EXCLUSIVE Taapsee Pannu: I used to remind Anurag Kashyap that Manmarziyaan should be UA and a 100 crore film

During an EXCLUSIVE interaction with Pinkvilla, Taapsee Pannu opened up about her just-released film Manmarziyaan, her banter with filmmaker Anurag Kashyap and more.
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If we check Taapsee Pannu's social media pages right now, we can see the actor in her happiest phase till date. Since the time she started shooting for her just-released film Manmarziyaan, Taapsee has been sharing eternal moments from the sets which made people excited and impatient for the film's release. This is the first time we will see Taapsee in an Anurag Kashyap directorial, and the actor revealed to us that she is 90% like her character from the film i.e. Rumi.

In the film, her sizzling chemistry with Vicky Kaushal and subtle nuances of a chemistry with Abhishek Bachchan have been widely appreciated. In an EXCLUSIVE interview with Pinkvilla, Taapsee spoke at length about her constant arguments with Anurag Kashyap and touting Manmarziyaan as the female version of his earlier directorial Dev D. Taapsee also revealed how she and Vicky broke the ice before beginning the shoot and the one thing that she sees in a script to say yes.



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Excerpts from the interview...

Your character is very confusing when we watched the trailer. Whom does she really want - Robbie or Vicky?

That's really a good confusion. She's not a confusing character, she is making you confused about who she is really in love with. That's really a healthy confusion. Why you find her confusing is because she follows her heart without using her mind. So, she doesn't use her mind at all before making decisions or doing anything and that is the only thing that separates Taapsee from Rumi. I use my mind and Rumi doesn't! Otherwise, I am Rumi, is what Anurag Kashyap firmly believes. He feels I am exactly like that and I feel I am only 90% like Rumi. It's a fire and firefly relationship. Rumi is a fire and everyone else around her is a firefly. You cannot stay too away from her but if you get very close to her, you will get burnt.

Was it easy for you to get into this character given your Punjabi roots?

I didn't have to get into the character, I just had to be myself. Anurag Kashyap, after making me hear the script for the first time didn't even give me the script until two days before the shooting. That two days also, he just narrated me the script again with whatever changes he had done. He was like, 'I am not giving you anything, otherwise, you will start preparing, which I don't want you to do. Just come as you are on the sets.' That's exactly what I did and that's exactly what you see. In the trailer where I ask, 'Kya aap bachpan se Ram Ji types ho?' and he says, 'Tum bachpan se daayan types ho?', my reaction was myself. 

Did you and Anurag have the same banter on the sets which you both show nowadays on social media?

Yeah, more than this and longer than this! We used to argue for hours that we would become upset with each other and not talk to each other. Then abruptly, we start talking to each other like nothing happened. It used to be very crazy that people around us thought that we are not mentally stable people. I argue a lot, I don't do anything without any justifications and I warn all my directors beforehand only. I ask a lot of questions, either you convince me or get convinced. When you ask me to do something, make sure you give me justifications of why you want me to do this. Those arguments used to go on for hours and we never reached a conclusion, until Anurag brings out his trump card saying, 'Trust me!'. Then what do you say?! The director is asking you to trust him and then I am like fine, 'Yeh hi bolna tha toh pehle kyu nahi bola?' That made me get addicted to him so much as a director and a person, so I would say don't be surprised if you see me work with Anurag Kashyap multiple times. I like him so much as a person much more than I like him as a director. 

Were you surprised when you got to know Anurag will be directing a romantic genre?

No, actually I have not seen many Anurag Kashyap directed movies. I have seen Dev D, Gangs of Wasseypur (Part 1 and 2) and Ugly. Dev D was also a sort of love story, but it had too much of darkness, this one doesn't. It's a cleaned up and commercial version of Dev D almost. Manmarziyaan is a female Dev D, which is a lighter, colourful and commercial film. I was not apprehensive, I knew he could pull it off. I used to remind him that it should be UA and a 100 crore film. I used to even say, 'Light lagao, Sir, logon ko dikhe toh ki main kya acting kar rahi hoon.' I used to pull his leg every day. 

Do you miss being on the sets now?

I don't know how this film's shooting started and ended. It was like a brief and I miss being on the sets a lot. 

When you and Anurag had this banter and arguments, how did Abhishek and Vicky react to it?

They were totally silent and wouldn't utter a word. They will also have their point of view, right? They will feed in my head. I was the one who used to fight the battle and them as spectators would stand as if they hadn't anything to say at all. They are very smart!



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How was the first day on the sets of Manmarziyaan?

I started with Vicky first and after 3-4 weeks, Abhishek joined in. With Vicky, I knew from the first scene itself, we need to have tremendously good chemistry. We had to make people believe that we are on the high point of our love story when the film starts. With Abhishek, I still had the liberty of building up the love story. A couple of days before we started shooting, we reached Amritsar and I am an extreme extrovert person. Vicky is slightly introvert comparatively. I totally blasted myself on Vicky suddenly and he would have felt, 'Pagal ladki hai ekdum' because I knew I had to make that chemistry work. I forced Vicky literally to be friends with me, I started talking to him randomly. I used to call him for breakfast and lunch just so that I am comfortable around him. In the process, I realised that we both really connected, one because of the Punjabi background, plus somehow, he doesn't have this hangups kind of attitude. He is totally chilled out and very opposite of my personality. Where I am hyperactive, he is calm and relaxed kind of a person. I found a really good friend in him so much that even after we completed the shoot, we used to really hang out, go for lunch and watch a movie together and still talk on the phone sometimes. And coming to Abhishek, I have known him because of Mr Bachchan. I have gone a couple of times to his home when we had a get together with Mr Bachchan. We pretty much didn't need to break the ice there also. 

What is the one thing you see in a script that makes you say yes?

When I hear a script, I feel that this is worth my hard-earned Rs 200-300, that I will spend to watch this film and also those three hours of my life which is never going to come back. 

You keep on juggling between South cinema and Bollywood, so how do you balance between both the industries? How difficult is it for you to switch between two characters?

As an actor when I am performing, I won't say this is my process and all that. When I wear a certain getup, I get on to the character and every set has a certain vibe. So when I wear a certain outfit for that character, I become that character. When I finish that character, yes I have that hangover of that character, so I go and travel to some other country, get detoxed, come back and then fresh start a new film. I do take a break in between, it can even be for four days. Between Mulk and Soorma, I only had 4-5 days off, so I went to Europe for five days and came back detoxed. But promotions don't make a difference, because you have done it, you know where to start from and what to catch. 


Existence of people like Alia who are industry made and media hyped, makes me appreciate this rare true talent much more!

Ha ha it's a spoof of hddcs movie

My dear - The film has now released to a very low opening of 10 to 15 % occupancy and is heading towards flop status.

these kinds of movies grow through WOM, and Manmarziyaan's getting pretty good reviews!

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