Going that extra mile with Smita Tambe

Smita Tambe loves to be known as an actress than a heroine. She speaks about her upcoming film 72 Miles – Ek Pravas and more

One would prefer calling Smita Tambe an actress than a heroine. When she hits the screen, all you notice is the character, quite an achievement in a very short time. Be it serials or movies like Tukaram, Dhoosar, Jogwa or Pangira, it is always about the role for Smita. Now, she hits it big time with a Rajeev Patil directed film 72 Miles – Ek Pravaas which is being co-produced by Akshay Kumar and Ashwini Yardi. She plays the lead role of Radhaakka, a strong mother of four who is on a move to Kolhapur and meets the runaway protagonist. She shares with The Punekar her feelings on why she accepted this path-breaking role and the kind of actress she wants to become.
On which points did you accept the role in 72 Miles – Ek Pravaas? And how did you approach the character?
smita 5I had already worked with Rajeev Patil in Jogwa and Pangira. So that was a bonus for me. In fact, Jogwa was a turning point for me. This film is based on a book. When Patil told me to read the book, I was thrilled, as I would get to know the character well. To be honest, I had read a book completely, after ages. Also, since he is a well-read person, Patil has this habit to pick up any page from the book and start talking about it. This helped develop my reading habit as I had to re-read the book several times. This further enabled me to understand Radhaakka and become her. I also read the book so that his concept of my character and what I think about her become one. For about a month and a half, I stayed in a village to get to know the life there, especially the women. And after 15 days, I became one of the women. I could understand them and in turn, my character.
This is your third film with Rajeev Patil. What is the equation with him now?
While working with him in Jogwa, I realised that the tuning between an actor and a director is important. It teaches you a lot. For me, a certain level of maturity has come through that. To be very honest, I did not have much work for a year before 72 Miles came to me. But during that time, we kept on meeting and he kept on teaching me everything about films and acting. My understanding of both these aspects grew. As I said before, he reads a lot and so you cannot afford to be lax. I love his sincerity towards his work. It is a learning experience working with him.
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You come across as a bindass person. Is it because of your roles or this is the way you are?
When a role is offered to them, different actors have different reasons to pick them and subsequent approach towards playing it. When I get a character to play, I see it from the point of view of today’s girl and her approach towards life. My acting should be convincing. That bindass attitude comes through that. I want to be an actor who plays all kinds of women. I want to experiment. In real life though, I am completely opposite.
I have never seen you in any of your projects as lead, you come out more as an actress. Was this a planned move or it just happened?
What I would like to do is play all kinds of characters. I believe in the saying that what you sow, you shall reap. Whatever roles come to me, I will do them, if I like them. If I do my part sincerely, people will accept my work sincerely.
What are your expectations from 72 Miles?
I have done experimental roles with Patil and I am satisfied. All those who have seen my work have loved it. The discerning Marathi audience loves me. For them, what satisfies their heart should also satisfy their minds and their views. Akshay Kumar has said an interesting thing about Patil that he has handled the film well and knows to read between the lines.