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Taapsee Pannu Relives The Excitement Of 2021



Taapsee Pannu

During 2021 ,Taapse  Pannu  had two releases. She says the year was fulfilling for her in  unexpected ways.  “2021  for me  was  all about getting through the year somehow.

It was  just about survival.  We were already hammered  in 2020 by the sudden pandemic then  2021 was  a bigger  blow for all of us. I thought  if I could just get through the year somehow, I’d be okay. All my energies were channelized  into  somehow getting through the year. So I had really not set  any   benchmarks for myself last year.”

Taapsee’s Rashmi Rocket and Haseen Dilruba had their share of supporters and naysayers. And Taapsee is okay with that. “I think every film of mine has had its share of  supporters  and naysayers. I  can’t remember a  single   film of mine that   has been liked or disliked  by all.Isn’t  that how it is  for all  films? There  will be people who will  celebrate  its virtues  and  others who will  focus on  the flaws. Good or bad , is subjective. What matters is,  did they  speak about the film? I  don’t take the opinion  of the  trained protestors  seriously. The  ones who have made  it a habit to get  offended  politically  or culturally  or habitually.”

What matters to Taapsee is the real audience. “I don’t ask people’s opinion on my film. I wait for  them  to  tell me what they think.When I  go out  for  a dinner , and  people approach me aage se(on their own) to say whether  they liked my film. That to me is the real audience response.My  first screening of Rashmi Rocket –where  I played an athlete—was  with the  entire cast and and crew, and  a  lot of real athletes. When I saw  them clapping and cheering  I felt I  must have done something right and then girls who played supportive roles in scenes said they were touched  by the  film. That made me feel good.It made me feel the film had organically impressed  the audience.”

For Haseen Dillruba Taapsee had a more adult audience.  “They told  me  how crazy the  film was and how  unpredictable it was  as a movie experience. These are all people  who gave me their opinion  without my asking. These are for me more valuable than  the opinions of those who  get pleasure from criticizing  films, or maybe those who genuinely  didn’t like the film. I don’t deny the  existence  of genuine naysayers. No film or for that  anything you do in  life will get a  hundred percent  acceptance. And the sooner  you accept this the better.”

Ask Taapsee which  of her two 2021 releases were her favourite and she  laughs. “It is  said that a mother  can’t choose between her children. I can’t choose  any of my films  as my favourite.How can I  say which one I preferred  between my two 2021 releases?Haseen Dillruba and Rashmi Rocket came  during the  most challenging  year of our lives. My only regret is  that they were  not released in theatres. They were designed for the large screen.We never thought they would not make  it into theatres.We  would have shot it differently  if we knew it was  going  on  OTT. It  would have  been shot in a slightly different  way  for OTT.The shots had a theatre feel to them.”

As a female hero known to do author-backed roles  it  is difficult for  Taapsee to find leading men who are willing to let their costar take centrestage. She has gotten  used to this problem . “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 man 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 mindset  changes soon.”

In 2022 Taapsee has  four films  ready. “Although I don’t know in which order they will release: Loop Lapeta, Shaabaash Mithu, Dobaara  and Blurr . I am halfway through another project Woh Ladki Hai Kahaan. All these should be  out in 2022.”

With  a film called Blurr  Taapsee has turned  producer. “It just  fell into my lap. Ideally  I’d have liked  to give  my production plans  more thought. But like  my  acting career,my turning  producer was also destined  to happen. I am enjoying my new role  as a producer.Usually when I am on the set I  concentrate on getting my lines right. This time I was trying to make sure  everything  was  okay for everyone on  the set. I am not sure  that was  the  right thing to do as an actor. I am  looking at  other things as a producer  where I am  not an actor ,which I will announce  soon.”

Taapsee  has her fingers  crossed for 2022. “I hope it is more organized. Because of the lockdown the last two years have been a little crushed  and cluttered for me.I have been literally running  in and out of sets  trying to find time  for myself and  my family. This has taken a  toll on my physical and mental health . I am hoping 2022 will be more  peaceful. I hope there are   no shocking sudden lockdowns  in 2022. Touch wood.”

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