Taapsee: Shadow will be a commercial treat
Taapsee Pannu has had a good run in Telugu films having worked with some big directors such as K Raghavendra Rao, who directed her debut film Jhummandi Naadam, and Krishnavamsi, at the start of her career.
She is cast opposite Venkatesh in Shadow, directed by Mehar Ramesh.
In this exclusive one-on-one, the pretty actress throws light on Shadow, working with the superstar Venkatesh, and her future projects.
Were you happy when you were offered Shadow which stars Venkatesh?
I thought it was a huge movie as it had Venky Sir and was directed by Mehar Ramesh.
It seemed a bit contradictory as Venky Sir is a family hero and Mehar Ramesh makes stylised movies. However, I thought it was going to be worth it to be part of this film.
Image: Taapsee Pannu in Shadow
'My role is more stylised than just looking hot'
What is your role in the film?
After quite a while (after three movies) I am donning a glam look. It's not just a glam look like the one I sported in Veera.
In Shadow, it's more stylised glamour and not just looking hot. I have paid particular attention to costumes. It's a different look, which has been styled specially by the designers.
As far as the role is concerned, I play the love interest. It's the usual cliched role. What makes me stand out is the styling.
Who has done the styling?
There are two designers, Divya and Lipsa from NIFT (National Institute of Fashion Technology), who have been with me from Mogudu days. They have worked on Shadow and also Chandu Sir's (Chandrasekhar Yeleti)'s film (titled Sahasam now).
I blindly trust these two girls. I do not even go for a costume trial. I had the choice of Bollywood designers but I know Divya's and Lipsa's creativity. I share a comfort level with them. They have the urge to prove themselves.
The styling will be talked about. It will be something not seen in the Telugu industry.
Image: Taapsee Pannu in Shadow
'Venkatesh is like a walking-talking film school'
Is there anything new in the songs shot?
Raju Sundaram has worked on them. Each and every song is to watch out for. I'm happy at the response to the audio.
There's an interesting mix of music. Two songs are shot in Switzerland (Interlaken, Geneva, on the Alps), one was filmed in Malaysia and two were shot on the sets.
How was it shooting with Venkatesh? Any lessons to take home?
He's a walking-talking film school. He's not just an actor but has inherited a producer's qualities too. While on the sets, no one has to bother about him. He will make himself comfortable.
He is a thorough gentleman. He'll go and stand in front of the monitor, see the performance but won't shout about it. He would come to me and gently whisper in my ear without anyone noticing it.
One learns a lot from him. His head is firmly on his shoulders. It was interesting to know his experiences. He told me about how he had back-to-back hits and how spirituality came to him at that time.
What would you say about the director Mehar Ramesh?
I thank him for co-operating with me in terms of costumes. He was so open to new terms of styling. If something was not suitable, he would have his reason for saying so.
I was shooting for other movies and doing promotions and he worked around my schedule. He gave me all the five songs. Initially I was there in three but he later made it five!
Image: Venkatesh and Taapsee Pannu in Shadow
'I had taken extra measures for looking sensual in Gundello Godaari'
Have you dubbed your lines for this film?
No, I did not.
What can we look forward to in Shadow?
You can look forward to international standard visuals, Venkatesh Sir will be seen in a different and stylised avatar.
It will be a commercial treat. A film with Telugu emotions but with an international feel as it is shot to international standards.
You were lauded for your performance in Gundello Godaari. Was it difficult to enact that character?
When I entered the film, I wondered if I would be able to pull off the role. I wondered whether the audience would like it. I felt I should work with 100 per cent honesty.
I had taken extra measures for the sensual look. I wore a half-sari, had a mole on the lip and a black thread on the arm for the naughty village girl feel.
I went against the flow - what people don't expect me to do. It was not difficult to do that. The director Kumar was always there. The chemistry with (actor) Aadhi was integral.
The director and the actor helped me a lot. I felt really happy. It doesn't matter if you are present for just 15-20 minutes if the role is good and appreciated.
How far has the film with Gopichand progressed?
The talkie portion is over, the songs are still left.
Have you signed any new Telugu films?
I haven't signed anything. I'm busy with the Tamil films, Muni 3 and Ajith's film, which is half complete.
Image: A scene from Shadow