Veteran actress Tanuja recently starred in the Amazon Prime Video anthology, ‘Modern Love Mumbai’, in a film along with Pratik Gandhi and Chef Ranveer Brar. Their short film, ‘Baai’, is directed by Hansal Mehta and has been getting a lot of appreciation from fans all across.
We caught up with the team recently and talked about the response coming their way. Tanuja began by saying, “It’s been an amazing response. People have told me, ‘What an amazing film and what an amazing performance! And I actually only did three days’ work. So I’m wondering, what is the performance? Actually there was no performance. It was just allowing whatever one felt to be projected on screen and it was all a team work. Each and every person on that set worked together including the light men, technicians, directors, assistants. So it was like a team played this role.”
On being asked if she was being humble to the compliments coming her way, she quickly responded, “No no. I am being very truthful actually, because unless an artist gets this kind of participation from the people who are around, that artist it is not possible to perform that way.”
Tanuja has not been taking up acting projects very actively and was last seen in 2016 in ‘A Death In The Goonj’. When asked what drew her to be a part of Baai, she shared her definition of love and revealed that it was a no-brainer for her. “It was very simple. My definition of love is that love has no definition. Love is just love and is unconditional. You cannot have it on conditions that ‘I will love you only if…’ No. Love has no definition. You can’t say ‘love has to be like this only’ - you only have to have love for nature and love for people and love for this and love for that. Bulls**t. You can’t define it and that is what Baai expresses so beautifully.”
Having been a part of the industry for more than six decades, Tanuja spoke about the changes she sees in the film fraternity today and how people are more compartmentalized today rather than being together as one big family it used to be before.
“There has to be progress. The only sad thing that has happened in this progress is that instead of being a family, we have become corporate, and when you become corporate then it becomes very compartmentalized. Whereas, in our time, filmwaala bas filmwaala tha… Not a Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, just filmwaala. Even if it was a watchman, or a light-man, if that person was not well or needed help, the industry used to come together and we used to pool in together and help this person because he was a filmwaala. In today’s generation - of course change had to come and I am not saying anything bad about this change - I am just saying that it would be nice if it would be the same, which it is not.”
But as for being an actor, she feels that never changes. “Acting is not about time. An actor is alive forever, as long as he/she understands that there is no formula to act. It’s a feeling, a being. For me, every day I face the camera, for any role I do, is a new day and a new experience. So I don’t know what I am going to do in that sequence. Even if the director tells me this is the way I want you to be, I have no idea as to how I am going to express that particular emotion. Something clicks in your head and it comes. And this is not something you can tabulate or put in a book to teach people how to do it. Even a consummate actor doesn’t know really. Even I as an actor don’t know what and how I am going to be able to express that particular thing that my director has told me to do. And with Hansal, he allowed me to express myself in my own way. To express his thought process in my way. But whether it was my way or his way I still don’t know.”
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