Chat Tabu has been in Bollywood for 20 years and continues to maintain her pace and style
An actor known for her realistic and sensitive portrayals, Tabu chooses her films and roles with care. The National-award winning actor prefers artistic low-budget films instead of crass commercials even if it means not being able to do many films. The actor talks about her style of working and being a part of Bollywood.
Do you deliberately space out your films?
Yes. I travel abroad a lot; travelling really opens up your mind. Earlier, I was busy with The Namesake . For the past three to four years, I was busy with my house in Hyderabad. Since I wanted to personally design the house, I was travelling between Hyderabad and Mumbai. But I signed a few Telugu films so I could keep working.
Don’t you miss being in the spotlight?
I never hankered for the spotlight. Don’t you think so?
But weren’t you always excited about doing films.
I never aspired to be in films. I wanted to complete my studies abroad. My sister Farha was the big movie buff, not me. However, I landed up in this industry at a very early age though I was not at all interested. Shekhar (Kapur) uncle cajoled me to do a film ( Prem ). I thought that I would go abroad after this one film, but I thoroughly enjoyed shooting. The attention and appreciation encouraged me to stay on here.
Don’t you want that attention now?
I happily accept the attention when I get it but I would not sacrifice my life for films. I was raised in Hyderabad. A side of me strongly seeks a more relaxed life too.
After 20 years as an actor, do you still feel charged?
I don’t think I have done a lot. But I have become cautious. After so many experiences, the risk-taking is also less. But I always want to be alive.
You have been consistently unconventional in the way you have charted your career, and this has worked for you to a huge extent. Comment.
I am very lucky because my decisions didn’t backfire. I cannot tell you if a film is going to be successful or not. I am a poor judge when it comes to deciding that.
How has your approach to life changed with the passage of years?
The person you are remains the same. Only your priorities and responsibilities change and you have to adapt to them for your survival because you are living in a real world. You are a product of this environment. It takes a lot of effort for you to get clarity in this world because there is a lot of chaos.
What has ‘time’ taught you?
Time and experience have taught me the wisdom to let go. If you stop judging yourself, you stop judging others. Also, it is very difficult to accept people as they are. At most times you expect people to be in a certain way because you want them to fulfil something in life.
After working in international projects, do you ever get weary of Hindi films?
I am such an integral part of the Hindi film industry, I can’t imagine a world without it. I think in Hindi and express myself best in Hindi. When directors give me instructions in English, it takes a lot of time for me to absorb.
Are you an avid film watcher?
Yes I like to watch Hindi films and I try to catch up all the latest releases in the theatre. Sometimes I go with Farha or at times with my friends.
And books? Had you read the novel, Life of Pi , before being approached for the film?
I had read it; but I hadn’t understood it completely. After reading the movie script, I didn’t go back to reading the novel because I had to follow the script.
What is your most memorable moment from Life Of Pi ?
Ang Lee spoke about the ‘god moment’ casually before a scene. It is that unique moment when a special realisation hits you because you are very close to death. I like the sound and feel of the ‘god moment’.
Bollywood News Service