New Delhi: The one thing that strikes you about Raveen Tandon is her candour, and that’s the one thing that sets her apart from her generation of actors in the 90s.
She laughs when you remind her of the same and confesses it often leads her to be misunderstood, and pay the price for not being a people pleaser.
Three decades since she faced the camera in her debut “Pathar Ke Phool’ in 1991, opposite Salman Khan, her deep kohl-rimmed eyes, high ponytail and signature hoops exuded an aura of sophisticated charm and confidence which remained unchanged after years in the industry.
‘Zinda Dili ” what you are within will reflect on the outside’ she laughs when asked what’s the secret to her timeless appeal.
But an actor who forged her path, despite being from a film family, Raveena set the benchmark for her journey. She responds thoughtfully, “Though every profession has its ups and downs, I would like to thank myself for the perseverance, the sincerity and the hard work I put in to achieve where am today so most women only end up thanking everyone for their achievements which I do believe in thanking everyone else, but I would like to thank myself too.”
After making her digital debut in Aranyak in 2021, she is back in the streaming space with “Karmma Calling”, a revenge thriller directed by Ruchi Narain. Playing Indrani a former Bollywood diva turned influential socialite, the actor says the role had come to her a decade ago. But now seemed the perfect time to sink her teeth into playing a complex woman, who leaves no stone unturned in settling scores with those who don’t toe her line.
Though she says Indrani and she has very little in common except for one aspect, “we can kill for our family.”
Taking about family as her daughter Rasha gears up for her Bollywood debut, Raveena says she has no words of wisdom. Recalling how her parents including her filmmaker father Ravi Tandon never interfered in her decisions, she also has the same advice for her daughter. “Learn from your mistakes, you need to stumble and fall. Me preventing you from making those mistakes won’t shape you as a human or actor.”
From out-and-out masala entertainers of the ’90s to her sensitive portrayal of Durga, a victim of marital rape and violence in Kalpana Lajmi’s’ Daman’, which won her the national award in 2001 or Anuradha who learns the ropes of Politics in Madhur Bhandarkar’s ‘Satta’ in 2003, Raveena admits it is her constant effort to reinvent. Even though Bollywood continues to recreate her old hits from’ Ankhiyon Se Goli Maare ( Pati Patni Aur Woh) to’ Tip Tip Barsaa Paani’( Sooryavanshi).
So what does she think made her different from the actresses of your generation? ”I feel each one of us has very distinct personalities. Our generation was a bit different from what I feel is perceived nowadays. We were all very distinctively different looking, Tabu looked different from me, and her progress and path were different from mine. Karishma Kapoor was completely different, and so was Manisha Koirala who was in a completely different softer tone from me and was perceived as more in your face, so we all had very well-defined characters and brought our uniqueness. Today again I see Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone and Alia Bhatt, these girls are so talented and so different. One needs to find that one X factor and make that work. I think for me what worked was the fact that I experimented and I tried playing different characters. From a Bihari housewife in Shool to a Pahadi cop in Aaranyak, an abused wife in Daman, to an Indrani in this show and even a Prime Minister in KGF 2. This is perhaps a plus for me because not everyone gets such a variety and am grateful to the audience for being accepting of the choices I made. Sometimes I feel actors get very happy playing themselves in every role they get and don’t innovate. So guess that worked for me and I was also very conscious about doing different content”
So does she believe in Karma? Of course, I do but I also want some people to get the karma they deserve she answers with a laugh.
Karmma Calling airs on Disney+ Hotstar on Jan 26 and also stars Ronit Roy and Varun Sood.