Two National Awards as Best Actress and an experience of over three decades in Bollywood has takren Tabu to a space where there is no room for self-doubt, but the acclaimed actress reveals that even today she questions herself a lot before signing a new project.
“(It’s) Not self doubt, but I try to ask myself lots of questions before saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to a project. I want to be sure, because that is important for me. I ask myself, ‘why am I doing it?’, or ‘why don’t I want to do this particular thing’? When I am convinced with my answers, only then will I go ahead with it. However, a film’s becoming successful or not is a chance that everyone takes,” Tabu told IANS.
The actress faced the camera for the first time to do a small role in Sagar Sarhadi’s 1982 film, Bazaar, but was really noticed when she played Dev Anand’s schoolgoing daughter in “Hum Naujawan” (1985). Her Bollywood debut as a lead actress happened opposite Rishi Kapoor in the 1994 rom-com, “Pehla Pehla Pyaar”. Over the decades since then, she has won the National Film Award as Best Actress twice and has also been feted with the Padma Shri in 2011.
Did stardom and survival come at a price? “I didn’t have to trade anything. I did whatever I wanted to. Whatever I have given, I did on my own will. I did not think of it as a sacrifice. I did what I liked and didn’t do what I didn’t (like). There are ups and downs in every profession but I don’t look at those as sacrifices,” Tabu said.
So, what is her recipe for success? “Being satisfied with life (is the recipe for success). If you have been able to follow your intuitions and your heart, and be true to who you are and to your work, I think that is success. I don’t know if I have cracked it, but I have been lucky. Of course, hard work and sincerity have also contributed (in my success),” said Tabu.
The 47-year-old actress will next be seen in “Jawaani Jaaneman”, a comedy co-starring Saif Ali Khan. The film also marks the debut of actress Pooja Bedi’s daughter, Alaia F.
“We wanted a really quirky look for this character,” she says of her role in “Jawaani Jaaneman”, adding: “She is not your regular run-of-the-mill person. She’s quirky and she has a personality of her own and is funny.”
Directed by Nitin Kakkar, the film is a coming-of-age story of a father and a daughter, and co-produced by Saif, Jackky Bhagnani and Jay Shewakramani.
This year so far, Tabu has been seen in the romantic comedy “De De Pyaar De”, and essaying a cameo in the Salman Khan-starrer “Bharat”.
Over 30 years, Tabu’s disctinct stature among actresses of her generation has been cemented by her critically acclaimed performances in films such as “Maachis”, “Virasat”, “Hu Tu Tu”, “Astitva”, “Chandni Bar”, “Maqbool”, “Cheeni Kum”, “Haider”, “Drishyam” and “Andhadhun”, besides international projects including Mira Nair’s “The Namesake” and Ang Lee’s “Life of Pi”.
Lately, she has won wide acclaim with her negative role in Sriram Raghavan’s black comedy thriller “Andhadhun” (2018), which was screened at Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) this year.