It's extremely important for Taapsee Pannu to pick projects that align with her own politics and beliefs as she feels a sense of deep responsibility toward the audience. The actress has been shining a spotlight on several crucial issues through films like Pink, Mulk, Game Over and Saand Ki Aankh. Her latest movie Thappad tells the story of a woman who decides to divorce her husband after he slaps her.
Taapsee says that in India, people put actors on pedestal and take them very seriously so the latter should have some sense of responsibility when it comes to representing their art on the big screen.
"In India, we have two religions-- cricket and films. The impact our films have on our audience is not a very light impact. I know we keep comparing our films with Hollywood movies and say, 'Hollywood also makes films with such protagonists.' But is our audience like them? They (Hollywood) don't start changing their hairstyles after a Salman Khan does a Tere Naam. They don't start saying, 'Pyaar Dosti Hai' after a Shah Rukh Khan says it in a movie. This is what our country is like. They treat us like demigods and follow us blindly when they love us.
"So when they are putting on pedestal and giving you this kind of love and admiration, you (actors) should have some sense of responsibility. If you were a film star in some other country then maybe you wouldn't have had this responsibility but our audience is not like that. They get highly influenced by the cinema. So, it helps me take a call on what to do and what not to do," says Taapsee.
Notably, a section of the Internet has pointed out that Thappad is an "answer" to Shahid Kapoor-starrer Kabir Singh that did massive business at the box office despite being panned by critics for its toxic and misogynistic view of love.
Though Taapsee asks people to stop reducing Thappad to just an antidote to Kabir Singh as the former was written much before the Sandeep Reddy Vanga's directorial, she feels the normalisation and celebration of bad behaviour is completely wrong.
"I'm not saying that make documentaries. Please show flawed characters. It's fun to play such characters. It's a candy for an actor. In fact, I myself asked for the antagonist role in Badla. But there were repercussions in the film. I didn't go scott-free, enjoying what I did in the movie. It's okay to play grey shades and negative characters but it's not okay to normalise it. You're normalising it. I don't have a problem with the wonderful performance the actor can pull or direction or the story. I have a problem with normalising and celebrating something that can actually make our audience feel that it is okay," she says.
Thappad, also featuring Pavail Gulati, Dia Mirza, Ratna Pathak Shah, Tanvi Azmi, Kumud Mishra and Manav Kaul, has been directed by Anubhav Sinha, who previously collaborated with Taapsee on Mulk.
The film is scheduled to hit the theatres on February 28.