Being glamorous doesn’t prevent Taapsee from learning and growing as an actor

Circa July 1st, 2010. Director K Raghavendra Rao focussed on Taapsee’s legs in Jhummandi Nadam. That was the introduction shot in her debut film. Two and a half years later, director Kumar Nagendra in Gundello Godaari allows the camera to caress her face as she tantalisingly gifts a wedding ring to her paramour at his wedding while the guests break into whispers. Taapsee has arrived after her share of hits and misses and blushes like a tomato, taking all the compliments coming her way.

She reminisces, “Jhummandi Nadam was a nerve-racking debut, my Tamil film Aadukalam was in post-production but Lakshmi Manchu made me a star even before my film released. I was all over, everyone knew me and that boosted my confidence. I had three films even before my first movie came out. I made mistakes as I’m not a trained actor and not from a filmi background. I had to go through experiences to learn the good and bad. I’m proud that I always tried to improve myself, correct my flaws in every film either through looks or performance and never repeat the same lest I be stereotyped. I have maintained the graph going upwards.”

Taapsee says Telugu audiences cannot get over her glamorous look; they find her hot and sexy even if she is completely clothed in a sari, half sari or a salwar kurta. She never had people ogling or compliment her on the street before this. She remarks, “In Bollywood, people call me cute when I wear short skirts and shorts and identify me as girl next door but here they say I’m glamorous.” How does she work on her limitations? She is candid: “I have my own individuality and uniqueness, people visualise me and believe that I can carry off a certain role that no one else can. I love my curls, I hate to straighten them, all these add to my individuality. But yes, I have a very Punjabi broad bone structure, I don’t pass off easily as a South Indian girl. A little bit of weight on me and I look huge so I have to work hard to get that ten per cent weight off.”

The actor thanks God for her virtues — a lot of confidence, time management and people management. She avers, “I can handle people around without stating what I want, I have control over my environment and myself. Once the camera is on, I’m totally fake, after that I’m myself and that is what kept me away from acting for a long time. I thought I could never pretend and be an actor. But I guess I have a dramatic side to myself which brought me here.”