that they need to exercise qualitative and quantitative control over their work.
However, let me add that it’s not just the film industry. It’s a mindset that exists in all industries and in every sphere of life. Women are expected to be younger and good looking… and to put it simply, the film industry is a reflection of the society. Having said this, I want to add that the film industry has also been kind to iconic female stars like Nargisji, Waheeda Rahman, Rekha and Hema Malini. Age was never a barrier for them.
How do you feel when you see the male co-stars of your films still romancing younger heroines?
I never feel bad. We’re all part of the same industry. If there’s a good project, we shall work together.
Do you feel your poor PR or ‘networking’, as you have called it, has come in the way of your career?
That is a part of my personality and I have lived with that traits happily. I have never seen that as obstacles or weakness. I agree I am not good at it, but fortunately I have never felt like I missed out on anything because of it.
What kind of projects are you waiting for?
I’ll never accept anything unless I’m fully convinced that there is something for me to take back home. It can be a big amount of money, or it can be the role and director that I’m kicked about. Only great roles don’t excite me, I have to be comfortable with who’s behind it. I did Life Of Pi just because of Ang Lee (director). For me, it was a ‘wow’ film.
Do you have any films in hand now?
I am doing a small cameo in the Jeeva and Vikram (southern stars) starrer, David by Bejoy Nambiar. And one movie in the south. Luckily, it’s a good time for Hindi cinema, and I feel that soon I should be saying yes to some offers.