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Battle of the Cameos

Rajeev Masand is Entertainment Editor and film critic at CNN-IBN
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Time to Bury the Hatchet | Guess Who Ducked the Petition

It’s going to be a contest of which film can pack in more cameos. Rajkumar Hirani’s Sanjay Dutt biopic, tentatively titled Sanju, already features Sonam Kapoor, Anushka Sharma and Dia Mirza opposite Ranbir Kapoor. The filmmaker also roped in Tabu to recreate a scene in which Dutt (played by Ranbir) wins a Filmfare Award for his performance in Munnabhai MBBS. Insiders say Hirani has shot a few more walk-ons that he wants to keep under wraps until the film’s release. Word is that Aamir Khan and Boman Irani were spotted on the set.

Meanwhile, Anand L Rai’s film, in which Shah Rukh Khan plays a vertically challenged fella, already stars Katrina Kaif (playing herself), and Anushka Sharma as his love interest. SRK roped in Salman Khan, Kajol and Rani Mukerjee to make fleeting appearances, and the buzz is that Deepika Padukone and Juhi Chawla will also show up in tiny parts.

Both films are set against a Bollywood backdrop, so the cameos are intended to look organic to the story. But rest assured, things will get competitive pretty soon, and fans—if not the two filmmakers and their leading men—will be pitting the two films against each other on the strength of these cameos alone.

Time to Bury the Hatchet

You already know that both Deepika Padukone and Katrina Kaif attended Shah Rukh Khan’s 52nd birthday celebrations at his Alibaug home some weeks ago. You also know that Katrina had to leave the party early as she was meant to be shooting a commercial the next day. Deepika, meanwhile, stayed on with the rest of the gang, which included Alia Bhatt and Sidharth Malhotra, and left the following morning.

If you were wondering whether there was any awkwardness with both DP and Kat around, well, we now have the details. Turns out Deepika walked up to greet Katrina like she did with the others, and, anticipating icy vibes, other guests in the room pretended to be busy with their phones, or deep in conversation.

An eyewitness says SRK swiftlyturned his focus to little Abram, while Sidharth reportedly crawled away to attend to an imaginary untied shoelace. Only notoriously moonh phatt Farah Khan announced loudly that she wished her phone was with her so she could capture this delicate moment. When the mood was less tense, and after DP had left the room, she’s also believed to have told Katrina to bury the hatchet with Deepika as the bone of contention between them had moved on to newer pastures.

Guess Who Ducked the Petition

A senior female actor, a firebrand feminist, has reportedly led an initiative to reach out to the Prime Minister, objecting to the manner in which protestors threatened physical violence against the leading lady of a controversial Hindi film.

The veteran actress got a strongly worded letter drafted by a Supreme Court lawyer and sent it around to other top actors, asking them to sign and put their weight behind it. Apparently, several female stars have put their name to the letter—both senior actors, and current-day leading ladies. Only three are believed to have politely declined.

One, famously rebellious, asked not to be involved. Nobody was surprised, given that few have supported her in her own crises. The second, a top star, dithered and delayed, saying she needed to consult her lawyer, but didn’t get back in time. The third, apparently asked to be excused because she holds a foreign passport and did not want to get on the wrong side of the authorities. The inside joke is that she wouldn’t have supported the film’s leading lady anyway, given their own past history.

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