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Nargis and the Teakwood Special

Rajeev Masand is entertainment editor at CNN News18
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Beware! Nargis Fakhri, literally the most embarrassing thing to have happened to Hindi movies since Deepak Malhotra in Lamhe, has apparently signed a new film. TheRockstar heroine will star opposite—wait for this—fellow teakwood Arjun Rampal in a film to be produced by Salaam-e-Ishq’s Nikhil Advani. Industry insiders have already begun sniggering that watching this film will be akin to witnessing the Olympics of bad acting!

Meanwhile, Nargis has found a new friend in Shahid Kapoor, whose birthday celebrations she attended in Goa last week, reportedly frolicking about in a bikini, drawing much attention to herself from passersby and hotel guests. If Shahid and Nargis are a couple (like some say they are), the duo is said to have done a good job hiding their relationship in Goa. Meanwhile, there’s no clarity either on the status of Nargis’ relationship with model-actor Shayan Munshi who she’s been seeing for some time now.

Ranveer’s Big Chance

After being turned down reportedly by Ranbir Kapoor, Hrithik Roshan, and Shah Rukh Khan, the buzz is that Sanjay Leela Bhansali has signed on Band Baaja Baaraat’s Ranveer Singh as the leading man for his next film. It’s a love story, and Bhansali is apparently alternating between Kareena Kapoor and Anushka Sharma for the female lead.

Singh, who’s currently shooting with Sonakshi Sinha for Udaan director Vikramaditya Motwane’s Lootera (based on a short story by O Henry), has also been zeroed in on to star in an ambitious remake of the Telugu blockbuster Magadheera, which will be produced by Anurag Kashyap and Motwane’s indie outfit Phantom Films. Part period drama and part contemporary action film, Magadheera was a big-scale production whose remake rights had become the most coveted property in Bollywood not so long ago, with even Hrithik Roshan attached to star at one point.

But it appears Kashyap and his partners have decided to invest in Singh. Apart from Lootera and the Magadheera remake, there have been hushed whispers that Singh could also star in Kashyap’s own three-part directorial venture Bombay Velvet, which Aamir Khan was rumoured to have shown interest in a few years ago.

In the current scenario where there are only a handful of viable male leads for filmmakers to choose from, Kashyap and his partners are reportedly creating their own talent pool for mid-sized and unconventional projects. And Ranveer Singh is the actor they’ve decided to put their money on.

It’s an exciting opportunity for Singh—until now seen as a charming heartthrob star—to earn some street-cred as an actor… if he can change his high-handed ways, that is. Industry sources haven’t stopped comparing Ranveer to the famously obnoxious Viveik Oberoi who blew his chance to make it big because of his monster ego.

Bedhopping at the Goa Wedding

There’s just no end to the stories emerging from this Goa weekend wedding. A heartthrob actor who’s a close friend of the groom is believed to have had the most fun, literally bed- hopping between actress’ rooms.

It’s now a known fact that he spent some ‘quality time’ with a has-been female star (who recently launched her own production company), whose make-up woman allegedly spilt the beans on their dirty little dalliance. But an older male actor who was also at the celebrations has been saying the young heartthrob also hooked up with his actress ex when she arrived late for the wedding in Goa.

According to the senior actor’s story, the young charmer showed up at his ex’s room to make sure all was well when she didn’t turn up in time for the shaadi, and then proceeded to stay on until much longer. Apparently, the young heartthrob confirmed to the older star that he had indeed rekindled this old flame ‘twice’ while locked up inside her room all afternoon.

When he dirty danced with his ex at the reception later that evening, all the guests noticed their closeness. But the actor threw a curveball when he revealed they were just ‘good friends’ now, as he’d gone back to seeing another one of his on-off actress exes.