For Geeta Tandon, labels don’t matter as much as a sense of identity does. Walking out of an unhappy marriage, she took up the job as a stuntwoman in Bollywood to support herself and her children, only to end up as one of the experts in the field. Having worked in films like Udta Punjab, Chennai Express and Singham, Geeta has come a long way from her first assignment in Ladakh. She was recently a part of Shell India’s women day campaign, where we caught up with her and had a chat about her work, passion, and what drives her.
ELLE: You faced a lot of challenges before you found your true calling. In those unhappy times, where did you draw your strength from?
Geeta Tandon: I haven’t had an easy life before being a stuntwoman. I used to feel scared of physical danger in my married life, but my kids were my greatest strength. I always wanted to give them a better life, and that is what kept me going. I believe that one has to cross all hurdles thrown at them and move forward to achieve great things. I took everything positively and told myself there would be light at the end of the tunnel. Today, my work gives me strength; every new assignment, every new opportunity, is what keeps me going. You have one life, so why waste it! I hope I can inspire more women.
ELLE: What are some of the things you love bout being a stuntwoman?
GT: I love adventure, and I love challenges, and this field has given me wonderful experiences and so much exposure. I have also got to meet so many great people on this journey. Though some people doubted my capability to perform stunts and said that a woman should not take up a job as dangerous as mine, I didn’t let those opinions deter me. I realised that if you are good the industry will be good to you and vice versa.
Photographer: Sushant Chhabria
ELLE: It is a slightly unconventional professional choice. Tell us about your journey.
GT: When I took up this profession, there was no choice for me. I never thought of taking it up, it just came to me at the right time. There was a time in my life when I desperately needed work and money for myself and to support my family. I didn’t have a proper higher education, so I took what life gave to me.
ELLE: What does a typical workday look like for you? Any exciting projects you are working on currently?
GT: I am currently packed with projects due to release on OTT platforms. A typical working day is hectic, but I take some time off to spend time with kids, as they are my biggest support and strength.
Lead Image: Sushant Chhabria