'Being a star kid was fun because I used to get a lot of attention. But sometimes, that brought me a lot of criticism like, ‘oh, she’s so snooty.''
'People have their own notions about kids whose parents are famous but my upbringing was very normal.'
Govinda's daughter Tina Ahuja talks to Nishi Tiwari/ Rediff.com ahead of her Bollywood debut.
When Govinda was at the peak of his acting career, he'd often be talked about for his amusingly colour-coordinated clothes in his films, apart from his memorable comic timing and dance moves.
His daughter Tina Ahuja, who makes her acting debut in debutant director Smeep Kang's Second Hand Husband, is a far cry from his outlandish fashion aesthetics.
Admirably at ease in a floral (and almost backless) top, worn over distressed skinny denims and sparkly shoes, the star daughter fields questions about her new film and the 'baggage' with which she is foraying in Bollywood.
How did Second Hand Husband come about?
A friend of mine in the UK told me about Smeep (Kang) sir’s Carry On Jatta, so I got a DVD of the film and watched it.
I liked it so much that I got his number and told him I’d love to meet him.
When we met, he told me that he was already working on a Bollywood film. He told me I should let him know if I was interested in the film. I read the script and heard my role and was instantly on board.
Why did you change your name from Narmadaa to Tina?
I haven’t changed my name. Tina is my pet name given by friends that I’m using as my screen name.
It’s said that star kids always have it easy when it comes to getting their foot in the Bollywood door. How difficult or easy has it been for you, to get your debut film off its feet?
I can’t say it has been very tough for me in the film industry.
I was offered a lot of roles but I wanted to wait for the right project because I was coming with a lot of baggage (laughs) because of my dad. I didn’t want to do anything just for the heck of it. So I chose to wait for something interesting, something I’d want to be a part of.
It took a bit of time but I think it was worth it.
Do you think this delay in your debut will affect your Bollywood career?
No, not at all. I don’t think it was much of a delay. It was just five to six months which I feel is absolutely fine if you get something better.
Anyway, the delay didn’t happen because of me, there were other issues, other technical problems with other things. I’m doing just fine as far as my debut timing goes.
There were reports that you were supposed to debut in a Salman Khan film. What happened to that?
It was just a rumour. There was nothing of that sort in the pipeline. I don’t know how to react to that anymore.
Your father Govinda is known as a great dancer too. How would you rate yourself in that department?
I don’t know, I wouldn’t want to rate myself. All that matters is that the audience should see my work and appreciate it.
Do you like dancing?
I enjoy dancing, I don’t know about liking and all but I enjoy dancing.
Do you have any formal training in a dance form?
Not really but I love going to dance classes and enjoy them at times.
Your father was known for, apart from his comic timing and dance moves, his curiously-coordinated outfits in his movies. Are you fashion conscious?
I feel that everyone today is fashion conscious but personally, I like to wear clothes that I am comfortable in.
That’s when you know when you’re doing something wrong or right.
I don’t think all that talk about his clothes affected me because he created a trend on his own and that’s about it.
Do you have any favourites among his films?
I like all the No 1 films -- Hero No 1, Jodi No 1 -- that he did. Also, Swarg, Sajan Chale Sasural...
What do you think of him as an actor?
I think he is so effortless and does full justice to every character he’s doing. I look up to him and admire all the work he’s done so far.
What was it like growing up as Govinda’s daughter?
It was really difficult at times because we used to be at shooting locations half of the times and had to bunk school for that. Then we had to catch up with our studies when we used to get back after 15-20 days.
But it was fun also because I used to get a lot of attention as a star kid. But sometimes, that brought me a lot of criticism like, ‘oh, she’s so snooty because she is so and so’s daughter and she’s got so much attitude,’ and stuff like that.
People have their own notions about kids whose parents are famous but my upbringing was very normal.
Your father and filmmaker David Dhawan collaborated on many hit films. What is your equation with Dhawan’s actor son Varun?
Varun and I were very good friends during childhood. We used to meet at birthday parties and family dinners, even on the sets while shooting.
It was good because our parents were friends and were working with each other. It was only natural that we would become friends.
Any films opposite Varun in the offing?
Not currently but I’d be open to working with him.
Suniel Shetty was one of your father’s contemporaries and now his daughter Athiya is gearing her for own acting debut. Why haven’t we heard as much about you as we do about her in the media?
I like to keep a low profile. I don’t like unnecessary attention or being in the news for no reason, going to filmi parties or making social appearances.
I like to keep it simple and basic so probably that’s the reason. I don’t know, that’s just me; I’m very shy.