Taapsee Pannu on Manmarziyaan: This is Anurag Kashyap 2.0; for the first time, there's dance, lip-syncing and it's U/A

Seema Sinha

Sep 16, 2018 09:38:17 IST

“There is a written script and there is Taapsee, they are incomplete without each other,” Anurag Kashyap had said a few days before the release of his intense love triangle, Manmarziyaan starring Abhishek Bachchan, Taapsee Pannu and Vicky Kaushal. And even as Kashyap always believed that the role is tailor-made for the actress, Taapsee, on the contrary says, “When it comes to my relationships, only if I can imagine that I can spend the rest of my life with this person, that I will marry him and have kids with him, only then I can think of dating that person. I have always been like that. I never understood why Anurag thinks I am like Rumi (her character in the film).”

Taapsee Pannu in Manmarziyaan. Image via Twitter

Taapsee Pannu in Manmarziyaan. Image via Twitter

“But I kept telling him that I am not Rumi, I have brains. I think a little bit whereas Rumi doesn’t have any brains at all,” she laughs. Taapsee plays an Amritsar-based hockey merchandise store owner in Manmarziyaan who is madly, passionately and unapologetically in love with Vicky, a DJ, in this unconventional romantic comedy.

However, Taapsee says that it was the most liberating character for her to perform. “As soon as the trailer was released I was bombarded with calls and messages saying, ‘What a bomb is this? It’s total dhamaka’. In fact, this is the first trailer my family members didn’t share on social media,” says the candid actress with absolutely no pretense. “Also, I was coming from some very serious roles and films where I was always doing the right thing, played a more sorted kind of a person, and suddenly they see this girl who is all over the place. Actually, that came as a breath of fresh air, or probably a big surprise for people. But my character got noticed. Thankfully people welcomed the change and didn’t think in the usual cliched manner that if it's an Anurag Kashyap film, it has to be serious and intense. They found it funny and I am happy that people are laughing at my lines. I am enjoying it,” says Taapsee, who, at times, would come up with her own lines and dialogues spontaneously.

Pulling her director's leg as Kashyap is known for his dark, edgy subjects, she further says laughing non-stop, “I told Anurag that we would need lights in the film otherwise how do we see each other’s face? It has to be all bright and he said he was going to make a U/A film. For the first time in the history of Anurag Kashyap cinema, you see proper lip syncing and dance and choreographed sequences happening full on. This is like Anurag Kashyap 2.0.”

But working with Abhishek and Vicky was like working with two different personalities for her. While she and Vicky were spontaneous, Abhishek would rehearse his scenes, she says. “They are very different actors. Vicky and I never ever rehearsed. We would just go and act on sets straightaway. Anurag believed that DJ Sands (Vicky’s character) is Vicky’s alter ego and he always felt that I am like Rumi so he didn’t give us any description of what we have to do in scenes. The brief given to me was that I can say and do whatever I want to because I'm Rumi. I would never go prepared on sets. Anurag would just say that this is the location and we have to stand there and do our scene. We would directly go for take and within one or two takes, it would be done. Both of us have shot the entire film like that,” says Taapsee.

But Taapsee admits that she was a tad bit worried that Vicky might steal the thunder from her. “I told Vicky on the last day of the shoot that it’s because of him, I have been on my toes. Because he is such a good and spontaneous actor, I would tell myself to be at my best or else he will take away the scene from under my nose and I won’t even come to know. That consciousness you will always have when you are working with good actors, you have that intimidating feeling. Because of him, I was 100 per cent ready to let Rumi come alive in every shot I had to do,” says Taapsee.

Taapsee and Vicky Kaushal in a still from Manmarziyaan. Image via Twitter

Taapsee and Vicky Kaushal in a still from Manmarziyaan. Image via Twitter

She continues, “But since Abhishek plays a more mature character, he was a bit relaxed. When he comes into the scene there is a bit thehrav, whereas Vicky and my energy was high throughout. Abhishek likes to rehearse like Mr (Amitabh) Bachchan but I am very bad at it because I don’t like spending my energy on rehearsals. Hence, I had to adjust with Abhishek,” says Taapsee.

When asked the difference in work process between Amitabh and Abhishek, Taapsee, who has done Pink with the former, said, “Apart from their demeanour and the voice texture everything else between them is different. Big B wants to rehearse to the T before he gives the final take, whereas Abhishek rehearses a bit and then says, ‘C’mon let’s go’. Abhishek is like a brat, he has a great sense of humour, whereas Amitji is over humble, in control and calm.”

For someone who didn’t even know that she would continue this job for long, having back-to-back releases and a repertoire of films like Baby, Naam Shabana, Pink, Soorma and Mulk, is definitely a success story.  “I realised I want to be an actor after my first film released (K. Raghavendra Rao’s Jhummandi Naadam). I did it because I had time in my hand. I wanted to prepare for my MBA exams and I was just whiling away my time while preparing. But after the kind of response the film got I realised this was working with absolutely no planning, or aiming for it so I decided to plan my film career properly. I have never imagined any of this. So what I am getting now is bonus for me. I wake up and think for five seconds that which film I have to promote today. At one point, I was promoting three films simultaneously — Mulk, a Telugu film and Manmarziyaan (laughs). I have no complaints at all. I just have to switch gears. I enjoy it,” says Taapsee, who, besides being applauded for her acting calibre also got commercial acceptance and wider reach with Judwaa 2 (opposite Varun Dhawan), and she plans to continue the balancing act between masala and content-driven films.

“Both have different target audience and that is why I do them. It’s a conscious decision to balance it out. I want my Judwaa audience to give my other films also a chance. Masala films give me a nice breather as well. But so far I have worked only with David Dhawan, I don’t get much chance in commercial films because there are so many girls to do those kinds of films; they have a long list and they are so good in those kind of roles. More makers should give me a chance. I’m ready to give my auditions. What do I have to do in these auditions?” she says. “2018 has been good so far and I hope it (Manmarziyaan) is the grand finale,” she says signing off.

Updated Date: Sep 16, 2018 09:38:17 IST