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Tabu
Also known as: Tabassum Hashmi, Tabassum Fatima Hashmi
Actor • Special Appearances
Born: November 4, 1971 in Hyderabad, Telangana, India
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About
One of the most versatile actresses of the Indian film fraternity, Tabu is famous for starring in movies like Maachis (1996), Virasat (1997), Astitva (2000),Chandni Bar (2001), Maqbool (2003) Cheeni Kum (2007), The Namesake (2007), Life Of Pi (2012), and Haider (2014). In 2011, this two-time National Award winning actress was felicitated with the Padma Sri, India`s fourth highest civilian award, for her contribution to Indian cinema.

EARLY LIFE
Tabassum Hashmi was born on 4th November 1971 in Telangana, Hyderabad to Jamal Hashmi and Rizwana. After her parents divorced, Tabu was raised by her mother and her maternal grandparents. She completed her primary education from St. Anns High School in Hyderabad and moved to Mumbai in 1983 to complete her higher studies from St Xavier`s College. Tabu is the niece of the veteran actress Shabana Azmi and cinematographer Baba Azmi. Farah Naaz, an actress known for her work in films like Baap Numbri Beta Dus Numbri, and Begunaah is Tabu`s elder sister.

MOVIE CAREER
Tabu started her journey in acting by making a small appearance in the 1982 Bollywood film Bazaar when she was just 10 years old and at the age of fourteen, she played Dev Anand`s daughter in the Bollywood Drama Hum Naujawan. Her first lead role as an actress came with the 1991 Telugu film Coolie No.1, co-starring Venkatesh. The film was a hit at the Box Office. Tabu made her Bollywood debut with Rishi Kapoor in the film Pehla Pehla Pyaar. The film was a failure at the Box Office. After giving a series of flops in the beginning of her career, she received the limelight with her role in the 1994 film Vijaypath. Starring alongside Ajay Devgn, the film brought her the much-needed appreciation and she won the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut for the same.

In the years that followed, she went on to give hit films like David Dhawan`s Saajan Chale Sasural (1996) and Priyadarshan`s Virasat (1997). Both the films were commercial successes and Virasat won Tabu her first Filmfare Critics Award for the Best Actress. She was also seen in the critically acclaimed Malayalam period epic film Kalapani (1996), where she was paired opposite Mohanlal. Tabu continued her great run with films like Maachis in the year 1996 and Hu Tu Tu in 1999. Her portrayal of a Sikh woman, Virender Kaur in the Gulzar directed Maachis, gave her the National Film Award for Best Actress. She then appeared in the 2000 bilingual film Astitva. Directed by Mahesh Manjrekar, the film received critical acclaim and won Tabu her second Filmfare Critics Award for the Best Actress.

Following this, the actress starred alongside Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Mammootty and Ajith Kumar in the Tamil film Kandukondain Kandukondain (2000). The next major milestone in her career was Madhur Bhandarkar`s critically-acclaimed film Chandni Bar (2001). The film showcased the hard-hitting reality of the Mumbai underworld, dance bars, and prostitution, where Tabu played Mumtaz Ali Ansari, the lead lady in the film. Her gritty portrayal of the character got her a unanimous appreciation and she won her second National Film Award for Best Actress for the film.

Subsequently, in the year 2003, she was cast in Vishal Bhardwaj`s Shakespearean adaptation Maqbool. With co-stars Pankaj Kapoor, Irrfan Khan and Masumeh Makhija the film was well appreciated by the critics but failed to create the buzz at the box office. The 2007 film Cheeni Kum saw Tabu as Nina Verma, a 34- year old having a romantic relationship with the 64-year-old Buddhadev Gupta, played by the legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan. The movie, directed by R. Balki, was generally well-received.

The versatile actress made her Hollywood debut with The Namesake in 2007. A Mira Nair directorial, the film is based on the novel of the same name by Jhumpa Lahiri and received positive reviews from the critics. Her next Hollywood film was Ang Lee`s American drama Life of Pi (2012), based on Yann Martel`s novel of the same name. She was next seen in the 2014 drama film Haider. The third installment of Vishal Bhardwaj`s Shakespearean trilogy, the movie Shahid Kapoor in the titular role, along with Shraddha Kapoor and Kay Kay Menon. Tabu received appreciation nationwide for a flawless portrayal of Ghazala.

She then appeared in a pivotal role in the thriller Drishyam (2015), which was directed by Nishikant Kamat and opened to much critical acclaim. The film also fared reasonably well at the box office. Among the actress` most recent film credits are the blockbuster supernatural comedy Golmaal Again (2017) and the black comedy thriller Andhadhun (2018), the latter of which featured her in a central role alongside Ayushmann Khurrana and Radhika Apte. Besides these, she is also set to appear in the romantic comedy De De Pyaar De (2019) and the Salman Khan starrer Bharat (2019), Angu Vaikuntapurathu (2020) and Jawaani Jaaneman (2020).
Peers & More
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Karisma Kapoor
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Madhuri Dixit
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Juhi Chawla
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Family
Rizwana Hashmi
Mother
Jamal Hashmi
Father
Farah Naaz
Sister
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Did You Know? (11)

  • Tabu was 14 years old when she played Dev Anand`s daughter in the movie Hum Naujawan (1985).
  • Signed Shekhar Kapur`s Champion opposite Sunny Deol and Naam O Nishan opposite Sanjay Dutt in 1986/87 when she was 16.
  • Tabu has won two National Awards - one for Maachis and another one for Chandni Bar.
  • Tabu is the niece of veteran actress Shabana Azmi.
  • Tabu has various pet names including Tabs, Tubs, Tubby, Tobler and Toblerone.
  • Tabu is known for her experimental roles but one thing that she never experimented with, is her hairstyle.
  • The role Sona in Wake Up Sid was first offered to Tabu but Zoya Akhtar replaced her with Konkona Sen Sharma.
  • The fourth installment of the Golmaal series, Golmaal Again is Tabu's first movie to earn INR 200 crores.
  • Tabu is well spoken in Hindi, English, Urdu and Telugu.
  • Tabu loves miniature perfumes and has them in every corner of her house.
  • Tabu confessed that she can never cry onscreen without using glycerin.
  • Personal Quotes (10)

  • "If I feel the role is not going to demand anything out of me, I don`t do it. Either it has to be a terrific role, or the director has to be someone I am dying to work with. Or the costar has to be someone I really look up to."
  • "All over the world, actors and actresses are chosen for their performing skills. Not how they look or what they wear. It is all about how they act, how they emote."
  • "I never saw my career as a journey with a beginning, middle, and end, with high points and low points. It is just a whole, big mass of experience, and I take each experience as it comes. I don`t strategise."
  • "I try not to get typecast in any role, any image. I feel I can do justice to every kind of role, so why not make the best of it? See, commercial films alone can get you only so far. If you want to last as an actress, then you have to put in that extra bit of investment by doing off-beat films, too."
  • "I write about different things. Anything that has affected me. Anything that I have liked. Anything that I feel strongly about. Any experience."
  • "I think every actor worth his or her salt wants to do good, meaningful cinema."
  • "I am keen on doing the regular Hindi film, but I want strong, meaningful roles in my repertoire, which I get down South. I can devote equal time and attention to both, so I don`t see the clash."
  • "“I am not a part of any rat race. I am happy to be myself.”"
  • "I hate it when a director asks the heroine to adjust her dates to match the hero's. Heroes are treated like gods."
  • "I really want to be able to look at my career graph from the outside, objectively, but I find it hard to do that. I was fortunate to find innumerate scripts with well-layered parts for me, films like Maachis, Hu Tu Tu, Maqbool, Life of Pi, The Namesake, Chandni Bar, Astitva, Haider, Drishyam, to name a few. I'm happy the filmmakers who made them thought of me."
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