No half measures
Of the new, young lot of leading actresses in Bollywood — Alia Bhatt, Parineeti Chopra, Shradha Kapoor, Athiya Shetty and Patralekha — the one who seems to have her plate most full is Aashiqui 2 star and singer, Kapoor. In my interview with Bhatt last week for Indulge, she admitted that she envies Kapoor’s singing talent and her classic Bollywood heroine looks. Her fragile appearance and old-school charm seems to be working in her favour, as she has some plum projects lined up with the leading men in her peer group. First up is the action love story, Baaghi, with Tiger Shroff. Then there’s Rock On 2 with Farhan Akhtar, in which she plays a singer. Shaad Ali’s remake of Mani Ratnam’s O Kadhal Kanmani is now shooting with Shradha reuniting with Aditya Roy Kapoor, after which she works on Half Girlfriend, an adaptation
of Chetan Bhagat’s novel, with Arjun Kapoor. Perhaps her peers are right to be watching her with trepidation.
Of muses and makeup
Sixty three-year-old Rishi Kapoor has been ‘aged’—to look like he’s in his 90s—in Kapoor & Sons. Director Shakun Batra was cautious of actually casting an actor who might be over 80, and rather fragile, so he thought it more prudent to use makeup. And put Kapoor through four or more hours of painstaking prosthetics to make him look like the grandfather he plays in today’s release. Kapoor & Sons co-stars Alia Bhatt, Sidharth Malhotra and Fawad Khan in a story about a dysfunctional family that reunites to celebrates Dadu’s birthday. Batra had previously worked with Bhatt on the digital spoof, Genius of the Year, and he readily refers to her as his ‘muse’. Ask her how she feels about this and Bhatt replies, “I didn’t know that. I will give him a big hug when I see him. He’s nice, friendly and receptive. I guess he’s my moulder, my maker, whatever.” Wonder what mentor Karan Johar has to say about this.
Sinking his teeth in
Actor Randeep Hooda’s transformation for his role in Sarbjit surprised many. The hunky actor portrays the role of the slain Indian prisoner in director Omung Kumar’s upcoming biopic. The film traces his journey from being a contented farmer to being incarcerated in a Pakistani jail, mistaken for an Indian spy. Truly getting into the role, losing weight for the jail scenes, Hooda has also invested in learning precise wrestling techniques for an akhaada scene. Years of theatre training and acting in plays have clearly given the actor the rigueur for absorbing the character. His co-stars in this drama, which releases in May this year, include Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Richa Chadda and Darshan Kumar.
Here we go again
Love him or hate him, you cannot ignore Himesh Reshammiya, the composer turned singer turned actor turned producer. His audacity and tenacity are remarkable. He churns out shockingly bad films, which his PR machinery claims are hits and, in spite of limited acting capabilities (I challenge you to differentiate between brooding, angry, happy, romantic and relieved), he continues to cast himself as a hero. His latest outing is Teraa Surroor and for those who survived The Xpose last year, here’s some news: it seems a sequel is on the cards. The Xpose 2 goes on floors this summer. So with his composer hat on, we ask which contemporary singer he ranks highly? He names Arijit Singh, best known for songs like Gerua (Dilwale), Muskurane (Citylights) and Tum Hi Ho (Aashiqui 2).