Tabu is an Indian film actress

Tabu is an Indian film actress. She has primarily acted in Hindi films, and has also appeared in English, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Marathi and Bengali language films. Tabu born Tabassum Hashmi is an award-winning Indian actress who has acted in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Hindi and American films. She has won the National Film Award for Best Actress twice. She is best known for her critically acclaimed acting in a number of films rather than achieving box office success.


Despite a few exceptions, Tabu is known best for her willingness to play characters in artistic, low-budget films that go on to garner more critical appreciation than they do substantial box office figures such as in Maqbool (2003), Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities (2004) or The Namesake (2007). She has also acted in a number of commercially successful films such as Vijaypath (1994), Border (1997), Saajan Chale Sasural (1996), Biwi No.1 and Hum Saath-Saath Hain: We Stand United (1999).

Her most notable performances include Astitva (2000), Chandni Bar (2001), Maachis (1996), Hu Tu Tu (1999) and Virasat (1997). Known to be selective about her film roles, she has said, "I do films which move me and most of all, the unit and the director should appeal to me." Tabu was born in Hyderabad to Jamal Hashmi and Rizwana. Soon after, her parents divorced. Her mother was a school teacher and her maternal grandparents were retired professors who ran a school. Her grandfather, Mohammed Ahsan was a professor of Mathematics and her grandmother was a professor of English Literature. She went to St. Anns high school in Hyderabad. Tabu moved to Mumbai in 1983 and studied at St. Xavier's College for two years.


She is the niece of Shabana Azmi and the younger sister of actress Farah Naaz. She has homes in Mumbai and Hyderabad. Tabassum "Tabu" Hashmi began her career in the film Hum Naujawan (1985) at the age of fifteen; she played Dev Anand's daughter in the film. Her first role as an actress was in the Telugu film Coolie No. 1. Her first release in Hindi as a leading lady was Pehla Pehla Pyar which went un-noticed. She came into prominence with her role in Vijaypath (1994) opposite Ajay Devgan for which she received the Filmfare Best Female Debut Award. This was followed by many films that did not do well at the box office.


In 1996, Tabu had eight releases. Two films Saajan Chale Sasural and Jeet went on to be hits; both were within the top five films of that year. Her other significant film, Maachis, was critically acclaimed. Her role as a Punjabi woman caught in the rise of Sikh insurgency was acclaimed; she went on to win her first National Film Award for Best Actress for her performance.


Tabu first release of 1997 was Border. The movie was about the real life events surrounding the Battle of Longewala during the 1971 Indo-Pak war. She played the role of Sunny Deol's wife. Her role was small but the film went on to be the biggest hit of 1997. That year, she also starred in the critically acclaimed film Virasat. The film was a success at the box office; Tabu won the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Performance.


In 1999, she starred in two successful multi-starrer films Biwi No.1 and Hum Saath-Saath Hain: We Stand United. Both were the first and second biggest hits of that year respectively. In 2000, the actress starred in Hera Pheri and Astitva. The former was a box office success whilst the latter was critically acclaimed. She received her third Filmfare Critics Award for Best Performance for Astitva.


2001 saw her star in Chandni Bar directed by Madhur Bhandarkar. Her portrayal of a bar dancer met with unanimous praise, and she won her second National Film Award for Best Actress for her performance. Critic, Taran Adarsh said, "Chandni Bar is Tabu's film all the way and there are no two opinions on that. Her performance deserves the highest marks and of course, all the awards. Her work is flawless and the impact her character makes on the minds of the viewer is also due to a tailor-made role". Another critic mentioned, "if there is one actress who can carry a film on her shoulders, it is Tabu. As usual, she sparkles".


She has acted in a number of Telugu movies, many of them very successful, such as Coolie No. 1 and Ninne Pelladutha, the latter being one of her most famous and popular movies.


In 2003, Tabu starred in an adaptation of William Shakespeare's Macbeth. The actress played Nimmi based on the character Lady Macbeth. The film titled Maqbool was directed by Vishal Bharadwaj and premiered at the 2003 Toronto International Film Festival. Maqbool was a box office failure but was met with huge acclaim. Tabu's performance opened to much appreciation; critic Ron Ahluwalia said, "Tabu shines in a dark role.

The most versatile actress in Bollywood takes to villainy like a second nature. She is menacing and seductive, but keeps an innocent look on her face, making her even viler. The way Tabu delivers her taunts simply perfect. Her gradual insanity is heart-wrenching and her final outburst is easily the highlight of the film." Another critic said, "Tabu is fantastic in a complex role. Her performance in the film is worthy of awards. After Chandni Bar, this is another role that will be remembered for a long, long time."


She had a supporting role in Fanaa (2006), with Aamir Khan and Kajol. The film went on to become the fourth biggest hit of that year.


In 2007, Tabu starred in her first Hollywood film, The Namesake, directed by Mira Nair. The film was a huge hit overseas. She also starred in Cheeni Kum in which she played a 34 year-old woman who falls in love with a 64 year-old played by Amitabh Bachchan. Critics were generally positive towards the film; Taran Adarsh said, "Tabu stands on her feet despite a formidable co-star's domineering presence. She's excellent." Though the film did not do as well domestically, it was a huge hit overseas especially in UK and USA.

She started off 2009 by being featured on the cover of Vogue India's January 2009 issue.

She is the life member of International Film And Television Club of Asian Academy Of Film and Television, Noida.


In 1998, Tabu was charged with poaching two blackbucks in Kankani during the filming of Hum Saath Saath Hain along with co-stars Salman Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre and Neelam. The charges were dropped soon after and Tabu was acquitted. Tabu is an Indian film actress, primarily acts in Hindi films. She has also seen in numerous Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Marathi and Bengali language films, as well as in Hollywood films. She has won the National Film Award for Best Actress twice. She held the record of winning Filmfare's Critics Award for Best Female Performer. She is best notified with films like Maachis, Virasat, Hu Tu Tu, Astitva, Chandni Bar, Maqbool and Cheeni Kum. She was awarded the Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian award, in 2011. She was seen in Abhishek Kapoor's flick Fitoor. Tabu was born to Jamal Hashmi and Rizwana, who got divorced soon after her birth. Her mother was a school teacher and her maternal grandparents were retired professors who ran a school. Her grandfather, Mohammed Ahsan, was a professor of Mathematics and her grandmother was also a professor of English Literature. Baba Azmi, who is an Indian film cinematographer is her uncle. Indian film and television actress Shabana Azmi is her aunt. She is the sister of 1980's Bollywood actress Farah Naaz. If reports are to be believed, Tabu was in love with actor Nagarjuna but they broke off. Currently, she is single and in happy space. She said, "Till now, I've chosen to be single. I'm too happy in my own space. There's no problem or issue I'm having being single. I don't know the other side. Maybe it'll be better or maybe it will be worse. Right now, I'm okay not making the effort. If it happens by chance, great." Tabu was seen in Abhishek Kapoor's directorial flick Fitoor. She has played the role of Begum Hazrat (Miss Havisham in the book) in the movie which starred Katrina Kaif and Aditya Roy Kapoor in the lead. Tabu has started her acting career with the Bollywood film "Bazaar" and "Hum Naujawan", as a child artist. After her lead debut in telugu film Coolie No.1, she went on to star in several films. She has also featured in Boney Kapoor's longest making film Prem. Her first release in Hindi as a leading lady was "Pehla Pehla Pyar", but she came into limelight with the film "Vijaypath". In 2001, she starred in film "Chandni Bar" as a bar dancer, which earned her second National Film Award for Best Actress for her performance. She made her Hollywood debut with 2007 film "The Namesake". She is a life member of International Club of Asian Academy of Film and Television, Noida. Her next and only release in 2013 was David, a Tamil - Hindi bilingual film directed by Bejoy Nambiar. The year 2014 saw her comeback to main stream commercial cinema with Salman Khan starrer Jai Ho. Following this, she teamed up with her Maqbool director Vishal Bhardwaj for his adaptation film of Shakespeare's Hamlet titled as Haider. Bollywood has seen a few weddings last year with Kareena Kapoor and Vidya Balan tying the knot, but ask actor Tabu if she plans to get hitched anytime soon, and she says, “Don’t ask me questions on marriage. Yeh abhi puraana ho gaya. Jo nahi hai uske bare mein baat karne ka kya faayda.”

The 41-year-old actor, who was last seen in Ang Lee’s Life Of Pi (2012), isn’t part of many Bollywood films now. Is she being selective? “My criteria (of choosing work) is different. Earlier I just wanted to do good roles. Uske liye kuch bhi karna pade ... but that is over now. I don’t feel the need to kill myself or reduce my money just for a good role. I have done all that. So, now the project has to be big enough for me to be comfortable in,” she says, and adds on a list of demands, “They’ve to pay me well and look after me well. I have to feel that it is worth spending my time on a film. I have to take back something with me after the experience. That is the only thing I am looking at.” Tabu will next be seen in Salman Khan’s Mental, as his sister.

So doesn’t she miss the limelight? “I feel it is better to avoid doing things just to be busy. I know if I say yes to something that I am not happy with, I will end up being unhappy those six months of my life,” reasons Tabu, who was in Delhi to walk the ramp for designer Anju Modi at the ongoing PCJ Delhi Couture Week.

Asked about her thoughts on the formation of the new state, Telangana, the actor, who lives in Hyderabad, says, "Arre, don’t ask me political questions!"



Publish Date May 18 2016

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