'I Am Thankful To The Actresses Who Said No To Haseen Dillruba,' Says Taapsee Pannu - EXCLUSIVE

Lady of the moment, 'Haseen Dillruba' Taapsee Pannu opens up on playing the unconventional 'Rani' in her recent Netflix release. Read the full interview below.

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'I Am Thankful To The Actresses Who Said No To  Haseen Dillruba,' Says Taapsee Pannu - EXCLUSIVE
How and when did Haseen Dillruba  fall into your lap?
I said yes to Haseen Dillruba  almost immediately. It was a not-so-simple story and I loved it. I had worked in writer Kanika Dhillon’s screenplay Manmarziyan. Haseen Dillruba  was like Mamarziyan with infidelity and murder. I told Kanika I wanted to hear the story. Then I had to go for an outdoor shooting. She told me she would narrate the subject to me after I returned.

What happened after that?
By the time I came back I came  to know the offer had already gone to someone else. I moved  on to other projects. A few  months later Kanika called me to come to her office urgently. The last time she asked me to come to her office  it was to narrate  Manmarziyan. I  had this big smile on my face when she narrated me Haseen Dillruba. When you want something really badly the universe  conspires to get it for  you. Haseen Dillruba went around and then came to me. I am thankful to the actresses who said no playing Rani Kashyap.

Weren’t you shocked by how far  your character Rani Kashyap goes in  pursuit  of personal  gratification?
I think it’s a very interesting dichotomy. Because Rani looks like a typical conventional heroine. She loves to dress up in traditional chiffon sarees and salwar kameez every day in her sasural. I don’t think I’ve spent so much time getting ready every day for any film. Rani has worked in a salon. So she is very conscious about her grooming.  In her looks she is a typical heroine.

But  she is anything  but typical?
Yes, her behaviour is definitely  not that  of  a typical heroine. I actually began to gravitate away from  the stereotypical representation  of  the  heroine  long back. I found myself a bigger playground to play around in as actress. The characters  I  choose to play are  far removed  from  the  person that I am.That I suppose is  the  fun of being an actor. You can  live many lives in one lifetime, right?

Right. But  your character in Haseen Dillruba is next-level  unconventional?
The whole excitement of putting  myself out of my  comfort zone is what  gravitated me towards  Haseen Dillruba. I  never  thought  I’d play a seductress like Rani, a woman who uses her sexuality  to her own advantage. This  character  has brought out  a side of my  personality I  never knew existed.

But didn’t Rani’s behaviour shock you?
You asking me, Taapsee? Yes, I am not that person I play in Haseen Dillruba. You will rarely find me in the grey zone. Rani’s  behaviour  is a  big no for me. Infidelity is definitely not in my  range  of  acceptable  behaviour. I would  never accept or condone it in my own life. Having said that, I must also say that  it’s not  as though I am not aware that these things happen in real life. If we are  honest  to ourselves we are aware  of  quite  a few such breached relationships where crime surfaces  later.  So yes, as Taapsee I was shocked. But as an actor I didn’t find it difficult to accept my  character Rani’s behaviour.I was also shocked  by Rani’s reaction to her own infidelity. It’s such  a shameful  thing, one would normally sweep it under the carpet.  But Rani is  such an honest person.When she  develops an extra-marital  relationship she is  determined to tell her husband about it.And she does.

How  many women would do that?
Exactly. Rani feels she must be true to her feelings. It’s not her  intention  to have a closeted extra-marital  relationship.She’s very  honest about her needs and desires with her husband.And when she’s disappointed in her marriage she has  an extra-marital  affair. This  is  not something she had planned. But when  it happens  she  doesn’t  shy away from the truth.She is  ready to leave her husband for her lover. All this made  the character quite shocking for  me.

Is  Rani in Haseen Dillruba the nastiest heroine  you have played?
I am not  to sure.  Because  I  had played a really  nasty woman in Badlaa. Just because she was  suave she didn’t come across as in-your-face wicked. But I think in Naina in Badlaa   is nastier. Rani is  more honest  and she’s probably the most flamboyant character I’ve  portrayed.

Do  you miss the  big screen  for Haseen Dillruba?
Of course I  do. You have seen the  film. You know the  visuals  are designed  for  the movie theatre. It has  in fact all the ingredients to travel to beyond the  so-called A centres. It’s very gripping. We  were  very confident  that  the  content will travel. We waited as  long as we could. If we waited any longer   the product may lose its validity. I’ve so many other  film nearing  completed. How long could  we wait?

Do you enjoy watching content on OTT platform?
It has a reach, no doubt  about it. I watch  a  lot of content on  OTT. I watch all the  films which are being premiered on  OTT.

Image source: SpotboyE archives, Instagram/taapsee