Why training for Rashmi Rocket has been difficult for Taapsee Pannu

Trust Taapsee Pannu to put in her best foot forward at all times. Pre-lockdown, the actress had invested three months for training to play an athlete in Rashmi Rocket, while shooting for Haseen Dilruba and promoting Anubhav Sinha’s Thappad. Three weeks before she could start shooting for the sports drama, the country slipped into a COVID19-induced total lockdown, which lasted a few months. Gradually, as the country went from one phase of unlocking to another, Taapsee also went from strength to strength, prepping for the film.

Talking about it, she said, “Thankfully, I wrapped up the Tamil film in 30 days and I’ve already resumed work on Haseen Dilruba. By the end of the month, I will be through with this film, too. And then, we commence shooting for Rashmi Rocket and Loop Lapeta, followed by Shabaash Mithu and Anurag Kashyap’s science-fiction-meets-supernatural thriller. In all of this, training for Rashmi Rocket became so taxing and difficult for me. I needed three months to make myself look like an athlete, physically. I was eating specific food in measured proportions and travelling like crazy. I asked for a little break and god gave me five months – a tad too many!”

Taapsee added, “Fortunately or unfortunately, when you have to devote time to a film that requires physical transformation, you can’t just focus on that alone. Actresses are not paid as highly as actors. Also, although a female actor’s shelf life has increased, it’s still not in the four-decade space as a male co-star, so we have to make the best of this time in our lives. I did the same. I prepped for three months, and juggled that with other shoots and the promotion of Thappad. Three weeks from our shooting schedule, we slipped into a national lockdown. We had to stop prep, the gyms shut. I just ensured that I keep the stamina high by exercising at home. After I started shooting my Tamil film in Jaipur, I rebooted my workout for Rashmi Rocket, which gave me September, October and a part of November to get back in shape for the film. I am doing it again, from scratch. I have 2 hours of training everyday along with my on-going shoot. It only leaves me time to catch some sleep. But after 5 months of craving to go back to work, I am totally okay with this.”

When asked about Shabaash Mithu and the prep this biopic on cricketer Mithali Raj requires, Taapsee said, “Even with the long gap, the sequence of shooting the films has remained unchanged. So, the idea is to complete the portions where I have to be on the race track by December. That will give me a portion of December, January and February to brush up my cricket skills to play Mithali Raj in the film.”