Filmi Fundas

Stepping into Deepika’s shoes

Alia Bhatt, the daughter of film-maker Mahesh Bhatt and tinsel town’s latest newcomer, has her hands full.

Alia lit up the silver screen with her glamourous debut in Karan Johar’s last directorial venture, ‘Student of the Year’.

She essayed the role of Shanaya — a rich, spoilt brat — in the film, opposite other debutantes like Varun Dhawan and Sidharth Malhotra.

Now, the actress has moved on to other projects — she’s been chosen to essay the role of Ananya, a fiery Tamil Brahmin, the film adaptation of Chetan Bhagat’s hit novel ‘2 States’.

Rumour has it that Alia has her old mentor to thank for this role — none other than Karan Johar.

Apparently, Chetan was initially very skeptical about casting Alia Bhatt for the role.
However, a photo shoot of Alia in a South Indian get-up convinced him that the
actress would, in fact, be perfect for it.

The movie is based on the love story of a Punjabi boy and Tamilian girl and from
the outset, Chetan was convinced that they’d cast a Punjabi actor and a South Indian actress to retain full authenticity in the plot.

The original plan was to cast Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone.

But when Arjun Kapoor stepped into the picture, it was decided that Deepika couldn’t be seen looking compatible with him.

Then, Karan suggested Alia for the role. And when the film-makers arranged for the photo shoot, everyone was surprised by how easily Alia slipped into the role.

She sports a traditional clothes, a pretty bindi and a demure expression in the pictures, alongside Arjun Kapoor.

Although nobody had expected it, she showed everyone how determined she is when it comes to her work.

In this case, it seems that Deepika’s loss is definitely Alia’s gain.

Maharaja Features

Comfortable in the industry

Pakistani actress Sara Loren, who is a part of ‘Murder 3’, regards her companionship with the Bhatt camp as a blessing.  “I feel more comfortable (with the Bhatts). Doing a simple film an­d being a part of a camp is different. I have a different com­fort level with them,” she says. She’s grateful to the film-makers for the support they have extended to her.  “They are very sensitive. Th­ey deal with you as an actor and as a person. These things encourage a newcomer a lot,” adds Sara. The film, which released recently, also features Randeep Hooda and Aditi Rao Hydari. It is co-produced by Vis­hesh Films and Fox Star St­u­dios, and directed by Muk­esh Bhatt’s son Vishesh. Sara’s debut Bollywood film, Kajra­are, was directed by Pooja Bh­att.

In awe of Big B

Actor Arjun Rampal is currently busy shooting for Prakash Jha’s latest film, Satyagraha. The shooting for the movie is taking place in Bhopal and Arjun admits that he is completely in awe of Amitabh Bachchan, who just happens to be one of his co-stars in the much-awaited film. “First scene of the film with the legend Amitabh Bachchan done, ufff he’s just so amazing. In top form, sense of humour on fire (sic),” Arjun tweets. Along with Arjun and Big B, the film also features Ajay Devgan, Kareena Kapoor and Manoj Bajpayee.

Brotherhood in tinsel town

One thing’s for certain — there’s a strong sense of brotherhood in the film industry. Recently, when Kamal Hassan’s film Vishwaroopam came under a whirlwind of conspiracy, this became evident. Rumour has it that Salman Khan, upon hearing of the trouble that Kamal had fallen into, called his legion of fans to lend their support to Vishwaroopam. Their mission, it seems, was to boycott the boycott.

And that isn’t all — Akshay Kumar also made sure to sprinkle all his promotional talk for his latest film, ‘Special 26’, with references to his own battles with cultural terrorism.

‘It’s important to have originality’

India needs to make movies that are original and shine on international platforms, says veteran actor Anupam Kher. 

“It is sad that we needed Richard Attenborough to make ‘Gandhi’ and win eight Oscars. It is important to have a certain kind of originality,” says Anupam, whose debut movie Saaransh was India’s official entry to the Oscars.

“We need to make movies, which come out of our own land, our issues, our problems, our celebrations. However, now (the film industry) is in a transition phase and we see that happening. Let us all hope for good. It is very difficult to please 1.2 billion people. I am optimistic that we will manage to do that,” he adds. The actor is basking in the glory of his Hollywood film ‘Silver Linings Playbook’, also featuring Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper.

Anupam plays a psychiatrist called Patel in the film, that has won various honours at the Critics’ Choice Awards and the Screen Actors’ Guild Awards. 

“It is primarily my first American film and it has been on a winning spree at various award functions. It is a great sense of achievement and I feel happy and proud. It is satisfying to be a part of such a film with such a cast. It also makes you feel proud as an Indian,” he states.

Anupam, 57, has also been a part of international projects like ‘Bend It Like Beckham’, ‘Bride And Prejudice’, ‘Conquest, Lust?’ and ‘You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger’. 
With him, several Bollywood actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Irrfan and Anil Kapoor have also been seen in American and British movies. 

“It is a happy change. But I personally feel it is a demand and supply situation. They require Indian actors. I don’t think they are changing their working formula to help Indian actors fit in,” he reflects, adding, “But, yes, ‘Silver Linings...’ has given me recognition internationally and that’s a great sense of achievement.”

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