Raveena Tandon

- Vikram Chandiramani 

The daughter of filmmaker, Ravi Tandon, Raveena initially wanted to make ad films. But her portfolio pictures fell into the hands of a group of advertising people headed by Anant Balani who was looking out for a girl to play the lead role in the film, 'Patthar Ke Phool' opposite Salman Khan and she was chosen. Though the film bombed badly, the latter was spotted and picked up by several filmmakers for their films.

Initially, despite having big banner films with leading actors, unfortunately for Raveena, none of her first films clicked. People revelled in calling her a jinxed actress. "Something was going wrong somewhere at that time, although I was doing the right kind of movies, yet..."

But to her luck, the industry supported her throughout, "except for a few people I didn't get along with." And even when Rajiv Rai signed her for `Mohra` he was in for a lot of flak. "Certain people who had vested interests told him that he had done a foolish thing by signing me."

But Rajiv Rai, the director of the film, stuck to his guns. He believed in her capabilities and when the film was released, things changed completely for the young actress. "I was the hottest thing to have happened to the film industry. And for the first time I realised how success changes people's attitude towards you."

She is also aware of the fact that her strength is not real histrinics. Her face is her fortune. Despite her success, Raveena has been a show-piece in most of her films, without any scope for on-screen histrionics. "In Hindi movies, unless an actress reaches the status of a Sridevi or a Madhuri Dixit, she cannot ask for meaningful roles. Besides I really don't take my profession that seriously. I'm not here to be remembered as a brilliant actress. Sorry. My goals are simple. Make a lot of money, have fun and retire gracefully. And in any case, in my bracket, which heroines have really made a mark as actresses of substance?"

Her relationship with her 'Mohra' co-star, Akshay Kumar is no longer under wraps. But initially, when they had begun, both Akshay and Raveena were hell-bent on keeping the alliance a big secret. "We denied our relationship only because of people's knee-jerk reaction. When the news first came out, suddenly there was a lot of talk about Akshay and me getting married. And that started affecting Akshay's work. Producers wanted to know when we were getting married. Some even got scared of signing us. It was the people's reaction to our relationship that made us decide to lie low. But today, we can afford to admit to our relationship. We are more secure professionals now," she says with a tinge of pride.

Raveena Tandon has been in the news due to differences with her brother, Rajiv Tandon over the ownership of their family home.