Interview Movies

Taapsee: People took me seriously after ‘Pink’

Taapsee Pannu

Taapsee Pannu  

Clearly enjoying her moment in the sun, Taapsee Pannu holds forth on career moves and learning from her mistakes

She had that unmistakable spunk in her earlier films like Aadukalam (Tamil) and Gundello Godari (Telugu) but there were also forgettable ones like Shadow (Telugu). It took Shoojit Sircar and Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury’s Pink for Taapsee Pannu to be noticed and commended widely.

Edited excerpts from an interview with Taapsee, who has and The Ghazi Attack up for release:

Shoojit Sircar chose you for Pink after seeing your work in, though the film is due for release only now. What’s special about your part in this romantic comedy?

Amit Roy (the director) had a 10-minute conversation with me and gave me the script of RunningShaadi.Com. When I started reading it, I understood why he wanted me to be in the film. The character I play, Nimmi, is Taapsee unplugged. In all these years, this is the easiest role I’ve done since it’s the closest to me in real life.

Playing yourself can also be tricky, making you think if this is how you’d react to certain situations. Were there such moments?

I am aware of my strengths and flaws and brought in references from my personal life to the role. Some of the dialogues were written incorporating how I speak to friends and family. I had fun.

What’s your part in The Ghazi Attack, an underwater war film?

It’s a small role, like an extended special appearance. Girls were not allowed in a submarine in the 1970s, so the only way I could be in it is like a refugee. I play a Bengali refugee and act like a bridge between the audience and the principal characters. Since I am the newcomer in the submarine, I get to learn how things work and through me, the audience.

You seem to be enjoying this phase of your career after Pink.

A year ago when I told someone that you’ll see me in a number of films in 2017, he didn’t believe me. Recently he told me that what I had said is coming true; I have five releases lined up. I’ve seen commercial success in Telugu and Tamil and have also been part of a National award winning film like Aadukalam (Tamil). But only after Pink people started taking me seriously. It’s overwhelming when women come up and say I did a good job or talk to me about what they went through. It’s gratifying when people think of me as one among them and open up, and not just stop by to take selfies.

When you look back at some of your earlier films, for instance Shadow (Telugu), do you feel embarrassed? That film and your forthcoming projects like Naam Shabana are poles apart.

I don’t regret any film I’ve done. If I hadn’t done those films, how would I have learnt what works for me and what doesn’t? I’ve been smart to learn from my mistakes. Now I don’t accept a film if my role is of no relevance to the plot or if the story doesn’t excite me.

Have you taken up anything new in Telugu?

We’ve almost finished shooting for a film, untitled as yet. It’s directed by Mahi Raghav, who made Paathshaala (Telugu). When he first approached me I was busy with a few projects and suggested the team look for someone else. Fortunately for me, no one else was willing to take it up. The film doesn’t have a hero. The central character is a girl and there are a few other supporting parts. Perhaps it didn’t look like a commercially viable film to the others. So they came back to me and we did the film when I got free. I am enjoying the films I’m doing now and like the fact that people expect me to do something good.

A spin-off:

Excited is an understatement to describe how Taapsee feels about one of her forthcoming projects, Naam Shabana. Produced by Neeraj Pandey and Shital Bhatia and directed by Shivam Nair, the story is a “spin-off of Shabana, my role in Baby. This is neither a sequel nor a prequel.”

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 4:48:30 PM |

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