There was a time when she had to pick the best from whatever was offered, but actor Taapsee Pannu says things have reversed now as she is getting to choose from “more diverse roles, scripts and genres”.
The Bollywood star, whose Haseen Dillruba, a romance-thriller, is coming out on Netflix on July 2, has back-to-back movies on her slate be it Rashmi Rocket, Looop Lapeta, Dobaara, Shabaash Mithu or Jana Gana Mana.
The actor said she would not let a good script go to others even if that means working more than 300 days in a year.
”I think I am yet to reach that stage where I will work only in one or two movies a year. I am selfish in this case so if I get a good script, I will not let it go to others whether that means working a little extra, overworking or working for 300 days or more in a year, which I do,” Pannu told PTI in an interview.
The Manmarziyaan star said she has worked hard to reach a stage in her career where she has the luxury to select projects.
”I will not let a good script go because I have really worked hard to be in this position where I have so much to choose from. There was a time when I had to select from the worst of the scripts for the sake of being visible or for being around. I have seen those days, so now when I am getting to choose from more diverse roles, scripts and genres, I don’t want to become complacent,” she said.
Having previously worked in the Anurag Kashyap-directed Manmarziyaan, which Kanika Dhillon wrote, Pannu said she was immediately attracted to the writer’s latest story ‘Haseen Dillruba’, again set in a small town but exploring a different dynamic and a unique genre of a romantic thriller.
”I wanted to do the film because it was a love story and a thriller, something that I have seen only in Hollywood. Since Kanika has written the story, I knew that the woman’s part would be really good as I have worked with her earlier in Manmarziyaan. When I got to know that she had a script like this, I told her, ‘I want to do that’ and after reading the script, it was an immediate yes,” Pannu said.
Haseen Dillruba, directed by Hasee toh Phasee fame Vinil Mathew and also starring Vikrant Massey and Harshvardhan Rane in lead roles, will see Pannu in the role of Rani Kashyap, a feisty woman who is a fan of a fictional Hindi crime novelist, Dinesh Pandit.
Under investigation as a suspect for the murder of her husband, Rani reveals details about their thorny marriage but that seems to further blur the truth about what happened.
Playing Rani, a woman who is led by her heart and is honest to a fault, helped Pannu explore the space of the so-called ‘anti-heroine’ or the ‘not so likable’ woman in Hindi cinema.
Pannu, 33, said she is more than happy to belong to that space as the likeability of a woman’s character in Hindi cinema, for the longest time, meant someone willing to prioritise others over her happiness.
”If she works for her own happiness, then she becomes unlikeable, a vamp or anti-heroine whereas when a man does this… runs away with a girl on his own, or revolts from his people, then he is the hero and the girl is selfish.
”These differences have started to change in cinema and I have experimented in this zone a lot, one of them was Manmarziyaan. This is a new shift because now female characters have layers which was not the case earlier, which is interesting,” she said.
Rani, Pannu said, may not be likable but she is honest, someone who will be the first to open up if she has made a mistake, which, for the actor, is a very likable trait in a human being.