Tabu: Filmmakers trust me to pull off out-of-the-box roles

She will be seen next on Auron Mein Kahan Dum Tha which also stars Ajay Devgn in the lead

Be it Vishal Bhardwaj, Sriram Raghavan or Neeraj Pandey, Tabu says filmmakers tend to approach her with out-of-the-box ideas, a pattern she finds difficult to decipher.

The actor, fresh from the success of heist comedy Crew, will next be seen next in director Neeraj’s musical romance drama Auron Mein Kahan Dum Tha. It marks her reunion her with frequent collaborator Ajay Devgn.

"It's a pattern of filmmakers coming to me with absolutely out-of-the-box ideas, and by out-of-the-box, I don't mean one kind of a film. If a filmmaker has made a gritty suspense film or an emotional drama with me, the next filmmaker comes with a comic caper. Or, somebody will come with a cop's role, and then with (comedy) De De Pyaar De," she said.

"So, it's a mix of so many things that I can't explain why it happened but I am sure there is some kind of trust factor that filmmakers feel that I can pull it off or that I will be good at it," Tabu told PTI in an interview here.

The National Award winner said her approach to choosing projects is rooted in the equation she shares with directors Vishal (Maqbool (2003), Haider (2014), Khufiya (2023)) or Sriram, with whom she did Andhadhun (2018).

She admits whenever Vishal approaches her with a project, her response is instinctively affirmative.

"My approach is very characteristic to me; I can't put it in a few words or dissect or explain it. There are many factors, like my body of work of the past so many years, there is a certain kind of equation that I have with directors like Vishal and Sriram," she added.

Tabu with Ajay have been longtime industry friends and co-stars of films such as Vijaypath (1994), Haqeeqat (1995) Thakshak (1999), and more recently in Drishyam franchise and Bholaa (2022). The actor said her bond with Ajay is built on mutual respect.

"We have an unspoken understanding and appreciation for each other's talent. I really value what he brings with him to a film. His understanding of cinema, of technique is just amazing and I really respect that," she said.

She added, "Both of us are very conscious about what we are doing and it has so happened that whatever has come to us, we've agreed and been on the same page. It's been great to find one co-actor in your profession that has occupied that space and that whole phenomena gave you that platform to experience one person at different stages of your career."

Asked about the box office success of her last film Crew, Tabu said the movie worked because of several factors, including the story and a predominantly female cast.

Also starring Kareena Kapoor Khan and Kriti Sanon, the film earned Rs 150 crore globally at the box office.

Speaking about it, Tabu said, "Rhea (Kapoor, producer) was always convinced that it would do very well. I was always convinced that it would do very well. There are many factors for a film to do well. But the fact that we did something like this and it worked in such a big way is definitely exciting."

Crew, which released in March, revolves around three air hostesses working for a fictional airline called Kohinoor, which is on the verge of bankruptcy. How they seek to turn around their future after they find a dead crew member smuggling gold biscuits forms the core of the story.

Tabu said that since its release, many people who have worked as cabin crew have come up to her and told her, "We loved the film".

"It's a happy, fun film that did well so it feels different. It's a different kind of chemistry and rhythm to this film. It's not that we are narrating the story of one person, the format was different. I am happy that it worked and I am happy that it could make people laugh. So, it's great," she said.

"You want to not disappoint people, or at least give them an experience that they will enjoy, and by enjoy I don't just mean laugh and have fun, which is also great but to be able to do movies that give people a different experience than they expected," she added.

Auron Mein Kahan Dum Tha revolves around Krishna (Ajay) and Vasudha (Tabu), a couple who separates when Krishna is jailed for murder. They cross paths after 20 years when he is released from prison. Shantanu Maheshwari and Saiee Manjrekar play the younger Krishna and Vasudha, respectively.

The film is produced by Narendra Hirawat, Kumar Mangat Pathak (Panorama Studios), Sangeeta Ahir and Shital Bhatia. It was scheduled to be released this Friday, but the makers postponed its premiere on the "request of exhibitors and distribution fraternity".

The new release date will be announced soon.

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