After making her acting debut with a Telugu film, Tara Alisha Berry has finally made a headway in Hindi films. In this interview, she professes her love for cinema and passion for acting.
Yes, I did. However, my father did not want me to take up this profession. So, I had a couple of other options in mind. I had contemplated taking up art direction or writing. I just wanted to be a part of the film business in some way or the other. Acting was always a first option for me and I am happy that I have finally realized my dream of becoming an actor.
You have studied at Chapman University, U.S. One would have expected you to study acting but interestingly, you took up a course in screenwriting and film production.
I was in Bangalore then. I did not want to go to college and wanted to come back to Mumbai and look for acting opportunities. But, my parents wanted me to get a degree first. I thought of studying something that would be related to films and would lend me a broader perspective on cinema. So, I decided to study screenwriting and film production from Chapman University. Apart from that, I completed a course in method acting in the U.S.
So, do we see you taking up direction or production in the near future?
Well, I would get in to it only when I’m confident and passionate about it. Maybe, ten or twelve years from now, I would like to explore the various aspects of film making as well. Right now, my entire focus is on acting.
A lot of aspiring actors work in different departments of film making, be it direction or production. A lot of prominent actors today have worked as assistants to a lot of directors. You have assisted casting director Shanoo Sharma in the past. How does working in these departments help an actor?
It helped me in a big way. I am from Mumbai but I did my secondary schooling in Bangalore. So, I did not have a lot of knowledge on the Hindi film industry. Working with Shanoo was a big help as it gave me a lot of insight in to the industry and the way it functions. It also helped me understand the process of film making.
You studied in Bangalore for some time. Is that the reason you decided to make your debut as an actress with a Telugu film?
No, that was not the reason. It was not a planned move. After I completed my term with Shanoo, I started looking for acting opportunities. In the meantime, I met J.D Chakravarthy who cast me in his film ‘Money, Money, More Money’, which turned out be my first film and second release after ‘100% Love’.
Your mother, Nandini Sen, has been a model and an actress. Did she give you any tips on acting?
Not really. It sounds funny but my mom and I did a four month acting course together in Mumbai. So, you could say, we honed our acting skills together. (Laughs)
You made your debut in Hindi films with ‘Mastram’, in which you were seen in a de-glam avatar. Would you like to do some hardcore commercial films?
Yes, absolutely. I have grown up watching many commercial films and I would certainly like to be a part of the kind of films made by the likes of Karan Johar and Farah Khan. Working on ‘Mastram’ was a great experience. We were a close-knit unit and I have some wonderful memories of the shoot.
Now that you have ventured in to Hindi films, would you still be open to offers to act in regional films?
Absolutely. I would like to work in any film industry as long the work offered to me is good. I have always been passionate about acting and I want to act till my last breath. The language, medium and all these factors have never really been of much importance to me. I have a long way to before I become a star. Right now, I would like make the best of the opportunities that I am provided with. Having said that, if I am offered two scripts, one of which will be made in English and the other will be made in Hindi, I would pick the Hindi script. There are two reasons for that; first, I have a good command over Hindi and second, I always wanted to be part of the Hindi film industry and Hindi films reach out to a wider audience. But, as I said earlier, it boils down to the quality of the work I am being offered.
Was there any actor you grew up admiring?
Nutan is my favourite actress. I did not see a lot of her films in my childhood but when I decided to become an actress, I started watching many films which she had acted in and was mesmerized by her performances in those films. I am a big fan of Meryl Streep as well. These actresses have always inspired me. Their body of work is phenomenal.
Is there some character from a film, which you wish you had played?
I would have loved to play the title role in Chandni, the role that was played by Sridevi. Sridevi is another actress I have always admired.
Are there any projects keeping you busy these days?
Yes, I have shot for a Hindi film called ‘The Perfect Girl’. It is inspired by one of the stories from Haruki Murakami's book ‘The Elephant Vanishes’. It is a contemporary love story. It is a commercial film but very realistic at the same time. It’s the kind of film that I always wanted to do and is in a space I wanted to be in as an actor. There are some other projects in the pipeline but I am not at liberty to talk about them.
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