After wowing cinema-goers with her stellar performance in Taare Zameen Par and then captivating television audiences in 24, actress Tisca Chopra has now penned a poignant book on the Indian film industry.
Called Acting Smart, this tome draws from her own experiences and also feeds the reader with tasty nuggets of useful information from stars like Shabana Azmi and Anil Kapoor.
Team MissMalini caught up with her at the official book launch and got her to elaborate on what it takes to be Acting Smart. Read on…
Team MissMalini: Tell us about your debut book, Acting Smart.
Tisca Chopra: Acting Smart is a book of the collected wisdom of many people I have had the privilege to work with, from Anil Kapoor to Boman Irani and Shabana Azmi, Raju Hirani, Anurag Kashyap Imtiaz Ali and so many others. They have shared stories and anecdotes that are parts of their journeys which you may have never heard, otherwise. It is meant for both – the film buff and the aspiring actor.
Team MM: What went in to writing this book and how long did it take?
TC: A completely different set of synapses is used for writing than for acting. I had to really slog. Acting is waaay easier.
Besides in my home, the house help thinks that if I am working, I will be in make-up. So while I was sitting in front of the laptop, writing away, they did not consider it as me being at work. And so, even while I was searching for that perfect turn of phrase, I would suddenly be asked, “Deedi, aaj beans banaye ya bhindi?”
Hence, I finally took to wearing heels and earrings to work from home, just so that I would not be disturbed.
Team MM: What is the USP of Acting Smart?
TC: I think it would be best to ask a reader this question, no? There is no book about the the Indian film business from the point of view of the actor, so it’s a first. And I hope it’s funny, informative, honest and helpful.
Team MM: What was it like working on the TV series, 24? Tell us an interesting anecdote.
TC: 24 was like a bullet train that shot through our lives at breakneck speed. It was a roller coaster that left one high on adrenalin. It was doing the kind of quality of acting that exists on film in the parameters of television. That was a challenge, to keep that level of detail going. However, I enjoyed the direction of Abhinay Deo, who I just adore. And Anil Kapoor is just the most passionate actor. He pushed and pushed me to do better and better. He makes the girls who work with him shine – look at Sridevi, Madhuri and even Tabu… their best work has been with Anil Kapoor. He makes you look good!
Team MM: What projects are you working on now in film and TV. Tell us a little about them.
TC: There’s lots of action coming up. Qissa, an international film with Irrfan Khan is due in August. Then there’s Rahasya after that and finally the Hindi remake by Mahesh Manjrekar of his hit Marathi film Kaaksparsh with Arvind Swami. And finally, I am writing something I want to produce as well.