She loved numbers and numbers loved her! While most of us run away from the menacing math, she chose to love it and decided to be an Engineer. Little did she know, that the passion she had for those reels would actually come true. Born and brought up in a Sikh family in Delhi, Taapsee Pannu stole a million hearts in the South Indian film industry and now is making waves in the glamorous world of Bollywood.
Her journey began during her college days when she stumbled upon the Channel V Get gorgeous pageant. She had no experience on the runway and still challenged herself by participating in the pageant. That’s it! She never looked back and became the face of many brands all over the country. Taapsee set a new trend with her mischievous smile and down-to-earth personality. Passionate about dance and cinema, she always knew she would realize her dreams. While many around her questioned her choice of profession, she stood her ground and made them proud. Acting is a profession which requires the actor to be as flexible as clay and she proved her versatility by playing tough in Baby and a pretty belle in Aadukalam. Her innocence has impressed many around the country and she continues to rock that screen every time!
Taapsee’s family was all about her getting a higher education and her dad always encouraged her to study what she chose to. She loved mathematics and decided to pursue it post school. During her second year in Engineering, it hit her that as much as she loved numbers, this wasn’t what she wanted to do. She says, “My dad is huge on education and I did not really want to quit when I was half way through. I always believe in completing what we start and though I was taking up modelling assignments, I decided to work hard and finish my Engineering. I had already landed a job in my third year but I did not take it up. I scored 88 in my CAT and was ready to do my MBA and was sure this would have got me into one of the best B-schools. But fate had made parallel plans for me while I was busy looking at the corporate world.”
Being a Punjabi girl who was brought up in Delhi, foraying into Telugu movies was a bigger challenge. She did not understand the language and had to leave her family and stay in Hyderabad where she learned the language and starred in many blockbuster movies. “I stayed in Hyderabad for two years and as difficult as it was, people around me accepted me and helped me learn each day. Jhummandi Naadam was my debut movie and I was on cloud 9 when it was a huge success. I believe the road ahead for me has been much easier than it is for many. I am grateful that I could achieve what I did and will always be,” she says.
Taapsee’s family was proud of her as she scored well during and after her Engineering and was as shocked when they realised she was going to give it away to make it big in the film world. After some convincing, they supported her in all her decisions. Speaking of her family, she says, “My parents were not very happy about my choice of profession but they never stopped me from doing what I love. I still remember my dad who never comments on my movies, called me and said he liked the fight scene in Baby. That may sound simple, but for me, it will always be the best compliment ever.”
With almost a dozen films in Telugu and Tamil and a couple in Hindi, we can easily say she belongs to all facets of cinema. However,Taapsee finds it amusing that in all three industries she is termed an asset of the other. “People in Telugu Industry think I am a Bollywood actress, in Tamil they think I am a Telugu actress and in Bollywood they think I am a South Indian actress. Phew! I am just going with the flow and I believe language is not really a boundary and an actor should not limit himself/herself and try all genres and languages. I am happy where I am and I don’t label myself as an actress of a certain language,” she adds.