It’s her gift for humanising complex (Haider, 2014), eccentric (Fitoor, 2016), and plain amoral (Andhadhun, 2018) characters—while creating a gallery of vulnerable women for the
ages—that has earned Tabu a secure spot in the realm of the greats.
Which other actor can alternate seamlessly between iconic literary characters (Lady Macbeth, Miss Havisham) and nutty stereotypes in a David Dhawan or Rohit Shetty film? Or blend so easily in both an Ang Lee ensemble and a Vishal Bhardwaj thriller? Is there anyone else who has both a National Award (two, actually) and a membership to the Academy Of Motion Tabu Picture Arts & Sciences?
Look back at her career, and you’ll see that long before Kangana Ranaut and Alia Bhatt shouldered women-centric films, Tabu had already ticked that box with films like Chandni Bar and Astitva in the early 2000s.
Tabu says her pursuit, in every acting job she takes, is of the truth. “It’s all I know; it’s the only thing that has remained constant in my work all these years,” she says.
Next, she will take a key role in Mira Nair’s eight-part serialisation of Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy (1993) for the BBC, which begins filming in early 2019. There’s also a comedy with Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety director, Luv Ranjan. Always the career schizophrenic, no one enjoys mixing up her choices like Tabu does.