Raveena Tandon: Sanju and I looked forward to being part of KGF 2
The actor plays the role of the Prime Minister in Yash's KGF Chapter-2
Twenty years after her foray into Kannada cinema, Raveena Tandon is now making a comeback with KGF Chapter 2. She still remembers the lines, 'Masthu Masthu Hudugi Bandlu Nodu', of the song from Upendra, which marked her debut in Kannada in 1999, during this chat with CE. "Even though I don't recall the way I got the film, I remember everything about the shoot for Upendra — the character I played, the locations where we shot. And that's what I have been discussing with KGF director Prashanth Neel. I told him how phenomenal that film was, and how amazing it was to work with Upendra because he is such a genius. It was so much fun," says the Bollywood actor, who is currently on the sets of the Yash-starring period drama in Mysuru.
Reports of Sanjay Dutt and Raveena being part of the sequel started creating a buzz soon after KGF Chapter 1 was released. Raveena reveals that the two were, in fact, part of the first film in a sense. "KGF Chapter 1 features our characters, but we didn't begin shooting till KGF Chapter 2 started. The build-up of our characters happened in KGF Chapter 1. It is great to not be around, but still make your presence felt," she chuckles, adding, "I had already heard the script of KGF Chapter 1 and it was fabulous, and the movie also turned out fantastic. So both Sanju and I looked forward to being part of KGF 2. But honestly, neither of us was sure how much of us would be there in the sequel nor how it would develop."
KGF, with its pan-Indian appeal, has become a brand today, says Raveena. "KGF is so edgy. It's new-age cinema that is fantastically executed. Just look at Yash, his on-screen presence is unbelievable. I was blown away when I watched KGF Chapter 1," adds the actor, who says she has always been a fan of South Indian cinema. "I mentioned this to director Prashanth Neel too. I wish I had got more interesting offers after Upendra, but people were under the impression that I was very busy with Hindi movies. I was busy, but I would have considered doing more South Indian films too." She continues, "Also, when I started, the Bollywood industry was a little more disorganised than it is now. It has now become very professional. Those days, we were doing 30-day schedules at one time and dates were all over the place. On the other hand, people in South India were doing one film at a time. I managed to do a few Telugu movies, a couple of Tamil films, and one in Kannada. It has always been a great experience working in the South."
The actor joined the KGF Chapter 2 sets last Saturday, and since she knows people in the fraternity, it helped her get comfortable on the sets. "The team visited my home in Mumbai. Yash and my husband (Anil Thadani) are good friends, and they keep meeting up," she says.
Raveena plays the strong role of Prime Minister Ramika Sen in the film, but does not wish to reveal more. She does have a few words to say about Prashanth Neel. "He comes across as an unassuming, polite, cool-headed, decent young man at first. After one year, however, I have been seeing a different Prashanth on the sets. His voice is booming now," says Raveena, adding the entire team has been amazing.
Bengaluru and Mysuru are among her favourite cities, according to Raveena Tandon. However, thanks to the traffic issues, Bengaluru is now lagging behind Mysuru for her. "Once upon a time, it was called the Garden City, and known as for its lakes. But today, Bengaluru is known for its heavy traffic," she tells us, revealing that it was she who suggested to Prashanth Neel that her sequences in KGF Chapter 2 be shot in Mysuru. "When they were discussing the KGF shoot, I insisted that it should be held in Mysuru," she says, adding, "Mysuru reminds me of the old Bangalore of the 80s and 90s. I have travelled to Mysuru many times, as some of my dear friends live in the city, and I am very familiar with the place." Raveena also loves travelling to Nagarhole and Kabini. "I love going to the forest, and I think I will make that trip again before I head back to Mumbai. I always felt that the people of Mysuru are really lucky. I hope it doesn't turn into what Bengaluru is today."