As someone who has made a name for herself as one of Hindi cinema’s finest performers, Tabu says she is always drawn to characters which are layered and demand more from her as an artiste.
Tabu, whose filmography boasts of titles such as Maqbool, The Namesake and Haider, believes grey characters are closer to how humans are in real life.
“When a character is layered, it is automatically more interesting and engaging for me because it demands more from you and in return, it also gives you more. For me, it has always been about the experience of immersing myself into these characters that attract me, whether they are grey or not,” Tabu said in an interview.
“I always thought that there is nothing wrong in playing characters that are layered, grey or dark because a human being is made up of all these feelings, emotions and character traits. I was always happy and excited to portray these things on the screen.”
Tabu feels fortunate that her collaboration with directors, who have their own varied approach to filmmaking, has resulted in some great films.
“I have been very lucky to be offered all kinds of cinema and roles. Different directors have come to me with varied characters. The common thing is that the characters I have played have been very important for the film and for the story.”
“I have been open to different kinds of films and the audiences have also accepted me. I think what has worked or the way I have worked, is that I have never differentiated between any film,” she adds. Tabu has struck a fine balance between her mainstream commitments and off-the-centre projects but she insists that she has never altered her approach or given special treatment to a particular type of project.
“I have to act always and I never thought that I should approach a mainstream film differently and an art house or thriller in another way. I have just done my work to the best of my ability and tried to be 100 percent immersed in the characters I have played.”
She currently stars in Sriram Raghavan’s Andhadhun alongside Ayushmann Khurrana, Rajeev Dhawan and Radhika Apte.
The film comes after Drishyam and Missing but Tabu says it would be wrong to box the film into a particular genre.
“I think it is a completely different film and format than Drishyam’. You can’t call it a thriller. You just can’t classify it into any kind of film because you know Sriram’s work and his cinematic language is completely unique to him.”
“So there is really no label that you can attach to this film. It is also a different kind of experience for actors to do this kind of film and be part of this kind of storytelling,” she says.
She says the director does not adhere to the popular norms of storytelling.
“Sriram clearly defies those cinematic norms. I knew this experience would be entirely new and very learning for me as an actor. To work with different minds has always been very exciting for me and that’s what drew me to this film. I knew what Sriram does with his characters and actors and so I was also very confident that this film would stand out and that it will be a significant role for me to play.”
She agrees that the director, who has given hits such as Ek Haseena Thi, Johnny Gaddar and Badlapur, reveals his cards early in his films and that is why she considers him and the story to be the hero of Andhadhun.
“That’s the most important part and that is why I refrain from calling it a thriller or a suspense thriller. There is nothing that we are revealing at the end of the film. Every character has its own journey and you can make whatever you want of their mind space later. But the mind space is not something that is overpowering the story. The plot is the hero,” Tabu says.