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  • Deccan Chronicle

Woman on a mission

Taapsee Pannu, whose critically and commercially successful Hindi spy films Baby (2015) and Pink (2016), is looking forward to the July 15th release of her latest film Shabaash Mithu, a biographical sports drama directed by Srijit Mukherjee. She will also be leaving the country soon to film Dunki, directed by Raju Hirani and starring Shaharukh Khan. Taapsee, who is in relationship with badminton player Mathias Boe, is so preoccupied that she hasn't had time to set a wedding date. She tells us about her professional and private lives.

Is there any pressure surrounding Shabaash Mithu’s theatrical release? Everyone is under pressure because we have been waiting for theatre releases for so long. It’s especially high on those who are in charge of making the movies. It is a risk. Nobody knows how many people will attend the movies. All predictions about this have proven to be incorrect.

You depict Mithali Raj’s struggle as a “underdog” cricketer. Is there any parallel between your story and Mithali’s?

In our country, cricket and movies are considered “religions.” That is the resemblance. People are crazy about movies and cricket. People, however, prefer to watch men’s cricket and films starring men. When a male-hero-led film is released, you make an advance booking for it; when a female-led film is released, you wait for the reviews. These gender biases must be eliminated. Mithali and I are both working to close the gender gap.

Do you believe your struggle is now over?

My struggle continues. My pictures should be well-funded. Female-driven films rarely have large budgets. Even if it is made, it will struggle to get a large number of screens. Such films are also not well received.

Bollywood films have recently struggled at the box office. Your thoughts?

It’s all about business, and it depends on your product - you choose the platform where you’re most confident of attracting the most people. There can be no two films with the same deal. Before going into production, I learned the business.

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