Raveena Tandon
Raveena, the bubbly and lively actress who started her career like any other actress running around tress has matured into an actress of very strong personality and conviction. Today Raveena handles complex roles with sheer maturity and authority and very recently she has turned producer with Stumped and Pehchaan. Raveena has won a National award for her role in Daman and says that she has a long way to go and achieve great things in life. She is beautiful and talented and a woman of Substance.

Excerpts from an interview with Malvika Rathod.

For the last few years we have seen a sudden change in you Raveena. What I mean is change as an actress and as a person?

I don't think I have changed, have I? (smiles). Well….yeah I think as an actress I have changed but as a person I am still the same. I have realized one thing that you have to keep experimenting and cant be doing the same kind of roles for ever. I wouldn't call it a transition as much as a desire to explore new avenues. I've done the glamour doll, song-and-dance routine and still I am open to it if it's a fun movie. I've reached a stage in my career where I'm ready to experiment. I want to do mature and more meaningful roles and also the glamour doll kind of roles. My aim is to strike a balance between the two. I'm hoping to reach a point when I can play all kinds of roles with equal ease and efficiency. Like in Feroze Nadiadwala's "Aan" I am playing a club dancer. In "Ek Se Badkar Ek" I am playing a glamour girl. But yes, I am always looking for scripts that really excite me, which may not fall into the regular Hindi film bracket.

What do you think is the difference between commercial and parallel cinema?

Commercial films are not realistic enough. You have dream songs, for example, which end up shot in Switzerland. Whereas in an art film the story, the scenes are real songs are more rooted in realism. You can't take the liberty of transporting yourself to a place of your choosing. One difference is that realistic cinema doesn't enjoy a mass audience. Viewership is restricted to a limited few who are selective about the films they want to watch. That's why art films are not commercially successful. But today the audience want variety and they have also started appreciating and liking art films.

What made you become a producer?
The basic origin was during the Kargil war, I happened to witness the whole episode which made me very disturbed. It was from within something inside me said that this issue has to be brought before the audience. I wanted to take on this venture and there were many to help me out and so here I am.

How are you as a producer? Are you the interfering sort?

No, I am not the interfering kind at all. But when I see things getting disorganized and going out of hand, then I put my foot down. Otherwise, I do my own stuff. If I am confident that they can handle it without me, I leave it to them.

So what is "Stumped" all about?

'Stumped' basically takes a candid look at the hidden ironies behind cricket and war. I am playing the saddened wife awaiting her soldier husband's return from war, even as my neighbours remain glued to their TV sets watching cricket and celebrating the home team's win. We have signed Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Zaheer Khan, Yuvraj Singh and Ravi Shastri who will deliver brief emotional speeches on Indian soldiers for the film.

You already have a national award tucked under your belt. How important are awards for you?

Well awards are really important and it really peps you up and brings in much more confidence and the ability to work harder. It feels good to be appreciated. But, if it has to come, it will come. If you keep waiting for it, you might be disappointed, because it might just not come. Therefore I just put in my best and if I have to get an award I will get it.

What are the other projects in the pipeline, as an actress and as a producer?
Right now, there's a film that is being talked over with Deepa Mehta. Then, there is another one being finalised with E.Niwas. As an actress, there's "Sandhya", "Ek Se Badkar Ek", "Aan" and two more new films, which I will be starting very soon.

Now on the personal front how important is a relationship to you?
Well relationship is important and necessary in life. But, I think these things are destined. If it's meant to happen, it just happens one day. You really can't plan it? But once it happens I think you have to give in the beat into it. Relationships require lots of commitment and understanding. It has to be nurtured with love and compassion.

You have adopted two girls. How does it feel to take on such great responsibility?

Well it's a great feeling. I feel complete. Every night when I go back home they are there waiting for me. They sometimes cook for me and feed me and take so much care of me. As soon as I reach, they will both prop me up on the bed. One will dabao (massage) one foot while the other will massage the other. And they will ask, 'Where is it hurting? Did you dance on your heels the whole day again? Why do you wear your heels?' They will give me a big lecture. Then, they will say, 'No, you have to eat. We have made some soup for you.' Actually, they mother me more than me mothering them! (laughs). They are the biggest responsibility in my life and my greatest joy
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