Not People Like Us

What they did on V-Day

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What they did on V-Day • Noble Tantrum • Our Man of Fuss
The Bollywood contingent at Tampa, Florida, managed to have a characteristically good time last weekend, despite heavy criticism from the media over having skipped voting duties to attend the IIFA awards. “We’d made this commitment months ago,” most of them echoed in defence, shrewdly making no mention of the fact that they were all paid handsomely to show up. Some were cheekier. Like Abhay Deol, who flat out refused to speak to journos, demanding that they switch off their cameras so viewers in India wouldn’t know he’d passed up voting for a weekend of song-and-dance.

The awards show itself, a traditionally bloated affair, went on till three in the morning and—whether you were embarrassed or tickled by the sight—included two-time Oscar- winning actor (and artistic director of the Old Vic Theatre in London) Kevin Spacey wrapping on a lungi and shaking a leg with Deepika Padukone to her musical hit Lungi Dance.

Way more entertaining than hosts Shahid Kapoor and Farhan Akhtar’s on-stage jokes was Riteish Deshmukh’s running commentary—acidic and plain funny in equal measure—that Boman Irani and others seated beside him in the front row were privy to. Riteish’s snide remarks on the long and boring acceptance speeches, over-made-up actresses, and more than one tipsy presenter made the unending ceremony that much easier to get through, his buddies insist.

Earlier in the day during a luncheon for Hollywood guests Spacey and John Travolta, Main Tera Hero director David Dhawan sidled up to Ritesh and asked, pointing to Travolta, “Isko pooch, Face/Off dega kya? (Will he let us have the remake rights to Face/Off?)” Without blinking, Ritesh responded cattily to an amused David: “Kaunsa pehle poochha tha, ki ab poochh rahe hain? (Did you ever request remake rights all the times in the past that you plagiarised Hollywood films? Why bother now?)”

Noble Tantrum

Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor, in typical nawab and begum fashion, reportedly threw a fit on being asked to stay at the Hilton Downtown Hotel in Tampa, which had been chosen as the official hotel for IIFA guests. Nevermind that everyone from Anil Kapoor and Hrithik Roshan to Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra and Ranveer Singh happily took rooms at the Hilton, Mr & Mrs Khan just didn’t think it was good enough for them. Arrangements were promptly made for the couple to be accommodated at the Marriott Riverside, a considerable distance away.

But the first star to literally pack up and leave was Hrithik Roshan—once the curtains came down on the big show. The Krrish 3 star said he’d finally realised his childhood dream when he was able to convince a pasty faced John Travolta to join him in recreating Saturday Night Fever at the awards ceremony. Hours later, at the crack of dawn, Hrithik was headed for the airport on his way back to Mumbai.

Our Man of Fuss

And now for the bit where we take no names… The head chef at the host hotel in Tampa was heard complaining bitterly to a group of filmwalas who’d befriended him about one particular young star who’d been giving his staff a hard time over the past five days. The notoriously difficult actor ordered room service throughout the day but wanted all his meals customised to his diet, often demanding food items that weren’t on the menu. The chef explained that the kitchen had been expecting unusual star demands, and had tried to meet most of the actor’s specific food requests, but was very disappointed in his lack of courtesy.

According to the chef, the actor never once uttered the words ‘Thank You’ or ‘Please’ while insisting that he be served what he wanted when he wanted it, and never once tipped the staff during his stay. He did, however, make it a point to specifically call the kitchen back and complain each time a meal didn’t meet his standards.

The actor flew in to Tampa two days before the rest of the contingent and demanded “the best room in the house” while checking into the hotel, justifying his demand with the explanation that he was staying longer than the others, and that he was going to be performing at the show, thereby somehow making himself sound more important than the rest.