This isn’t the first time Taapsee’s doing a film that addresses a social evil.
After playing a hockey player in Soorma, Taapsee Pannu will soon be seen playing a lawyer-activist in Mulk, Anubhav Sinha’s upcoming film on the plight of Indian Muslims.
The actress feels that it’s a story that needs to be told. “I play Aarti Mohammed, a Hindu woman married to a Muslim man. And throughout the film, my identity is right in your face. Though I’m not well-versed with politics in real life, I can sense that we’re going through a political crisis. A part of the population doesn’t feel safe, and Mulk addresses that issue.”
She adds that she’s proud of her director for fearlessly taking on such a sensitive topic. “He is receiving threats every day, but he is determined to see this film through, come what may. Artistes must take a stand. Since I can’t be a politician, I have to express my unhappiness at the state of affairs through cinema,” she says.
This isn’t the first time Taapsee’s doing a film that addresses a social evil. She was an important part of Annirudh Roychoudhary’s 2016 film Pink, which talked about rape. “That subject I knew about. But it was only during the making of Mulk that I discovered the truth about the imbalances in the social structure,” Taapsee says.
“When we speak of empowerment why is it only with respect to women? There are so many sections of our society that are weak and persecuted. I don’t want to be the voice of only one gender. I want to use my voice to raise awareness about other weak sections of society,” she adds.
In her next film, Sujoy Ghosh’s Badla, she reunites with one of her favourite co-stars. “I am very fond of Mr Bachchan. We hit it off during Pink, now, we are having a ball on the sets of Badla. I don’t let my respect for him come in the way of our friendship. In fact, I’d like to take him out for an evening of fun,” she says.
She also has Anurag Kashyap’s Manmarziyan lined up. “It’s not a typical, dark Kashyap film. It’s based in a different world than the one he usually occupies. After Running Shaadi and Soorma, I get to play a Sikh woman again.”
Given the wide variety of characters that she’s playing, is there anything that she’s left wanting for. “I’d like to play a coy, demure girl once, just to prove that I can do it convincingly,” she says.