For Pannu, choosing films has always been a slow and steady game. “I have always been choosy. Whatever films I have done till now in Bollywood, I probably could have taken a lot more films if I wanted to but the thing is I needed to be sure of each and every film I do, for being an outsider, you really don’t get a second chance. So, I didn’t want to waste any opportunity or take a wrong film. That is why I decided to be patient with whatever work I am getting, as it should be the best,” Pannu tells Guardian 20.
Pannu believes that hard work and talent are the only way to survive in this industry as there is no second chance for outsiders in Bollywood. Talking about the godfathers of Bollywood, Pannu says, “Well, it’s not like this that we need to have a godfather because if the situation was like this that we need to have one and one can’t survive without one, I would not have been here. I don’t have any god father here and I am still here, it means that you can pretty much survive here and do well without any god father. It is just that if you have one, things become smooth
Pannu wanted to go for an MBA. Acting was never on her cards. She says, “I never wanted to be an actor. I was modelling for pocket money. After my graduation, I started getting calls for films. So, I thought of giving it a shot till the time I start for MBA. It is good to try, if it works then it’s good, if it doesn’t work out then also it is fine as I I’ll come back to my studies. So, this is how I started doing films and then my films worked out.”
Having worked in many south films, Pannu believes that there is no difference working in regional cinema and Bollywood, apart from the language barrier.
After playing a naughty and bubbly role in Chashme Baddoor, Pannu surprised her audiences with her Indian action spy thriller, Baby, where she played the role of a secret agent. Having been applauded for her role in Baby, Pannu will also be seen playing the lead in its sequel, Naam Shabana.
The actor was highly acclaimed for her role in Baby. The martial arts action scene added to her popularity but for Pannu it was physically draining. “I took the training especially for Baby. And I have already started my training for the next part. Apart from that, I never took any other training. It was very physically challenging since I had no idea about it. It is very tough for the body to get used to martial art action so it was very physically taxing.”
With the growing competition in the industry, Pannu believes that concentrating on own work help in doing better. “If I start thinking about it, I would be brain wreck and I won’t be able to concentrate in my work. There is a space for everyone. This industry is pretty big and it is best to concentrate doing best in what you are getting and don’t get worried about what the other person is doing. It affects your work if you start thinking about it,” she says.
With her upcoming film, Pink, Pannu is thrilled to share the silver screen with the veteran actor, Amitabh Bachchan. For her, working with him, becomes a landmark in one’s career. She says, “You remember it for the rest of your life. That man has an aura around him. When you look at him you always think that I wish one day I carry the same kind of aura like him. You get to learn so much from him and it is amazing to have a co-star like him because his energy is so infectious and the amount of hard work he puts in for every role and for every scene is really commendable at that age.”
She also speaks about the film where the story revolves around three girls. “It’s a story about three girls and how one incident that happen in their life changes their life totally,” she says.
Pannu says that the film is not the preachy one. “For good or a bad, you will have to watch this film and what happens with them, is it right or wrong that you have to decide yourself because we are not teaching anything in this film. Our idea is to get people talking and start debates and raise those topics which people don’t like to discuss in open. So, those kinds of situations are shown in the film. Rest is up to you, what you take from the film, what morals you take from it. We are showing you the bare reality of how things happen.”
With more women-centric films on the rise in Bollywood, the actor thinks it is best time to be an actor today as one gets to play so many roles without worrying about the commercial viability.
Apart from Naam Shabana, Pannu will soon be seen in Ghazi, Tadka and Makhna.