Mumbai: Tabu isn't fond of voicing her opinions; she says she is a photograph person. Her personality wonderfully reflects even in her career: she has always let her cinema do the talking.
"I think it's my temperament. I don't think it's necessary for me to voice my opinion. It's just not me!" Tabu says.
"I have nothing against social media and I appreciate people who can use it to their advantage. But I can't do that. I love pictures, I am a photograph person."
For nearly 30 years, the discourse around Tabu has been about her work. It isn't that she has consciously shied away from sharing her views.
"What do I talk about myself? What do people want to know about me? If I'm in the mood, I'll express myself freely. But not always.
"I've been like this since childhood. I started talking to people after I was 19! Now because of my profession, I've no options but to connect and I have enjoyed it. I don't express myself easily," the actor tells PTI.
Tabu credits acting for shaping her personality to an extent that she finds it hard to define her life without cinema.
"There has been immense growth and progress in my personality through my work. The people I've interacted with, the films I've done...The bandwidth increases. That's the thing of value for me. I don't know how I would define myself minus my acting. People know me because of my work, my career."
The 47-year-old actor, however, has never mistaken the image, which is the result of her stupendous work, for her reality.
"Most of the time, actors become an image because you are being consumed like that. But it's easy for me to remain real," she says.
For every decade since her debut, Tabu has continued to have several stand out projects. From "Maachis", "Viraasat" and "Hu Tu Tu" in the '90s, to "Maqbool", "The Namesake" and "Cheeni Kum" in the 2000s.
This decade has seen the actor push the envelope further with "Haider", "Drishyam", "Life of Pi" and "Andhadhun".
"I look for immersive experiences. I try to find work which engages me. There's a desire, an aspiration to do good work. If there's good work, you attract more of it. That keeps you going. It's like a chain reaction."
One would assume that over the years, slipping in and out of characters would tire an actor. But Tabu differs.
"I'm habitual now. Of course, some parts of it tire you, physically. But I think when there's a fantastic film, great character and a good director, it automatically motivates you. As long as I'm mentally stimulated, I won't ever get tired."
The actor is currently awaiting the release of "De De Pyaar De" co-starring longtime friend Ajay Devgn, which arrives on the heels of her successful streak?"Drishyam", "Golmaal Again", "Andhadhun".
Tabu says every role has taught her something or added some value to her life.
"The people you meet, the things you do in films, it adds to your experience. I haven't taken a giant leap with every film. I've found myself, tiny steps at a time."