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    Kalki turns director
    Kalki Koechlin likes to get into the skin of her characters. While there may not have been much method acting required to play Aditi in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Koechlin certainly had to spend long and intense hours to get into her Margarita, With A Straw character of Laila and get used to the wheelchair. For her next role, in Soni Razdan’s 1950s period drama Love Affair (with Ali Fazal and Gulshan Devaiah), based on true events, Koechlin is working on her accent, posture and body language. She has also completed Anu Menon’s Waiting (with Naseeruddin Shah) and Jiah Aur Jiah (with Richa Chadda). She will be seen in Nicholas Kharkongor’s independent film, Mantra (with Rajat Kapoor, Shiv Pandit and Adil Hussain). But what is making Koechlin most nervous is her first effort at direction. She will be directing her first stage production, which premieres later this year. Koechlin is both writer and director of the play, the cast of which includes Neil Bhoopalam, recently seen in NH10.

    Heart of the matter
    Given the way the hype is already being built for it, Rohit Shetty’s multi-starrer Dilwale is already headed to being one of the most anticipated films of this year (slated for a Christmas release). Not only does it see Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol reuniting after My Name is Khan, but it also sees young actors like Varun Dhawan and Kriti Sanon joining the top-heavy cast. As the title indicates, Dilwale is a romance but with the usual Shetty (Chennai Express, Golmaal) staples—and one of them being shooting in Goa. But foreign locations of Cape Town, Abu Dhabi and Mauritius have also been added to the production schedule. The cast also includes funny men Sanjay Mishra, Johny Lever and Varun Sharma.

    Pizza boy to pugilist
    From being the pizza delivery boy in horror film Pizza, the light-eyed Akshay Oberoi is on a roll with a number of new projects on the anvil. Not only is he appearing in Abhishek Kapoor’s Fitoor, an adaptation of Great Expectations starring Katrina Kaif and Aditya Roy Kapur, he is also acting in the Indo-Brit film Bombairiya, has a special appearance in Piku, and is currently prepping to play a boxer in Gurgaon. National award winning cinematographer, Shanker Raman’s noir drama Gurgaon spotlights gender prejudice set in the context of a modern city. Oberoi is building his physique to convincingly portray a boxer, which entails him following the same diet regimen as that of champion boxer Vijender Singh. Pankaj Tripathi (Gangs of Wasseypur) plays Oberoi’s father in the father-son story. Aamir Bashir also stars. Interestingly Bashir and Raman have previously worked together on the former’s Harud.

    The Goan wedding
    Actress Tillotama Shome who has acted in such hard-hitting film as Children of War and Qissa has come a long way since her modest maid character in Monsoon Wedding. Shome just had a wedding of her own, as she tied the knot with long time partner Kunal Ross in a low-key Bengali style function held in Goa. Ross happens to be Jaya Bachchan’s nephew, which meant that guests were seen jostling to get pictures of the high
    profile Bachchan family. Amitabh, Abhishek and Aishwarya were in attendance along with aunty Jaya. Other guests included Shome’s close friends, fellow actresses Konkona Sen Sharma and Priyanka Bose.

    -Udita Jhunjhunwala

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