She has won the National Film Award for Best Actress twice, and she holds the record for the most wins of Filmfare’s Critics Award for Best Female Performer, with four.
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Despite a few exceptions, Tabu is best-known for acting in artistic, low-budget films that go on to garner more critical appreciation than substantial box office figures. Her appearances in commercially successful films were few, and her parts in these films were small, such as Border (1997), Saajan Chale Sasural (1996), Biwi No.1 and Hum Saath-Saath Hain: We Stand United (1999). Her most notable performances include Maachis (1996), Virasat (1997), Hu Tu Tu (1999), Astitva (2000), Chandni Bar (2001), Maqbool (2003) and Cheeni Kum (2007). Her leading role in Mira Nair’s American film The Namesake also drew major praise. Known to be selective about her film roles, she has said, “I do films which move me and most of all, the unit and the director should appeal to me.”