Taapsee Pannu: Mithali Raj challenged me to learn his cover album

It will not be a mistake to say that 2019 has been a great year for Taapsee Pannu. It began as an intriguing protagonist, Naina Sethi, alongside Amitabh Bachchan In the novelty 'Badla' in March, he later became a devoted wife, Kritika Agarwal, who helps his team establish communication with the Mars orbiter at the August launch, 'Mission Mangal', ending the year with an explosion 80 year old dadi armed on his Diwali excursion, 'Saand Ki Aankh'. While the actress agrees that this has been her best year so far, she wants her to be his every year. And with a choc-abloc dating diary in 2020, it could be too. Excerpts from a conversation:

You have been filming a Tamil spy thriller in Darjeeling. That must have felt like a vacation after a hectic year ...

Reaching there was a hard test; The narrow winding streets made me nauseous and when we arrived, my pancreas and my kidneys were scrambled. Darjeeling itself was nice and not very cold. While I did Baby and Naam Shabana in Hindi, I had not addressed the genus in the south. I will have at least four or five releases next year, all different in terms of characters. As I will be on screen every three months, I cannot afford to be repetitive.

Tell us about these movies.

Anubhav Sinha's Thappad will be my first release, followed by the Tamil movie. I plan to shoot at least six films next year, three of which will be released in 2020.

Will one of them be a commercial pot as you promised?

Yes, everyone has asked me to do one after ' Judwaa two '. I have signed one and I will be able to play a typical Bollywood diva and it also has a story.

Buzz is, one of them is Sanjay Leela Bhansali and the production of Shabina Khan, 'Sia Aur Jia', which will be released in the first half of 2020, will be filmed widely abroad and has a double role.

When was the last time you saw an actress play a double role in a commercial movie?

Another new project is Vinil Mathew's romantic thriller with Vikrant Massey. Already have a degree?

No, so far we have only done one photo shoot. It is set in northern India and my character has been designed accordingly.

Cricket Player Mithali Raj The biographical film, 'Shabaash Mithu', was also announced with you.

I started following Mithali Raj when she counter-questioned a journalist who asked her about her favorite male Cricket er, wondering if he’d pose the same query to a male Cricket er. I felt an instant connect because as an actress, I'm constantly asked about my co-stars. When I started watching her matches, what struck me as odd was that when her team was battling it out on the pitch, trying to meet the required run rate, she’d sit calmly in the pavilion reading a book. I was so happy when I met her and got my answer.

Which?

She told me that when two players are batting, there is nothing I can do from the bench. Then, instead of panicking, she takes a book. Of course, her reading during the game is quite different from what she reads. If I had been in his place, forgetting my nails, I would have bitten my fingers.

You certainly weren't selected for the resemblance then ...

Well, after the movie was announced, many people told me that we look alike. Maybe it's the cut of the face, but she has a beautiful smile with dimples, which I don't. Now that the actors are trying to achieve the appearance of those who are interpreting, I don't know how I will get there, but that is the least of my worries. I've never played Cricket since it was considered a boy thing. At best, they allowed me to go out to the field as I could run fast. Now, Mithali has challenged me to learn his cover. She will be helping me with the training, so I am breathing calmly since I will already be working on my body for Rashmi Rocket, who has me playing an athlete and goes to the floors before the biopic.

What can you tell us about Mithali?

She is a Tamilian, born in Jodhpur and raised in Hyderabad. Her father is in the defense forces, so maybe she is so sure and says what she thinks. However, she doesn't talk much, so there is no 70 minute dialogue here. And if you think that because she is a sports star, she must have been a tomboy, let me tell you that she is a trained Bharatnatyam dancer. Mithali did not face the opposition of the parents, but he had to fight for people to accept that women can also do a lot with the bat. He had to fight to gather a team, after starting as the youngest member of the team.

Cricket is a religion in India. Did you follow the game before signing the movie?

I used to watch India’s matches religiously and would run to my room to do a paath, if we were not doing well on the field. But even I didn’t watch women’s Cricket . We have no right to call ourselves a Cricket -loving nation, if we make it about gender. Then, we should be specific and say we love men’s Cricket because even after the Indian women’s Cricket team reached the finals of the World Cup, there was no one to greet them at the airport when they returned.

Do you plan to venture into production as a solution to pay for parity?

It will happen when I have a partner who makes the foundation for me. I cannot act and produce simultaneously. And it's just to nurture my entrepreneurial side. The problem of salary parity can only be addressed when your movie makes money. The roles I do are unconventional, so I cannot be replaced by another person and most producers happily pay me the money I ask because my films promise returns. I don't want anyone to invest in a movie because they can't pay me. I have a reality check.

You made headlines by saying on a show that Harsh Varrdhan Kapoor is where he is due to his famous parents ...

I had said most of the star children, but they asked me to name someone. When you have parents in the business, it's easy to get by. It does not guarantee success, but it gives you access. It takes people like me to go through the door of a director's office for years. Also, even after a failure, the resurrection is easier for them.

He had interacted with Harsh only a few times before. We talked after the episode aired and I clarified that it was not a personal excavation, nor was it undermining their efforts. I told him that I understood the burden of being a star child. It's just that as a stranger, if my first movies hadn't worked, I wouldn't have had another chance.

What is your opinion about nepotism?

A famous father recently told me that his son went through a grilled interview with a great director and broke his heart to be told that they are not yet ready for a debut. I was watching him and thinking if he knew how many movies it would take to have an individual meeting with the director. But as a stranger, I also have some privileges. I don't have a last name to protect, so I don't come with tags and I can be brave with my choice of movies.

Did you feel short-changed when Badla was being called an Amitabh Bachchan film?

When the film released, a particular website kept doing box-office stories on 'Badla' and describing it as Amitabh Bachchan's film. I asked them what it would take for them to include my name too since I had worked equally hard. I can't reach Bachchan sir’s stature at my age but that doesn’t mean you take away all my credit. If it was an article about him, I’d be okay with my name being excluded, but this was about the film’s collections and I felt I should be part of it.

So, 2020 will all work be without game?

No, I keep taking short breaks after a schedule is adjusted to maintain a balance between work and personal life. I cannot tell myself that I will work now, since I am getting brilliant films and take a break later. I will not return this time.

Now that your career is going very well, aren't your parents talking about marriage?

My parents never ask me about marriage. You can see that my life is erratic at the moment, so I will not be able to have a conventional married life, in which you need to spend time with your partner because you are in a relationship where families are involved. I will get married, eventually.

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