Taapsee Pannu who stunned everyone with her powerful performance in the movie Pink is all set to enthrall her fans with Naam Shabana. As the rugged and fierce Shabana, Taapsee will be seen playing the lead role in Naam Shabana which is set to hit the theatres on March 31st, 2017. In an exclusive interview with us, the Pink actor spoke about her role in the movie, nepotism, working with Ranbir Kapoor and much more.
Here is the excerpts from the interview:
With Naam Shabana nearing its release, are you nervous? Do you feel the pressure to deliver since you are playing the lead role?
I think after the media started asking me this question that’s when I started to feel the pressure because before this I wasn’t. When you have people like Neeraj Pandey and Akshay Kumar supporting the film, I don’t think it’s even worth feeling the pressure. Yes, I play the title role but on sets, I did not feel anything different from what I felt while we shot Baby. Yes, I felt a little pressure in the beginning because we started shooting for Shabana, 2 days after Pink released so I was a little nervous. However, Neeraj (Pandey) sir was very supportive.
You collaborated with Neeraj Pandey for the second time for Naam Shabana. How was your experience?
It was gratifying to work with him for the second time because if you see his track record, I think I will be very proud and very open in saying the fact that probably I have got the best a female could get in a Neeraj Pandey movie. Even the 20 minutes role in Baby, I think that was the best role a female could have in any of the Neeraj Pandey movie put together. And even now looking at his films who would have thought that he would make a film entirely around a female protagonist.
You play the lead role in the movie, but does it bother you that the movie is still being promoted in the name of Akshay Kumar?
He is a big star, of course. See, you need to be practical in marketing a film. He is a huge star and there is no denying. Yes, people who follow him know the fact that he does not have the same role and coverage that he got in Baby but we need to attract the attention of people towards it [the movie]. The amount of fan base that he has what’s the harm in saying that he is a part of the film, he is a part-producer of the film, he has strong belief in the film, and if that is the reason that will pull people to the theatres then let it be because eventually, they will be happy or sad after what they see onscreen.
How much do you relate with the character of Shabana in real life?
A Big fat 0, I don’t relate to it at all. It was a huge challenge, not just physically but also mentally. I can’t identify with this role. So far, whatever role I did, I had an element of me in them, but this film has zero elements of me. I love to talk a lot, this woman doesn’t, she has extremely strong stubborn focus, I am not that stubborn with goals. She doesn’t shy away from hitting people if need be, I don’t do that, I can’t even stand violence in front of my eyes for a long time. I take everything at face value, while she can read between the lines. My sixth sense doesn’t exist.
What do you have to say on the ongoing controversy related to nepotism?
Nepotism and outsiders are two sides of the same coin that is Bollywood. They both have to co-exist. Both have their share of struggles. You can’t say it is all easy for a star kid. The burden of expectation from them is so much even before they become an actor, so when they become an actor, they are always seen as so and so’s son and daughter, that’s a lot of expectations rather than me who will just go perform even if I am average or just good people will still love me because they have zero expectations out of me.
But yes, we struggle in a different way, nobody gives a phone call for us, to take her in a role, nobody talks for us. I don’t have a godfather but I have to make filmography like that that I eventually don’t need anyone to give a phone call.
Do you think your peers who debuted a year or two before you are in better place today only because they happen to be star kids?
Yes, they are born and brought up in such families that they have better ties with people in the industry whereas I don’t have that but it’s not like I am shocked that this happens. I knew that this happens. You know there is a certain rule of the land and you know it and I knew that this is going to happen so my competition is not with them because their path is different. I knew that this is going to happen, that nepotism exists and I need to manage my way through considering it exists, so that’s why I don’t have any grudge against anyone.
After working with biggies likes Akshay, Salman (for Judwaa 2), Amitabh Bachchan, who do you next want to work with?
I have a long list (laughs). The one actor with whom I am really looking forward to working with apart from these legends, which are like a bonus is Ranbir Kapoor. He is a versatile actor and I really wish I get an opportunity [to work with him]. Whenever I say I want to work with so and so actor, it never happens, I hope this doesn’t get jinxed. I remember I said it about Surya in South and I never got an opportunity to work with him.
2016 gave you Pink.. in 2017 you have four films out of which two have released and two are yet to release. Are you happy with the way your career is off to a flying start now?
I have nothing to complain. What I am scared of is that I hope I can maintain the momentum.