Tisca Chopra is one actress who has excelled in all the things she has done, be it theatre, television or films. From playing the doting mother in Aamir Khan's 'Taare Zameen Par' to a seductress in 'Dil Toh Bacha Hai Ji' to a helpless woman in 'Ankur Arora Murder Case', Tisca has done it all with ease. And now, the pretty actress is gearing up for yet another unconventional film 'Rahasya'. In a brief chat, Tisca talks about her Bollywood journey, her upcoming film 'Ghayal 2', how 'Taare Zameen Par' changed things for her and more. Excerpts:
Your debut film 'Platform' released in 1993 followed by 'Hyderabad Blues' straight in 2004. What has been the reason for such a long gap?
When I did 'Platform', I signed bunch of films at that time. And the kind of films which were being made in 90s was worst. The stories were formulaic. I couldn't relate to such films. The gap was because I was always working very hard, not may be in the public eye. Theatre was my priority then.
It's been a while since you have been in Bollywood. How has the journey been?
I think it is just getting better. Until now, I hadn't got such substantial roles and such scope both as an actor and as a public person. And I am only expecting it to get better. I think you get success when you are ready for it. You get what you deserve and not desire. May be there was lack of the correct elements to come together whether it was lack of confidence or something else. But I feel very ready to handle it now. When I came, I wasn't a good actor. I wasn't a good performer. I started acting for the first time by fluke. But now I am more prepared.
Coming to 'Rahasya', tell us about your role in the filmâ€¦
This one question is hard to answer because it is a whodunit. And if I tell you about it, then the part will get revealed. However, I can tell you about the film. We didn't shoot it in a linear way and when I saw the film, it was completely gripping. It was an extremely good watch.
The film is said to be inspired from Aarushi Murder case. How true is that?
The film isn't inspired from Aarushi Talwar murder case. It is pure work of fiction. 'Rahasya' is a fictional piece of work in the genre of Alfred Hitchcock or Agatha Christy and that is what the director is inspired by. If you look at the film, he has woven the story backwards. Everything is tied up really neatly and it engages your mind.
Irrfan Khan's 'Nyyoda' is similar to 'Rahasya'. Do you think you guys have an advantage since your film is releasing first?
I am not aware about which film is this. I am sorry I stay a little in my own space. But Irrfan is a fabulous actor and it will be a very good film. However, we have our Kay Kay Menon here who is also an excellent actor. And good luck to everyone. More films should succeed at the box-office.
Generally, producers aren't ready to invest on unconventional subjects. What is your opinion?
That is unfortunate. However, we have a giant like Viacom who is backing us. We have Ajit, the head of Viacom, who told us that he is putting all his weight behind this film as is Kay Kay, me or the director. And end of the day, certain good films will find their way.
How important is box-office success for a film?
Of course it affects you personally and professionally. You do feel sad when a film fails, not for long but it will. You want your film to reach the maximum number of people and that's what box-office success is.
Does it make you sad when your film with strong content fails as compared to a weak film starring superstars?
Not at all, it is our own fault that we are not superstars. We should be superstars if we can help it. Kisi Ne Roka Toh Nahi Hai. I think there is another concept called word of mouth which is not banking on the success of an individual but on the story.
Do you think 'Taare Zameen Par' type casted you in motherly roles?
Are you kidding me? It still pays my bills. It's a fab film. It is very rare that an actor gets an opportunity to do a film which is so substantial and meaningful and still such a big hit. Seven years back it made 150+ crores and still makes money when it is telecasted on Zee. Jo hona tha wo ho gaya 'Taare Zameen Par' se. Ab toh stereotype ki bhi band baj gayi hai. 'Dil Toh Bacha Hai Ji' had really opened up people's heads. Also the way you approach a role, it makes a difference. I was Shruti Haasan's mother but no one paid attention to it, when I was smooching Emraan Hashmi. I think the stereotyping is going to be smashed.
How do you balance regional cinema and Bollywood?
Girish and Umesh for 'Highway' are extremely evolved human beings. They could be working out of France or Korea. That is the level of their performance. And they are stunning. I don't see 'Highway' as a Marathi film. I see it as a world film. Likewise with VKP, who is also an extremely talented film maker. I have always been compelled by story and filmmakers.
Release of 'Qissa' has been delayed in India. What do you have to say about that?
That is a bit sad. I am glad it has made the money that was invested in it. 'Qissa' was super hit in France and Germany. The producers are thrilled and they don't give a s**t whether it works in India or no. It has done well in Toronto, Abu Dhabi Film Festival, Busan, Korea and many others. 'Taare Zameen Par' will have its own journey and 'Qissa' will have its own journey. I want it to release in India but then that is something which is not in our hands.
Any plans to do a commercial potboilers?
I will be happy to do a commercial potboiler if I am the big piece in the pot. If I am just one of the small pieces floating around in it then I wouldn't want to do it. Then I will do it in a way that makes it memorable and interesting. I am doing some commercial films like 'Ghayal 2', Vijay Ghelani's next opposite Girish Taurani and bunch of different things. Hopefully, will do a comedy soon because I am done doing rona dhona.