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    Mixed bag
    Sonakshi Sinha has certainly been bitten by wanderlust. One look at her photo sharing feed and you’ll see that she hops over to Goa at the smallest opportunity and is currently enjoying down time (between professional commitments) in America. But she’s also been working consistently, on Force 2 with John Abraham and Akira directed by AR Murugadoss. Later this year, she will start filming for Vipul Shah’s Namastey England with Akshay Kumar and has also signed up for two other interesting projects. The first is the Ittefaq remake co-starring Sidharth Malhotra, being produced by Shah Rukh Khan, and the second is Sunhil Sippy’s Noor, based on the comic crime thriller novel Karachi, You’re Killing Me! Sippy has previously made the National Award-winning black comedy, Snip! This is the ad filmmaker’s second film in 16 years. Interestingly, after working with Kumar, Abraham, Shahid Kapoor and Salman Khan, in Noor she will be working with a standup comic-turned-actor, Kanan Gill. As for Sinha, her choices continue to surprise us.

    Missing his groove

    British thespian Ian McKellen’s conversation with Aamir Khan was the talk of the town—and not just because of McKellen’s wit, wisdom and engagement with the audience on William Shakespeare, acting and homosexuality. The hotter topic was how host Khan seemed ill suited to the job and poorly prepared to talk about Shakespeare and his great works. Khan even fumbled while recalling the names of the three plays that Vishal Bhardwaj had adapted into Hindi film. However, when the Lord of the Rings actor (he played the bearded and wise Gandalph) asked Khan which Shakespearean character he would like to play, he did have an answer at the ready—Iago from Othello.

    Girl in control Kalki
    Kalki Koechlin is enjoying the wonderful
    reviews for her latest film, Waiting. She’s also
    happy to finally have her own home in Mumbai—a bright, airy apartment in a suburb close to the film industry studios and offices. “It’s my first home and I am so happy,” she said. But what she’s not so happy about are the rumours surrounding her relationships. The Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani actress has recently been linked to a Bollywood co-actor, a theatre actor and a female colleague. But if anyone can take these speculations in her stride, it is Koechlin. When I met her at her new apartment last week, she didn’t have staff bringing us water and coffee—she made filter coffee herself, from local beans. What a refreshing change from the battery of managers, spot boys and assistants who usually
    fuss and hover around our stars these days.

    NandhithaNandita finds her Manto
    It’s always a pleasure to meet Nandita Das and it was no different last week when I met her during the Kashish Film Festival in Mumbai. Das was participating in a panel on censorship at the LGBTQ-themed festival, which was fitting given that her first major movie, Fire (1996), dealt with a same-sex relationship and faced a controversial release. While best known for her acting work, Das directed the powerful Firaaq (2008) and is currently prepping for her next directorial project—an ambitious period film called Manto, based on the life of the seven years (1945-1952) in the life of the maverick writer Saadat Hasan Manto. Das recently confirmed the casting of Nawazuddin Siddiqui—who also appeared in Firaaq—in the titular role along with Rasika Dugal—who impressed in the critically-acclaimed Qissa—as Manto’s wife Safia. Manto is slated to shoot early next
    year in Mumbai and Lahore.

    -Udita Jhunjhunwala

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