Not People Like Us

The Coolest Old Person Ranbir Knew

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Close escape | Good guy gone bad?

If you’re wondering why Ranbir Kapoor was missing from photographs and videos of his grandmother Krishna Raj Kapoor’s funeral earlier this week, it’s because the actor was accompanying his parents Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh to the US, where his father was seeking ‘minor medical treatment’. They were reportedly on the flight when Mrs Raj Kapoor breathed her last early on the morning of October 1st.

Ranbir was especially close to his grandmother, at whose Chembur home he’d moved into after his break-up with Katrina Kaif.

When I visited him there in August two years ago, he spoke fondly about her and said she was the “coolest old person I know”. He said she’d frequently discuss and advise him on his relationships, and was the most broad-minded grandparent he knew. She was never condescending, and could talk to him in a language he understood. “There’d be times I’d come down in the morning for breakfast, and you know how it is... you’ve just woken up, you’re all scratchy and itchy. And she’d say: ‘Leave it. Stop touching it. Don’t worry; it’s not going away.’”

He said she’d also share stories with him about his grandfather, the legendary filmmaker Raj Kapoor, including some of their not-so-pleasant times together. Most of all though, he said, she indulged his love for food, and always had a crew of the best cooks to whip up his favourite mutton dishes.

Close Escape

Turns out Abhishek Bachchan was the first choice to play the antagonist opposite Ranveer Singh in Rohit Shetty’s Simmba. Having worked with AB Jr in Bol Bachchan (2012), Rohit was confident he could convince Abhishek to take the role; after all, he wasn’t offering him just a standard villain’s part. The character is reportedly a charismatic and powerful bad guy with many shades. But Abhishek declined. Insiders are saying the filmmaker wasn’t pleased.

Abhishek, who’s had a career revival of sorts with Manmarziyaan (2018), is believed to have told Rohit he wasn’t ready to play villain just yet, citing Mani Ratnam’s Raavan (2010) as the only time he went “dark”, and reminded him the film failed at the box office. With Abhishek out, Rohit roped in Sonu Sood to take the role. Sonu, already having problems taking orders from Kangana Ranaut after she appointed herself director of Manikarnika when the original director Krish left, had now found a good reason to walk out of that film and into Simmba.

It’s no secret that Abhishek and Sonu have been buddies since they worked together in Farah Khan’s Happy New Year (2014); lately their ‘bromance’ has been all over Twitter. Abhishek keeps ribbing Sonu each time the latter posts photographs flaunting the eight-pack abs he’s acquired in preparation for his role in Simmba. ‘Stop it!’ AB responds in mock frustration when Sonu uploads another Chippendales- style shirtless picture.

Good Guy Gone Bad?

Say it isn’t true! The big rumour doing the rounds involves one of the most loved young actors, whose performances have been the stuff of dreams lately. He’s always come across as a grounded, ‘head-screwed-tightly-on’ kind of guy, committed to his girlfriend of some years and focused on all the right things.

Insiders say something’s brewing between him and the petite young actress he starred with recently in what has become his biggest hit yet. The two are said to be secretly involved, though both have significant partners. Ah, what a cliché he’d turn out to be if it were true. Can we just say we hope it’s a case of smoke without fire?