In an industry where a male actor is called a hero, Taapsee Pannu says her aim is to break this gender-based stereotype and she plans to do so slowly and steadily.
The 31-year-old actor believes the acceptance for female-centric films from both the industry and audience can help bridge the gap between male and female actors being successful at the box office.
“I feel hero has no gender and I am trying to prove that. We have for so many years fed our audience that hero is a gender-based term and they have also accepted that,” said Pannu.
“Now the change cannot come overnight, it will be slow and steady. It requires a lot of perseverance from the side of all-female actors who are trying to bring the change,” she added.
Citing the example of her last release ‘Game Over’, she said the home invasion thriller did not make it to the Rs1 billion (Dh3.67 billion) club and it is a fact she accepts.
“I am expecting and hoping that it will become a commercially successful film so that other people will take a risk in the future,” she added.
Pannu’s last two releases ‘Badla’ (over Rs1 billion in India) and ‘Game Over’ (Rs110 million in India) were fronted by a woman protagonist and the actor believes there is an audience for female-driven cinema today.
“We are in the transition phase. All kinds of good films in this space are being accepted. Like ‘Game Over’ was a dark film, it did not have a regular entertainment quotient like a song or a comedy scene or anything. It is not visually that easily an attractive film but it got good response. Such films require a certain kind of trust from the audience.”
There is a perception that usually mainstream potboilers with A-listers tend to be a crowd-puller to the theatres but the actor believes it isn’t necessary to choose films that are only commercial.
“I am not giving up easily and not succumbing to this pressure that I have to do a certain kind of films to make sure I am saleable. I am ready to push the boundary slowly and steadily as in every way possible.
“But I can’t change my choice because it doesn’t fall into the conventional formula. I am OK to have my own audience but an audience that believes in my choice of films.”
Pannu’s other two releases this year are ‘Mission Mangal’ and ‘Saand Ki Aankh’. The actor is also working on a Tamil action thriller.