If you've been wondering why director Neeraj Pandey couldn't think of a less incongruous title for his forthcoming Akshay Kumar-starrer Baby, here's something to get you hooked. Actually, let's thank Taapsee Pannu, who plays an 'undercover agent' in the film, for spilling the beans. “We couldn't talk about it initially. But now we can," she says. "Baby is about a group of 20 odd people who've come together to fight some of the most brutal terrorists in the world. The group has just been put together, and everybody's still trying to figure out each other. That’s why it is called Baby,” she continues.
Taapsee, who was earlier seen in Chasme Baddoor, sheds more light on her character. “My role is not complicated in the film. I play an undercover agent on a dangerous mission. There are many members in the team and in a way they are all on different missions.”
She even went through a rigorous martial art training session too for the film. “I have done all sorts of fights in the film... solos, fist fights, one-on-ones... everything. My action scenes in the film come very unexpectedly in the story as nobody expects my character to get into a fight. But, the challenge was doubled because Neeraj wanted everything to look very real. I in fact trained in Israeli martial art technique Kravmaga for it. Akshay had suggested this technique to me and it helped a lot.”
In many ways, Baby will mark a transition of sorts for Tapasee, mostly seen in girl-next-door roles in Southern films till now. “It doesn’t come naturally to any Hindi film director to pick me for a film based on action as I have done very different, mostly coy sort of girl roles in the South. Even those who have seen me in Chashme Baddoor would have hesitated in casting me. But I was confident I have it in me to do justice to a film like this. Even Neeraj thought me more suitable for the girl-next-door kind of role in the beginning, but slowly things worked out in my favour.”
She adds: “I was always vocal about my talents and I knew that being typecast would be the worst thing I could do to my career. Perhaps, that's why I have consciously done very few such films in South. To be honest, things have come easily to me. But there was always a rebel inside me who inspired me to fight my way up. I have taken a conscious decision to do only substantial films from now. Though I am just one film old in Bollywood, I know that I will stick to it.”
Tapasee denies that Akshay Kumar was the prime reason for her to act in Baby. “I didn’t do Baby for Akshay kumar. But he is definitely the icing on the cake. You just understand the dilemma of the actor who has to indulge in fight sequence without Akshay Kumar featuring in it. He is the baap of one liners and he is very subtle. Sometimes you won’t even realise that he is pulling your leg. He has an amazing sense of humour. He is not your quintessential macho-man as many would perceive him. He doesn’t get angry at all despite enjoying the trappings of being a big star. He is more of a Mr Cool than Mr Khiladi,” she adds.