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It takes Tanu to tango

Bengali actress Tanu Roy says she just needs two years to make her mark on the silver screen


SPORTSWOMAN, SINGER, dancer and an actress, that's Tanu Roy for you. The Bengali beauty is currently in town shooting an item number in Nagarjuna's Mass. You have seen her in Itlu Sravani Subramanyam, Manasantha Nuvve, Anand and a few other films. Looking gorgeous in a black dress, Tanu is the epitome of I-am-just-here-to-see-the-world-pass-by. However, when she holds forth on issues close to her heart, her eyes flash fire and she personifies the typical Bengali tigress. Striving to downplay the characteristic Bengali accent while talking about her foray into cinema, Tanu says, "I was in Bombay packing my things after telling my PG owner that Bombay was not a happening place for me. I almost gave up and suddenly I found myself in Puri Jagannath's office. He called to show a picture of a traditional girl on a computer and it took a while to realise it was me. My portfolio had undergone a complete transformation - from a modern looking girl to someone who was wearing bangles and bindi. It was amazing," she adds.

Jagannath had already made up his mind to take Tanu for his film Itlu sravani subramanyam.

"But for him I would be in Kolkata cooking fish curry for my Bengali husband. None of them had confidence in me except Jagannath. I owe my success to him," she feels.

Not difficult

Tanu says it wasn't difficult picking up Telugu at short notice. She says confidently, "All I need is an assistant director who can prompt the dialogues. That's more than enough for me. I've worked in over six films here. She adds that she was happy Manasantha Nuvve did well but wasn't exactly delighted with the treatment she received.

"They shot two songs with me and chopped it off saying the duration of the film was long and so the numbers couldn't be accommodated. Those songs would have been big hits and would have made a difference to my career as well. Nevertheless, the songs in Anandam helped me. They were too good," she says.

Body language

The pretty actress loves dancing but is not game for ordinary jhatkas. "I had danced before with Mamtha Shankar. The kind of body movements I look forward to is akin to ballet with no gimmicks. Tanu in Bengali means `body' and I love to use my body to express myself ," she asserts.

Tanu had earlier worked in Basho Na, a Bengali film in which she portrays the role of a young widow and Moner Majho Tumhi (remake of Mansantha Nuvve). She adds, "Some Bangladeshi Muslims in Kolkata were against Bengali films. So the trade got affected. I had worked for Kannada films like Dhyan, Preeti Marabondhu, and Prema Charithra. My recent film in Tamil, Girivallam, which is a remake of Humraaz, was a big hit. But I prefer working in Telugu because here they pamper artistes and treat them like royalty and they know how to extract talent from us."

Talking about herself, Tanu gives a peek into her personality, "I am basically an independent girl and if I am convinced about something I don't listen to anyone, which is one reason why my family is irked with me for joining films."

In the same breath, she adds that if she hadn't been in films, she would probably be running for the country a la P. T. Usha. "I am a very short-tempered person and no one can touch me without my permission. Once I thrashed a guy in the theatre and another man on the road who accidentally touched me. So I am smart enough to take care of myself here. But this place is not that bad to make a living. My time too will come. Look at Antara Mali. After seven years she is still here. Just give me two years and by 2006 Tanu will be a happening person."

Actresses with looks, talent and intensity can mould themselves easily, which is what Tanu Roy has set out to do. She is very determined to make a mark in the Telugu industry. "Just two years," she repeats. Point noted.

Y. SUNITA CHOWDHARY

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