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Two’s Company

Rajeev Masand is Entertainment Editor and film critic at CNN-IBN
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Role Play | Travel and Tell

All the stars—well, all the important ones at least—headed to Mannat on November 19th for an impromptu party hosted by Shah Rukh Khan after the Global Citizen Festival that evening. Coldplay’s Chris Martin was the star attraction, not surprisingly, and according to eyewitnesses, Deepika Padukone had his undivided attention pretty much the entire evening.

The Bajirao Mastani star, who didn’t show up for the concert earlier, was rapt in conversation with the Coldplay frontman, much to the irritation of other actors who reportedly circled the duo numerous times, hoping to catch Martin’s eye and request a selfie or somehow join the conversation. “The other actresses looked particularly irritated,” a source tells me. “Deepika didn’t budge for over three hours. Not even for a loo break.” At one point, Shah Rukh Khan had to excuse himself for interrupting their conversation when he brought some friends over to be introduced to Martin. Subsequently, Alia Bhatt joined the pair in discussion, and Sikander Kher has posted photographs on his Instagram account suggesting he got a few moments with the trio.

Salman Khan showed up for the bash too, but my source reveals that he expressed “zero interest” in meeting Martin. Later that same evening, Farhan Akhtar and Shraddha Kapoor regaled the guests with impromptu musical duets. Aah, to settle for that while Martin was in the house. That had to be more disappointing than anything else!

Role Play

So we know now that Parineeti Chopra will be the leading lady in Golmaal 4. Good for her. But did you know that Rohit Shetty and Ajay Devgn first approached Shraddha Kapoor for the role? Turns out the Rock On 2 star quoted a fee considerably higher than they were willing to pay. Insiders say she asked for Rs 1.5 crore to appear in the latest instalment of the comedy franchise, but the makers said they could pay her no more than Rs 1 crore for the job. Shraddha reportedly asked for a day to think about it before she could make a decision, and that’s when all hell broke loose.

Incensed that they were being ‘put on hold’ by the young actress, Ajay and Rohit decided to go for the other fish in the sea. Parineeti, who’s been shooting Meri Pyaari Bind with Ayushmann Khurrana, had been seeking out a comedy, and Golmaal 4 seemed to fit right into her plans. Plus the actress has a hole the size of a blockbuster in her schedule anyway. According to well-placed sources in the film trade, her project with Sushant Singh Rajput, Takadum, to be directed by Homi Adajania, has been indefinitely postponed.

Meanwhile, Shraddha appears to have no regrets over losing the film. All’s fair in love and movies, after all. She has to know that Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani went to Alia Bhatt with Rock On 2 before she was ever considered for the film. Alia liked the script too, but according to sources, it was her mentor Karan Johar who advised her to “let this one pass”. She did, and ended up dodging a bullet.

Travel and Tell

At a very exclusive birthday party of Bollywood’s most successful film director recently, a star wife may have ‘overshared’ details of all the travelling she was intending to do before the end of the year.

The lady in question, who is handling the business affairs of her fading-star husband, told guests and friends that she had a busy four weeks ahead, with plans to be in Dubai “because the weather is better there”, in Paris subsequently on a shopping weekend, in Sydney for an event her husband had been invited to, and at least two more stops before 2017 arrives.

It didn’t take some of the catty guests long to deduce that a pile of black money was being prepared for spending before the year-end deadline renders the stash worthless.

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