The power of being  Taapsee

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 08 Sep 2018 10:52:55


By Farina Salim Quraishi,

True to her Twitter introduction,’All In All Real... With Flesh, Blood and Spine,’ actress Taapsee Pannu is the proverbial beauty with brains in flesh and blood. Unapologetically honest and forthright to a fault, the Baby star knows her mind and sure speaks it. From her debut Hindi film Chashme Baddoor in 2013 to headlining some of the prime projects in 2018, Taapsee has built a fine career over the last few years. Her steady rise towards the upper echelons of the entertainment world is a welcome departure from the cliched Bollywood darling: she’s a woman of substance, armed with intelligence and breathtakingly beautiful.

After Dil Juunglee, Soorma and Mulk, she is gearing up for her fourth release of the year Manmarziyaan. In the city to promote her upcoming film, Taapsee in an exclusive chat with The Hitavada gives more than a glimpse of Taapsee as Rumi and reveals why being intrigued by a role is important for her. Right from the time, Manmarziyaan’s trailer was released, Taapsee hasbeen earning rave reviews for being the spark of the film.

Lighting up while talking about her role Taapsee says, “The way I see it, Rumi is like a fire and the people around her the fireflies. They can’t get too close to her for they will get burnt, nor can they stay away from her. Whatever will be in her heart will be on her face and I think her outspoken nature is something that I can relate to. Even Anurag Kashyap and Anand Rai believed I was Rumi 100%. Surprisingly, I don’t see it that way, Taapsee is Rumi alright but only 90%. In the sense Rumi is all heart and doesn’t use her brain, Taapsee, however, being all heart as well, uses her brain most of the times,” the curly-haired actress says impishly.

Manmarziyaan is a love story directed by the uncrowned king of dark cinema, Anurag Kashyap, and one would think that was reason enough for Taapsee to say ‘yes’ to the film, but 31-year-old actress disagrees. “I’m not an Anurag Kashyap fan per se. While I think some of his movies are brilliant, several are questionable! I did tell Anurag this, on his face. He is a good director is common knowledge, but he’s way better as a person. I like him for his honesty and we share a great bond based on honesty. So don’t be surprised if you see me working in his films in near future.

“Coming back to Manmarziyaan, it is not a typical Anurag Kashyap film, there are no guns and gore in this, but rather there is love, light, laughter, music and even choreographed dancing; nevertheless the Anurag Kashyap stamp on the film will be unmistakable,” says Taapsee who is known for powerful roles in films like Pink, Naam Shabana and Mulk.

“I didn’t come into this industry because it is my passion, I fumbled upon it and I started enjoying it. So I am here till the time I’m enjoying it. There is no desperate need to make it big, no family name to live up to. That is why I have become fearless in the way I handle my life. I think that translates on-screen in my performances. I take decisions on what I like and not under any pressure or stress. If my films fail, I will work on something else. Films are part of my life, not my life! This gives me the confidence to choose all the diverse ‘unsafe’ films that I have chosen," added the actress. So if not Anurag Kashyap what is that made her say yes to Manmarziyaan, and Taapsee says the ‘unconvinced challenge’ of the role.

“I’m a person who gets bored very easily, so for me to invest any amount of me into a project, it should excite me. Rumi’s role was a cake walk for me, but there are certain things Rumi does and chooses that I don’t approve of, being the black-and-white person I am. So Rumi’s grey shades and playing those with convictions made me say the ‘yes’. Moreover, the fact that I was in safe hands (Anurag’s and Anand Rai’s) was the catalyst,” says Taapsee, who takes pride in calling herself a ‘self-made star’.  Wading into the nepotism debate, Taapsee says there is enough work in the industry, but actors without Godfathers have to go the extra mile to make a mark and be lucky as well.

“The plum projects just won’t fall into our laps. We (outsiders) have to work really hard and be patient for things to work out. Moreover, I won’t shy away from saying that luck too plays a major role.I have seen so many wonderful actors, more talented actors than me not be able to reach this platform, just probably because of bad luck, as I feel they so much more talented and gifted than me. So, I’m really grateful and don’t take anything for granted,” says the Judwaa 2 star with conviction.

In an industry where being politically correct is the unspoken rule, Taapsee’s honest opinions are a rarity. Elaborating she says, “Of course, having an opinion here does affect work sometimes, but no one has gotten upset because of my honesty till date, not on my face at least. In fact, I have people loving me more because I am upfront. Moreover, it’s not like I talk about each and every issue or
force my opinion on people, but if you come to me for my take, I won’t be sugarcoating my words for sure.”

From being one of the more popular faces of Telugu film industry Taapsee has seamlessly made the transition to Bollywood and now is in demand in both the industries. Taking as much pride in her Telugu ventures, as she is proud of her collaborations with Amitabh Bachchan, Taapsee says she will never trade regional cinema for a career in Bollywood.

“Whatever acting I’ve learnt is from Southern cinema, it’s my roots. So it would be really stupid to forsake it, just because I have found acceptability here. I am really enjoying doing all kind of films and I would do least one Telugu film each year, if not more. Moreover, the scale and earnings of the so-called regional films are at par with Hindi cinema, so there is no question of quitting Telugu industry.”
With three more release sorted for next year, Taapsee’s hands are full but she does not believe that her career is at the peak phase.

“I don’t think I’ve peaked, so to say; as it would mean that things would be downhill after this. I honestly believe that my best is yet to come and life has better things in store for me. And though I always say my current role is my dream role, I would definitely say a role in Avengers or X-Mens will be the stuff of dreams,” says Taapsee on the parting note.