Funny tweets and jibes aside, Taapsee Pannu opens up on the recent war of words with Kangana Ranaut

She is less of ‘sasti’ and more of sassy. And an original at that. Weeks after Rangoli Chandel called her out for her “double filter” comment on Kangana Ranaut and opened the floodgates of a public feud, Taapsee Pannu seems almost amused by the episode. Point in case being her recent jibe — when an entertainment portal recently dubbed her the new queen of Bollywood, Pannu, in her cheeky humour, said she didn’t want to be called ‘queen’ lest she be accused of copying again.

“If I meet her, I will graciously walk up and say hello to her, or even her sister,” smiles Pannu, when Ranaut and her endorsement of Chandel’s comments comes up in our conversation, indicating that she harbours no animosity towards her. One would expect the two to get along, given the similarities — no, not the curly hair; instead, the shared passion for women-oriented cinema, their drive to give female actors an equal footing in the industry and their fearless attitude. Pannu says she too was surprised at the misdirected animosity. “It was triggered because I said she needs double filter. Even Anurag [Kashyap] and I need that. How is that a negative thing? I saw her as an honest person. It’s sad that she says a woman cannot call out another woman. I will call out people basis who is wrong and right, and not based on what gender they belong to. Feminism is about an equal platform,” argues the actor, dropping the F-bomb, Ranaut’s oft favoured weapon in her artillery after the N-bomb.

“She has always spoken about how a woman should support another woman, but I did not hear any words of praise for my films. There are five women in Mission Mangal. Is she praising us? I am her junior and don’t have [as vast] a filmography as her, but I have done a decent number of films for someone to be appreciative of it.” Catfights are not in her DNA; Pannu would rather make light of the situation, have a laugh and put it all in the past. But she admits that the turn of events has “disappointed” her. “It was a shock because it came from someone I always admired. I felt disappointed. When someone you had put on a pedestal does this, it makes you question if you were right in looking up to her. In my response, I said I am happy being a copy because she is a damn good actress. I am sasta because she claims to be the highest paid [female actor]. I don’t see it as derogatory. Just because she is saying it, doesn’t mean it’s the ultimate truth. She didn’t expose me; she exposed herself. It’s awkward but I won’t hold it against her. I love her as a performer and will continue to do so.”

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