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Exclusive! 'Hadn't said yes to a lot of shows, which later became very successful', Raveena Tandon on choosing Aranyak

Raveena Tandon also revealed how playing a cop in Aranyak was different from her previous roles.

Aishwarya Vasudevan
Dec 27, 2021
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A 90s favourite, Raveena Tandon graced our screens with her OTT debut, Aranyak, this year. In a role starkly different from the glamourous ones she often played back in the day, Tandon is impressive as hardcore cop Kasturi Dogra, and her determination to solve the biggest crime that has shaken her little hill town.

Soon after the release of Aranyak, OTTplay exclusively caught up with Tandon for a chat about why she took up this role and why it was a difficult decision to make.

"When the script came to me, I was a little, as Vinay Waikul (director) puts it, 'it wasn't easy to convince everyone.' But I did take my time to think about it. The reason was that I was being offered a lot of shows and I hadn't said yes to a lot of shows, which later on became very successful. So I just wanted to be doubly sure about my judgment of whether I am picking up the right one. Now when I look back, I don't think I picked up the right one; I think I picked up the best one," said Raveena.

Before becoming an actor, she had aspirations of joining the Indian Police Service (IPS). So it’s safe to say that Aranyak was an opportunity that allowed her to do this but in a make-believe world. "I have played a cop in two movies before, but not a cop as hard-core as this, and this was something that was in my heart to do. I enjoyed every minute of it. I think Param (Parambrata Chatterjee) is witness to the slap-happy times that I had in the series. I kind of enjoyed the entire rawness of her as a human being, you know, her emotions, her feelings, her aggression, it's completely raw and straight in your face. That is what I loved about the character,” she said.

There are oft-repeated positives about the streaming format – it gives enough space for a storyteller to venture fully into the world they are creating. This show was Tandon’s first opportunity to explore a character in-depth.

"I think it's (OTT platforms) a plus because there is so much that you can put into a character, which normally a two-hour or two-and-a-half-hour movie doesn't allow. You have to kind of encapsulate everything and give it out there. I read reviews where they say "that character could have been played out a little more." But one doesn't understand that you have a time limit and you have to do whatever you have to do in that much time. But here you have the space, you have the time to explore, to absorb, to involve yourself in different nuances, different characteristics of the character, and you can play it out well. So that kind of works for me, as far as OTT platforms go,” shared Tandon.

Aranyak has been shot in the cold and misty town of Sironah, and that too, during the coronavirus pandemic. Calling it one of the best experiences to shoot, Raveena narrated, "It was one of the best experiences to shoot in our country in such beautiful locales. In a way, I think it was good that the pandemic was on and there was no tourist influx. Not good for the economy of the state, for sure. But it was good for us because we shot very peacefully in places where, under normal circumstances, we probably would not have been able to shoot, and neither created trouble for the locals. So, it all went off very well, and we were very happy with the shoot. Luckily, we didn't take vanity vans, because some other units were shooting there. They brought vanity vans all over Bombay, and every day, we would learn that there was some jam or the other, and they had just not reached the location. Our Sironah ki galiyaan is very chota chota. I think the best part was that we didn't want to disturb the locals either. So everything went off well, and we enjoyed our stint shooting over there."

Although Aranyak is most likely to return for a second season, fans can’t wait for the actor to make the official announcement soon.

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