Serious Men actor Indira Tiwari: My skill set, not my skin tone should matter
Basking in the glory of appreciation coming her way for her performance in Serious Men, actor Indira Tiwari’s life has taken a complete new turn. Along with viewers, her industry colleagues, too, have been showering praises. While Manoj Bajpayee sent her flowers to congratulate, Anurag Kashyap expressed his wish to collaborate with the actor.
“There are several film and web offers, but I’m in no hurry. I don’t want to disrupt the graph that’s being created by choosing projects in haste,” says Tiwari, who plans to dabble between web, films and theatre (in Bhopal).
After passing out from National School of Drama in 2018, Tiwari worked in Suman Mukhopadhyay’s Nazarband, Sudhir Mishra’s film in 2019. This year, she worked in Paul Ratanraj’s Srishti and is now shooting for Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Gangubai Kathiawadi. Playing pivotal parts in all these projects, the actor expresses “gratitude” that she got such opportunities in her initial years.
“Two good films a year are good enough and that way my 2020 quota is complete. I’m prepared as an actor. In NSD, you get to learn everything — acting, singing, dancing. Humein sampoorn kalakaar banaya jaata hai. But then my capabilities needed to get noticed. Also, I feel as an artiste, you’ve to be ready whenever the opportunity knocks,” shares Tiwari, who’s also a painter and won President’s award in 2007.
But at this point in her career, does she have freedom of choice and is financial stability essential?
She tells us, “I didn’t face the initial hurdle, rather my challenge to retain whatever little I’ve achieved has just begun. Beggars can’t be choosers, but I can decide to not do projects that don’t interest me. Meri lifestyle simple hai, main bahut kam mein khush hoon.”
On discussion around biases outsiders face in the Hindi film industry, Tiwari explains, “Humein apni davedari pesh karni padhegi. If we don’t get selected in audition, without blaming others, we should try and find out where we’re going wrong. The problem is that we don’t appreciate each other’s talent and enjoy finding faults. Koi kisi ka kaam aur kismat cheen nahin sakta. Also, audiences need to change their taste.”
The actor also admits that one gets stereotyped easily and there’s a set notion as to how a heroine should look.
“Kabhi makeup artists bhi bol dete hain ki, ‘Ma’am kabhi parlour ho ke aa jaya karo’, she reveals, and continues, “If you apply makeup to give darker skin tone to fair actors for certain roles, why don’t you turn dusky actors fair with the same makeup? My skill set, not my skin tone should matter. About getting stereotypes, after Serious Men, I’ve been getting roles of mothers, south India characters and projects having intimate scenes.”
Talking about working with Mishra and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, she adds, “They never made me feel like a newcomer. Set par logon ne yeh bhi bola ki jis frame mein Nawaz rehete hain, baki nazar nahi aate par main unko takkar de rahi thi. They would call me lady Nawaz (laughs).”
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Author tweets @Shreya_MJ