Taapsee Pannu is rather excited about the release of Runningshaadi.com, which is soon to be renamed. “I’m very proud of it,” she says. “Dada (Shoojit Sircar, producer) gave me Pink after seeing what I could do in Runningshaadi.com, I can tell you without hesitation. The girl in Pink was different from who I am. My character in this movie, Nimmi, is closest to the person I am in real life.”
How, we ask her. “Like Nimmi, I’m a Punjabi; a Sardarni,” she explains. “But I’m a little wary of the way Punjabi men and women are portrayed in our films. They’re always loud, always aggressive, forever singing, dancing and screaming. Yes, all this is a part of the average Punjabi’s DNA, but all sardars are not boisterous all the time. A Punjabi woman also has a softer, gentler side. I’ve shown this in the movie.”
Her biggest temptation to do Runningshaadi.com was the opportunity to break away from stereotypes. “The Punjabi girl I play is different from what we see. The Bihari guy Amit Sadh plays is not the stereotypical Bihari speaking in a singsong voice. In fact, when Amit was researching for his character, he met a Bihari gentleman who told him, ‘Bihari is not a language; it’s an attitude’. That one statement became the basis of his character.”
The actress is all praises for her director, Amit Roy. “There were two Amits on the sets,” she laughs. “Amit Sadh and Amit Roy. We didn’t know how to tell them apart. This is Amit Roy’s debut film, but it doesn’t look like a first film. He’s not only directed the film, he’s also done the screenplay and cinematography. So young, and so much responsibility.”
Taapsee started her career with a light-hearted Chashme Buddoor and she’s back to the genre after the dark and grim Pink. “In Chashme Buddoor, David sir (David Dhawan) had already edited the film in his mind. He was very clear about what he wanted,” she reminisces. “But with Amit, there was a lot of give and take. Of course, David sir allowed us to improvise a huge amount. But with his experience, I had to think a million times before making a suggestion. With Amit, it was like having a comrade on sets.”
The fact that she played a character close to her heard seems to have worked for Taapsee. “I took the liberty of asking for changes in scenes, and kept constantly questioning Amit. He was very flexible. He was worried about my accent, but I got it right. I had such a ball shooting with the two Amits! We’d shoot for 12-13 hours at a stretch, but I never felt the weight of the long hours. That’s the spirit I want to shoot in.”
Tapsee is confident of scoring a post-Pink success. “Shoojit sir is known to deliver very strong content. So, I knew from the start that whatever we do will be worth the while,” she signs off....