Not People Like Us

Back to His First Love

Rajeev Masand is Entertainment Editor and film critic at CNN-IBN
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It’s Raining Films | Forgiving His Aides Their Trespasses

Sushant Singh Rajput is turning out to be a real prick. No, honestly, he is! The actor is currently preparing to act in a stage adaptation of Italian author Alberto Moravia’s70s novel, The Two of Us, which imagines a conversation between a man and his penis. Sushant, in case you’re wondering, will play—ahem—the character that rhymes with slick.

Few movie stars would follow up a Rs 100-crore hit with a stint in theatre, but Sushant insists he doesn’t think like most movie stars. When Takaddum, the film he was intending to shoot next with director Homi Adajania got ‘indefinitely postponed’, Sushant decided it would be a good time to take a stab at what he most loves but hasn’t been able to find time for: acting in a stage play. His next release after the successful MS Dhoni: The Untold Story will be Raabta, which is slated for release in June next year. But he won’t be on a movie set again until months later, when director Tarun Mansukhani is ready to roll cameras on his Fast & Furious-style actioner.

In the meantime, any fans who’re having withdrawal pangs from his long absence on the screen, will of course have the opportunity to watch him act like a complete dick on stage.

It’s Raining Films

By the time you read this, Ranveer Singh’s new film Befikre will have hit cinema screens, and we’ll have a good idea which direction it’s headed. The Bajirao Mastani star is not unaware that early responses to the songs and the trailers have ranged from ‘meh’ to ‘WTF’, but Ranveer has been insisting that the promotional material doesn’t do full justice to the film they’ve made. He’s confident that Aditya Chopra has banged out a “Bollywood rom-com done right” and believes that viewers will be surprised.

Not that Ranveer has too much to worry about even if the film doesn’t quite make the intended splash. He’s insured his (immediate) future with plum projects, including Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati in which he plays Alauddin Khilji. Ranveer has shifted into an apartment in Goregaon, not far from Film City where much of the filming will take place on massive sets. It is here that the actor is preparing to play this negative role.

He is also committed to making a movie with director and close friend Zoya Akhtar, and then there is a film with Chak De helmer Shimit Amin. Finally, in a move that may shock many, Ranveer will likely dive into a film with Rohit Shetty. He told me recently that he bonded closely with the Golmaal director while shooting that ambitious Chings commercial, and they’ve been discussing a feature length project since. Nope, that won’t be the Ram Lakhan remake for Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions. That idea has long since been aborted.

Forgiving His Aides Their Trespasses

This A-list star who’s got a new film slated for release not far away, wants to focus on what’s important—his career—and has decided as a result to let his father deal with everything else. I reported here previously how the star and his producer father discovered that his business manager had been swindling money, and while that is usually enough ground to fire the culprits, the actor and his father have decided not to make any hasty decisions. They don’t want attention drawn to this incident and the manager remains employed for the sake of appearance only, insiders say.

Meanwhile, the liaison from the manager’s agency who shadows the star and travels with him on a daily basis has been reportedly forgiven for being in on the scam. The lady in question has been asked to ensure that nothing inappropriate occurs anymore.

The actor himself is neck deep in post-production on the new film, and even ditched a high-end magazine on the day he was meant to shoot a cover for it because he couldn’t peel himself away from the film’s edit suite. It’s focus, focus, focus for the 40-something star who realises this may be his last chance to get back on track.

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