Timeless looks and unmatchable talents are synonymous with Tabu, who made her debut in 1982 with Bazaar. She has grown from playing the naive school girl in Dev Anand’s Hum Naujawaan (1985) to acing the role of a villain in Andhadhun (2018). Be it Gulzar’s Maachis (1996) or Rohit Shetty’s Golmaal Again (2017), Tabu has been experimental with genres ever since she entered the industry. In her latest release, De De Pyar De, Tabu is seen as Ajay Devgn’s ex-wife and manages to romance him with a poker face. About her journey in the film industry, the actor says, “It’s been challenging. I was unfamiliar when I started off. I didn’t know the meaning of relationships. I was not interested. I was convinced to do one film and continue my studies. It was a new world for me.
We were first generation actors, my sister (Farah Naaz) and I. There were a lot of challenges and it was difficult as well as exciting. It was after doing Maachis with a director like Gulzaar saab that I developed self-confidence. When you are given freedom to work and as pampered as an actor and get the chance to use your abilities and talents you develop confidence. Directors such as Gulzar, Priyadarshan and Santosh Sivan honed my craft and I felt that I have discovered a new path. I have been lucky to have worked with them. They helped me get in touch with my own self.”
But what draws her to do different genres? Tabu reveals, “There has to be a newness to the role and story. I make sure that I choose films that are going to be released. I should like the journey of the character and have faith in the producer and the project. I should find something that will keep me hooked on. It may be the role, the director or the crew. Fortunately, I have got all challenging roles. I think that was the path that I had chosen.”
De De Pyaar De is an out-an-out comedy and even though Tabu has done films like Biwi No. 1, Chachi 420 and Toh Baat Pakki!, Tabu says that situations in this film are comic but her character is strong and serious. “I have not done a comedy role. Even in Golmaal I had a serious character. Her individuality, her maturity, her strength and the way she deals with situations, is comic and humorous but deals with deeper issues of relationships.” Her last film Andhadhun was a black comedy and turned out to be a huge box office hit not only in India but in China as well. “It feels good when your films are a huge hit. We never realised that the film would do so well. We were busy working hard and we were enjoying the process; the experience was so enriching. It’s a validation of our hard work and the sincerity with which we all got together to make a good film. No one was interested in taking credit then but when such results come about it was so unexpected,” adds the actor.
In an era when most Bollywood stars are penning their biographies, Tabu says she has no plans to tread that path. “My life is not so interesting. There is no hidden chapter. The experiences are numerous which many don’t know and I would love to share them someday. But I have no plans of writing it down. I write a lot but I can’t write stories. I don’t get the beginning or end. I just begin in the middle. There is no romance in my writings. I write about places and experiences. Also, I am not romantic at heart. There is no romance in my life.” she explains.