I did a Telugu film after long, it was like homecoming,” beams Tabu, elated that her latest release, Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo, has become a runaway hit. Dressed in a white kurta, and sipping on an almond cappuccino, she wears a look of contentment, one that probably comes from the film’s success. Before the month ends, the actor will have another movie hitting screens Jawaani Jaaneman.
Mention the Saif Ali Khan-starrer to her, and she lights up. “[My character] is free-spirited, almost like a hippie. She randomly gets into relationships, and has a child out of wedlock. As actors, we are searching for something that can show us in a different light, and this film offered that. It’s a cameo but I knew I wanted to do this film at the first [reading]. This character is whacky and deserves a stand-alone film,” she laughs.
The actor’s boho look in the comedy comes as a refreshing change from her previous on-screen turns. “The look had to be right because she [her character] can’t be understated. My stylists [Subhash Vagal, Sanam Ratansi and Hiral Bhatia] shopped in London, and added big boots, oversized jewellery, and gave me curly hair to complete the look.”
While lesser actors may have flinched at the idea of playing Alaya F’s mother in the comedy, Tabu is evidently excited about her role. In an industry that is unfortunately ageist, she hasn’t shied away from experimenting at 28, the actor essayed the role of woman in her fifties in Astitva (2000). In the process, she delivered arguably one of her finest performances. “I am not one to have a strategy for my career. So, I have never looked at the age of a character, her marital status or the length of a role. [All that mattered was] that the role have an impact.”