Last year, Taapsee Pannu gave a stellar performance in Pink and this month, two of her films Running Shaadi and The Ghazi Attack have already hit the theatres, while Naam Shabana is set to release at the end of March. Ask Taapsee if working on films consistently is a good thing, she says, “It’s beneficial because the audience in Bollywood hasn’t seen much of my work. Also, I’m working with Akshay Kumar and some of his traits have to rub on me.”
Taapsee has learnt action sequences from the Khiladi himself. “When it comes to martial arts, Akshay is the best. I looked up to him for my action sequences. But it is very intimidating to do an action scene with him. I also learnt basic Mixed martial arts (MMA) techniques for this film,” she says, adding, “It was challenging to play this character because there is nothing common between Shabana and me. So, I had many questions about the character. I am completely a director’s actor and do what he or she tells me.” When asked if the film will inspire girls to train in self-defense, she says, “We keep talking about the problems and who is responsible for crimes against women and indulge in blame games. But I think it’s time to take our safety in our own hands, so that we can react immediately and not wait for someone to come and help us. I think the film will inspire women to take up self-defense.”
On the trend of women-oriented movies, she says, “The industry is doing a really great job. We have at least one film every month that is centered on a female character and if Shabana can push this trend, I will be very happy. Also, if an action film with a female protagonist does well, it will open floodgates to lot of such films.”
Talking about Taapsee, Akshay says, “I saw her movie Pink and she did a tremendous job. Even in Baby, when we saw her doing her action scenes, it gave us the inspiration of creating Shabana....