Taapsee Pannu on ‘Dunki’: “It’s too good to be true”

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Bollywood actress Taapsee Pannu has bagged a lead role in Rajkumar Hirani’s Shahrukh Khan starrer ‘Dunki’.

The production for the movie is underway and the film is slated for release in December 2023. Taapsee Pannu’s excitement over being a part of this movie is boundless and the actress shares that she can’t believe it is real yet.

“It is probably that the biggest ever I could have got,” Taapsee exclaims, adding “It’s too good to be true. I never even thought that I’ll eventually someday reach this, forget about so soon. So, I myself wasn’t announcing or talking about it because I just didn’t want to jinx it in any way.”

As reported by HT, when Taapsee was asked what her first reaction was, when she heard that she was going to be a part of this big project, she said, “There’s no shying away from accepting that I don’t know if it can get bigger than this ever for me. Hence, the disbelief of being a part of it was lingering one till the time I reported on set and the first day of shoot was done.”

The actress shared that not just her, but her sister Shagun also kept asking even after she completed her first day’s shoot if she was really a part of the project. Taapsee said, “Each time I went for the meeting with Raju sir, or reading or any conversation I had with him on phone, every time I came back home, she asked me, ‘Tu abhi bhi hai na film mein (Are you still in the film)?”.

She added, “My parents, however, didn’t give me any noticeable reaction, also maybe they’ve also understood that till the time it happens, let’s not celebrate too early.”

It was in 2020 when the first rumours started that Rajkumar Hirani was considering Taapsee Pannu for his next project and the actress herself admitted that even she thought it was “yet another rumour”, which would make her happy for a while, but nothing would come out of it.

But soon she received a call from Rajkumar Hirani herself, who apparently said, “Now that it’s already out, let me officially call you and say that I’m doing this film, and I’d love you to be a part of it,” Taapsee recounts and adds, “Raju sir was so excited about the whole project and the way it was coming together that he, on that first call itself, started narrating me the first two scenes.”

So far, Taapsee has completed around 10 days of filming for the movie. When she was asked which was the bigger thrill – being directed by Hirani or sharing screen space with Shahrukh Khan, she said, “Actually, both in different ways. Films are a director’s medium; I’m not a very trained actor, so I get very excited to know who’s going to direct me. When I knew it was Raju sir, I was just looking forward to working with a man who makes stories so simple, yet so likable, engrossing, endearing and charming. He doesn’t make that intense multi-layered, multi-twisted cinema yet it’s so captivating. Also, the kind of range and age group of audience that connects with his films, is huge.”

About working with Shahrukh Khan, the actress said that she was actually looking forward to spending time off-screen where she could just talk to him. Taapsee added, “I love his personality beyond his films as well — the wit, the humour, the experience that he has, and the honesty with which he narrates his experiences. I wanted to hear those experiences that he’s gone through in those decades of creating what he has created.”

Finally, the actress talked about what it felt like to make it ‘all her herself’ and shared, “Sitting in Delhi, 10-12 years ago, I’d have possibly said to myself, ‘At max, you’d be able to do a few noticeable films in your career and that’s about it… you forget about reaching this level. I have no one to pick up the phone and make a call [to a filmmaker] to and push my name [for a project]. So, the thrill of a person who could never even imagine this as a dream, and had this call come from Rajkumar Hirani himself… this is as clean, neat and credible way of getting something.”

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