The recent war of words between filmmaker Karan Johar and actor Kangana Ranaut has reignited the debate on nepotism in the film industry, and wading into it is Taapsee Pannu, one of the successful outsiders in Bollywood. Taapsee says that while nepotism will always be a part of the industry, actors from the non-film background are not helpless as big directors have started putting faith in them, The Indian Express reports.
Kangana, during her appearance on Karan’s show Koffee With Karan, called the filmmaker the flag-bearer of nepotism. Later, he slammed the actor, saying she should stop playing the “victim card”.
Taapsee, who made her Bollywood debut with David Dhawan’s Chashme Baddoor in 2013, is currently riding high with her performances in her recent outings, Pink and RunningShaadi, having received acclaim.
The young actor will now be seen as the protagonist in Neeraj Pandey’s Naam Shabana, a spin-off to Akshay Kumar-starrer Baby. “The debate about nepotism will always be there. We can never do away with it but we have reached a point where the ‘so-called’ outsiders are not helpless. We do have people who recognise our talent like Shoojit da (Shoojit Sircar) , Neeraj sir and Shivam sir (Shivam Nair, director of Naam Shabana). They have come up to me and they have worked with me again. Even David sir for that matter, whose own son (Varun Dhawan) is in the industry. He has launched me and is working with me again. You don’t feel the step-motherly attitude anymore,” Taapsee told reporters here.
Being the face of Naam Shabana is an extremely exciting opportunity for the actor, who is just four-year-old in the industry. When asked if there’s any pressure about the film’s success considering Baby featured a star while Naam Shabana revolves around her character? Taapsee said that with the support of Akshay and Neeraj, she is not feeling any burden of being the lead star.
“We still have a superstar but in a cameo. In fact we have entire Baby’s cast in the film. We also have Manoj Bajpayee and Prithvi who are big stars in their own right. That also puts a lot of pressure. But I never felt the pressure of a lead role because Neeraj sir and Akshay sir were supporting us. I was excited thinking that a two-film-old girl can also get the lead role. So, this means all those things we hear about the film industry that it’s very difficult to get (such opportunities) is not true,” she said.
Naam Shabana, which will see Taapsee reprises her role of Shabana from Baby, hits theatres on March 31.