3 years

Not People Like Us

The Director’s Actors

Rajeev Masand is entertainment editor at CNN News18
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Past is Present | From Real to Reel

After the opportunity Sriram Raghavan gave until-then bubblegum star Varun Dhawan to flex his acting chops and show his range in Badlapur, it should come as no surprise that every other young actor seems to be queuing up to work with the director. Oh, the irony! Only four years ago, he’d been written off after the colossal failure of Agent Vinod.

Anyways, it appears that Raghavan has been in talks with Harshvardhan Kapoor for a possible project together, but the 25-year-old son of Anil Kapoor (and debutant star of Mirzya) will likely wrap Vikramaditya Motwane’s vigilante movie Bhavesh Joshi before Raghavan’s film goes on the floors.

Now there is some buzz that Deepika Padukone may be deep in conversation with him too about a ‘quickie’ project that they might wrap up in three months flat. Those who’ve been privy to discussions between the filmmaker and the actress say this could be some sort of a female protagonist version of Badlapur. Some are also suggesting that Deepika may be paired opposite Harshvardhan, who will take the negative role similar to what Nawazuddin Siddiqui played.

Don’t expect Harsh’s sister Sonam to drop in on the sets frequently, given she’s not Deepika’s biggest fan… and makes no bones about it either.

Past is Present

Don’t believe the rumour mill. Aishwarya Rai will not promote her new film by making an appearance on Bigg Boss. The buzz is that the actress is in talks to join Karan Johar and Ranbir Kapoor on the sets of the popular reality show to promote their film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, but I have it on good authority that nothing of the sort is on the cards.

There was no pressure on Aishwarya to appear on the show either, insiders say. And Ranbir will also sit this one out. Neither actor has particularly friendly relations with the show’s host, a certain Mr Salman Khan.

However, Aishwarya is not averse to the idea of making a movie with Salman. The pair never worked together after Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, despite numerous attempts on part of A-list filmmakers like Sanjay Leela Bhansali to cast them together again. The actress has reportedly told members of her inner circle that the script and the director would have to be extraordinary for her to consider collaborating with Salman again.

But don’t hold your breath. Salman has shown no interest in making a movie with Aishwarya again.

From Real to Reel

Despite repeated denials of a romance with his pretty co-star, unitwaalas from the set of his most recent film reveal that this young actor was very much involved with his leading lady. Given that his long-term relationship was on the rocks at the time, it’s hardly surprising that the upcoming star did not want stories of his shenanigans from outdoor shooting schedules to become fodder for tabloids.

Then there was the issue of his image. The actor famously fashions himself as a serious performer who is making movies purely for artistic reasons. While it’s true that he’s deeply committed to his art and has a reputation for working extremely hard on his characters, it’s also evident that he’s infallible just like the others when it comes to a weakness for the fairer sex.

Sources from the set have revealed that his ‘relationship’ with his co-star was tumultuous to say the least. During one rough patch, while they weren’t getting along, they were required to film a scene in which the actress had to slap him across his face. But the hero in question would have none of it. He reportedly spent hours arguing with the director why the scene ought to be rewritten. Production is believed to have halted while the actor badgered the director into conceding that his way was the right way. In the end, the scene they filmed will show him grab the actress’ hand when she raises it to slap him and give her a stern, angry look.

No one could tell for sure if this was just his male ego acting out, or some response to the fact that the pair had been squabbling lately. Either way, the crew was not pleased.

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