From being known as a ‘South actress’, Taapsee Pannu today has become a pan-India star with numerous films in Bollywood, while also managing to give time to her first industries. Despite the fate of films at the box office, one thing has been constant, the 31-year-old can’t be kept away from praises for her performances. The actress opened up on this rollercoaster journey in showbiz, which included being ‘shaken up’ with the box office performance of ‘Manmarziyaan’, being replaced due to a lack of lineage, in an exclusive interview with Republic TV.
Taapsee has been one of the prominent names to have made it in B-Town without belonging to an industry family. The actress was asked if her success could make people believe that they too can venture into Bollywood without a godfather, she replied, “Absolutely! It's not as bad as they feel. It's tougher. It's a testing journey. It is a longer route to success when you are from outside.
She continued, "When I was getting into it, my parents were worried because of the perception that is made about the film industry. Any industry has got its good and bad points. Unfortunately, we are in front of the camera and people pay to watch you... so that is why this job is glorified. And the negatives are glorified too. It is in your hands to say NO.”
Apart from critical acclaim for films like ‘Manmarziyaan’, ‘Game Over’ and commercial success for ‘Badla’, Taapsee also has multiple films in her kitty like ‘Saand Ki Aankh’ and ‘Mission Mangal’ at the moment. However, despite all the achievements, the actress still doesn’t feel she is ‘up there’. She says, “It is not a profession where you feel safe and secure, honestly. If you want to, then you have chosen a wrong profession.
She further said, "You don't get a fixed paycheck at the end of the month. Future depends on Friday. If it is a good Friday, you have a few good months to look forward to. If it is a bad one, then you see a question mark in everything. It shakes you up. If someone says failure doesn't shake you up, then it didn't matter to them that much.”
Taapsee doesn’t have to go too far behind to remember the last time she felt shaken up. Last year’s ‘Manmaziyaan’ was arguably the most acclaimed film for the actress, but the film didn’t live up to expectations at the ticket windows. The actress was disappointed too, she expressed, “I get shaken up quite often honestly. For example, Manmarziyaan. I expected the film to do even more than what it did. People around me loved the film... and when I talk about people, it's normal audience base.
She said, "I am not really surrounded by industry people so. I had a big aspirational number and when it didn't touch, I was shaken up. But then I realised, some films have a different audience. Love stories are such, you either connect or don't. There's no middle ground in that.”
The other thing that shakes her up, is one that had made headlines, how she was replaced in films, most recently in ‘Pati Patni Aur Woh’ remake. The ‘Naam Shabana’ star said, “When I lose a film, films that I really want to do, and I don't get them or I lose them for some reason... it shakes me up. There were multiple instances where someone took away a film because I don't have a big lineage to show that I am so-and-so's daughter/family.”
Taapsee felt this was one of the major indicators of unprofessionalism in this industry, something that treated women unfairly while giving preference to the male. She opened up, “Yes, it has happened that I have got to know from the media that I am not a part of a film whereas in my head I had blocked the dates for it.
"It has happened that after narrations, films have been taken away from me because they can't put in more budget for a female protagonist. In spite of 'Badla's success, I have gone through rejections because the budget can't be assigned for a female lead, but it got shifted to a male lead.”
However, the ‘Mulk’ star added that she never holds grudges against anyone. She said, “ I follow one big rule - Hate the sin and not the sinner. I have done that every time I have voiced my opinion. Even when the entire unprofessionalism thing happened, I called out the practice. I still meet the producers, I have met them after that too. They have been nice to me. I hate the fact this practice happens — films are taken away because I don't belong to a family or budget is pulled down because I am a female. I want to call out these practices.”
Taapsee says even with the success of ‘Badla’, she was not credited. However, she doesn’t plan to concede defeat in her mission to show that a woman can deliver a hit on her own. She states, “Even after Badla's success, they won't credit me, they will acknowledge me. The movie had a big star like Amitabh Bachchan, so they can always say that it was a success because of that.
She further added, "I will continue proving that a film can win on the basis of a female lead. I will try again and will keep trying so that one fine day, I don't have to hear 'because you are a female, we can't have the budget'.
(Watch the video above)
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