Even with the blinding sun shining above our heads, the blazing star was on the ground, with a smile that can make heads turn in an instant. An enchanting aura surrounds Tara Sutaria as she strides into the room, beaming in confidence and conviction to take on the world, one day at a time. In conversation with Smriti Raizada, Tara’s unseen shades and hues were unveiled bringing a very fresh perspective on new age beauty standards and where the future of the digital era is heading.
Ex: Hi Tara, let’s start with the talk of the town! Marjaavaan is out later this year. How has that journey been?
Yes, Marjaavaan releases on 22nd November and it’s been amazing. It’s my second film after Student of the Year 2 which was a fun, young world to be a part of for a year. Marjaavaan happened for me while I was still shooting for SOTY2. The journey has been really really lovely and completely different from my first film. It’s a very emotional, very dramatic love story. The whole team has been fantastic and I’m super excited for its release!
Ex: Your debut in Student of the Year 2 was a stepping stone that some people can only dream of. Has life changed in the past couple of months?
I think it was the most fantastic debut, for just about anyone. I feel really lucky to have done that film. Everything just sort of changed quickly and quite dramatically to be honest because of the franchise that it is and the kind of attention that the film got. It is so nice to have people come up to us to just talk and click pictures. Even the media is super friendly and always around. So, things in that aspect really changed. I was just a 22-year-old before and then everything changed quite dramatically in just a few weeks. But yes, it’s been a good ride so far.
Ex: Talking about media, it can be a crazy place, as you’d know. Did the overwhelming media outburst change you on a personal level?
I have always been a very shy person but I feel, when you’re in this line of work especially, you’re constantly meeting so many new people all the time and there is a lot of interaction on a daily basis. So yes, that’s changed in the sense that I’ve become a more outgoing and a more friendly person. I’m not as shy and scared as I used to be and that’s a really good thing!
Ex: Your recent campaign on Instagram talks about embracing individual beauty. What are your thoughts about how social media is changing the perception of beauty in this digital age?
You know, as someone who is a part of the youth, I really wish more campaigns come out which talk about embracing real beauty. I’ve seen this happening at a personal level that we strive too hard to show how perfect we look. But, I really wish young women would put out more pictures of them that say “Okay yeah, I do have stretch marks, or yes I deal with pimples and acne on a regular basis.” or things that every women faces. I wish we spoke about that more. I hope that with my campaigns and things I put on social media, I make a difference, irrespective of how big or small. I think, that at some level, not constantly putting out pictures that look a certain way, is in line with that thought. Infact, Sonam did that, she put out a video recently where she spoke about how big a team of makeup artists it takes to gear up for one look. I really admire that and I hope at some level, I can do that as well. I feel that it’s high time that we put out content that’s real.
Ex: A lot of actors are delving into content on digital platforms. Is doing a web series something you would consider exploring?
I’m a big fan of web shows and I’m constantly watching stuff online but I haven’t really thought about it yet. That’s because I feel like I’ve just started; I’m only one film old and the second is releasing. So for now, I feel like I want to stay focused on doing films but I’m sure at some point…maybe! Netflix and Tara? Oh gosh, I hope so! [laughs]
Ex: Are you a method actor? Do you prefer disconnecting from social platforms and technology while prepping for a role?
I feel like it’s absolutely different with every film. There’s a distinct process that I’ve gone through for each film including the third one I’m working on. There’s no specific way that I like to work; it completely depends on the character and a lot of other little things that actually go into it. SOTY2 was young and fun. In Marjaavaan, I have a very specific kind of role (unfortunately I can’t really talk about it yet!), but I had to prep for months to get that right. It was so difficult that even if I got 10 percent of that role wrong, it could’ve been a disaster. Even for my third film, the process is completely different from the others. So I guess, it does vary from film to film.
Ex: There’s a bit of a travel junkie in all of us. Tell us about your favourite escapade.
Well, I absolutely love London. I have a twin sister and I feel for us, London has always been our second home. Every chance we get, we’re in London. From London we would go to Paris, or she’d go to Scotland because she’s actually a bigger travel junkie than I am. Personally, I don’t have too much time to keep going where I want but hopefully, I can soon.
Ex: What is the one place that instigates a childhood memory for you?
That would again have to be London because we’ve grown up doing a lot of summer schools and programs there. It just means a lot to me because everything that I’m doing now, I learned a lot of that in London. I’ve recorded music there, done a lot of ballet classes, so everything that I’m using now, in films as well, it takes me back to my time in London.
Ex: Technology is an avid part of the millennial generation. Take one for the team and tell us how important technology is in today’s world?
Technology is such a great boon to all of us. When I look at my parents and the generations before, I see how difficult things were for them in a certain aspect and compare it to how easy things are for us – it’s all at the click of a button. Just about anything and everything is at our fingertips, literally and figuratively. Unlike other people my age, I’m actually quite terrible with technology. I’m bit of an aunty like that. But honestly, I don’t know what we would do without technology. I can’t travel anywhere without my phone and my speakers; all of these things are so important to me that I don’t know what I would do if it didn’t exist in the first place.
Ex: Exhibit is hosting the 5th Edition of Tech Fashion Tour next month. Do you think technology and fashion could be an interesting space to explore?
It sounds like such a fantastic and an exciting space to explore for the fashion industry. Where tech meets fashion? That is a really cool and interesting teaming up of two very different genres!
Ex: What are the 3 gadgets that you can not plan your travel without?
I absolutely cannot do without my phone, tablet and headphones!
Ex: You’re an artist through and through; a triple threat – a singer, dancer and an actor. What inspired you to follow your passion?
I think it’s just the way I was raised. My twin sister and I, we’ve never known anything apart from singing and dancing. Everything about our life growing up revolved around that. I remember even on the weekends, our parents would take us to NCPA or for any play or shows that were happening which is I why when I was slightly older and I could start performing, I wanted to be a part of every musical possible. We’ve grown up in the theater which also pushed me to want to be on stage. I think our parents raising us like that inspired me to be doing what I’m doing now.
Ex: What does adventure mean to you?
Adventure to me means just being out there and following your dreams. It’s about traveling and enjoying every moment doing so. Sometimes you have the right company, sometimes you don’t but even if you’re by yourself, it’s all about going out and doing it.
Ex: What’s your success mantra?
Oh my god, I’ve just started out and I don’t really know yet [laughs] but there is a quote that I do live by – ‘Beauty is as Beauty does’. To me honestly, what you do, how well you do it and how you approach things is what determines your success.
- A recent role which you wish you could have done: Jasmine in Aladdin
- A gadget you can’t live without: My phone!
- Your calling in a parallel universe: I don’t think I could do anything outside of the arts, so I would definitely be a singer!
- If you could invent an app, what would it be about: There’s already an app about it but I would invent a more stern app for water reminders!! Most of my friends don’t do it either, so I’d invent a really cool water drinking app!
- Your pet peeve: I’m bit of a Grammar Nazi! [laughs]
- A song on repeat: Liberian Girl – Michael Jackson