Tisca chopra | She is known for giving stellar performances in films like Taare Zameen Par and Dil Toh Bachcha Hai Ji. She speaks with Musba Hashmi about her journey in the industry, hosting a crime show and upcoming projects
How did acting happen?
I knew that I wanted to be an actor when I was two-and-a-half years old. I did my first stage performance back then. My parents worked as teachers in a school and they wanted somebody to play Lord Krishna, in his younger years. That’s how I went on stage for the first time. Now, I feel fortunate enough to have spent two decades working in the industry, doing some of my best work.
Is it hard to survive in the industry?
I am in a comfortable place now where people would not like to compromise with wanting somebody else instead of me. I have had made my place in the industry where people show that belief in me that you can do this and you should do this. The best of opportunities are coming my way. I have produced a short film — Chutney, which was loved by all. So things have been working out well. Competition jisko lagta ho, woh uskey bare me sochey mere dimag me aisa koi khyaal nahin aata hai.
From Platform to Bioscopewala, how has your journey been?
I still feel the same excitement while going on the sets. I still feel delighted to have signed a new film. I feel happy when people read out a certain kind of script to me. I feel joyful. I like playing different kinds of people, that’s the thrill for me.
Do you have any regrets?
Not really. Eventually, all my decisions have turned out right because I am still here in the industry.
You have shared the screenspace with some of the prominent actors in the industry. What is that one thing that you learned from them?
I have learnt something or the other from all of them. I have recently worked with Akshay Kumar for a film and he has a unique, razor-sharp focus. He is doing about 75-80 things at any given time — listening to the songs of some upcoming film, listening to the narration of some scripts, meeting someone and working on the promotions of something. He can do multiple things at the same time. He manages everything so well that it doesn’t make any difference while he is shooting. So this concentration is something that I learnt from him. When it comes to Aamir Khan, then of course he does a few things but he goes deep into them, so this is what I learnt from him. Then, Kareena Kapoor Khan was another great artist to work with. She is lovely, generous, happy, friendly and relaxed about being on sets. It feels like she was born on the sets and it’s a part of her life.
You have worked on different media — stage, TV, films and web. What is the one differnce you felt in all of them?
Films are director-oriented. He is the one who sees the whole thing in his head and he will shoot you and put only those parts in the film that he likes. He will change and modify things according to him to make the performance work. Also everything is shot in bits and pieces. Television is writer driven. Stage is solely an actor’s medium and there is no retake. I enjoy films and TV for their reach.
You are now a part of Savdhaan India so what made you say yes to it?
This the first time that I am hosting a crime-based show. Savdhaan India is an iconic show and I feel it will probably go on for many more years. It is a talked-about show where everyone has either seen it or heard about it. It has completed its seven years which is a big thing. Also, it is not just an overnight thing, it is a classic. I liked the idea of the show and the premise that it sets out — to be alert. In our country, where there is such a vast populace, there is an important need for alertness. Furthermore, in these seven years of the show, they have kept up with the changing nature of the crimes. Also it is a medium where I get to play myself. It is my direct connect with the audience where I can communicate to them ki maksad aapko darana nahin, aap ko samjhana hai.
There is a web series coming out in May — Hostages. It is a dream role for me. I am doing a film — Good News with Dharma Productions. It is my first project with them and I am excited about it. I am writing and directing a feature, so that will be next.