Taapsee Pannu Actress Biography
After playing the role of an antagonist in the Telugu action thriller Neevevaro, Pannu acted in Anurag Kashyap’s romantic drama Manmarziyaan with Abhishek Bachchan and Vicky Kaushal. In the latter, Pannu played Rumi Bagga, a free-spirited girl caught in a love triangle. The film premiered at 2018 Toronto International Film Festival and met with mostly positive response. Anupama Chopra called her performance “mercurial and mysterious and maddening”: “With her cloud of red hair enveloping her, Rumi seems, continually to be a woman on a warpath.” The same year, she also acted in two short films: Baarish aur Chowmein and Nitishastra.
Taapsee Pannu was born on 1 August 1987 in New Delhi to Dilmohan Singh Pannu and Nirmaljeet. She is of Punjabi descent. Her father is a retired real estate agent while her mother is a homemaker. She also has a younger sister, Shagun. She did her schooling at the Mata Jai Kaur Public School in Ashok Vihar and did her graduation in Computer Science Engineering from the Guru Tegh Bahadur Institute of Technology.
Pannu had a string of releases in 2019 with the first one being Sujoy Ghosh’s mystery thriller Badla, an official remake of the 2016 Spanish film The Invisible Guest. It also marked her second collaboration with Amitabh Bachchan. She was initially offered a supporting role and the film had a male lead. Pannu convinced the producer to have the lead role played by a female which he agreed on and offered her the role. Badla met with favourable critical reviews with Namrata Joshi mentioning that Pannu is “in fine form”; the film met with strong box-office results. Pannu then essayed the role of a game designer who uses a wheelchair and battles a home invasion in Game Over, directed by Ashwin Saravanan. The film was shot simultaneously in Tamil and Telugu language. During the duration of the filming, Pannu had to be in a wheelchair for 12 hours for 25 days. The film and her performance were praised; Saibal Chatterjee said that Pannu “is never less than convincing” and “may be the primary reason why you must go out a watch this film.”
Apart from acting, Pannu runs an event management company called The Wedding Factory along with her sister Shagun and a friend. She is also the owner of the badminton franchise Pune 7 Aces, which plays in the Premier Badminton League. She is also vocal about several social and political issues.
As of February 2021, Pannu has begun filming for Looop Lapeta, which is an official remake of the 1998 German film Run Lola Run, and Dobaaraa, Anurag Kashyap’s thriller film produced by Ekta Kapoor’s Cult Movies. She finished shooting for the sports drama Rashmi Rocket in January and will be next seen in Vinil Mathew’s murder mystery Haseen Dillruba opposite Vikrant Massey. Pannu has also signed to portray cricketer Mithali Raj in Shabaash Mitthu.
In 2013, Pannu made her Hindi film debut with David Dhawan’s Chashme Baddoor, co-starring Siddharth, Rishi Kapoor, Divyendu Sharma and Ali Zafar. A remake of the eponymous 1981 film, it met with unanimous negative reviews but became a box-office success. Later, she was seen in the big budget action thriller Arrambam co-starring Ajith Kumar and Arya. She was awarded Most Enthusiastic Performer–Female Award at the 2014 Edison Awards for her performance in the film.
As a model, she endorsed brands such as Reliance Trends, Red FM 93.5, UniStyle Image, Coca-Cola, Motorola, Pantaloon, PVR Cinemas, Standard Chartered Bank, Dabur, Airtel, Tata Docomo, World Gold Council, Havells and Vardhman. She has also been featured on the cover of magazines Just For Women and MaaStars. After a few years, she lost interest in modelling as she thought that she could never gain proper recognition through modelling, but only through films, and finally decided to act.
Dil Juunglee (2018), co-starring Saqib Saleem, was Pannu’s first release of the year. It failed to create an impact among the critics and the audience. Her followup was Shaad Ali’s sports drama Soorma which was based on the life of field hockey player Sandeep Singh (played by Diljit Dosanjh). Despite mixed reviews, Soorma became a financial success. Pannu then depicted a lawyer in Anubhav Sinha’s Mulk. Pannu said that the film presents true patriotism and nationalism without taking sides. Pannu’s performance was praised with Nandini Ramnath of Scroll.in calling her one of the “strong turns” of the film; it earned her a Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress nomination.
Taapsee Pannu (born 1 August 1987) is an Indian actress who works primarily in Hindi, Telugu and Tamil-language films. She is the recipient of two Filmfare Awards and has featured in Forbes India’s Celebrity 100 list since 2018.
After completing her graduation, Pannu worked as a software engineer. She became a full-time model after she auditioned and was selected for Channel V’s talent show Get Gorgeous, which eventually led her to acting. Pannu has appeared in numerous print and television commercials and won several titles during her modelling days, including “Pantaloons Femina Miss Fresh Face” and “Safi Femina Miss Beautiful Skin” at the 2008 Femina Miss India contest.
When asked in January 2015 about her personal relationships, Pannu said: “[..] I have never dated a star and will never date one and that I can write and give you on a stamp paper. I am clear that there can be only one star in the relationship and that’s me. I personally don’t think it can work out between an actor and an actress.”
It was followed by the war drama The Ghazi Attack (2017), the action thriller Naam Shabana (2017), drama Mulk (2018), Anurag Kashyap’s romantic drama Manmarziyaan (2018), Sujoy Ghosh’s mystery thriller Badla (2019) and the space drama Mission Mangal (2019). For portraying the septuagenarian sharpshooter Prakashi Tomar in the biopic Saand Ki Aankh (2019), she won the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress. In 2020, Pannu received widespread praise for her role in Anubhav Sinha’s Thappad, and the performance gave her her first Filmfare Award for Best Actress.
She next played an ISRO scientist in Mission Mangal which was about India’s first interplanetary expedition, Mars Orbiter Mission. Pannu liked the idea of a space film with several leading ladies in it. With a global collection of over ₹2.9 billion (US$41 million), Mission Mangal proved Pannu’s biggest financial success.
Her final film of the year was Tushar Hiranandani’s biographical film Saand Ki Aankh, co-starring Bhumi Pednekar. Pannu portrayed the role of Prakashi Tomar who is one of the world’s oldest sharpshooters for which she underwent three months of training in pistol shooting. Her role was well received with Anna M. M. Vetticad writing that both Pannu and Pednekar succeed in “delivering equally finely tuned, sensitive performances.” Pannu and Pednekar received the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress.
While filming for Running Shaadi, Pannu was approached by Shoojit Sircar for the courtroom Pink. She was “curious and excited” about the subject as it had not “been dealt with head-on yet in mainstream cinema.” The film, which also starred Amitabh Bachchan and Kirti Kulhari, followed three girls who fight a case against a politician’s nephew for molestation. The film and Pannu’s performance met with universal acclaim. Rajeev Masand noted that Pannu, along with other two ladies, ” deliver natural performances as strong but emotionally vulnerable women, without a hint of affectation.” With worldwide revenue of ₹1.08 billion (US$15 million), Pink emerged as a commercial success. Pannu later said that the film proved to be a turning point in her career.
Pannu played a short role in her next release Mr. Perfect (2011). In it, she acted alongside Prabhas and Kajal Aggarwal. She starred in a high budget film titled Veera (2011), opposite Ravi Teja and Kajal Aggarwal, which received moderate reviews. She was next seen in her second Tamil film Vandhaan Vendraan, that fetched mixed reviews and did not fare well at the box office. Her next film was Krishna Vamsi’s Mogudu where she acted as a traditional Telugu girl opposite Gopichand and garnered critical acclaim for her performance. She worked on the Telugu–Tamil bilingual Gundello Godari—titled Maranthen Mannithen in Tamil— apart from Daruvu and Shadow.
Pannu made her cinematic debut in 2010 with K. Raghavendra Rao’s romantic musical Jhummandi Naadam. She played the role of the daughter of a USA–based millionaire who comes to India to research traditional Telugu music. Pannu got three more offers in Telugu prior to the film’s release. Her next film Aadukalam (2011), marked her debut in Tamil cinema. She played the role of an Anglo-Indian girl falling in love with a rural man played by Dhanush. The film, set in the backdrop of Madurai, revolves around cockfights. It was critically acclaimed and proceeded to win six National Film Awards at the 58th National Film Awards ceremony. Speaking about her role, a reviewer from Sify said: “Debutant Taapsee is a promising find and she suits the character of an Anglo-Indian girl to the T.” She returned to the Telugu film industry with Vastadu Naa Raju (2011), opposite Vishnu Manchu. She made a foray into Malayalam cinema later that year, with Doubles (2011), opposite Mammootty and Nadiya Moidu. Paresh C Palicha of Rediff commented: “Taapsee Pannu as Saira Banu, whose entry into the scene becomes the bone of contention between the siblings, has nothing noteworthy to do”.
Pannu’s sole release of 2020 was Anubhav Sinha’s drama Thappad, where she played the role of Amrita, a home-maker who files for divorce after her husband slaps her. She said that the character’s “righteousness, her maturity to handle every situation” made her suffocate. The film and Pannu’s performance met with positive critical response. Shubhra Gupta of The Indian Express noted that she “drives the film, but the effort she puts into her performance shows.”
In 2019, Pannu raised awareness about children’s health, and gender parity on Twitter with hashtag #WhyTheGap. Pannu has also served as the brand ambassador for Uber, Garnier, Nivea, Kurkure and Women’s Horlicks.
After a year without releases, she starred with Akshay Kumar in Neeraj Pandey’s film Baby (2015), as undercover agent Shabana Khan. Later, she had two Tamil releases, the horror comedy Muni 3, opposite Raghava Lawrence and Aishwarya R. Dhanush’s Vai Raja Vai, which featured her in a special appearance.
Pannu has featured in Forbes India’s list of Celebrity 100 in 2018 at 67th position with an estimate income of ₹15.48 crore (US$2.2 million). She was featured for a second time in 2019 ranking 68th. In 2017, she was featured in the magazine’s 30 Under 30 list. Pannu runs an event management company called The Wedding Factory which she manages along with her sister Shagun and friend Farah Parvaresh. In 2018, she bought the badminton franchise Pune 7 Aces which plays in the Premier Badminton League.
Pannu’s first release of 2017 was the romantic comedy Running Shaadi, where she played a Punjabi girl who helps couples in eloping to get married. The film received mixed critical reception but praised her acting. It was followed by the naval war drama The Ghazi Attack, based on the mysterious sinking of PNS Ghazi during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. The film was shot simultaneously in Telugu and Hindi and performed modestly at the box-office. Pandey noticed that Pannu’s seven-eight minute sequence in the role of special agent Shabana Khan in Baby was well received after which he “decided to give the story an arc.” Pannu reprised her role in its spin-off titled, Naam Shabana. For the role, she trained in different forms of mixed martial arts like Kūdō and Krav Maga. Both the film and Pannu’s performance met with mixed response with Sarita A. Tanwar of Daily News and Analysis noting that she is “fantastic in every scene” and Udita Jhunjhunwala of Mint felt that she is “hardly likable” in the film. Pannu subsequent roles were of a ghost in Telugu horror comedy film Anando Brahma and the protagonist’s girlfriend in the action-comedy Judwaa 2. The latter, which was a reboot of the 1997 namesake film, proved to be commercial success, earning over ₹2 billion (US$28 million).
After doing modeling for a few years, Pannu made her acting debut with the 2010 Telugu film Jhummandi Naadam and later acted in the 2011 Tamil film, Aadukalam. She made her Hindi film debut with David Dhawan’s comedy Chashme Baddoor. After appearing in several South Indian films, Pannu got noticed for her performance in the courtroom drama Pink, which was a critical and commercial success.
Born: (1987-08-01) 1 August 1987 (age 33)New Delhi, India
Alma mater: Guru Tegh Bahadur Institute of Technology
Years active: 2010–present
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