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Taapsee Pannu on Fighting Patriarchy in Bollywood: ‘Aapko Bola Jayega Aap Arrogant Ho’ | Exclusive

Taapsee Pannu talks about bringing change in the industry and how women who break the glass ceilings are termed as 'arrogant' or 'difficult to deal with.' The Shabaash Mithu actor speaks on women learning to say 'no.'

Published: July 15, 2022 2:00 PM IST

By Vineeta Kumar

Taapsee Pannu on Fighting Patriarchy in Bollywood: 'Aapko Bola Jayega Aap Arrogant Ho' | Exclusive
Taapsee Pannu on Fighting Patriarchy in Bollywood: 'Aapko Bola Jayega Aap Arrogant Ho' | Exclusive

Taapsee Pannu on patriarchy in Bollywood: Taapsee Pannu has never shied away from talking about her self-made career where she worked without any references, recommendations or inside access into the industry. The actor has now headlined a film on India’s Mithali Raj, one of the most celebrated cricketers in the world. She says she can relate to Mithu’s fight on the field because she has had her own struggle in Bollywood where it took her 10 long years to bag a big-budget film like Dunki with Shah Rukh Khan and director Rajkumar Hirani. But, has it all been as easy as it sounds?

Taapsee Pannu Exclusive Interview: Women have learnt to say no to filmmakers

In an exclusive interview with and the entire Zee group, Taapse said it’s not easy for women anywhere in the world to leave a mark with their work because people often expect them to ‘adjust.’ The actor, who has worked across film industries in India said, “It’s only very recently that you have started seeing girls headlining the films. They are calling the shots now. They have learnt to say no. They know it if they want a certain thing to be in a certain way. I am not getting into the domain of a director or a producer but in my domain, I have full right to decide what kind of film or scene I want to do or I don’t want to do. Women have now become more confident in saying ‘no’ to people in the industry. This is a big change and no change can happen without hiccups. People are not used to hearing a woman disagreeing with someone, or simply refusing to do something.”

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Exclusive: Taapsee Pannu says women are always expected to adjust

Taapsee added that most people would expect a woman to make peace with whatever she has or simply adjust to whatever circumstances she has been put into. “It has taken a long time for this change to happen because traditionally, women have been perceived as people who will adjust. Now, it has come to the time when women don’t mince words in saying ‘I don’t like it.’ People don’t take this rejection/ refusal very nicely in the industry. Women are independent today. They don’t need support always,” she went on.

Speaking about her experience in the industry, Taapsee said women are given different labels when they learn to say no. “We have been living in such a strong patriarchal world for a long time that these changes will never be smooth in the industry. If you are the one bringing in these changes, you are declared arrogant or difficult to deal with. All those women who have tried to break the glass ceilings have been told the same.” However, the actor says it’s important for women to not let such criticism get to them. “If you want to bring change, you will have to be strong enough to simply ignore these remarks and keep moving on. You know you are doing the right thing and that’s what should matter,” she said.

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