Taapsee Pannu: Don’t feel like an insider, don’t aspire to be one
Pannu will be seen as a video game programmer in Ashwin Saravanan’s multi-language thriller ‘Game Over’.
In an industry that heavily depends on promotional work to make a pitch for its films, Bollywood folk are increasingly turning to their peers to make some noise for their offerings, on social media.
In this scenario — which could be touted as a litmus test of friendships in Bollywood — Taapsee Pannu finds herself rather isolated. “I am used to managing without much support,” she says, acknowledging that few industry friends have gone over and above to promote her upcoming release, the Tamil film, Game Over, on social media. “If you think about it, how many people had promoted my last film, Badla [starring Amitabh Bachchan]?”
The lack of support, though, did not affect the film’s success — it enjoyed a rather unprecedented and extended run of over 50 days in cinema halls.
But Pannu admits that not finding herself among this close-knit circuit in Bollywood, makes her feel like an outsider. “I don’t feel like an insider, but don’t aspire to be one either. When the Hindi trailer of Game Over was launched, I was surprised by the welcoming comments on YouTube. I felt assured that the audience is watching me. The warmth I’ve received for being patient and charting a new path, is overwhelming. I don’t need the industry’s tweets or attention. I will make my presence felt strongly.”
Having won acclaim for her act in Pink (2016), Pannu pinned her hopes on industry friends to give her an added push.
“But I realised that I am on my own. This underdog trait is my biggest [strength]. Having said that, I have support in friends like Varun [Dhawan], who will always cheer me on. His mother is my loyal follower. I share a personal equation with them.”
Game Over — a trilingual whose Hindi version is being backed by Anurag Kashyap — is a home-invasion thriller, and the only other female-led Tamil film to enjoy a multi-lingual release, after Sridevi-starrer Mom (2017).
Having enjoyed a fair amount of success as an actor in the South Indian film industry before her Bollywood debut, Pannu doesn’t underplay the importance of regional cinema. Good content, she says, is blurring regional divides. “In the South, people talk to me about Manmarziyaan . In Mumbai, I gain attention due to Kanchana. Today, it’s important to be an actor with a pan-India appeal,” she says, quick to add that with friend Kashyap looking over dubbing duties of Game Over across all three languages, she is certain that this film too will reach a wide audience, across India.