What is Taapsee Pannu's take on being an outsider in the film industry?
Rajul Hedge finds out.
Taapsee Pannu is on a career high.
She ended 2016 with the much-loved PINK.
Her first film with her in the titular role, Naam Shabana, is ready to hit the screens.
And she has been cast in a leading role in David Dhawan's Judwaa 2.
But Taapsee, too, is no stranger to nepotism.
In December 2016, Taapsee, who came to the film industry without any godfathers, had tweeted, 'Nepotism. Finally LEARNT the MEANING of this word. Now will learn to deal with it.'
Addressing the issue of exactly how tough it is for an outsider to get work in Bollywood, Taapsee told Rediff.com, "Getting work has never been a challenge; getting the right kind of work is a challenge. I still face that, and don't know when it will end."
"Nepotism and being an outsider are two sides of the same coin," she said. "It will exist till the time Bollywood exists; we will never get rid of it.'
"Being an outsider, you have to prove yourself again and again. One big hit will not seal your position, unlike a star kid. Nobody puts in a phone call for us."
"But," she added, "it's not like I did not know about it when I entered the industry."
The conversation on nepotism in Bollywood has been in the headlines since Kangana Ranaut -- who, by the way, turned 30 on March 23 -- called Karan Johar the 'flag bearer of nepotism' in Bollywood on Koffee with Karan.
Johar hit back at her during an India Forum session with Anupama Chopra at the London School of Economics.
'I am done with Kangana playing the woman card and the victim card. I am done,' he said. 'You cannot be this victim at every given point of time, who has this sad story to tell about how she has been terrorised by "bad Bollywood." If it is that way, then leave.'
While much of the social commentary on the subject stood in favour of Kangana, star kids -- unsurprisingly -- seemed to stand on the other side.
Varun Dhawan, who is filmmaker David Dhawan's son and was launched by Johar, told NDTV, 'They (outsiders) are acting if their father hasn't even bought a pencil box for them. After a point, it just becomes an excuse.'
Alia Bhatt, who is filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt and actress Soni Razdan's daughter and was also launched by Johar, said, 'We are talking too much about it. We need to stop.'
Just a few months ago, she had told Bombay Times, 'I want to punch all those people who say that star kids have it easy because it makes no sense. The way the world is today, either you have it or you don't.'
Taapsee, who will be seen with Varun Dhawan in Judwaa 2, understands their point of view too.
"One thing is easier is that being an outsider, we don't carry a lot of expectations, which star kids do," she told Rediff.com. "Even before a star kid wants to become an actor, they start receiving flak for anything and everything. If it was me, I would have probably gotten scared and run away."