It is the golden hour when Tara Sutaria’s screen lights up on our Zoom call. The setting sun casts its gentle rays on her, creating a cinematic frame. She is seated behind a table at her home in Mumbai, her face flawless, not a hair out of place, a delightful, warm smile as we speak. Here is the impression of the ‘picture-perfect’ girl, but—as you will read ahead—behind her attractive features is an equally-attractive mind that is steeped in the arts, philosophy, and romance.
Brides Today: HOW HAS THE PAST YEAR FARED FOR YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS?
Tara Sutaria: There are many who constantly tell actors to be hushed about our relationships, but I see absolutely no reason to do that. I don’t believe there is anything to hide when you are proud of something or someone, and I am happy to speak about my partner Aadar [Kapoor]. The past year has been hard for everyone, we have had so many lockdowns, restrictions, and one couldn’t step out. But these are the times that reveal one's genuine friendships and, quite frankly, the ones that have lasted through this time are the ones that will be taken forward.
BT: AND YOUR PLATE IS FULL WITH MOVIE RELEASES SOON. TELL US ABOUT THEM.
TS: I am so excited about my work because all of us have been so anxious about when they were going to get released. I am going to begin filming Heropanti 2 in the next few weeks, and Tadap will release in September, which is a remake of the Telugu film RX 100. My role is like nothing I have seen any other young actor essay. I think it might be a bit frightening for some to take on; I have got some feedback on it and people have loved it, so fingers crossed. And then, there is Ek Villain 2, which will hit the screens after Heropanti. I am excited for each of them.
BT: AND WHAT ARE YOUR HOPES FOR THE FUTURE?
TS: Especially after last year, my number-one priority is to simply be happy and find joy in the small things that I once took for granted—my morning cup of tea, reading, watching a show, or spending time with those I love. I'd like to stop worrying about things that have never really mattered. I am an overthinker, and I want to be able to live in the moment and appreciate every second I have.
BT: AND WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY? OR SAD OR ANGRY?
TS: The people in my life make me happy, and music makes me very, very, happy. As for what makes me sad, I told you I am a Scorpio, and I am very sensitive about everything, which is a nightmare for my friends. Also, I absolutely love animals and I feel terrible knowing that there are so many stray animals that need help. Yes, there are some wonderful people helping them out, and there is an increasing awareness around the issue, but it makes me sad that not enough people are standing up for their cause. And what makes me angry? People playing games and politics, and creating unnecessary drama...
BT: WHAT IS YOUR FONDEST MEMORY WHEN IT COMES TO LOVE?
TS: The first thing that comes to my mind is my grandparents, my nana and nani, who had, in my opinion, possibly the best relationship ever. They had a 30 year age gap between them, but they would do things together. She would sit on his lap even though he was 90 and she was 60. Their love was so pure and powerful. I hope that my relationship is going to be like that because they are my role models.
BT: THAT IS SO SPECIAL! TELL US, IS THERE ANY BEAUTY ADVICE THAT HAS BEEN PASSED DOWN THE GENERATIONS, THAT YOU SWEAR BY?
TS: I have never played with products because I have very sensitive skin that reacts to pretty much everything. When I was younger, I would sometimes apply a mask of dahi [yoghurt], honey, haldi [turmeric], and lemon juice. Until very recently, I had amazing hair, but with so many shoots, my hair has been constantly exposed to hot tongs, which makes it very dry. So when I am not working, I don’t apply too much product so that my skin and hair can both breathe. And I drink as much water as I can.
BT: AND OVER THE YEARS, WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED TO LOVE AND HONOUR ABOUT YOURSELF?
TS: That’s a tricky one. I think most women have so much that they should love and honour about themselves, but with social media, we keep getting exposed to these incredibly-beautiful women, some of whom have been Photoshopped, retouched, and airbrushed. As a result, our idea of beauty gets altered. Of course, we now have many fantastic campaigns that show us non-retouched and non-airbrushed photos, so I think that’s really helping. I used to be extremely conscious of my body when I was younger, very insecure because I was told that I was too thin; everyone said I looked anorexic. When I began acting, I was told that I was too thin and that no-one would want to see me on screen because I wasn't attractive enough. I was also very insecure about my stretch marks, which nearly every women has. Now, I wear them with pride and confidence. I am not ashamed, I think they are beautiful. I want to tell everyone to be proud of their body; it is the most important thing any man or a woman can do for themselves. Own it and don't feel ashamed of anything.
BT: SINCE YOU HAVE SPOKEN ABOUT PEOPLE PUTTING YOU DOWN, HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH CRITICISM AND EVEN TROLLS?
TS: I used to get really confused with trolling when my first film Student Of The Year 2 came out. I have actually clicked on some of the profiles of these trolls to see who they are, and why are they would say such mean things. You know, these accounts usually don’t have any pictures, so they are clearly insecure about themselves and are projecting their own issues out onto others. Constructive criticism is amazing, but we already have enough stress to deal with than to deal with strangers who wish ill upon us. I have started ignoring them and sometimes just laugh about it because it’s important to be able to do that and just feel sorry for trolls, because otherwise, you will feel miserable all the time. Just two days ago, there was an article on a website about me being unwell and the first comment was ‘I wish she had just died’. I read it and thought to myself, "I can either take this badly or I can feel sorry for them". That is the only way to do it.
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