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Home»Interview»Taapsee Pannu On The Making Of Looop Lapeta And How Nepotism Still Affects Her»

Taapsee Pannu On The Making Of Looop Lapeta And How Nepotism Still Affects Her

It’s only my work that gives me access to people, says the actor on FC Front Row
  • Anupama Chopra

  • Film Companion

Last Updated: 10.11 AM, Feb 03, 2022

Taapsee Pannu On The Making Of Looop Lapeta And How Nepotism Still Affects Her

Nine years since making her Hindi film debut with Chashme Baddoor, Taapsee Pannu has solidified her standing to be known as a reliable star and performer. Ahead of the digital release of her next film Looop Lapeta on Netflix, the actor, in an exclusive session on FC Front Row, talks about the process of getting into the skin of her characters, the challenges that come with it and how nepotism continues to affect her in a different capacity today.

Edited excerpts:

Anupama Chopra (AC): Tell me about your process once you say yes to a script. For example, for your most recent film, Looop Lapeta, how did you insert yourself into a woman who has to run a lot to save her slightly slacker boyfriend? What are the tools to get into her mind?

TP: I do. It’s not always very good. I’ve started taking it as a price you pay-like scenario. Everything changes; for example, my dressing style changes. My wardrobe goes through a major changeover after every film I do. My general pace of life, the way I take appointments and space things out, my way of reacting to people, and even my sense of humor changes a little bit. It’s not great because it happens too frequently that after a point, sometimes it feels like you’re losing a sense of being. You start questioning your sense of self. But I have to live with it.

AC: That is very hard. Are you saying that you forget who you are?

AC: But Looop Lapeta has such a distinctive visual palette: the lensing, the colors that are popping up the screen, the framing of the characters. Does that, in any way, impact your performance?

TP: The camera in this particular film is a character in itself. It’s not like that in every film. We used wide lenses in this film, so the camera was inches from my face when I was doing my close-up shots. It was so close that I could literally head-butt the lens. In this kind of space, it’s important for me to be aware of my surroundings, the presence of the camera and how it was going to treat me. It’s not just something that’s capturing me, it’s also conveying something with its movement. And I needed to be in sync with that. So, here, we used to rehearse with the camera movement that was already set. It was unlike any other film that I have done. In my head, I had to believe that the camera is a character that will add quirkiness to the presentation, and so, I must make it a part of my movement. I can’t override it.

TP: If affected me differently at different stages. Currently, it affects me in terms of accessibility, which I still don’t have if compared to star kids. I’m not a very social actor. I don’t go around meeting or hanging out with a lot of people because doing five films a year, I practically don’t get any time to do it. So, that’s where I lose out on. Had I been born in a family where you grew up with these people around, they would’ve just been one call away. Tomorrow, if a writer comes to me with a certain subject or there’s a genre that I really want to explore, which a certain production house or director is known to be good at, my reach to them, or for them to listen to me isn’t all that smooth when compared to a star kid. At this stage, that’s a hurdle. It’s not anymore about bagging a role, that’s a struggle I’ve surpassed.

AC: But if you picked up the phone on anyone, everyone’s going to listen, right?

TP: They do listen, and they’re very cordial and sweet. But I always get an answer saying, ‘But you know, I already have someone in mind who wants to do this.’ I’ve tried it and that’s the answer I’ve received most of the time. So, I have to create my own eco-system of all these directors that I’ve worked and re-worked with. People tell me that I work with directors multiple times – that’s because my accessibility is more there. It’s only my work that gives me access to people. These are the people I get access to when I work with them, and hence, I work with them again and again.