Tisca Chopra, at 22 (inset) and now at 46 (above)
Tisca Chopra, at 22 (inset) and now at 46 (above)

“At 22, I was pining for my ex-boyfriend,” says Tisca Chopra

The actor talks about being in love, having enough bank balance because of her commercials and advertisement work and the culture shock she got when she came to Mumbai
By Dinesh Raheja
PUBLISHED ON APR 11, 2021 07:32 AM IST

Who were you crushing on?

My first boyfriend! We got together when I was 17 and subsequently broke-up. But I was still pining for him.

Tisca with her brother Mayur, during the shoot of a dance sequence for a film that was never released
Tisca with her brother Mayur, during the shoot of a dance sequence for a film that was never released

What was your bank balance like?

I had an account with HSBC Bandra near my place, and my bank balance probably ran into a couple of lakhs since I did a lot of advertising and marketing work.

Tisca in her 20s, when she had just begun doing commercials
Tisca in her 20s, when she had just begun doing commercials

Was your family supportive?

My father, Subhash Chandra Arora, was the Principal at the ABJ School, and my mother was the headmistress. My brother was still in high school. My family was progressive yet traditional in their beliefs. There was pressure on me to perform well academically. I topped my university. But I was a rebel with a cause. My family’s attitude to my acting ambitions was: “Oh my God, movies!” Coming to Mumbai was a huge culture shock for me.

With the cast and crew of an Indo-British collaboration film, in which she played Binodini, while shooting in Pollachi in Tamil Nadu
With the cast and crew of an Indo-British collaboration film, in which she played Binodini, while shooting in Pollachi in Tamil Nadu

What was your fashion sense like?

My choices have always been rather eclectic and adventurous. I travelled to London a lot and wore ties with white shirts and slogan T-shirts, which looked cool. My hair was pretty in trend. The mid-‘90s were really not the high point of fashion for anybody – I had a fashion disaster when I wore heavily sequined clothes which cut my armpits and I bled during the filming of my first movie!

The actor rode a modified Gypsy for the Himalayan Car Rally
The actor rode a modified Gypsy for the Himalayan Car Rally

Were you a fitness freak then?

I was a ’khaate-peete ghar ki ladki’. But I was into yoga since school and I frequented the gym at the Ramada Palm Grove and swam there.

Tisca dressed up in bridal avatar for an ad
Tisca dressed up in bridal avatar for an ad

What was your biggest dream?

It was, and still is, to do great work and make India proud on the world stage. My movies had flopped but discovering theatre was perhaps the biggest things that happened to me at 22. We travelled to the US for a month with Mahatma vs Gandhi and theatre helped me look at acting from another perspective.

If you had to give your younger self an advice, what would it be?

I’d like tell my 22-year-old self, ‘Chill, don’t worry so much, it’s all going to work out perfectly. You’re going to have a great time, meet wonderful people, fulfil your dreams and travel the world.”

From HT Brunch, April 11, 2021

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