3 years

Not People Like Us

Will They, Won’t They?

Rajeev Masand is entertainment editor at CNN News18
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The ‘Concerned’ Dad | Frenemy Frenzy

So it appears there may be some movement on the Padmavati front. Deepika Padukone has revealed she’s “deep in prep” for her role in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s troubled epic, and word coming out of the filmmaker’s camp is that he will shoot a song sequence featuring the actress in the weeks ahead. Ranveer Singh, who will be in Paris next week to shoot one final song for Aditya Chopra’s Befikre, is expected to join the unit later. Depending on whom you’re speaking to, there are various theories about why Padmavati remains grounded. There is, of course, the ‘money issue’ and the matter of the ballooning budget. Meanwhile, Shahid Kapoor reportedly negotiated a cool Rs 8 crore salary for taking the second male lead in the film.

It is no secret that there’s been tension between Bhansali and Ranveer over Padmavati, and Bollywood insiders say it’s because the Bajirao Mastani star was kept in the dark till the last minute about the fact that Bhansali needed a second leading man in the film. It was apparently his Befikre director and mentor Chopra who brought this important detail to Ranveer’s notice. Furthermore, Bhansali still hasn’t shared a final script with him. It’s also learnt that Ranveer has put down a firm condition that he will not feature on any poster or in any publicity material along with Shahid.

Bhansali is believed to have assured Ranveer that he is the film’s leading man, and that Shahid’s is a supporting role. However, some are saying that Shahid committed to the project on the specific understanding that his character is a parallel lead to Ranveer’s.

The trade has been sniggering that the road ahead will likely be a rocky one for the director, given all the drama that has transpired even before a single frame of the film has been shot.

The ‘Concerned’ Dad

The buzz in trade circles is that Shah Rukh Khan has more or less agreed to move the release of his next film Raees following repeated requests from Hrithik Roshan and his father Rakesh Roshan. Originally scheduled to clash with Sultan this past Eid, SRK and his co- producer Ritesh Sidhwani announced that they were moving the film to the Republic Day weekend in 2017. But that date had already been taken by the Roshans for their Sanjay Gupta- directed actioner Kaabil. Initially, both Sidhwani and Roshan Sr insisted that neither would budge from the date, but after the colossal failure of Mohenjo Daro, Rakesh Roshan is believed to have made a heartfelt request to Shah Rukh.

Insiders are saying that SRK, who owes one of his career’s biggest hits (Karan Arjun) to Rakesh Roshan, couldn’t refuse when he senior filmmaker played the ‘concerned dad’ card.

Frenemy Frenzy

Bollywood actresses can argue all they want about equal pay and substantial roles. What doesn’t seem to have changed is the reality behind the age-old cliché that actresses are each other’s worst enemies.

Fingers are being pointed at a successful actress’ camp waalas who have been going out of their way to prop up their client at the cost of running down her contemporaries.

When news broke recently that a top Bollywood leading lady had made it to a respected international magazine’s list of richest entertainers, this rival actress’ publicists quickly launched a campaign to undermine the achievement, and subsequently to create the perception that their client actually earns more than the star.

Only last week, another top heroine received a coveted award at the annual shindig of a prominent men’s magazine. Not one day had passed since the announcement was made, that the overenthusiastic publicists of the earlier actress began circulating stories that the award was only presented to this actress because their client could not attend the awards event.

The truth is that the actress in question has a thriving career, and one that her rivals must envy. Yet the practice of undervaluing a rival’s achievements to highlight their client’s appears to be a strategy that her team can’t think beyond. Tsk, tsk.

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