All Guns Blazing

All Guns Blazing

Actor Taapsee Pannu on owning a Premier Badminton League team and loving the sport.

tapsee pannu, manmarziyaan, anurag kashyap, womaniya, carolina marin, saina nehwal, badminton, premier badminton league, andy murray, indian express news
Tapsee Pannu (Ashish Kale)

After her last stint in Anurag Kashyap’s Manmarziyaan, actor Taapsee Pannu looks for roles that make her feel uncomfortable. “That’s when something brilliant comes out of it. In fact, all the films that I am doing this year have that discomfort factor,” says the 31-year-old.

In Anurag Kashyap’s Womaniya, Pannu plays the real-life character of a woman shooter. The film is about two of India’s oldest women shooters, Chandro Tomar and Prakashi Tomar, popularly known as Revolver Daadis. They are in their ’80s but began shooting after they turned 50. “Playing the role of these shooter daadis is a challenge that may work well or backfire,” she says. Without prosthetics, had to train for voice texture and perfect the art of shooting, which she says, she’s really bad at. “The only comfortable part is being able to speak Haryanvi since I’m from Delhi,” she says.

Pannu has also turned into a businesswoman now as she owns the Pune 7 Aces team. The team includes high-profile badminton players including Olympic gold medallist Carolina Marin. Pannu has been travelling with the team for the fourth edition of the Premier Badminton League (PBL).

In Pune, she visited an NGO, Prashanti Cancer Care Mission, which the team is associated with. During their visit in December last year, the team temporarily changed their official jersey colour from blue to pink, in support of the NGO. “We were losing a few matches earlier but after wearing our pink jerseys, the team decided to donate Rs 10,000 for each set they won. Now we are seriously contemplating changing the official colour of our jerseys,” says Pannu. Her live wire presence on screen is as effective on the badminton court. “Our tagline is ‘In to win it’,” says the actor, who has been a sports enthusiast since her childhood. “I have been following badminton for a long time. The sport is fast becoming India’s official sport in terms of family viewing and we have amazing players in PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal and others,” says Pannu, adding “I really felt bad that the PBL was not getting its due attention. This fourth edition of PBL made me think I can do little bit in changing that and took this step.”

Ask her about her favourite players and while she loves Marin’s playing style, Pannu is a huge fan of former world number one tennis player Andy Murray. “I enjoy watching people who show emotion on court and unlike Roger Federer, who is a better player, Murray shows so much emotion,” she says. When asked about the impact of the #MeToo movement, Pannu, who was among the first actors to welcome it, said there is a definite change in the workplace. “People are very conscious of what they are saying and how they are dealing with women.”