After a three-year stint in the South Indian films, Taapsee finds her feet in Bollywood with Chashme Baddoor

Taapsee says she’s got the kind of platform she desired to debut on. “I didn’t aspire for a movie with such a well-known co-star as it would have dwarfed my role in the film. I wanted people to go and watch the film and come out saying, ‘Hey, she’s something!’ But I wanted a director and banner of repute and a story that would be good. My prayers were answered,” says the towering Punjabi kudi who’s has made her Bollywood debut with David Dhawan’s Chashme Baddoor that released this Friday alongside actors Ali Zafar, Siddharth, Divyendu Sharma, Rishi Kapoor and Anupam Kher.

The huge Karisma Kapoor fan, who is successfully handling her three-year long career in Telugu and Tamil, says that she hadn’t seen the original Sai Paranjpe film till David’s ‘revamped’ version was offered to her. “I ran to the store to get a DVD and I went crazy watching it,” she says.

Taapsee plays Seema in the film. Carved out of Deepti Naval’s original role but nowhere close to that character, she assures us. “Seema is one of those girls about whom it is written, ‘Woh ronewaalon mein se nahin, rulane waalon mein se hai’ (She isn’t among those who cry but those who make others cry.) She is a rebel and, coming from a military background, has a mind of her own.”

The language comfort was the biggest boon, she says. “I think working in the South and in Hindi films is not very different. But I am definitely very comfortable with Hindi. It comes naturally to me unlike Tamil or Telugu where I have to rehearse a lot. Here I would read the dialogue just once and get ready for my shot. That’s a big thing certainly,” she says.

Comparisons with other South actresses who have come to the Hindi film industry are inevitable, especially Tamannaah who made her debut last Friday with Himmatwala. “I think Tamannaah, Ileana, Kajal are all great actors. I admire Tamannaah for her work. My biggest advantage, if I may say, is that I am the junior most among them. They have spent years in the industry while I have just three years behind me.” Taapsee could well be called a reluctant actress as she had vociferously said no to films. “I cleared my CAT with a score of 88 per cent but that wasn’t good enough for the top B-school. And I didn’t want anything but the best. I became a software engineer. I participated in a beauty pageant that catapulted me into the world of modelling. My family kept saying films were the way ahead but I kept shaking my head. But they knew me better; I soon got bored of modelling as no one knew who I was, I was merely doing some work. That never works for me,” she confesses about her ambitious nature.

Taapsee says that she is interested more in Hindi films and has approached some filmmakers. Currently, she is waiting for public response to her movie and offers thereafter. “To be fair to filmmakers who I have approached, let them watch my work. I am hoping to make Mumbai my home. Let me sign my second film and I will buy a house here,” she says.