Raveena Tandon is a rare example of a quintessential Bollywood heroine whose appeal has stood the test of time. She has reinvented herself and adapted with times, and remains connected with and popular even among the current generation. From starring in a cult classic like Andaz Apna Apna, to top-grossing films such as Mohra and Laadla, to acquiring accolades for her powerful performances in Aks and Daman – Raveena has done it all, proving that one stereotypes exist only long as you let them.
She will soon be seen in a Netflix web series, as well as one of the most anticipated south film sequels, KGF Chapter 2. The actress, currently in the US with her daughter Rasha, took time out for a conversation with News18 ahead of her birthday on October 26, to reflect on her life and career. Excerpts:
Was this US trip planned to coincide with your birthday?
I didn’t plan to be in the US for my birthday, because my son and my husband Anil are in Mumbai, so we were meant to actually head back. I?ve come to do a recce with my daughter for her college. And then she just joined a couple of courses over here. There was a very nice, interesting course that she wanted to do for another two weeks. So we just stayed on for it. I was actually going to be back this week, but now we have to stay on because she wants to finish her courses.
How do you usually spend your birthday?
Last year it was Covid times so we celebrated at home with mom, dad, my kids and Anil, and just a few close friends. I always prefer it that way. I normally never throw a party. The year before Covid hit, Anil and Rasha had planned this huge surprise party for me. And it was with all my close friends. After so many years we had a party like that, and after that, can you imagine, COVID hit.
I?m not really into big parties. I?m into having fun with friends, not big parties where you don?t know who?s coming in. You?d rather spend it with people who you really love and that?s your group of friends. The best part is you can really go mad because they?re so close to you that no one judges you for what you do.
Birthday is also a time to reflect on the past and plan ahead. Anything particular you think about?
I do not regret anything from the past. I believe there was a certain path my destiny had to follow. If I would change any little thing, I might not be where I am right at this moment. I look forward to constantly working. I enjoy working birthdays. I never grew up thinking I?m going to become an actor, ever. I am in this industry completely by default. This just happened to me. If you see my interviews from the 90s till now, I have always said I never wanted to be an actress.
Also see: Happy Birthday, Raveena Tandon: Actress Top 5 Dance Numbers that Made Her the Mast-mast Girl
Despite being a commercially successful actress, you also took up different kind of projects. Was that a conscious call?
When I started doing films like Satta, Shool, Ghulam-e-Mustafa, Aks, it was a conscious effort because I was getting bored of doing the same kind of roles. I wanted to be part of interesting scripts, play characters that would challenge me. For example, a lot of actors are very comfortable with playing exactly what they are in real life, but there are few who try to go beyond.
I have played so many different characters in most of my films, whether it was an uptown girl, a rich kid, or a middle class Bihari housewife with a Bihari accent, or a Himachali cop with a Himachali accent. Whether it was comedy in Andaz Apna Apna or in Waah! Tera Kya Kehna with a Hyderabadi accent. Or playing a glamorous negative character in Aks, which I won so many awards for. I have tried to do a variety of things, getting out of my own comfort zone. You’d see a Daman releasing after Dulhe Raja, or Aks followed by Satta, where I play a hardcore politician. Raveena hasn’t played Raveena in all her films.
How do you choose your projects now?
I enjoy doing television, judging these reality shows. It’s so exciting, it’s so real. It?s unfolding in front of you, it’s unexpected, spontaneous. All of the emotions are real. So I enjoy judging these shows. As far as OTT platforms are concerned, I honestly pick up a script that really excites me. I wouldn’t take up a project just because it?s art and intellectual and it gives me a chance to really perform. If I find the film boring, would I spend 2 hours watching this? If the answer in my head is no, if it’s not baiting me, then I don’t do it. My criteria is the script, it has to be something I get hooked on to for two hours.
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