Taapsee Pannu
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Taapsee: I can't afford to go wrong with my roles, films

By HT

Coming from a non-filmy background and making a mark in the tinsel town is no mean task. Despite all the success she has seen in her filmy career, Pink-fame actor Taapsee Pannu feels that she can’t afford to go wrong with her roles and films.
 
“I still don’t consider myself safe or a star. I have lost many films even when they were about to start. The only two conditions to survive here are that either you have a strong support or your films are working,” she tells HT City after wrapping up the shoot for Anubhav Sinha’s Mulk in Lucknow.
 
A software professional, Tapasee says the only option she has is that “All my film needs to do well else I’ll be thrown out of the industry.”
 
“For that, I try to work hard and get involved in all possible ways to bring the best out of it. I don’t act for money. I am a software engineer and acting just happened to me. I have not learnt acting and all my training has been on the sets,” tells the actor who shot to fame with critically acclaimed film Baby and has also acted in Naam Shabana and Judwaa2.
 
Her different avtaars
 
In Mulk she was spotted in a simple avatar. “I try to keep my looks different in every film. Here, I play Rishi (Kapoor) sir’s daughter-in-law. She is a lawyer who has come from London and fights for the family’s pride. She has very proper, smart yet very realistic simple looks. It’s unlike Judwaa2 where I am dressed glamorously, have flowing hair and do a lot of dancing on London streets,” she says.
 
“Things have worked for me only when I have surprised people. Take any of my film and at that point of time no one thought that I can do this. My 10 minutes role in Baby left an impact on audience. In Pink, even with Mr Bachchan around, my role surprised all and in action-packed Naam Shabana my role backed the film and its title. And when people started accepting me in serious roles there came Judwaa2 with complete contrast.
 
Judwaa, a paid picnic!
 
Tapsee had been doing glamrous roles in South Indian films for seven years and it’s only now that Hindi film audience saw her in a different avatar opposite Varun Dhawan. “Judwaa2 was like a paid picnic. I went there, put on make-up, danced on lovely songs and had fun. It was like ‘Jaa Simran jee le apni zindagi’. And then, I changed gears to do something serious and Mulk happened,” she says.
 
On realistic cinema
 
“The trend is new and the audiences are still getting warmed-up to idea where there are no songs, dance, fight or fancy locations. With females being the hero of the film is even tougher. I think with time these so-called ‘different films’ will grow,” she says.
 
On Anubhav Sinha, she says, “This is a totally new Anubhav that I have known for nearly two years now. He is a realistic person and that shows in his film. He is in his true elements in the film. This is truly what we call a passion project!”
 
In love with Lucknow!
 
Taapsee has been to Lucknow before to cheer the badminton champs. “This is the only place where I can have red meat…every day…even if it gives my cholesterol a big shock but you can’t resist the taste and quality you get here. The saying ‘muskuraiye ki aap Lucknow main hai’ is so true! People randomly treated us with tea and food from their home while we were shooting. The warmth we got was overwhelming. Besides, it is endearing to hear such good Hindi and after I left Delhi I have not heard such quality language anywhere else. In the film too I have such beautiful Hindi dialogues,” she says.
 
Sports flick next
 
She will be next seen in a sports film where she plays an international hockey player.
 
“Playing a sportsperson was on my wish list. I play an international hockey player in Flicker Singh- a biopic on hockey star Sandeep Singh played by Daljit (Dosanjh). I have trained in hockey before the start of Mulk. I am very happy doing a sports film and more than me my father is happy as he was hockey player on DU level.”
 
Besides, she wants to continue acting down south as it has helped her better understand Bollywood.
 
“This year too I did a female-oriented film in Telugu where I came on board on profit-sharing basis and it made double its investment. I owe a lot to that industry,” she says.