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Taapsee Pannu on nepotism debate: I can’t do so much of R&D before I tweet something

Actor Taapsee Pannu had tweeted on nepotism months before Bollywood buzzed over the Kangana Ranaut-Karan Johar spat. She says that in no way did she target her Judwaa 2 co-star Varun Dhawan.

bollywood Updated: Jul 31, 2017 14:18 IST
Monika Rawal Kukreja
Monika Rawal Kukreja
Hindustan Times
Taapsee Pannu,Varun Dhawan,Ahan Shetty
Taapsee Pannu says that her tweet on nepotism implied that she had realised it was a part of Bollywood.

Most of Bollywood joined the nepotism debate after it caught fire in March, after actor Kangana Ranaut’s comments calling filmmaker Karan Johar the “flag-bearer of nepotism”. One actor who had referred to it much earlier was actor Taapsee Pannu.

“Nepotism. Finally LEARNT the MEANING of this word. Now will learn to deal with it (sic),” tweeted Taapsee in December, after getting high praise for her film Pink. At that time, Taapsee had just bagged a role opposite Varun Dhawan in Judwaa 2, which is releasing in September this year, and the buzz was strong that actor Suniel Shetty’s son, Ahan, might make his Bollywood debut opposite Taapsee. So, everyone was left wondering if the tweet was aimed at Varun, son of filmmaker David Dhawan, or Ahan, an industry insider.

“None! It wasn’t related to either Varun or Ahan,” Taapsee tells us. “I didn’t even understand at that time why people related it to Varun, because that’s really funny. His father is the one who launched me in the Hindi film industry (with Chashme Baddoor, 2013) and they’re very much working with me in Judwaa 2, so there’s no question that I’ll talk about nepotism with an intent to show them in a bad light. I mean, where does it fit? As for Ahan, I don’t think the film is happening, so that’s also ruled out.”

Was it to hint that she had lost a movie to a star kid? Taapsee grins and says, “I just can’t do so much of R&D (research and development) before I tweet something. I’ll just write what I want to convey, my state of mind, to my audience. [And] no, I had not lost any movie to anyone; not at that point when I tweeted this. I might have [lost a project] after that.”

Clarifying the stance that made her tweet such strong words, Taapsee says, “For me, it was more like I had realised that [nepotism] exists very strongly, and it’s one of the rules of the [film] industry. It was to say that I’m not going to revolt against it, but will work around it, and it has become a rule of the game for me, too. I meant that now I’d have to take it as a given and try not to get shocked about it or try to pretend that it doesn’t exist.”

Referring to Kangana’s comments, which led to a never-ending debate, Taapsee adds, “It’s not that people were oblivious of its existence. It’s just that someone eventually spoke about [nepotism] and everyone joined the debate. Among those were many who had been holding back for a long time and wanted to vent.”

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First Published: Jul 31, 2017 13:09 IST