Taapsee Pannu says playing intense characters takes a toll on her as a person, but feels it’s the charm of being an actor
Taapsee Pannu’s Bollywood filmography mostly comprises characters with strong voices of their own. While she has also starred in quite a few light-hearted films, making her Hindi film debut with Chashme Baddoor (2013), she has come to be known for essaying intense and layered roles. For instance, in Pink (2016), she plays a sexual abuse victim, in Naam Shabana (2017) a spy, a free-spirited young woman in Manmarziyaan (2018) and a space scientist in the recently released Mission Mangal. But Taapsee admits playing so many intense roles can leave an impact on an actor.
Talking about the aftereffects of getting into each character, she says, “After every film, my mental fabric changes a little bit. Most of them are so demanding, that I end up becoming slightly different a person after each film, from who I was before it. I cannot pinpoint, though, about the changes, but I can feel them. It makes me more moody and unpredictable. This is the cost you actually pay to be an actor who takes up these kind of roles.”
So after shooting a film and the whole cycle of promotions, does the interim period cause any withdrawal symptoms for an actor? “Yes, you are running around different cities. So when the movie releases, you are done with it, and there is a sudden drop. It depends on how big a drop it is, and what you have coming up next. What has happened with me is when a film has released, there have been a few days, and then I get into a few films. So for me, as soon as I am done with the promotions of a film, I have to utilise that time to refresh and reboot to get into a different zone; it becomes necessary. But when you do four films in a year, you don’t have much of a lull in between projects,” says the actor.
However, Taapsee adds that she likes to take on the challenge of portraying characters that make her uncomfortable. “That is the reason behind doing a film. I voluntarily sign up for different roles so that I am more engaged, and more excited about my work, and look forward to experimenting. If you get too much in your comfort zone, you keep taking up stuff that’s easy, and then it is not fun. Then there is no charm in being an actor when you can live so many lives in one life,” Taapsee says.