Runaway Success

Tapsee Pannu in an exclusive conversation with Divya Solgama

(Source – Bollywood Times)

Tapsee, your latest film ‘Running Shaadi’ took long to reach to the cinema halls. Kindly share with us about your character in this film and your emotional stress related to the delay of the film?

Tapsee Pannu – The best and shortest way to describe my character in the movie ‘Running Shaadi’ is that its Tapsee unplugged. I did not do any audition nor any hard work as I was just asked to be myself in this movie. It’s the easiest thing an actor can expect. Also, let me tell you that this movie happened even before the release of my first Hindi film ‘Chashme Baddoor’. The director had not seen any of my work before and just met me and when he narrated the script I understood that this character is so much similar to me. I was very happy to do this movie, but then when it got delayed it was very annoying for me in the beginning. The movie is so close to me and I genuinely like the film. When I saw it for the first time I had a good laugh and the movie had everything a nice rom-com requires. So I was highly annoyed that why a genuinely good film like this is not getting a proper release. Everyone who saw the film came out appreciating it, but still no one helped it in getting released. For some time I was sad about it, but later I realized that I had to move on. I was so attached and tensed about its released that I had to let it go at a point. So that’s when I moved on and started doing other stuff and still kept waiting for the right time. Finally the right time came and that’s when I realized that whatever happens, it happens for good. I am very happy it’s releasing now and feel that this is the right time. Also, I am super happy as the audience will be able to see this film. I would have been really upset if it would have not got released.

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tapseeTapsee, we all know about your obsession with food. So kindly share us an anecdote related to your food obsession on the sets of ‘Running Shaadi’?

Tapsee Pannu – You know I am a big time foodie. I am a Sardarni and I live to eat. I am extremely sentimental about my food as my mood triggers with the kind of food I eat. If I had a good meal, then you will see me in a good mood and if not had good food then I am very snappy. So one day when we were shooting on an outdoor location, I was very hungry at that time, so instead of eating snacks I decided to eat Maggi. Someone got it specially made for me and I waited for a long time to have that Maggi. My craving for Maggi was so high that I wanted to finish it in one go, but when I had just two bites of it I was called for the shot.  So I got up and gave it to my colleague Harsh and told him to hold it and also offered him to have few bites if he want to. I went ahead and gave my shot and by the time I came back that Maggi was finished. I was really upset as I was hungry and had waited for that Maggi for so long. So after that I started firing Harsh and for the whole day I was angry at him but not in a serious manner. Somewhere we both knew that it was all in good fun.

Tapsee, your last three films were with one of the top directors from our country. All three films were successful and a film like ‘Baby’ and ‘Pink’ also managed to win a lot of critical appreciation. So how the whole feeling and the sweet smell of success?

Tapsee Pannu – I feel I am very lucky as I am proud about the fact that all my three films worked well at the box office. My first Hindi film ‘Chashme Baddoor’was a small film in comparison to the type of films which were made by David Dhawan. Imagine a director who has made films with Salman Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Govinda, Anil Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor and many other big actors now made a film with almost newcomers like us and that film worked. It was a big thing for David Dhawan also to step down from the stars and make a film with new actors and make it successful. But for the film industry, it was a comedy and was not taken seriously. Later, I did ‘Baby’ and yes, everyone took notice of me, but now they started saying that she was just for twenty minutes and the movie is an Akshay Kumar film. I was like shouldn’t I get the credit for the fact that I got noticed in an out and out Akshay Kumar film, how many actors can do that. But still I was not given full credit nor taken seriously. Then I did ‘Pink’ and now I knew people are going to take proper notice of me. I knew that before the release of the film they would say ‘Oh, it’s an Amitabh Bachchan film’, but I knew the script and also knew the importance of my character in the film. So when people saw the movie they understood my importance and were impressed by my performance. I had spoken hard-hitting dialogs and cried a lot and delivered a high octane intense stuff, so now for everyone I had finally arrived. So doing a commercially successful comedy film was not good enough or getting noticed in an Akshay Kumar film was not enough, but doing a hard-hitting intense stuff for good enough for the film fraternity. Well, I don’t mind it and have accepted it with love. Now this has really helped me and people are taking me seriously. Before ‘Pink’ I was doing few films, but they got delayed and people felt that I was just cooking up stories and don’t have any film in hand. Now I have five releases in this year and that’s what has shocked everyone that when and how I did these films. It’s now they are realizing what I had told them long back was not a bluff but was pure truth.

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Tapsee, the trailer of ‘Naam Shabana’ has been well received and people are waiting to watch it. Did you expect such type of humungous response?

Tapsee Pannu – I am not surprised over the positive reaction related to ‘Naam Shabana’, as I know the credibility of the names of people attached to this film. I know what Neeraj Pandey can deliver and a superstar like Akshay is attached to a film I know what type of hype this film has. I also knew the level of acceptance ‘Baby’ had and how much people had loved it. So, the amount of expectations with ‘Naam Shabana’ was high, but I knew that it will still hit the bull’s eye due to the names attached to it. Regarding the action scenes, ‘Naam Shabana’ was physically draining for me as I had to trained a lot in various forms of martial arts. There are five major action sequences in the film and believe me all of them are different and better than each other. It’s not routine punching and kicking, but is different from what you have seen in Hindi films.

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Tapsee, you are reuniting with David Dhawan for ‘Judwaa 2’. So what are your fondest memories with ‘Judwaa’ and how excited are you with this film?

Tapsee Pannu – I am not a big movie buff and despite of that I know the power of ‘Judwaa’ and that a big thing. Along with the film I know and love all the songs. Even till date I will dance on the ‘Judwaa’ songs in any party. I love the 90’s music and I only dance on the Bollywood music. Whenever I got for any parties I just dance on Bollywood songs and don’t react at all to English songs. These are songs which keeps me up and make me dance and songs of ‘Judwaa’ are among them. So, to be a part of ‘Judwaa 2’ with the same director and of course with Varun Dhawan who is riding high right, I think I have bagged one of the biggest film of the year. I am very excited to dance on the songs of ‘Judwaa’ on screen.