Ever since the trailer of Aranyak dropped, fans have observed that the show doesn’t flaunt ‘the Raveena Tandon’. The actor has managed to get into the skin of the Pahadi cop Kasturi Dogra in the thriller.
Raveena shared that she feels it’s the biggest compliment for an actor when the audience sees the character on-screen rather than the ‘star’. In a recent conversation with indianexpress.com, she said, “When the audience doesn’t find a trace of the actor, I think it’s a happy moment for us. I think I have received the most positive feedback with people saying how they were not looking for Raveena. I think that’s what we worked for, and somewhere managed to achieve.”
On asked if that can happen only on the web space given ‘stars’ still sell in cinema halls, the actor replied, “I don’t think so as I broke away from that trend many many years ago when I did Shool (1999). Even now people have not forgotten that character. Nobody seemed surprised that I played a lower-middle-class Bihari housewife, with that accent. They didn’t see Raveena back then too. And that is actually when I realised that I can achieve what I had set out to do.”
Opening up further about the world of Aranyak and Kasturi Dogra, Raveena Tandon said that she loves binge-watching thrillers, and thus had no problems with the genre. She added that Kasturi was a great character. “She is fierce, talented, a brave pahadi cop, and a hardcore police officer. She knows she has it in her but still has to keep proving herself in the male-dominated society. She is a perfect bahu, wife, mother and the whole household is dependent on her. She also has to deal with the conflict of wanting to be with them and also focus on her career, which she wanted since childhood. The writing has come out beautifully,” the Mohra actor said.
While she loved essaying the part, the 90s star confessed that she didn’t relate much to the part, given she has never faced similar situations. Raveena shared that she has emotional support and backing from her family that helps her to go out and achieve what she wants. The actor added, “However, there are so many who don’t get that support. This is our subtle sweet way of telling families to help their women achieve their dreams. She is doing everything each day for her family. Often when she comes home after a hard day, instead of appreciating her, there are many in the family who’ll pass sarcastic comments to put her down further. Women have it tough and it’s time families respect that.”
A noteworthy moment in the trailer has Kasturi lamenting how she got the biggest case in her career when she is set to take a break. She is also bitter about letting another officer take her place. In reference to her journey, we quizzed Raveena whether she ever was approached for a role while she was away. We also asked the actor what is her take on younger actors gaining prominence in the industry.
“First and foremost I think there’s space for everyone, and every time a new generation comes in, they make their own place. When I entered Bollywood, it was ruled by Madhuri Dixit, Juhi Chawla, Sridevi — and they did accept us and each one of us created our niches. I think there’s an opportunity for everyone. There is no way we resent each other and we all can co-exist. Look at Alia Bhatt, Deepika Padukone, or even Katrina Kaif, they are all doing such great work. Coming to the other question, I have never been insecure and thus I don’t regret any decision. Even if I have taken an impulsive choice or made a decision hastily, I will stand by it. If I did things differently, I don’t think I would be sitting here right now,” shared Raveena.
Given the current times, social media has also become an important part of actors’ lives, and also a platform for promotions. Ask her how she is dealing with this new-age trend and the actor smiled to say, “I think it’s a bane and boon at the same time. It does help to directly connect with the audience. Also, with so many fake stories around, it’s the best way to put out your side of the story. Earlier, we were at the mercy of editors and reporters, and taking them to court even for yellow journalisms was never an option. However, I do not enjoy putting my private life out there. I don’t want to keep updating about my every movement. Only when there’s something fun and fascinating, I like to put it out there. I want to stay connected with my fans and loved ones that way.”
Raveena Tandon also discussed how most women out there also have to face social media trolls. From being called ‘aunty’ as an insult to work-shamed, the actor said that she feels bad for these negative people. “They are very unhappy people with insecurity and jealousy deep in them. They have the most unkind things to tell us. I am amused at how they tell us that ‘jao acting karo’ when I speak about an issue. They don’t understand that we are also responsible citizens of this country. I am also a mother and I get bothered by the good and bad, and have the right to voice my opinion.”
Lastly, on asked if she is expecting better roles to come her way post Aranyak, the actor smiled to share, “The film industry has been kind to me. I have KGF 2 soon. There is also Maatr, a Telugu film and even a reality show. I have a couple of new projects, which I cannot talk about right now. I think there is enough work already on my plate.”
Also starring Parambrata Chattopadhyay, Ashutosh Rana, Zakir Hussain, Meghna Malik among others, Aranyak will start streaming from December 10 on Netflix.