Raveena Tandon marked her acting debut opposite Salman Khan in Patthar Ke Phool in 1991 and became an overnight sensation. Over the years, she has been hailed for successfully striking a balance between commercial and content-driven cinema. While on one hand, she has belted out superhit films like Mohra, Andaz Apna Apna (both 1994), Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi (1996), Dulhe Raja (1998) and KGF: Chapter 2 (2022), on the other hand, she has proved her acting prowess with critically acclaimed films such as Shool (1999), Aks, Daman (both 2001), Satta (2003) and the Netflix original series Aranyak (2021). And to honour her contribution in the field of arts over a career spanning more than 30 years, the National Award and Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival Award recipient has now been conferred with the Padma Shri, the fourth-highest civilian award of India.
In an exclusive interaction with News18, Raveena says that the news hasn’t completely sunk in. “I haven’t had the time to party with my family yet. My friends are calling me sporadically. I’ve different groups of friends and all of them are hosting different celebrations for me. They’re planning all of that at present. My husband (Anil Thadanai; film distributor) and I would love to go for a quiet dinner and let it sink in,” she smiles.
Recalling the time when she came to know that she has been awarded the Padma Shri, Raveena shares, “I was in Bhopal for a wedding, so it was a least expected situation. Some of the news guys called me and told me that I’ve been awarded the Padma Shri. I was like ‘Okay, hang on!’ I hung up and called my husband and told him to put on the television because something is going on (laughs).” Quiz her on her reaction to having the epithet of Padma Shri as a prefix to her name now and she says, “This is going to be a temporary phenomenon. I don’t think I’m going to be using that as a permanent reference (laughs). But yes, it feels good.”
Ever since the news about her big win came about, Raveena’s social media has been flooded with good wishes and congratulatory messages from her colleagues in the film fraternity including Karan Johar, Yash, Chiranjeevi, Siddharth Roy Kapur, Manish Malhotra, Madhur Bhandarkar, Farhan Akhtar, Farah Khan and Resul Pookutty, among many others. Elated with the love coming her way, the 50-year-old states, “My seniors - Sharmila (Tagore) ji, Shabana (Azmi) ji, Sanjay (Dutt), Jackie (Shroff) and Boney (Kapoor) ji - are showering their love on me. My friends Vidya (Balan), Sonali (Bendre), Shilpa (Shetty Kundra), Juhi (Chawla), Neelam (Kothari Soni) and Madhuri (Dixit Nene) have been so wonderful. It’s very overwhelming for me.”
Rumour mills might have been abuzz about cat fights between female actors back in the 1990s but Raveena asserts that she shares a rather special sense of sisterhood with them, who she holds very close to her heart. “They stood by me even when I lost my dad (Ravi Tandon; late director). We’ve been there for each other for so many years through thick and thin and we continue to do so. People may see us cheering for and supporting each other on Instagram now but we all go back a very long way,” remarks the actor, who will next be seen in Patna Shukla, Ghudchadi, Aranyak 2 and an untitled show with Disney+ Hotstar.
She expresses that the past couple of years have been rather eventful and fulfilling for her with the release of Aranyak and KGF: Chapter 2 and the awards and accolades that they brought her. And the Padma Shri ‘is the cherry on the cake’ as it has validated all the hard work and dedication that she put into her work in the last three decades. “I think this is one of the most beautiful phases of my career. This is the culmination of all those years of hard work. In fact, my team recently showed me a survey where I rank the highest in a list of male and female OTT stars, percentage wise. I was like, ‘Wow!’ It’s a good time and I miss my dad,” says Raveena, who has dedicated the Padma Shri to her father, who passed away in February last year.
Read all the Latest Movies News here