I have seen her various films where she stood out with her unique acting, but what made me fall completely in love with Tabu was her acting in ‘Maqbool’ and ‘Cheeni Kum’. Two movies, which according to me, branded her as a powerhouse actress in Bollywood.
She doesn’t believe in rules and that’s what makes her an extraordinary actress. She isn’t our normal mainstream heroine and the extravaganza and unnecessary drama doesn’t exist in the films she picks.
Today, one look at her and you can’t help but admire the way her face and eyes express emotions that most actors can’t convey with words. Her on-screen persona is so remarkable that you feel moved by her sheer brilliance. Not many know this, but acting didn’t happen to her as she was discovered and we thank the stars for that, or we would have missed an extremely gifted person like her.
This gem in the industry, who was introduced 16 years ago, is one hell of an artist and no one can say otherwise. MensXP spoke to Tabu and she gave us an insight into her life.
Always good to be shot by @prasadnaikstudio Hair n make up @subbu28 styling by @naheedee @karishmashaikhh @prasadnaaik
How would you describe your journey in the film industry till date? Do you feel some void or that something is missing after all these years?
I don’t think I could have asked for more having been on this long and fulfilling journey. At times it has been extremely challenging, but always gratifying. I’ve learned so much and am thankful for all the experiences that I have had. I just wish I had taken more vacations and spend quality time with my friends and family (Laughs!)
Success, fame, a huge fan following. What is that one dream you still think you have not fulfilled?
Honestly, success, fame and huge fan following were never my dreams, but they came to me unexpectedly. I had never planned to become an actress. But these ‘rewards’ are things I cherish the most. It’s a huge blessing in this lifetime and to be able to be connected to millions of fans and supporters, it’s an extraordinary feeling and a phenomenon according to me.
I have never been a dream/goal kind of person, but of course there are smaller wishes that I want to fulfil like I want to travel the length and breadth of India by road, I want to trek and would love to do an Everest base camp, I have a big group of friends in Hyderabad that are regular trekkers, but I have still to find the time and courage and dedication to build my stamina to prepare for a trek. But it’s something I want to experience, these are a few of my small dreams and goals that I have.
One of my best and biggest takeaways from my professional journey has been that I have got to work with some tremendously gifted and talented people. The experience of working with renowned directors like Ang Lee on ‘Life of Pi’ and working with so many people across nationalities and races, really made me stretch my bandwidth and every time I came back a newer person. I really value such experiences that took me far away from my comfort zone and exposed me to newer avenues.
How would you describe your struggle when you entered the film industry?
(Laughs) I never struggled, I was discovered. In fact, I was begged and cajoled and completely convinced to do just one film ‘Prem’ by Shekhar Kapoor and they promised me that after this one film they would get me enrolled in a university abroad. I was never interested in doing movies, I even frowned upon the idea, because I just wanted to study.
You are known to be a perfectionist. So how do you think that affects your work and the people working with you?
I want to do things to the best of my ability and would never want to leave things to chance or take it for granted. I know it’s really unfair to expect the same from others and now I am mature enough to not expect this from everybody, because everyone has their own method of doing things. When it comes to me, I want to give it my all and never settle/compromise till the time I feel I am convinced with my shot/work.
Even fame comes at a price, what price do you think you had to pay?
Fame has been the most contradictory element in my life and career. Sometimes it’s great while other times it’s not. But honestly it feels fantastic; I think it’s a huge social phenomenon to be able to reach out to the millions across the world that recognize you for your body of work. I consciously did not seek fame, but now that I have been fortunate enough to have it, I value it and can use it for a greater purpose instead of selfish gains.
Your characters are very intense. Be it in ‘Fitoor’, or ‘Haider’, do you think these roles resonate with you?
I don’t know if these roles resonate with me, but at least for a moment, I can identify with these characters emotionally. Be it with ‘Fitoor’ or ‘Haider’ I could understand the emotional core of these characters which were so amazing to bring to life and must thank and acknowledge my writers and directors who wrote these roles envisioning me to play them. That’s a huge compliment to transmute a character from paper to life and it’s the most important part of my profession that I really connect with. It gives you free range to paint them in your colours and give them a little bit of your personality.
(c) UTV Motions
You look exquisite and refreshing all the time? What’s your secret behind it?
My secret, when you think about it is fairly simple – making sure I take care of my skin. This is something my mother ingrained in me right from my childhood. I make sure to keep my skin well hydrated and moisturized. A personal favourite is making my own body scrub using sea salt and Vaseline Petroleum Jelly as a pre-bath exfoliator. It works especially well to take care of dry skin on your elbows and knees. Apart from that I make sure to drink enough water, get sleep, exercise, eat well.
Besides acting, what are you passionate about?
Writing, travelling, trekking, listening to music. I love writing just for me.