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Resistance To Taapsee Pannu In Raj Kumar Hirani’s Film: Where Is  It Coming From?



Taapsee Pannu

For almost a year  now, there has been a strong buzz that Taapsee Pannu has been  cast opposite Shah  Rukh Khan  in Raj Kumar  Hirani’s new project. It is a  project that  Hirani and SRK have been planning for more than three  years.Dealing with illegal  migration to Canada, it stars SRK as a passport-less  stowaway .

It is a complete departure  from everything that  SRK has played  so far.Interestingly Hirani had first  offered Munnabhai to SRK. Now that  the two  are finally working together, there  is  widespread speculation as to who will play the leading lady in this Hirani-SRK venture.

The  shooting of  the untitled  film has started. But  the leading lady is yet to be announced.

Apparently Taapsee Pannu is  the top contender for  the part. But her reputation precedes her.As a female hero known to do author-backed roles it is difficult for Taapsee to find A-list leading men who are  willing  to share screen space  with her.

She has gotten used to this problem.While  she refrained  from commenting on  her the Hirani  project Taapsee in an earlier interview with  me had  shared her  dilemma as a female  hero. “This has been a consistent issue for years. And I’ve made peace with the fact that it will continue to be an issue. Without taking names, there are prominent leading men who have said no to projects with me arguing the scripts were women-oriented. They have actually said, ‘This is an out-and-out girl’s film so I don’t want to do it.’ Some really talented leading actors have said no to films where I have a larger part than the male lead. I have never shied away from doing smaller parts in a male-driven film. So I really don’t know how to explain this lack of sportsmanship other than by blaming the male ego. Do they have so little faith in their talent that they feel they won’t get the audiences’ attention and love in a smaller role? I look at the West and I am amazed at how the big male stars do roles in films where the protagonist is a woman. What thought processes makes the male actor in the West more open to women-centric films than their counterparts in these parts? I certainly hope this mind-set changes soon.”

Incidentally  Shah Rukh Khan had been  offered Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat, then titled Padmaavati. He had turned  it down  arguing that he doesn’t do films named after  the film’s leading lady.

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