Taapsee is someone who never disappoints her audience. She is the go-to person for content-driven films, give her any script and she will dig the gold out of it with her brilliant acting skills. Let’s see what she talks about her upcoming film Game Over.
Q- What was so special in the script of this film Game Over?
Taapsee– The script of this film was so amazing that within seconds of reading I agreed and I was stunned after reading the script, I mean what a well-written script this was. When I read the script one thing that came in my mind was that I have never seen such type of script. I don’t watch Hollywood that much, I prefer watching Indian movies and Tamil, Telugu and I never saw such a concept in any film I’ve ever watched. I thought this is a type of a Hollywood because I’ve never seen such type of script and I’ll do this movie and this is a perfect film to do in multiple languages. By reading the script I didn’t feel like it’s a story of Tamil Nadu or Andra Pradesh. It did not feel like a regional, it felt like a universal language and I thought of doing this as it would be good for playing it in a bilingual language, it could also be in a trilingual language if we would have time.
Q- Do you love psychological thrillers?
Taapsee – In our state, it is made very less but it shakes our heads and minds and it feels like we should watch it without blinking our eyes and just go on watching it continuously and at one point. BADLA was not a psychological thriller but it played with the psychology, it was a murder history.
Q- Any experience of Ghost in your childhood?
Taapsee – I am afraid a lot of ghosts and I’ve never experienced it but yes but I do believe that if there is Plus then there is Minus too and you do believe in Gods so there’s negative energy as well, so yes I believe in ghosts and I do not watch horror movies and I don’t challenge there presence. If you are present then it is good but please stay away from me (laughs)
Q- So do you believe in Supernatural?
Taapsee–Yeah I do, Very much and never experienced and also don’t want to experience
Q–In today’s date content is a priority and star power does not work, so what are your views on this?
Taapsee– Best time to be an actor, especially female, I am saying it is a trailer which is a hero on the inner way indirectly concept which is the hero, of course, star power is there and we cannot totally avoid it because it is the one which attracts the people and bring in opening numbers, but in today’s date you can make a blockbuster by sustenance and star power gives you a push and both the things coexist, let see which one overtakes and I also think that even the stars like when the content overtakes because then it becomes easy to chose from both and what happens is that if you select content then you also think to change it for the mass audience, so this would end the problem for everyone. Everyone would concentrate on the content if the content cinema works
Q- In this film, you play a wheelchair-bound girl, so did you practice or you learned to fit in the role?
Taapsee- I didn’t have to practice on anything and deliberately so because director felt that she is a regular girl that go through an accident in the film which makes her sit on the wheelchair for like 60% of the film because quite at the beginning it happens to her and then she is in movie and in the wheelchair and I didn’t practice anything because it should look like a person who is used to wheelchair is in the wheelchair now, so it helps that way.
Q- You played a Game developer, did you know anything about it? Do you do that in your real life ?
Taapsee– I am an engineer so I know to code very well so I know what it takes to be a developer or programmer and she programs and develops really high tech games but she plays classic vintage video games and that’s the contrast with the character, whenever she is idle she likes to play Batman, Mario, etc. I played that console in the film that 500 games in one cassette and that I played on set to get into it and that’s the contrast that she develops really high tech games but she plays the old classic games.
Q- You play a very challenging role in your movies like Mannmarziya, pink, How do you chose all this and do you like challenging roles?
Taapsee– They choose me, I like challenging roles because then only you are excited to go to work. If you get everything by spoon-feeding then it’s just like a bookworm, then theirs no fun in doing such roles. If there are different roles or challenging roles and everybody refuses it then they come that yes she is the girl who’ll do.it. I chose a film when I read the script and I imagine it as an audience that will I spend 300-400 rs on this film and will I sit for 3 hrs watching this film and because the time will never come back and money will never.. If I feel I am confident then only ill choose and second thing is will I enjoy or it will be boring or the roles that I am doing is enjoyable or boring and if you am doing something challenging and new and it is exciting for me then I am going to do it not that going and doing 4 emotions and coming back.
Q- You have broken a stereotype that it is not necessary to do a film With the Khan’s or Hrithik to get fame in the industry, and when today we watch Badla we don’t see it as Amitabh’s Badla, we see it as Tapsee’s movie. What would you say on this as a middle-class girl from non Film background came into the industry and done movies in south and comedy movies too, so how do you see your journey?
Taapsee- I did not get movies and I also did not have recommendations and I am also not an angel or something that something will happen out of the box so I thought that I have to make my own way and if you are good then audience will notice you soon or lately and don’t loose hope and do movies even if short films and if the film is working do it and don’t loose hope and the level will increase along with your experience and I did not have an option to choose any film at that time because I did not get scripts, I only had one way that I have to make my own way. I also did not have a reference point that I could look that yeah I should start from this way or that way. So I said that I’ll do it my way and if it works then well and good and if it does not work then I also have other options in life and it is not an end of life that If the film career is not working then your life is over, I can do anything when I want and now I am doing movies and its working well and when the things get over or I won’t get any response then I’ll say to myself that my time is over and now I have to look something else
Q- Deepika and Priyanka both got married and after marriage, they took fewer movies to Act in and leaving these two actresses there’s the Third one whose star value is increased according. And the girl whose star Value is increasing is you (TapseePannu). And everyone thinks that they both do select movies so the star value is of yours. What do you feel about it?
Taapsee– First of all thank you so much, I got afraid that whom you are comparing, and I feel that when the movie is releasing then the audience should go and watch the movie and should not wait for reviews etc and then the opening figure shows you that your audience or your fans believe in you and they are not waiting for the word of mouth, if it is like that then you are a star and if one day my movie gets opening numbers then at that point I’ll call myself a star but before that I am not a star or anyone else is not a star who does not get stability with his opening numbers.
Q – Till now it’s not written anywhere that you have good contact with a producer or a star is your boyfriend but you are an exception, so what is the strategy to become a star like you?
Taapsee– I only had one rule that I’ll do movie that I like without thinking that I’ll make him as my friend so I’ll get good films or if I get into that camp so I’ll get good films, I had to be in myself because if anyone pulls me down then I don’t have to fall and whatever I’ll do I’ll do it on my own and won’t be dependent on anyone else and if it doesn’t work as I said I’ll do it something else l, so I am not desperate and I’ll do the work I am happy in. I have confidence and patience in myself which is the two major things in me that got me here without anyone’s support and whatever I earned, I earned it on my own because of my hard work.
Q- What if you get an offer from Dharma Productions?
Taapsee– Yes, definitely I’ll do but I’ll listen to the script first and then I’ll do
Q- If Tapsee wouldn’t be acting then what would be she doing?
Taapsee– I would have two option, from which I lost one way before and that’s Sports And I love sports but I don’t know which sports I would play but I play squash now I don’t know which one I would have taken but I lost the opportunity too soon and the 2nd I thought of Marketing professional after my Graduation. I thought of doing MBA in marketing. I loved engineering because of maths and not because of engineering.
Q- Did you ever thought that Badla would be a big hit?
Taapsee– I never thought that it would be a big hit, I knew it would go hit as everyone thinks it. Me and Bachchan Sir always talk about it that it would cross around 30-40 crores, I never knew that the audience would love it and go and watch it. I thought people would loose their mind as the audience likes humor and songs and this film had none of it. And the film was two people talking in one room for 2 hours and nobody thought that it would work this much. This movie gave confidence and not only to us but also to those who were associated with the film. But in general when you meet people they say that if this would work then why not try the other concepts and lets hope it works and then the standard of our Bollywood will increase.
Q- Any plan to do a romantic film?
Taapsee– I’ve done it recently “Mannmarziya” and it’s the love story that I’ve never seen on screen and in my 8 years career I’ve never done the romantic movie and I think that I’ve given all my 100% in the film.
Q- If there would be any remake of the romantic film so which film would you choose as your top 5?
Taapsee– I don’t want to make any remake of the love story and if I get a chance to do any love story then I’ll do Mannmarziya again n again n again, it was something special and it was one of best love stories that I have seen or read. I’ve watched one love story in theatre which no one must be knowing and that is “Love rosy”. I watched it randomly and I saw just because I saw the trailer and I had time. It was a pure love story with no comedy or entertainment. Loved to watch it as it came out of nowhere and it stayed in my mind. Then there’s Veer Zara which brings tears to your eyes then there is DDLJ which you watched will you grew up, that becomes like a classic.
Q- Gameover was shot in over 35 days, so was it stressful?
Taapsee– Basically 37 days but I shot for 35 days, and yes it was stressful and my mental fabric changes with every film because of these roles. Between the shots, I used to play ludo and I made sure that I am not alone because for 12 hours every day to psych yourself out and you have to fight keeping limitations in mind for 35 days and 12 hrs each. I also used to watch comedies and No brainers kind of things. And as soon as the shoot got over I moved out of the country for 5-6 days. And no connection with work and detoxed my mind completely
Q- On a normal day when you are not shooting, how do you spend your day?
Taapsee- I get up around 6 in the morning, working or not working then I go Gym for an hour or play squash then I’ll eat food and discuss with my sister that what to do next. If I have some work of my badminton team or I’ll do the work of wedding plan which my sister handles so I have to be there if there’s any meeting so ill go for that otherwise watch a film with my sister in a theater after that hang out with my friends and then sleep by 10 o clock. I only watch Tv when there’s India’s match or world cup.
Q- would you like to play any historical biography so who would be that ?
Taapsee– Yes, I would like to play Indra Gandhi, it’s not like that I agree on all her decisions but she is a powerful character as what she has done during her rule in the country and it would be handy for an actor to portray that kind of character.
Q- Any interest in web series?
Taapsee– There were many offers that came for web series but I did not feel like doing it rather than the main stream so when I’ll feel like mainstream then I’ll definitely do it
Q- How was your experience of working with the director Ashwin?
Taapsee– A film release called “Maya” I don’t think anyone remembers other than south people. It was the first movie of Naintara as a female protagonist and that became so hit that she became a female superstar, the only female star who can shoulder a film there, the journey started with that and he is coming back now and that was a horror film and this is the one movie which everyone remembers because it was technically strong and I heard so much about this director and he is of my age and he is so good to talk as he gets ideas out of the box. And this time after reading the script I was impressed and he is a huge fan of Anurag Kashyap so he discusses so much about him. SO I will do other movies with him too as I have a good repo with him as I have with the other directors too.
Q- What message would u like to give to all the newcomers
Taapsee – There are so many thousands of people for 1 Amitabh Bachchan and 1 Shahrukh Khan. So there are very rare chances of you becoming Amitabh Bachchan and Shahrukh Khan, which is ok its there, but it is very rare. So keep your Plan B, C, D ready because you should not waste your life, give yourself a deadline and don’t spend more time in that in trying, because maybe destiny has got something else planned for you.
Q- All the trolls that you have seen, there is so much stress, being an actor is not an easy task, not easy as glamorous as it looks. So how do you manage the day to day stress.
Taapsee- So you have to have a pick skin, so u have to have that because there will be a lot of people who will have opinion on you, you cannot let everyone affect you. You should be very smart in deciding who matters and who doesn’t , for that you have to be thick skinned and extremely smart, keep your head on your shoulder and be very aware of the reality because after reaching certain success point there will be people around you who will portrait your certain picture of reality which is not true . So make sure you are in touch with your reality otherwise you will have a very bad fall.
Q– What is your Success Mantra
Taapsee– Make sure when you are climbing up you are not keeping like people or things around which are gonna make your climbing down difficult. ye awareness k sath upar badho k ek din neeche aana padega baki sab thik hoga.
Q- What do you do to D-Stress
Taapsee– I Travel and I sleep a lot. anyway, every day I sleep atleast for 8hrs that is something I don’t compromise on and I hate night shoots, I wish I can become star 1 day and I can write it in my agreement that there will be no night shifts. I am morning Person.
Interview by Rupal Purohit