Mumbai, Aug 24 (IANS) There are many fresh faces in Bollywood, but actress Radhika Madan is not the one who believes in competing with anyone.
After featuring in the hit TV show “Meri Aashiqui Tum Se Hi” and trying her hand at some reality shows, Radhika made her Bollywood debut with “Pataakha” last year for which she was widely appreciated.
On her success mantra and her fresh factor, Radhika said: “I am always myself. I don’t pretend to be someone else or compete with anyone. I believe in always honing your authentic self and believing in everything that you can do or will do. I think that is my fresh factor – I am authentic. I am honest and I don’t compete with anything or anyone.”
She also pointed out that in the era of social media, people tend to get influenced by the “chaotic conversations” happening all around. “We have to make sure that we don’t get stuck in the rut of validation and move past likes, comments and follower counts. If we are honest and passionate about our beliefs and dreams, there is nothing that can be not achieved,” she added.
Radhika and “Student of the Year 2” actor Aditya Seal recently attended the launch of Times Fresh Face latest edition.
Talking about his fresh factor, Aditya said: “I am trained in professional Korean Martial Arts, so I would say my fresh factor is my ultra-chocolaty face that comes with a pack of punch which is honestly quite an unusual combination.”
Mumbai, Aug 23 (IANS) Actor Suniel Shetty who essays a mentor in his debut Kannada film, “Pehlwaan”, says it is always best to play your age in films.
“I am playing a mentor to Sudeep’s character in the film, a father figure to the protagonist. It was exciting because I always wanted to play a character who is calm and composed. I think it’s always best to play your age and it has come out beautifully. Sudeep and (director) Krishna has managed my character very well. I think after a long break, coming back and playing characters like this with a lot of emotions and aggression is a good feeling,” said the 58-year-old actor, while interacting with the media at the trailer launch of “Pehlwaan” along with co-actors Kichcha Sudeepa, Sushant Singh, Aakanksha Singh and the film’s director S. Krishna on Thursday in Mumbai.
Asked what his experience was working in a Kannada film, Suniel said: “I was in a confused state of mind whether to continue working or not. Before this film, I had taken a four-year sabbatical but when something good comes to you, you want to taste waters. This was a kannada film offer, and I am not very familiar with the languag, but then again it’s my turf. So, when Sudeep (actor) and Krishna (director) offered me this good subject then, I knew it was up my alley.”
The one-minute, 53-second trailer promises the film will be high on action. Sudeep plays a wrestler and a boxer, fighting for a cause.
“Pehlwaan” has been dubbed for release into Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu and Hindi for wider reach. The film releases on September 12.
Mumbai, Aug 23 (IANS) Raghu Ram and Rajiv Lakshman are back on reality TV. The “Roadies” fame duo is all set to host a new show titled “Skulls and Roses”, which will explore themes of romance and adventure, aimed at the youth.
In the first look poster of the show released on Thursday, Raghu and Rajiv can be seen clad in black, walking through a path that features pictures of skulls, and has black flags on both sides. The poster seems to suggest that the show in store is going to be packed with action and tension, although the makers are tightlipped about the content right now.
“Skulls and Roses” is all set to premiere on August 30 on Amazon Prime Video.
Mumbai, Aug 22 (IANS) Gulshan Kumar’s daughter Khushali Kumar is all set to make her Bollywood debut opposite R. Madhavan in “Dahi Cheeni”. She plays a lawyer in the film, and has already started doing her homework to get into the skin of the character.
“As part of my preparation, I have started interacting with renowned lawyers, to understand their work ethics and legal proceedings. I have been visiting the courtrooms to see how they operate and how a lady lawyer reacts in a court. In fact, I met some powerpacked lady lawyers. It was a great honour to stand with them and get clicked, though I plan to spend more time across various courts to understand their mannerisms and conduct in the courtroom. I am sure it will help me prepare for my stint as a lady lawyer in Dahi Cheeni,” said Khushali.
She describes her debut flick as “a slice-of-life comedy”, adding: “The film shines light upon the problems that societies across the world face today. It is based on a true story and is so far removed from the pomp and show of Bollywood that it feels like a breath of fresh air. The film has a quirky and realistic approach.”
Khushali, who dreamt of becoming an actress right from her childhood, will be making her debut alongside R. Madhavan and is feeling a bit scared already. “It’s scary to stand next to Maddy but I have made up my mind and am ready to go at it full throttle.”
The newcomer loves to travel and her first film will take her to Bhopal, where parts of it will be shot. “I love to travel, and when a film can offer (the scope to) travel, it gives me immense joy. Since the film is set in Bhopal, I can’t wait to reach the city and start shooting. The people of Bhopal are honest and clear-minded. There’s so much to learn from the city and its people, which you will come across in my character.”
“Dahi Cheeni” is being helmed by debutant director Ashwin Neal Mani as is expected to go on floors soon.
Mumbai, Aug 23 (IANS) Superstar Aamir Khan’s daughter Ira Khan will make her directorial debut with a theatre production titled “Euripides’ Medea”.
The play with a Greek tragedy storyline will be showcased in select Indian cities, this year end.
Sources close to her reveal that she has already commenced work on her directorial and the premiere of her play is scheduled to happen in December.
The rehearsals for the play will be starting soon and will happen in Mumbai itself.
“There’s no particular reason that I decided to start with theatre. I love theatre, it’s magical and all-consuming; in its classical form, in the world of technology, it’s very real and physical. I love the suspension of disbelief that the audience allows for because then there’s so much you can express,” Ira said.
Unlike most star kids, she has “never considered acting”.
“In terms of more plays, I’d have to find a story that I want to tell. I don’t have a particular genre that I like. I’m not particularly into horror but other than that I’m open to all sorts of stories,” she said.
This comes a day after her “Everything will be okay” post that had left her fans worried.
Mumbai, Aug 19 (IANS) Actress Mahie Gill, who is known for her roles in films such as “Dev.D”, “Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster” and “Paan Singh Tomar”, says that she has been stereotyped for her sensual beauty for long, and adds that “just looking good” on-screen is “boring”.
Mahie returns in the hardhitting digital film, “Posham Pa”, where she is cast as a Marathi sex worker. Was it a difficult image to essay?
“I am quite hungry as an actress and I say no very easily because I have been getting only one kind of scripts and characters. I became typecast, because people would call me up only when they needed someone to play a sensual woman — someone who is bold and beautiful. Honestly, looking sexy all the time is boring. I mean, I am more than my appearance. I am an actress, a performer. Slowly, I am shifting gear to performance-oriented roles,” Mahie told IANS.
Directed by Suman Mukhopadhyay, “Posham Pa” also features Ragini Khanna and Sayani Gupta, and reloves around the story of two serial killers.
Being a Punjabi, playing a Marathi character for the first time was a challenge for Mahie. “The transformation of the character and how she ages is interesting. She starts her journey as a prostitute, then becomes a house help, and then she has two children. The circumstances she goes through makes her who she is. I loved the character graph,” she says.
Mahie started her career in films in 2003, but she became a household name only in 2009 after the release of “Dev.D”, where she essayed Paro in Anurag Kashyap’s new-age interpretation of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s “Devdas”.
She says introvert nature, to an extent, is the reason for her not being more visible on the screen.
“I have to say that I am to be blamed because I am quite introvert by nature. I cannot make calls to a director and say ‘sir, I want to work with you’. I have no ego but I think I should not disturb people by calling them. I know that is not the nature of the business, and as an actress I should be out there,” said the 43 years-old-actress, whose childhood dream was far removed from showbusiness.
“As a child, I always wanted to join the Indian Army and I trained for it, too. But something happened in my family and I had to come back. I had to change my plan. So in college, I studied theatre,” she recalled.
“As a teenager I would get a lot of modelling offers in Chandigarh, and people would say I have a pretty face. For me, however, that is not enough to be a good performer. Rather, my theatre training was the lesson I needed to become one. From the time I realised that I am not pursuing my Army dream, I decided to go with the flow,” shared Mahie.
From Anurag Kashyap to Sudhir Mishra to Tigmanshu Dhulia, she has worked with some celebrated filmmakers. However, asked about her wishlist of filmmakers, she said: “I would love to work with everyone but there are a few filmmakers I admire — like Rajkumar Hirani, Vishal Bhardwaj and Imtiaz Ali. That apart, I would like to work again with everyone I have already worked with.”
“Posham Pa” releases on August 21, on the OTT platform ZEE5.
Mumbai, Aug 19 (IANS) After the acclaimed “Kadvi Hawa”, actor Sanjay Mishra is back with yet another film that trains focus on the issue of climate change. “Turtle”, which casts Mishra in a lead role, recently won the National Award for Best Rajasthani Film. It has also garnered acclaim for its unflinching gaze at water crisis.
Although films such as “Turtle” receive critical acclaim, they never get enough exposure, and the actor believes that the government should take up the responsibility to release these films widely.
“As an actor I feel I am responsible to tell an important story through the film I become part of, and “Turtle” is an important film for me. Climate change, and resultant water crisis, is a big topic of conversation globally. So while a National Award makes us happy, the film will serve its purpose when it is released widely for the mass audience,” Mishra told IANS.
“In a small budget film, coming from an independent filmmaker, it is not possible financially to get a wider reach unless we get government support, because releasing a film is an expensive affair. These films have the potential to create awareness among common people. So, it is important these films are not just made, taken to festivals and awarded. Such efforts should be viewed by commoners, to let them form their views on climate change,” said Mishra about “Turtle”, which is directed by Dinesh Yadav and set in Rajasthan.
The actor who appeared in films such as the “Golmaal” series, “Masaan”, “Ankho Dekhi” and “Newton”, believes that in order to usher change it is important to reach out to the future generation.
“In my understanding, it would make sense to include this kind of films on their extracurricular activity. Understanding the importance of planting trees and (of) water harvesting system is important from childhood, so that it can become part of your lifestyle,” said the actor, whose criterion to accept a role is that it should give him creative satisfaction, and not just money.
“If not immediately, when my children are mature, they will understand my viewpoint on climate change. So, although these films do not give me enough money, they surely give me credibility as an actor who is well-versed with society. Films are meant for entertainment, but they also have the power to educate minds,” concluded the father of two.
New Delhi, Aug 19 (IANS) Singer Shreya Sharma had a dream debut with “Prada”, a song picturised on Alia Bhatt. The budding singer found the actress a warm and lovely person.
“We bonded well on set. She’s such a warm and lovely person. She told me she loved my voice and the way I sang it and I think she really pulled off the song together with her swag and attitude,” Shreya told IANS.
The artistes, who did a lot of cover songs prior to “Prada”, initially couldn’t believe that her debut song’s video would feature one of the most sought-after actresses of Bollywood.
“Oh my god! I was so pumped! I couldn’t believe it. I pinched myself hard and screamed so loudly that my friends in the living room ran in to check on me. They thought I slipped or hurt myself! It was unbelievable,” said Shreya, who sang the peppy number with The Doorbeen.
Onkar Singh and Gautam Sharma, who make up The Doorbeen, also star in the video. Didn’t she feel a little left out?
“No, not at all. ‘Lamberghini’ (The Doorbeen’s song) was a huge success and it made sense to stick with the same theme. Also, the song is doing really well and Alia Bhatt has performed on my vocals. I don’t think I could ask for anything more,” said Shreya.
Mumbai, Aug 19 (IANS) Actress-filmmaker Konkona Sen Sharma will trace the life of Arati Das, who was dubbed Queen of Cabaret in Kolkata, with in next directorial project.
Konkona will be helming a web show based on the life of Arati, better known as Miss Shefali. The series will chronicle her life, as well as the political environment of West Bengal in the sixties and seventies through its narrative of her life’s journey.
“The whole era of post-partition and pre-liberalisation fascinated me. Since I am from Kolkata, I have been aware of the subject and her unique story. It’s about the fascinating life of this female protagonist who decided to live life on her own terms, it’s extremely interesting, and right up my alley. That is why I decided to make this series,” Konkona said.
“We are in the process of finalising the cast. We are still developing the script and we plan to go on floors early next year. It is going to be an interesting journey,” she added, about the show produced by Zee Studios.
Mumbai, Aug 19 (IANS) Singer Alka Yagnik says now we live in an era where sexy means revealing.
“The era of the ’90s had a charm of its own where sensuality was portrayed with utmost poise and dignity. Item numbers were made even back then and even those were termed as sexy but now we live in an era where sexy means revealing,” Alka said.
“I feel one does not need to be vulgar to be sensuous… the song ‘Ek do teen’ is also an item number but the lyrics, grace and the way it was shot has a recall value even today and that’s why they are coined as iconic songs.”
She feels today’s songs lack that kind of portrayal and have “diverted themselves in believing more revealing will fetch them the number of views. I still feel original can never be remade/remixed and so, it’s called a remake because you can’t be the original,” she added.
The “Tip tip barsa pani” singer strongly put forward her opinion on item songs and remakes while shooting for an episode of the kid’s singing reality show “Superstar Singer”.
New Delhi, Aug 17 (IANS) National Award-winning actress Tabu believes in living with her fame, and says that one can’t just detach from it because fame becomes a part of one’s personality.
“It is way of life. You are a famous person when you are at home. You can’t stop being famous. So, you don’t have to deliberately detach from that because that will always be part of you,” Tabu told IANS when asked about how she handles fame.
“If you can look at it as an advantage and use it well, and apply it well, it is great. I don’t know if it is okay to become ‘fame’. I am famous and I have become fame are two different things. Fame will only come because of my work. For me, it was always important to focus on work rather than on how famous I am.
“It is easy to get trapped into external gratification, but I don’t think it is a healthy trap to be,” she added.
Tabu is known for projects such as “Maachis”, “Astitva”, “Haider”, “Drishyam”, “Cheeni Kum”, “Golmaal Again”, “De De Pyaar De”, “Bharat” and “Andhadhun”.
She will next be seen in the coming-of-age story “Jawaani Jaaneman” along with Saif Ali Khan. She is also preparing for a comeback in Telugu films after a decade, with Allu Arjun’s yet-untitled upcoming project.
Mumbai, Aug 17 (IANS) In Bollywood, it is mostly the male superstar who is the crowd-puller of a film — the primary draw whose name ensures blockbuster business. On the other hand, films with female actors in the lead, often witness poor box-office performance, or have to be produced in a medium-to-low budget set-up, so that they can make profits quickly and at least record a hit status.
Vidya Balan hoped the situation would change, while speaking at a promotional event for her new film, “Mission Mangal”, which stars Akshay Kumar and also features Sonakshi Sinha, Taapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari and Nithya Menen in key roles.
“There is no denying that the biggest star in this film and one of the biggest stars in the country is Akshay Kumar. When you talk about the business of a film, you talk in terms of the male actor. But things are changing, we have been headlining films, our films are doing well. Hopefully, in a few years, this change will also happen. But as of today, when you talk about the business of a film, you do say that an Akshay Kumar film has earned this much,” said Viyda, when quizzed on why films with actresses in the lead do not get a huge box office opening.
Vidya found logic why the success of a film starring a male superstar as Akshay should be credited primarily to him. “You can’t take it away from him. Look at the business his films have done over the years. I’ll be foolish to say, ‘oh they didn’t take my name’, but hopefully someday (the change will take place). I am hopeful because I have seen things change drastically in the past ten years,” she said.
Director Jagan Shakti’s “Mission Mangal” managed to collect Rs 29.16 crore on its opening day on Thursday, but the figures fell to Rs 17.28 crore on Friday.
Vidya, however, insisted she didn’t think in terms of numbers while judging a film’s success. “I am happy because the film is being loved so much. From the time it was narrated to me, I knew it is going to be a good film. I just wanted it to do well. I don’t think in terms of numbers — as in (its collection on) the first day or second day. All through, even during the making (of the film) and promotions, I felt there is good energy around this film. I am so happy and excited to see that the film is doing well,” said the actress.
“Mission Mangal” is Vidya Balan’s third film with Akshay Kumar after the “Heyy Babyy” and “Bhool Bhulaiyaa”. Asked why don’t they pair up more frequently, the actress said that they don’t get offers together. At this point, Akshay Kumar, who was also present at the event, interrupted her, saying: “I wanted her in two or three projects but she said she was getting married.”
On hearing this, the actress burst into laughter and asked: “So, you don’t work with married heroines?”
Mumbai, Aug 16 (IANS) Singer and television host Aditya Narayan, who is mostly hosting TV shows than singing, says he is not okay with the contract system that music labels force upon singers. Adding that he wants to build his career as an independent musician, Aditya said doing television shows and acting help him take a step forward in that direction.
“From the time corporatisation happened (in the music industry), music labels have started signing contracts with singers. They want artistes to serve them. They cut a certain percentage from our live gigs and assignments. I am not okay with that system,” Aditya told IANS.
“I am a singer and a musician at heart, and music is in my soul, but we live in a different era — way different from what my father and the earlier generation of singers lived in — whether it is Sherya Ghoshal, Sonu Nigam, Sunidhi (Chauhan) di, Papa and his contemporaries, they were friends and lived like a family,” said Aditya, son of singer Udit Narayan, who was huge playback phenomenon in the nineties and the 2000s.
“They (the earlier singers) would collaborate with music directors and experience success and failure together. Those things are over now,” added the youngster who started singing from his childhood along with his father.
As a child artiste, he lent his voice for numerous hits including the title songs of “Rangeela” (1995) and “Akele Hum Akele Tum” (1995), besides the number “Chhota bachcha jaan ke” in “Masoom” (1996). He has also appeared as a child actor “Rangeela”, “Pardes” (1997), “Jab Pyaar Kisise Hota Hai” (1998).
In 2007. Aditya started hosting the musical talent hunt show, “Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge”.
Given the situation in the music industry, Aditya claims that he has decided to make money through anchoring game shows, reality shows, and live gigs, along with singing.
“To fight a system so strong, I need to have money and backing to put out songs independently. So I am hosting television shows and live gigs. I am really fortunate to be one of the highest-paid TV entertainers. For me, independent music means a group of artistes writing, composing and performing a song by themselves without the control of a music label,” said the singer, who is appearing on the Colors TV show “Khatra Khatra Khatra”.
“I want to usher change, and I know I have to work tirelessly for that,” Aditya concluded.
Sofia, Aug 16 (IANS) On her TV shows such as “Swaragini” and “Pehredaar Piya Ki”, actress Tejasswi Prakash was mostly seen in Indian attire. Now, however, she is all set to experiment with her look in the upcoming season of “Khatron Ke Khiladi”. In the reality game show, Tejasswi will don western outfits.
“I feel comfortable in western clothes although most of the shows I’ve done have required me to wear Indian clothes. I have been working out a lot recently and it’s quite satisfying to see the results on my body,” Tejasswi said, on her transformation.
“I am a huge fitness freak and this show is bringing out the sporty, athletic side of me that was curbed for a long time because of my hectic shooting schedules. It feels great to step out of that Indian look in front of the people watching me because I don’t want to be typecast as someone who only does typical Indian roles,” she added.
Tejasswi is currently shooting for the stunt reality show in Bulgaria.
The father-son duo are currently shooting in Bangkok for the remake of the 1995 hit film, “Coolie No.1”. David had directed the original, featuring Govinda in the starring role, to be reprised by Varun in the remake.
Mumbai, Aug 16 (IANS) Akshay Kumar and John Abraham’s Independence Day war at the box-office has begun. Bollywood’s poster boys of nationalism, Akshay and John, have released “Mission Mangal” and “Batla House” respectively on August 15 this year, and initial reports suggest both films have seen a good opening at the box-office on day one.
“Mission Mangal”, which is based on Indian Space Research Organisation’s successful mission to Mars, has raked in over Rs 29 crore upon opening on Thursday, while “Batla House” has minted Rs 15.55 crore. However, “Mission Mangal” has the advantage of a bigger screen count. While the Akshay Kumar-starrer opened in over 3,000 screens nationwide, John’s “Batla House” released across 2750 screens.
Directed by Nikkhil Advani, “Batla House” is about the alleged police encounter that took place in Delhi in the wake of the serial blasts of 2008.
Earlier in the day, film trade analyst Taran Adarsh took to Twitter and announced the box office numbers of both the films.
“‘Batla House’ fares well on Day 1, although the numbers are affected due to the clash… Gathered momentum post noon onwards… Independence Day holiday gave its biz additional push… Will need to score from Friday-Sunday… Thursday Rs 14.59 cr. India business,” Taran had tweeted.
Taran also compared the opening day collection of Akshay’s latest space drama to his past films, which were released around Independence Day. According to the numbers, “Mission Mangal” has emerged out to be Akshay’s highest Independence Day opener.
“2016: ‘Rustom’ Rs 14.11 cr [Friday; working day] 2017: ‘Toilet Ek Prem Katha’ Rs 13.10 cr [Friday; working day] 2018: ‘Gold’ Rs 25.25 cr [Wednesday; holiday] 2019: ‘Mission Mangal’ Rs 29.16 cr [Thursday; holiday] India business,” Taran added.
Akshay is happy with the responses but he does not give heed to box office numbers.
Responding to one of his fan’s tweet, Akshay said: “The motive behind making the film (is) to inspire more kids and develop an interest in science. This is real success for me, not the box office numbers.”
This is not the first time that Akshay and John have vied for Independence Day honours at the box-office. Last year, Akshay’s “Gold” and John’s “Satyamev Jayate” released on the same day, to cash in on the Independence Day weekend.
Talking about the clash, John had said: “Akshay and I are dear friends. In fact, day before yesterday we messaged each other, and there is absolutely no problem. We are just releasing two films on the same day. There is a lot of space and audience is getting to choose from the best. I can say that film is really good.”
Before the release of “Mission Mangal” and “Batla House”, the actors met each other and did a special photoshoot together.
Mumbai, Aug 15 (IANS) Actress Bipasha Basu says it is always a tough challenge for her to play a dark or flawed character.
Bipasha featured in “Bachna Ae Haseeno”, which clocked 11 years of release on Thursday and the actress said it was a tough character to play. She essayed a smalltown girl who survives all odds to become a star in Mumbai in the film that also featured Ranbir Kapoor, Deepika Padukone and Minissha Lamba.
“(It was a) tough character to play. It’s always tough for me to play a dark character or a flawed character but that’s the challenge. I enjoy it as an actor. The further away it’s from my real life and the real me. The character becomes more exciting.”
he actress plays the role of an aspiring model named Radhika, who later in life changes her name to Shriya and becomes very successful in her career.
“Shriya was a romantic totally in love who becomes a tough harsh woman after getting jilted at the altar. And then again how she frees herself from her own pain by forgiving the one who hurt her. People loved my role and still praise me for it. Grateful,” she added.
“Bachna Ae Haseeno” was the eighth highest-grossing movie of 2008.
Mumbai, Aug 16 (IANS) Actor Arjun Kapoor, who has come up with a digital property called “Arjun Recommends”, says he has grown up being a cinephile and a binge-watcher seeking good content to watch.
Arjun will be using his social media to start the digital property and hopes that it helps everyone looking to find good content on television, OTT or at the cinemas.
“I have grown up being a cinephile and a binge-watcher seeking good content to watch, learn and enjoy something new and path-breaking. And I have always recommended them to my friends and family who have also loved my suggestions. The germ of this idea actually came from their reactions,” he said.
The “India’s Most Wanted” star says he treats his social media followers like his family.
“I wanted to start a digital property through which I would jam with them more intimately and share my recommendations with them. There is such outstanding content to watch and I do feel I must share this information with people who also want to see disruptive and quality content,” he added.
Talking about his digital property “Arjun Recommends”, the actor said it “will be super chilled, super casual as if I’m sitting in my living room and having a conversation with my friends”.
“The idea is to keep it relaxed and indulgent as I discuss the content piece that I have come across and tell everyone why I’m recommending this. It’s an extremely personal social media property for like-minded people to jam on the superb content from across the world that’s available for all of us to see,” he said.
The 34-year-old actor also hopes that people from the “world over also recommend content for me to see and get inspired”.