Behind that beautiful face lurks a sharp and sensitive mind. Tara Sutaria, with her deliciously straightened hair and cover girl looks, is raring to go with her latest release, EK Villian Returns, a sequel to the EK Villain franchise. She talks about her love for music, being obsessed with theatre productions like The Phantom of the Opera. She’s watched a new play running in the suburbs of Bombay at least 12 times. She also had a wonderful taste in music, talking about everyone from Barbara Streisand to Mohammed Rafi. She lists Yeh Raatein yeh mausam and the songs from Pyaasa as delectable… which all adds up to the right time to meet Tara
If you were to meet your character from Ek Villain Returns, what would you tell her?
I would tell her to keep doing what she’s doing. She’s around a lot of powerful people, but that really doesn’t stop her from following her dream: to make it as an acclaimed musician. She’s an incredibly competitive person and won’t let anyone or anything come in her way. I would tell her to keep at it because all of us need someone to prod us in this music business.
And what would be your advise for Arjun Kapoor’s character?
Arjun’s character is different from what he is in real life. I would probably tell him to calm down on the angst bit and on his impulsiveness because that is detrimental not only to him but also to the people around him.
You have sung in Ek Villain Returns. Who were the singers you were influenced by when growing up?
The voice that I fell in love with first was Barbra Streisand’s. I play her records every single day when I go home because it reminds me of who I really love and who I really want to be. She’s someone who used to produce, write, direct, sing, and act in her films. I love her to death. Then there’s Michael Crawford, Michael Ball, and Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber. He created The Phantom of the Opera, Cats, and all these great musicals. In Hindi music, I love Mohammad Rafi because he has this vibe, sound, and energy that is irreplaceable. I also love the Guru Dutt films, especially the music in Pyaasa. Hum aapki aankhon mein is such a beautiful song and is picturised so beautifully. You can see I live in another generation.
What’s your singing experience for Ek Villain Returns?
I have been singing in the theatre all my life.I recorded an album on my eighteenth birthday in London, which I have not released because soon after that I met with Karan Johar for Student Of The Year 2 and things just catapulted after that. When I first met Mohit sir (Suri), he said the reason he wanted to meet me was because the female character was a singer. He said he wanted me to sing all the songs for the film. I didn’t know him at all before that. But I did admire his music and films. Singing is a larger part of me than acting. I am glad I started my music journey in films by singing for myself with Mohit sir, and Ankit Tiwari, who have been a great support to me in the studio. I have trained in Western and semi-classical singing, and to start singing in Hindi was a completely different ball game. Technique-wise, it was difficult for me to adapt to Hindi, but it made it that much more exciting.
I feel that the NCPA really spearheaded that. I was only five or six years old, and I would choose to go to the NCPA or the Royal Opera House over going to watch a film or to a birthday party, which was so unlike other kids. When I was in college, I played hooky so that I could go to these places. I happened to play the lead in Alyque and Raell Padamsee’s musical Grease. It was my life. Music helped me overcome my shyness and my stage fright. I gave a Ted talk on music and its connection to oneself a few years ago, before I started acting. And now I am singing in Ek Villain Returns, so it feels like things have come full circle.
You have been so cool about your relationship with Aadar Jain. How close are you to his family and how close is he to yours?
Apart from having a wonderful job and a great family and all of that, what’s the one thing that all human beings, no matter where we come from, want? Love. We want to be loved and give love, so it would be absurd to pretend that one doesn’t love somebody or that one doesn’t have emotions that veer towards that direction. I get very attached to people, and I think both of us are similar that way. We get attached to that special person and the people close to him/her. It helps to understand who he or she is and who they are. A lot of people in his family remind me of people in my family. The warmth, love, and generosity that you will find in most Parsi households, you will find in Punjabi households too. It’s been wonderful. I respect them and love them deeply, because for me, it’s important that if you love, you must love deeply.