'For me HAIDER is not a film. It's an entire emotional experience, a journey. It's a beautifully shot film with unusual locations. There is so much conflict and depth of emotions in this film' is what Bollywood's most revered actress Tabu has to say, when you probe her on the just-released film HAIDER, helmed by Vishal Bhardwaj. In an exclusive encounter with Tabu, she talks about romancing father and son Pankaj & Shahid in MAQBOOL and HAIDER respectively, her experience shooting in the chilling Kashmir and fond memories of the place, what awards mean to her, her pairing with Irrfan and much more: Read On...
What made you team-up with Vishal after almost a decade long gap?
I was just excited to be working with him again. When Vishal narrated me about HAIDER, I knew it was a role that any actress would die for. I knew he will come up with something strong that I would enjoy. I trust Vishal's sensibility and that's why I did MAQBOOL. Since MAQBOOL experience was good, I knew HAIDER will also be path-breaking.
Talk about your bonding with Vishal and how he has changed over the years?
Vishal and I bonded since MAACHIS days. The best part is we share the same feeling for Gulzarsaab. The association started then and it kept growing. Vishal is like my family. I can never feel a professional relationship with him. It's always going to be like home with him. He will do justice and will never let me down. I have that immense faith in him. It's an unsaid bond...
'The relationship is very interesting between Shahid and me in this film'
He's matured a lot. We all have become older but somewhere we are all the same from the heart. We didn't have music sessions for HAIDER unlike MAQBOOL, where we used to have mehfils, ghazals because of the extreme cold climate in Kashmir. I am very happy that he has become a big name, producing his own films. His sensibilities, stories and relationships are so interesting. The best thing about him is that he just doesn't say anything to me. He lets me be free. He is okay if I take the scene to any other level.
We've never seen you repeating directors except for Vishal, Priyadarshan and Gulzar. Any specific reason?
I think all my directors have come to me but I never did it. It was I who always refused it. Madhur came to me with AAN, PAGE 3 but I didn't want to do it, Mahesh Manjrekar again came to me with PITAH but for some reason I couldn't do it. In fact, he had even offered me VAASTAV before ASTITVA. So it's not that I don't repeat. My timing doesn't match.
Where actresses shy away from doing mature/character roles, you never had any qualms in playing Salman's sister or sister-in-law in JAI HO and HUM SAATH SAATH HAI respectively or for that matter being Shahid's mother in HAIDER. Didn't you feel that you might just lose the chance of playing mainstream actress?
I understand that but the thing is I cannot say no to a good role. The fact that I am a mother or Bhabhi on-screen is a secondary thing. What comes first is how strong my character is. For me that is very important. People may write whatever they want but why should I get upset. I was happy doing that. I don't know what I missed and I what didn't. I just know what I have done is satisfactory enough.
CHECK OUT: HAIDER Movie Review
After being paired up with Pankaj in MAQBOOL, was it a bit awkward romancing his son Shahid in HAIDER? In what way the two are different?
Well I am not romancing Shahid. When you will watch the film, you will understand the equation. Since the film is inspired from Shakespeare's 'Hamlet' so it has that Oedipus complex. The scenes between Shahid and me are one of the highlights of the film. It was intense an experience. Actually, the relationship is very interesting between Shahid and me in this film. It was great to portray the mother and son kind of relationship and it was really potent. I don't know what people will experience when they see it all. Again it's Vishal's forte in coming up such writing. Kudos to him!
It's just a coincidence of sorts that I teamed up with Pankajji in Vishal's film and now I am working with his son. The credit for this only goes to Vishal. I really enjoyed working with Shahid. They are totally different people.
Shahid's performance in HAIDER is being raved about, what do you have to say about him?
Shahid is a very good actor, very involved and sincere especially the kind of role he has done. I think Shahid will win lot of accolades for it. He will be liked and appreciated all the way. He's given all to it. He's got a brilliant role and done fantastic work.
'I am not intellectual at all'
About newbie Shraddha Kapoor?
She is a sweetheart girl. We didn't have many scenes together. We just had one scene together.
You will be once again seen with Irrfan in HAIDER and audience too quite like your pairing with him. Do you believe Irrfan and you make a Shahrukh-Kajol pair of intellectual cinema?
(Laughs) Arey bhai kahan humko intellectual banadiya. I am not intellectual at all. Don't categorize us. But I think we have a very good pair on-screen. I am not comparing it with any other pair.
It's always great fun to work with Irrfan. I love to chat with him. We laugh a lot. We share something really special on-screen.