National Award winning actor Tanvi Azmi needs no introduction. Her performance in films like Akele Hum Akele Tum, Dushman, Anjana Anjani and more recently Bajirao Mastani will be remembered for generations to come. Apart from Bollywood, Tanvi has also done some commendable work on TV with Mirza Ghalib, Jeevanrekha, Rao Saheb, Family No 1 to her credit. The powerhouse performer is back on the small screen as she stars in &TV’s Vani Rani. Playing the titular roles, the actor will be seen playing two different characters in the daily show. In an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com, Tanvi opened up on what got her back to television, the changing trends, regressive content and what worries her when she takes up a role.
Excerpts from the interview:
Q. What made you come back to the small screen?
The show itself. It just pulled me into it. I am really kicked about getting a chance to play double roles. Apart from being an actor, I also enjoy all aspect of filmmaking. To be able to get a firsthand experience of how a project with dual roles is being made is really fascinating. Both the characters Vani and Rani are diametrically opposite and yet connected by a thread. And getting a chance to do something like this is amazing.
Q. In a time, when young faces are in demand, we are seeing a middle-age character as the lead. What’s your take on this?
I was very clear that if I do TV, I will be the protagonist for I know such parts are written and watched. Compared to films, television is easier to handle in such scenarios. So many things are happening in a show that you will get help from other characters too. Also, TV has an immense reach. If your content is strong, you are safe as you know it will find its own audience somehow.
Q. The show, apart from you, has a comparatively new set of actors. Do you feel you will have added pressure riding on your shoulders?
I never thought about it until someone told me this. But I don’t think its any kind of added pressure on me for as an actor I give my everything to make the show look good. I don’t get into the number games but I make it a point to do everything to help my project do good.
Q. As an actor, do you have a checklist when it comes to taking up shows?
I have always chosen to be part of shows that stood out from the rest. Be it Lifeline, Mirza Ghalib or even Family No 1. I don’t have a problem if the show is turned upside down owing to the rating business but I have a major issue if my character gets regressive. We are trying to bring a clean wholesome comedy and I hope things work out as we have planned. That’s the only thing I get worried about.
Q. So did you have this clause in your contract?
Oops! No, I did not (laughs out loud). I think I should have.
Q. The show projects the tale of twin sisters who are not on talking terms. Do you feel such scenarios exist in real life?
It is rightly said that truth is stranger than fiction. Recently I heard a similar story from a unit member and realized that there is so much of this happening around us. Although it’s a daily, we are trying to push some buttons that can give out subtle social messages that are the need of the hour. We are not here to preach but such stories need to be told.
Q. You’ve always played strong women roles, the latest being Bajirao Mastani.
Radhabai was a very strong woman, the real strategist behind Bajirao, and I wish there could have been more of her in the film.
Q. Lastly, are there any other projects in the pipeline?
Hello? I am not even getting time to scratch my head for now. I hope all our combined efforts get synergised and this turns out to be a successful project.
Produced by Essel Vision and GTN Entertainment Pvt. Ltd, Vani Rani is an adaptation of a popular South show of the same name. It chronicles the lives of middle-aged twin sisters who are as different as chalk and cheese. Married to half-brothers, they live under the same roof but have not spoken to each other for 20 years.