Sai Tahmankar, once a state-level kabaddi player and then a karate kid, is now one of the leading stars of the Marathi movie industry. She debuted 13 years ago with a substantial role in Black & White directed by Subash Ghai.
She is now making her presence felt in the Hindi movie industry, with films like the Gulshan Devaiah starrer Hunterr, Laxman Utekar’s Mimi and the upcoming Madhur Bhandarkar film India Lockdown.
“I did all sorts of roles in Marathi including lead roles. Footage for an actor does matter, but when I have a strong character, it attracts me more than the length,” says Sai. “I follow my heart and just pick and choose. There is no theory to picking up roles because I am an instinct-driven person,” she says.
Sai picks Love Sonia and Hunterr as the two important films in her career. “That is also because both films had great teams and we are still in touch,” she adds.
“In India Lockdown there are several stories which make a film. Prateik Babbar and I lead one story,” she shares.
The actress earned a lot of plaudits as Shama in Mimi, a Rajasthani character speaking Urdu. “After a long time we had a film of this sort in the industry. It was different and there was a positive vibe on the sets. The process was amazing. I want to work with the same team multiple times,” she says, adding, “Shama has a voice and has lived life on her terms. Shama as a person who loves someone unconditionally embodies me. Friendship plays an important role in my life and I just could not refuse to be a great friend to someone on screen.”