Art & Entertainment

Raveena Tandon: I Have Some Good Karma Working For Me

Fresh from the success of her new series 'Karmma Calling', actor Raveena Tandon says she must have done some good deeds in her 33-year career to be part of great projects whether it is on the big screen or streaming platforms.

Raveena Tandon
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Fresh from the success of her new series 'Karmma Calling', actor Raveena Tandon says she must have done some good deeds in her 33-year career to be part of great projects whether it is on the big screen or streaming platforms.

The actor, who is receiving praise for her performance as a '90s Bollywood diva-turned-socialite, Indrani Kothari, in the Disney+ Hotstar show, said she is happy with how she is getting to play characters of varied hues in the last two-three years.

In 2021, she made her web series debut with Netflix's critically-acclaimed cop drama 'Aranyak' and returned to the big screen next year with 'K.G.F: Chapter 2', marking her Kannada cinema debut. In 2023, she was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth highest Indian civilian honour.

"I strongly believe in karma. What you put out in this world takes a full circle and comes back. As you sow, so shall you reap. Whether the films I did earlier or the ones I'm doing now or even the web shows I'm doing like 'Aranyak'.

"It is a big hit and I won all the awards, it was a good year for me. Then 'KGF: Chapter 2' came. I'll say I have some good karma working for me that I'm getting these opportunities, be it on streamers or theatrical releases," Tandon told PTI in an interview.

The National Award winner, who is currently shooting for 'Welcome 3', said it's a good time for actors as somewhere a balance has been struck between OTT and theatricals.

"These mediums are going hand-in-hand, helping out each other. It's a great time even for female actors. In the '90s, the shelf life of an actress would get over after she got married. She would probably retire or was expected to shift to mother or sister-in-law roles," she added.

Back in the 1990s, opportunities for women actors after they crossed a "certain middle age" were few and far between, said 51-year-old Tandon.

"Today, it's exciting that most of the OTT shows are led by women and we are still getting powerful roles. Earlier, the time men would evolve into fine actors in their middle ages, they would continue to get even bigger and better roles.

"But the moment a woman reached a certain middle age, she was expected to hang up her boots just when she had completely reached a point where she had refined her skills... When she had almost mastered her craft. The opportunities then were less. In today's world, I'm grateful for the opportunity," she said.

Tandon is unclear about when the season two of 'Aranyak' would premiere, but said if all goes well "Karmma Calling" would return for another couple of chapters with a deeper dive into the film industry of the '90s.

"Later on in the series, when you hopefully will watch season two and three, there are a lot of instances where you'll get to know that this really happens to actors and actresses in our industry. That's where you will feel that there is that bit of reality infused into fiction," she added.

In 'Karmma Calling', Tandon's Indrani is introduced to the viewers as this ice queen ruling the coastal town of Alibaug near Mumbai. Based on the popular 2011 American series "Revenge", the Hindi series sees Indrani cross paths with a woman named Karma (Namrata Sheth) who seems to be hiding a secret.

Defining her character as "almost villain-esque" but with many layers left to be discovered, Tandon said the similarities between her and Indrani end at them being Bollywood divas from the '90s era.

"Indrani Kothari is a '90s diva but she retired. She's only a socialite. In real life, I'm very different. I started in the '90s but I'm still doing great work and very much around. It's not like I've given up work and I'm only attending parties.

"She and I live in completely different worlds. She is someone who has been victimised according to circumstances. She has let herself into a trap. And I'm someone, who if I don't want to do something, no one on this planet can make me do it."

The actor is also excited about her daughter Rasha Thadani's acting debut. According to reports, newcomers Rasha and Aaman Devgan (Ajay Devgn's nephew) are set to star in an Abhishek Kapoor film.

While it is too early for her to articulate her feelings about her daughter's foray into cinema, Tandon said the 18-year-old has a long journey ahead.

"Right now, it's just about the excitement of seeing her first hoarding or her first ad come out. It's a matter of firsts like when your child learns to walk. But she has a long way to go and experience to gain into that space. Everyone comes with their own destiny. 

"I will always be there as a parent to advise her about right and wrong but sometimes you need to let your children fall. If you are there to pick them up every time they fall, they will never realise their own capabilities and strengths. It's necessary for them to learn from their mistakes," she added.

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Up next for Tandon are 'Patna Shukla', set to be released in March on Disney+ Hotstar, and 'Ghudchadi', which will also get a direct-to-digital release.

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