Raveena Tandon has had a busy pandemic. Not only has she been working on various OTT projects, but she has also penned a few scripts. The actress, who has spent over three decades in the film industry, is the latest entrant on the OTT platform. The teaser of her debut web series, the Netflix original Aranyak, has been creating quite a buzz. The series, which also stars Ashutosh Rana, sees Raveena play a cop who stumbles upon a skeleton, bringing the forgotten Himalayan myth of a bloodthirsty entity to the fore. Here, the actor talks about her foray into the digital space, her journey in Bollywood and more. Excerpts:
You have kept yourself busy during the pandemic. What were you busy with?
We worked last year in September, October and November. We were working from home initially, and then we went for an outdoor shoot for the Netflix show in Himachal. It was tough to shoot, but we made sure the safety precautions were in place, and the protocols were followed to the T. We were working in a bio bubble. Hence, we managed to shoot in a safe environment and come back without an incident.
How is the digital medium treating you?
I am enjoying working on OTT. It’s given actors the opportunity to experiment with different subjects. The digital space also gives one the chance to choose varied roles, which at times becomes difficult for the big screen. OTT is broadening our horizons and giving actors a chance to explore different avenues too.
OTT has helped discover a lot of new talent. What would you say?
The OTT has helped many actors do some good work, and it has been a great discovery of so many talented artistes. The OTT doesn’t stereotype actors, and it also offers some amazing content, which leads to the discovery of fresh talent.
Do you watch web series?
I have started watching a series called Manifest. I love futuristic, time travel or scientific stuff. So, I am enjoying this interesting series.
You have also been writing stories. Are you ready to take the director’s chair like your father, filmmaker Ravi Tandon?
My initial dream was to do post-production and production. Direction is still on the back-burner because even though we have succeeded in the production part, I would direct nothing right now. I am still busy with projects that I am doing as an actor. You need to be fully devoted when it comes to direction because it is like having a baby. Someday, I would like to sit in the director’s chair.
How do you look at the word ‘struggle’ when actors use it today? What was the connotation back then?
Struggle doesn’t have different connotations or meanings, nor does it change with time. A struggle is a struggle. A lot of people struggle even after establishing themselves because then it’s about maintaining the position. So, it’s not that after you get a film or two, you can sit back and relax as the struggle continues. I have taken several sabbaticals throughout my career, and I had to struggle to get back on my feet again. When I started acting, I did not have to struggle, and I was lucky. One needs a lot of strength and courage to hold on and continue against all odds. I just hope people always have the courage, and they never quit.
In the past few years, many celebrities have adopted girls. How does it feel to be the first person to do so?
When I adopted my girls, I kept it under wraps because there were a lot of contrary views. The media scene wasn’t what it is today. In fact, it was nasty back then. There was a lot of yellow journalism during those days. A lot of people would create a controversy out of innocent things. Hence, I preferred to keep them out of the media glare. I did not want adverse reactions from people like, ‘Is she doing this for publicity?’ But later, a lot of NGOs advised me to speak about it. They wanted me to set an example by talking about adoption. Their encouraging comments gave me the courage to speak about adopting girls.