‘Box-Office Figures Matter Much More To Me, Than Critical Acclaim ’ : Taapsee Pannu
Tantalizingly charming actress par-excellence Taapsee Pannu is a delight for Bollywood journalists’ thanks to her modest, yet brutally honest demeanor. Currently, she is eagerly waiting for her landmark ‘space-science’ entertainer movie ‘Mission Mangal’ co-starring Akshay Kumar and four other heroines comprising Vidya Balan, Sonakshi Sinha, Kirti Kulhari and Nithya Menen, which releases on August 15th, on the I-Day occasion. Interestingly, the feisty Taapsee known for giving-it-back to nasty ‘twitter trolls’ with her tangy streak of humour, has some 30 released films ( including 18 Southside regional and a dozen Hindi titles). Despite having successful milestone Bollywood hit movies to her credit like ‘Pink’ , ‘Badla’ , ‘Mulk’ and ‘Manmarziyaan’, the down-to-earth Taapsee refuses to consider herself a ‘star’ . Which is in stark contrast to certain other celeb-heroines, who are rather pompous flaunting their stardom. She justifies, “ Certainly I do have a celeb-status. But when I check the ground-reality of not-so-great opening initial and first weekend box-office collections my films bring in, I know where I stand. Maybe not now, lekin apna time bhi aayega for unconditional massy adulation. According to me, Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone, Alia Bhatt and Kangana have the pulling ‘star-power’ adulation. The day that happens when my movies fetch a consistent double digit impressive initial collection, only then I will consider myself a ‘star’. At the same time I will never consider myself bigger than my own film. The day I do that my career downfall would start,”she shrugs. Quizzed on what is her criteria in selecting her movie roles, Taapsee responds with. “ The role should be worthy of me and my acting calibre . Plus I see my own lead character from the audience point-of-view whether it’s engaging enough and whether I would invest my cost of the ticket and then sit three hours inside a cinema theatre. It should give me a sense of pride to include the movie in my filmography,” explains madame Pannu who is otherwise a qualified computer software engineer. Inspite of a supposedly cold-war raging between Taapsee and Kangana Ranaut thanks to trolls and counter- rejoinders, madame Pannu believes in practical courtesy. “ If I meet her (Kangana), I will go up to her and wish her a hello, because she is a very good actress. Life is too brief to indulge in personal negativity.” Not surprisingly, she acknowledges that her major empowerment of choice-of-good-Hindi roles happened especially after her hard-hitting performance in the Amitabh Bachchan volatile starrer ‘Pink’ which bagged the National Award. “Even the audiences have expectations from me, and having tasted the blood of meaty roles, I am greedy for more good scripts and power-packed characters. But then in ‘Mission Mangal’ my fans will find a pleasant change which they will love,” smiles the optimistic, Pannu who has no hang-ups about hero Akshay(‘Khiladi’) Kumar dominating on the ‘Mission Mangal’s poster. “ Let’s be realistic, with his charisma, Akshay is the highest selling box-office initial draw and in the bigger scheme of things we all want our movie ‘MM’ to be a box-office winner. More than critical acclaim, box-office scores matter more to me”, counters the ‘Naam Shabana’ actress who considers the ‘Khiladi’ Kumar as among her inspirations for being a ‘prolific workaholic’
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