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Raveena Tandon on Bollywood ‘outsiders’ and her own struggles

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Raveena Tandon
Raveena Tandon
Image Credit: Supplied

National Award-winning Indian actress Raveena Tandon, who began her career in Bollywood when she was 16, believes living in the public eye and being famous comes with its share of emotional baggage.

“When I first came into this line of work, I was barely 16 and it used to hurt a lot when yellow journalism, gossip tabloids or magazines used to write made-up, fake stories about me … There were times when I used to cry myself to sleep,” said Tandon in an interview with Gulf News.

The daughter of director Ravi Tandon, who ruled Bollywood in 1990s and early 2000, claims it was her family who helped her stay afloat. She was blessed to have friends and family who rallied around her during those dark phases and pulling her away from self-doubt and insecurity.

Akshay Kumar, Sunil Shetty, and Raveena Tandon in Mohra (1994)-1588749478459
A still from ‘Mohra’
Image Credit: Supplied

“You go through this phase where you think to yourself that you are not like this, but why do they paint you as this person that you are not? You do question it … My parents have been my rock and they have been rock solid behind me during those time. That stabilised me to a point,” said Tandon.

The perils of being rich, famous and popular in Bollywood is now the talking point among movie-mad Indians who are grappling with the suicide of actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s suicide. The actor, 34, reportedly hung himself from his ceiling in his Mumbai residence. Theories about his struggle with mental depression and the alienation he felt as an industry outsider is being picked apart. The debate about nepotism overriding merit has also been re-ignited with several stars asking for boycott of popular producers, directors and stars who trade work for those who are in their inner circle.

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Raveena Tandon in ‘Shool’
Image Credit: Supplied

On the surface, Tandon — who was born into a movie family and is now married to a movie distributer, is that quintessential privileged insider. But even though she grew up in a family that were immersed in the world of movies, the insiders aren’t insulated from the pressures of being a star.

“The pressures are definitely high for us. And that’s not exclusive to our film industry alone. It’s the world that we live in today. Any high profile, glamorous job comes with its share of scrutiny, limelight and every action of yours is analysed. Every single action of yours is picked upon and people have all kinds of assumptions and deductions to make about what you said or did,” said Tandon.

The actress, who has starred in blockbusters such as the action thriller ‘Mohra’ and the family drama ‘Laadla’ along with critically acclaimed, women-empowering films like ‘Maatr’ and ‘Shool’,has internalised that intense degree of scrutiny.

“You just have to be brave enough to ignore all that noise or learn to bounce it off you. There are many sensitive people who take that intense scrutiny to heart … You have learn to believe in yourself and learn to have faith in yourself. If you know hat you have not done any harm, you can have a good night sleep with a clear conscience … Initially, it hurts lot though,” said Tandon.

In theory, Tandon — by accident of birth — comes across as someone who is equipped and armed with more resources than an aspiring acting hopeful from a small-town in India who is trying to carve a path in Bollywood. That outsider has no connections to fall back upon or strings to pull when the going gets tough.

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Raveena Tandon
Image Credit: Supplied

So what’s Tandon’s take on the simmering Insider vs Outsider debate that’s brewing in Bollywood right now.

The so-called insiders are usually daughters of famous actors, producers and directors, while outsiders are those who have no industry connection and can’t cash in on their dad or relative’s popularity.

“There is nothing like insider and outsider in Bollywood. I was born into this industry, but I did not let my own father launch me because I wanted to do something on my own. I wanted to stand up on my own merit and be on my own feet. I didn’t want any to push me towards success,” said Tandon. The actress claims she was ‘discovered’ by somebody outsider her circle and thrust into the world of modelling before she made her debut as an actress.

“Initially I didn’t even want to join the movies. My father didn’t call up people he knew or recommended me for projects. I was discovered in movies through a few ads I did and later people came to know that my father is a director. I consider myself completely self-made,” said Tandon.

Although she is proud of her achievements in her career, there’s no denying that ‘bullying’ exists in Bollywood and beyond.

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Raveena Tandon
Image Credit: IANS

“Every profession has its share of dirty politics … It could be airlines, the modelling world or your own media office. Bullying, ragging and harassment doesn’t happen only in classrooms and high schools … it happens everywhere. The only difference is that it is written about, sensationalised a great deal when it happens in our industry because it makes for a good, fun copy to read.”

While she is aware of the underbelly in any profession, her sole philosophy is that you just need to learn to ‘fight your own battles’.

“You just can’t give up,” said Tandon. While the industry has bestowed her with fame, money and success, she is frightful pragmatic about her place in the food chain. She believes Bollywood is a world where dreams of aspiring talents come alive. Did she pay a steep price for being a part of Bollywood, that is now getting the rap for being petty and hostile to outsiders?

“There’s no price as such that I paid for being in the limelight. I love my film industry and it has given me my all. It has given me my fame, my life, my name and a standing in society. I love that my industry also gives opportunities for people. People come from nowhere and become world famous. Bollywood is a profession where dreams come true … It gives you too much or too less depending on your talent, hard work and sincerity … I have only received a lot from this industry.”

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Henry Cavill Joins Almost All Of ‘The Witcher’ Cast For Season Two’s Premiere Event!

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Henry Cavill suits up sharp in pinstripe look for the premiere of The Witcher season two held at Odeon Luxe Leicester Square on Wednesday night (December 1) in London, England.

The 38-year-old actor was joined by many of his co-stars at the event, including Anya Chalotra and Freya Allan.

Anna Shaffer, Paul Bullion, Gaia Mondadori, Basil Eidenbenz, MyAnna Buring, Mecia Simson, Kim Bodnia, Chris Fulton, Jojo Macari, Eamon Farren, and Wilson Mbomio were also seen on the red carpet.

The Witcher: Blood Origins stars Nathaniel Curtis and Laurence O’Fuarian also stepped out to support the premiere.

In season two of the popular Netflix series, convinced Yennefer’s life was lost at the Battle of Sodden, Geralt of Rivia brings Princess Cirilla to the safest place he knows, his childhood home of Kaer Morhen.

Check out all the footage from the premiere, including interviews with the cast below!

The Witcher season two will premiere on December 17.

Click inside to see 50+ pictures of The Witcher cast…

Photos: Getty Posted to: Anna Shaffer, Anya Chalotra, Basil Eidenbenz, Chris Fulton, Eamon Farren, Freya Allan, Gaia Mondadori, Henry Cavill, Jojo Macari, Kim Bodnia, Laurence O’Fuarian, Mecia Simson, MyAnna Buring, Nathaniel Curtis, Paul Bullion, Wilson Mbomio

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What’s the Release Date of King Von’s New Album? Details

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In an interview with The Breakfast Club, rapper and noted adversary of King Von, Quando Rondo, shared his take on what happened during the night of Nov. 6, 2020, when a member of his crew, Lil Tumm, shot and killed Von in Atlanta, Ga. Chatting with Angela Yee, Quando spoke vaguely of what went down, but a lot of the facts have been muddled by differing claims from both sides. Regardless, Lil Tumm was arrested for Von’s murder and the case was closed.

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Hillary Clinton Indirectly Drags Trump — And His Breath — On Twitter

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Hillary Clinton is not not saying that a very carnivorous character in her political thriller “State of Terror” is based on a very recent former president.

Canadian journalist Elizabeth Renzetti tweeted a rave review of Clinton’s book — which was co-written by mystery writer Louise Penny — Tuesday. In her tweet, she zeroed in on the character of President Eric Dunn, who Renzetti described as “a hulking moron whose breath smells of meat.”

Clinton took the opportunity to not-so-subtly remind everyone — yet again — that her highly specific characterization of President Dunn was merely fiction.

We don’t know about you, but we certainly don’t view that as a burned hamburger.

Sure, an excerpt from Clinton and Penny’s novel published by NPR does explicitly say that President Dunn’s breath “smelled of meat” — and if his actions as president caused a disaster “it will be dumped at your big gold door.”

But that couldn’t possibly be former President Donald Trump.

Although, the man did famously love his Big Macs.

Trump speaks in front of fast food — including Big Macs — provided for the 2018 College Football Playoff National Champion Clemson Tigers.
Trump speaks in front of fast food — including Big Macs — provided for the 2018 College Football Playoff National Champion Clemson Tigers.

Joshua Roberts via Reuters

International Trump Tower hotel in Las Vegas.
International Trump Tower hotel in Las Vegas.

Fred Marie/Art in All of Us via Getty Images

So, on second thought we’re changing our minds. Much like Trump liked his burgers cooked — well done, Hillary.

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