Taapsee Pannu: Pay has skyrocketed, but far from what heroes earn
Gearing up for Saand Ki Aankh's clash with friend Akshay Kumar's Housefull 4, Taapsee Pannu assesses her meteoric rise over the past year
Taapsee Pannu deserves as much credit as director Tushar Hiranandani for seeing Saand Ki Aankh through to the finish line. Among the first few to hop on board, the actor found the film when she was actively seeking a two-heroine project. Two years and rejections from several leading ladies later, Pannu found her match in Bhumi Pednekar. The idea of a catfight couldn't be further from their minds; after all, the two had "a bigger battle" to fight. "We had the uphill task of making people believe that projects led by women can be commercially successful. Bhumi and I knew that we are on the same team. I have always happily co-existed with most of my colleagues, so bickering was never on the radar," smiles Pannu.
Akshay Kumar in Housefull 4
Incidentally, her offering locks horns with frequent collaborator and friend Akshay Kumar's Housefull 4 this Diwali. "Akshay sir called Bhumi and me after he saw our film's trailer. He was so encouraging, and said that the teaser gave him goosebumps." Question her about the impending box-office clash, and she insists that things have changed for the better in Bollywood. "Competition is no longer a war with each other. It's all about upping the game and bettering yourself. There are few who will want to pull the other down, but that's not how the industry largely works."
A still from Saand Ki Aankh
With a spate of successful films in the past year, Pannu acknowledges that her bargaining power has improved. But what continues to excite her is the ability to "carry a film on my shoulders. In the last two years, my remuneration has skyrocketed, although the figure is still far off from [what] my male counterparts [earn]. Producers have been happy to accommodate the price I quote. But I am in no rush to earn all the money in one go. I will never make a film suffer because of my price. I have waited for a long time, been at the mercy of people who would decide if I can do a project. Today, I have the power to make films happen."
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