After cementing her place in Bollywood with hard-hitting films such as Pink and Naam Shabana, Taapsee Pannu feels the audience prefers to see her in “serious roles”, even though she debuted in Hindi movies with a light-hearted Chashme Baddoor.
The 30-year-old actor says she is waiting to “shift gears” into a massy, commercial cinema with a film like Judwaa 2, in which she starred opposite Varun Dhawan last year.
“I have been busy doing other films, my calendar was so full. Also, I think the audience have loved me so much in this type (referring to serious) of a role that they are not ok seeing me there.
“I am like, let me do it for my breathing space. I don’t know if I should feel good or bad about it. But I am still waiting and struggling to get a film like ‘Judwaa 2’ again to shift gears,” Pannu said.
The actor, who made her cinematic debut in 2010’s Telugu film Jhummandi Naadam, said she can afford to take the risks in the South film industry as she has “build a certain rapport with people there”.
For example, Pannu says, she did not charge any fee for her last Telugu film as she wanted to help the producers to keep the budget in check. She, however, asked for a share in film’s profits.
“I shared the profit with my producers as that film had no hero but the concept was brilliant. I understand the plight of the producer when there is no hero. I know the budget will not be more and so I did not charge from my side but I asked for a profit share,” she says.
But the actor believes she has a long way to go in commanding a piece of the profit pie when it comes to Bollywood.
“I have worked for about eight years in South Indian cinema. I can take that risk over there. I am newer to Hindi cinema.
“But, I might do that (profit sharing) in the future. The audience here knows me but not as prominently as it is there. The day the audiences know me well here too, and come to watch my films I will do that,” she adds.
Pannu’s next release is Soorma, in which she plays the role of a hockey player, Harpreet.
The film is an inspirational story of former Indian hockey skipper, Sandeep Singh, who was paralysed after he was hit by an accidental gunshot on a train in 2006 but he did not give up and came back stronger.
The actor says the movie is more about Singh’s life than the sport of hockey.
“In Soorma, the focus is on his life and the people in his life, the incident that happened and hockey is a part of it.”
It features Diljit Dosanjh in the lead, with Angad Bedi and Siddharth Shukla in key roles.
The Shaad Ali-directed film releases on July 13, 2018.