Fit & Famous
Engineer-turned-actor Taapsee Pannu is the woman of the moment. In a candid chat with ‘H&N’, she talks about her journey from being a techie to an actor, her weight loss secrets, daredevilry stunts and more…
Taapsee Pannu fights fat and turns a fitness freak
My 12 p.m. meet with Taapsee starts by 12.10! The lady is pretty punctual. Just back from her vacation in Norway, Taapsee looks fresh – her skin is flawless and glowing. We settle down at her cosy yet chic apartment in Mumbai, and start by complementing her about her place. To which, Taapsee happily replies that she is now the proud owner of her first home in the city, and is very excited about doing up the interiors herself… In our hour-long chat, Taapsee lets us in on her journey till now – from being an engineer and rejecting an offer from Infosys to doing South films, fighting fat and being hailed as the actor of substance in Bollywood today.
Childhood – Fun, Yet Stubborn
“I am a typical middleclass Sikh girl from Delhi. But as a kid, I was very stubborn. I remember I was in the eighth standard when I started wearing glasses, but wanted to wear lenses just a year after that. And my dad
thought that I should wear lenses after turning 18. So the entire ninth standard, I fought with him. I would lock myself in the bedroom and not open the door, until he agreed. That’s how I got my lenses in 10th standard. Everyone thought I would be a lawyer as I was so persistent about everything.”
“I went to Mata Jai Kaur Public School, Delhi. I was good in sports, trained in kathak for eight years, was always among the top 10 scorers of my class, and was the head girl and the student of the year. “I took up engineering as I loved maths and physics, and continued all my cocurricular activities in college too. I participated in debates, formed my own dance group in college - I joined Shiamak’s dance group later.”
“Since I was proactive and looked decent, people asked me to start modelling. That’s how I got my pictures clicked and started modelling for pocket money - to spend on shopping and watching movies... But I didn’t really enjoy it. “Even though I got many good brands, I always felt constipated in front of the camera - holding one expression for that perfect click. My ad banners were all over the city but there was no one who knew my name. “In the last year of college though, I focused only on studies. I got placed in Infosys during my campus selection, but I didn’t join them as by then, I decided to get a master’s degree and work only after that.”
From Engineering To Movies
“However, it was also during my final year that I started getting calls for films in the South, and I would reply in the negative saying, ‘I don’t know the language, I cannot act. Why are you calling me?’ But the response always was, ‘Don’t worry, we will teach you’. They sounded more confident than me… “So after my engineering, when I dropped a year to prepare for my masters - and being the hyperactive person that I am - I thought why not try South films if all I have to do is sit at home and study for one full year? “Till today whenever people ask me, ‘What is the craziest thing you have ever done?’ I say, ‘Flying South to land in a city I had never
“Even though I got many good brands, I always felt constipated in front of the camera - holding one expression for that perfect click. My ad banners were all over the city but there was no one who knew my name.”
With her family...
Brand endorsements during college....