Taapsee Pannu has a diverse filmography, and her career in the Hindi film industry has taken off in last three years. With each film, she is proving her mettle. At News 18 Reel Movie Awards, she is nominated in two categories—Best Actor (Female) for Manmarziyaan and Best Supporting Actor (Female) for Mulk.
While explaining her thought process behind choosing a film, she said, “You choose a film that you believe in, or a film that you would like to watch as an audience, so when I hear a narration all I think is whether I would spend my hard earned money and time on it or not. And then if it turns out that the character is extremely physical, strong and interesting, I get drawn towards it.”
In a candid admission, she says, “I don’t have any in-depth knowledge of cinema and I haven’t been following cinema from childhood. For me, it’s something that keeps me entertained for two hours.”
Then she clears any doubt you may have about her well-trained mindset. She talks about Manmarziyaan and details, “Manmarziyaan was probably the most commercialised Anurag Kashyap film, and all I hoped was he likes whatever I do because he has been working with brilliant actors. I wasn’t an ardent follower of his cinema, so I didn’t know whether I would fit into his scheme of things.”
She continues, “I loved DevD, Gangs of Wasseypur and even Ugly, but there are other films which were darker. Manmarziyaan was a nice crossover for even him I feel (laughs).”
She goes on, “I am a typical director’s actor. I felt, Rumi was closer to me in terms of outlook but she thought very differently than me. I am a very black and white person. So I thought of a thread like Rumi does whatever she likes without bothering about the world. I built other characteristics around it.”
So, how did you get into the skin of Rumi in Manmarziyaan? “I know many girls who are aggressive and strong but they don’t know what to do when they’re in love. They don’t use their brain in such a situation. I personally didn’t identify with Rumi, and I voiced my concern when it was narrated to me, but then that was the challenge. It was about doing something that I might not approve personally.”
“I was always waiting for a lovestory. I started in the South nine years ago, and then five years in the Hindi films, so it was also about understanding a new genre. I hope people cast me beyond Rumi and offer new characters. Sometimes people come to me with roles that others wouldn’t do or not comfortable with, that’s how I get diverse roles,” adds Taapsee.
Her next film is produced by Kashyap. “I am really nervous about Saand Ki Aankh. It’s by far my career’s most challenging role. In this film, I have nothing to connect. Nothing matches. But I was so fond of the script that I had to do it.”
She signed off with a comment on the awards meant for new age and content-driven cinema. She says, “Content-driven cinema shouldn’t be differentiated as something different. This will give filmmakers the confidence to attempt bigger films with stronger narrative.”