Tabu is in a league of her own. While B-Towners are celebrating and cheering Rs100-crore films, her Ang Lee’s Life Of Pi has garnered over Rs3,000 crore ($600million) worldwide, and has received 11 Oscars-nominations.
The actress, however, insists that these numbers ceased to matter a long time ago. “As an artiste, it’s always nice to be acknowledged for your performance. Today the figures at the box-office are just an added advantage and not the motivation for me,” says the actress in an exclusive tete-a-tete with After Hrs…
The Oscars are hours away. Are you praying for Life of Pi?
The film’s earned and well-deserves every single nomination. The Oscars have a lot of credibility. I am really happy for Ang and hope the film does win loads of awards because a lot of hard work, passion and dedication has gone into it.
A segment here was skeptical about the length of your role…
The idea is always to be a part of the film that I find interesting. I don’t think about things like the length of my role vis-a-vis other actors. I don’t think whether the film is Hollywood, Bollywood, commercial, masala, woman-centric, hero-dominated, short, long… or whatever the audience labels it. In my mind those labels don’t exist. I want to do a film, I do it.
Has your criteria to choose films changed over the years?
Nothing has changed except the fact that today I feel freer. My relationship with my work is based on instinct and my energies are not scattered. The criteria have changed though. I still do what my heart tells me to and my decisions are as always ruled by my emotions. They may work, they may not and they may seem like crazy to others, but they make sense to me. My path and my destiny have to be carved by my choices alone, and I have never let anyone or anything else dictate those choices. That’s all that really matters.
People have come to expect a certain kind of cinema from you...
I understand that there are expectations, and everything is being noticed and watched. It’s never easy thinking about what one should do next, but I have learnt to consciously disengage from any sort of pressure to do certain kinds of roles. All along, my freedom has been my asset, and I won’t compromise it ever. Even today, I never do anything to please people. I can’t be in alignment to something just because it is expected of me and that’s what made it possible for me to drop that baggage of expectations — both personally and professionally.
Do you think actresses are in a better space today?
Actors definitely have more scope and a wider range of films and roles to choose from, which is liberating for an actor, male or female.
Which filmmaker is on your wishlist?
Oh all, David Dhawan tops though. (laughs).