HITTING THE BULLSEYE
Taapsee Pannu and Bhumi Pednekar, playing sharpshooter ‘dadis’ in their film, were moved by the grandmoms they met
In line with the
Diwali festivities, Bollywood’s on-screen sharpshooters
Taapsee Pannu and Bhumi Pednekar ensured there were sparks and fireworks with their sharp wit and sensibility at the HT City Stars In the City (SITC) where they promoted their latest film Saand Ki Aankh. They left contest winners and fans with an afternoon to remember as they indulged in a candid chat.
The audience, dotted with dadis and nanis, left Taapsee and Bhumi overwhelmed. A highlight was their meeting with Pratima Devi, a 60-plus rag picker who lives in south Delhi’s Saket and feeds over 350 of her canine friends from her earnings. Both the actors saluted her spirit and gave her a hug each. An emotional Taapsee commented: “Kuch bhi achieve karne ke liye koi umar nai hoti yaar”, while Bhumi said: “God knows where this selflessness comes from.”
While the two actors’ onscreen camaraderie created ample pre-buzz for Saand Ki Aankh — a film on Chandro and Prakashi Tomar, two octogenarian sharpshooters from Uttar Pradesh — their ‘sisterhood’ was very obvious during their visit here. “I have to say that my best chemistry is with this lady, this sister who is sitting here with me,” Bhumi said pointing at Taapsee.
For both, the mental and physical transformation for their respective roles was the toughest part. Taapsee said: “The shooting and make-up is all very technical, but this mental transformation about how will they react or how will they behave in a situation as a mother or a grandmother... we didn’t know all that.”
Bhumi shared that considering the actors have always been independent, it was tough for them to relate with the dadis’ lives. “To be able to live in a format where you are being submissive, suppressed and then to change the psyche to get the kind of courage the dadis have... it was tough for us,” she added. Taapsee described the dadis as “do jism, ek jaan”.
Usually a two-heroine film has a plot involving a man. Not Saand Ki Aankh. “Thankfully, in this film, we are not fighting for anyone,” Taapsee said, as Bhumi added: “Hum haq ke liye ladh rahe hain, that is so refreshing.”
And Bhumi dismissed the hullabaloo over the casting of younger actors for older roles, saying, “If as actors, we can’t play different parts, we should leave the profession.” Taapsee added: “Why would I say no to a good role? If my work is not up to the mark, then uska criticism sar aankhon par.”
The session was wrapped up with a test for the actors’ shooting skills. But when they were asked to shoot a wall full of balloons to prove their prowess, both Taapsee and Pannu simply hopped over and popped them with their nails!