The ravishing Tamanna Bhatia who made her first on screen debut in Bollywood and then shifted her career base to South, is being re-launched with director Sajid Khan's 1983 remake 'Himmatwala', that had Jeetendra and Sridevi in lead. While the film has hit the screens, Tamanna gets candid with IndiaGlitz. Here are the excerpts -
You started your career with Bollywood to south than Bollywood again?
When I started off my career the only thing I knew was I wanted to be an actor. At that time every opportunity was very crucial and I wanted to prove myself as an actor. At that time it so happened to be in south Indian movies have being offered to me and I went ahead and took the opportunity because as an actor it is the place I want to discover. I didn't have any training in dance, acting or anything. I just wanted to be an actor and willing to work hard for this. South Indian films one after the other worked well at the box office and I become pretty proclaimed as well. While I was working down south I kept getting offer from Hindi film industry but I was waiting for the film which I will watch as an audience because I have being a movie buff since I was a young girl. Movies are stress busting thing for me. I want to be part of a film which make me feel like that. When I had Himmatwala coming my way and I thought this is the film which is a super entertaining with Sajid Khan as a director and Ajay Devgn in it. They both are super consistent in their work. People love their work. There is a good combination because at the end films are a team work. You need a strong team to make a good film.
For many actors south industry is a stepping stone to enter Bollywood?
People think that south Indian film industry is a stepping stone to enter into Hindi film industry but I feel at the end an actor needs a certain platform to put his work means how will people know that the actor exist. Because south Indian films are next most watched films in India and its regional market is very strong. In the recent past it has happened. People have just generalised the thing. Producer and director look out for
talents and south is happened to be a good platform.
You got an opportunity to working with super star in your Bollywood first film?
An actor chooses his work according to what he is offered. I can'timagine working with Ajay Devgn. The film has being offered to me so the call is mine whether to do it or not. For an actor it chooses the work which is offered in the best out of the lot. For me that is what happened.
What if new director had approached you? Would you have still done the film?
Again depends upon the script and a team. You can't choose a film on one criteria as the combination of the film works on screen.
Why you have rejected Hindi films earlier which is offered to you before Himmatwala?
Because the script kept coming would not portray right side, right image of me. As the character you portray on screen is also the way people perceive you. For me it is important to work on characterisation which can give an impact on the audiences.
How much is the influence of Sridevi in the film?
If you see the film it is the title which is same rest. Sajid has reworked on it. When you will watch the film you will not get the sense of comparison. There are just the original essence of the original Himmatwala, rest Sajid has re-written the film.
What difference in working style you found in south and Hindi film industry?
Films are the reflection of certain state of society and the culture. Like Hindi films it deals with what happening in India. In south they deal with their culture and atmosphere. There is just a basic culture difference between the north and the south. The process of filmmaking is the same.
Are we going to explore references or glimpse of Srideviji in you?
I have only followed what Sajid has guided me because it is a re-write by Sajid of the original Himmatwala. So it is completely his perception. I have not exposed to cinemas of 80's as Sajid. I have worked in 24 films before but for Himmatwala I have worked as a newcomer.
How much the dance step is similar with the original songs?
The steps are not same as the original even the song is little different. The choreography is done by Farah Khan. The steps are according to our (Ajay and me) body language is set.
How you will take you career ahead in Bollywood?
Again I would like to do a film which will reach to major audience. This is for both south and Hindi films. I want all age group come and watch my film. When I choose script I am very clear that I want very good combinations. Everybody in the film should add some excitement in the film.
Means you will do massy film only?
No not only massy film yet there are films which are not massy still it connect with the audience.
Working with superstars like Ajay and Akshay gives you an assurance of box office success?
Bigger the actor greater the chances of the film will turn out good at the box office; if the people connected to it are established and consistent in their work. Himmatwala and my next film have that.
How was working with Ajay?
He is very honest human being. Beyond all the stardom and beyond the entire fan following he has the honesty in his work which we see on the screen. As an audience even I relate to him.
What's your take on south film remake in Bollywood?
I guess we want heroes. We want little glorification to happen. In 80's the heroes were very glorified. The south has since 80's they continued to do that and people like such cinema. In Hindi film that trend has come back. Heroes are portrayed lager then life. People are enjoying it again it is an entertainment factor.
In a massy film the actress doesn't have much to do instead they are used prop? Don't you think it is very difficult to get noticed in the film?
I believe that the commercial film is a bigger challenge for an actress than any title written role. When you have a limited amount of role then you have to captivate the audiences with few scenes and songs. As an actor for me even it is more challenging. Eventually it is the combination of me enjoying as an actor working on the film and people enjoying it. If I am doing a character role and people don't watch then the purpose of the film is defeated. So I take all these things under consideration while working in any film.
How you have planned you future in Bollywood?
I never look into future much neither I stay in the past much. If you say I am superstar south down I usually forget that. I enjoy doing my job which is acting. Every film is very very important for me. I gives my best then I leave it as an actor that's all in my hand. Then destiny do it has to.
Is this a goodbye to south Indian film industry?
Not at all. I will be working on Telugu and Tamil film which will go on floor very soon and at the same time Hindi also. I have more languages to add now.
What was difficult for you in the film?
For me every scene and every day was challenge. Obviously Himmatwala is very special film for me at the same time the fear is there. And the fear, anxiety and nervousness should be there or else the actor is finished because it helps you do your job better.
Was there any difficulty in language?
When I started off it was difficult as I didn't know Telugu and Tamil and after 3-4 years I started talking. Today I am fluent in Tamil and Telugu. I am from Mumbai so I know Hindi very well.
How fashion conscious are you?
Eventually the clothes we wore in films audience get influenced by that so being a film actress it is very important to be fashion conscious. In my personal life I like to be simple. I like dressing causal.
What is the advantage and disadvantage to work with superstar?
I think there are only advantages because as an actor you get a platform where lot of people come and watch the film. At least you have an opportunity to portray you talent out so that people can watch it and make choices out of that.
How much pressure you feel as the competition is very high in Bollywood?
In down south there is an equal amount of competition. The competition is very high in all the industry. You have to be best in what you do.
Is Tamannah is open to do item songs?
Yes, I don't know when it will happen but I guess it will happen at the right time. Item songs are not bad they are good.
Film with Baljit, Shiva directing it. Telugu with Nagachitnya
Best films of ajay?
Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Omkara and now Himmatwala.