Tabu has completed 25 years in the film industry and she still prefers to analyse every opportunity that comes her way carefully. With her last release Andhadhun, the 47-year-old proved that she is still a force to reckon with.
Having played quite a few supporting roles, Tabu is over cock-a-hoop at the recognition supporting actors are receiving these days. As she sat down for a freewheeling chat with indianexpress.com during the promotions of her upcoming release De De Pyaar De, the actor told us she is extremely content that every member of a film’s cast is finally getting their due.
Excerpts from the conversation:
Of late, do you think supporting actors have also started to get their due in the industry?
Yes (extremely happy). For me, that’s the greatest joy though it is not my achievement. I have been saying this for the past two years, that when we talk about pay parity, we also have to consider parity between the lead actors and the supporting cast. Nobody talks about that parity. I think it is only the other actors in a film who make the lead actor shine and make the film what it becomes. It cannot just hinge on the lead actors unless there is a film like that.
But I think this change has happened because our stories have become about people rather than just being about one couple or hero. Now the supporting actors are getting a lot of significant parts to play. So, I am all for giving a lot of importance to every member of the cast.
I am not saying this because it is my film, but I feel the entire cast of Andhadhun was stellar. Everyone was true to their character, even if you take out one character, you will feel something is missing from the film. It’s great to see these good actors getting their space and recognition. Nobody is the hero or heroine of any film now. Also, it’s not restricted to age game that only a 25-year-old can be a heroine or a 26-year-old can only be a hero.
What can we expect from Manju of De De Pyaar De?
She is not a funny character at all. This is a character that I haven’t played before. I think it’s an interesting space and there are nice interesting things she is saying which really ring true for me.
Your film Cheenikum also dealt with an older man falling in love with a younger woman. Now De De Pyaar De is on the same lines.
Cheeni Kum and De De Pyaar De are not similar at all. De De Pyaar De is not about an older man and a younger woman. It just happens that there is an age difference between people who love each other. It’s their love story vis a vis his family who separated from him and there are so many other things. So, when you will see the film, you will realise that there are a lot of relationships and a lot of dynamics that are in play in the story. So, it’s not Cheeni Kum at all. It is a totally different film.
From showing young romance to now romance between old people and homosexuals, Bollywood has evolved in terms of portraying the emotion of love. How do you evaluate this evolution?
I think it is very good. From the beginning, I have been bored and tired seeing a similar depiction of romance on the screen. We can still have the conventional, typical romance which is also very entertaining, but I always thought that why should we restrict it to a certain formula.
Now, the audiences have evolved and nobody feels compelled to follow the beaten track. You can now show that people have a different point of view. Writers are coming up with compelling stories that have a larger number of characters. So, I think it’s really interesting. This is something that I have envisioned for the industry.
From Vijaypath to Golmaal Again and now De De Pyaar De, has Ajay Devgn changed as a person?
For me, he is still the same. Our relationship hasn’t changed in over 20 years.
After Andhadhun, do you think the audience expects a lot more from you in terms of performance? Is there a pressure of being Tabu? How do you deal with it?
See, I can repeat an Andhadhun only if I get another Andhadhun. A film has to be Andhadhun for me to be a Simi enough. It’s great to know that people have such level of expectations but I know any acclaim or appreciation you get for a film is only for that film and that character and its a combination of many factors. So I would like to see it only in the light of Andhadhun.
Talking about the pressure, I like to diffuse it by looking at it as an expectation. For me to keep the bar, if not higher, at least where it is now, pushes me to do good work. I have always been aware and have put my energies into doing my job well, playing my character well. Moreover, I can only do what I am given to do in the parameters of the script and the film with that particular director. So yeah I am here to give my best.
How do you take the criticism on social media?
Fortunately, I haven’t received any flak for anything that I have done and I hope it remains that way. God forbid that I ever have to deal with it.
Nothing has been said about your role in Bharat.
It is a one scene cameo. What can I talk about it?