Daily Archives: Apr 3, 2015
Wendi McLendon- Covey on her role of CEO on The Goldbergs and beyond
Although vibrantly portraying Beverly Goldberg, Wendi McLendon-Covey in reality is far from kooky. Calling her character the CEO of the Goldberg household, on hit TV show The Goldbergs (based on actual footage that creator Adam Goldberg shot in the 80s), McLendon-Covey says it’s a huge responsibility to play a real person. “When I began, I was told not to worry about playing her exactly as she is. I was to make her more likeable, which hints at what she is like in reality,” laughs the actor. Lucky for her, Mrs Goldberg approves of the portrayal. “The real Beverly comes to set often. And she says she is happy with my version of her. If she didn’t, she’d have shut us down a long time ago,” jokes McLendon-Covey.
That 80s show
The Bridesmaids star also thinks her wardrobe is horrible. “I absolutely hate the fashion. Most of the sweaters are actually Beverly’s. Luckily, she’s about seven inches shorter than I am, so nothing else fits. They smell funny and they are awfully itchy,” she says. But she does adore her TV children—Hayley Orrantia, Troy Gentile and Sean Giambrone. “I love them like they’re my own. I have to fight the urge to text and ask if they’ve eaten. I also occasionally check on them through Facebook. Just the other day I had an intense scene with my youngest, Giambrone, and we both could not stop crying,” says McLendon-Covey, who after The Goldbergs will host Repeat After Me, a former segment on the Ellen Degeneres Show, where celebrities are instructed to do crazy things in public. “When Ellen asked me to host it, I couldn’t say yes fast enough,” she says. Next, she is off to Canada to shoot Army of One, a film about a man who took it upon himself to kill Osama Bin Laden. “And he tried 11 times. I play his lover. So from crazy mother to crazy man’s lover—clearly people think of me when they need crazy,” she signs off.
Thursdays at 8 pm, on Star World Premiere
It’s time to ditch plaid in favour of its cooler and on-trend sibling — gingham
Many say gingham prints are traditionally American, epitomised by Dorothy’s Wizard of Oz dress. But we say, the simple, timeless check came from the local gumcha. This season, it makes its way on to dresses by Oscar De La Renta and tops by Zara. Here are our picks.
Feel the blues
A smart pencil dress is a timeless investment, especially when rendered in a playful gingham print. From Archana Rao’s latest collection for Frou Frou, the blue and white cotton piece features silk pearl beads appliqued on the neckline, while the bottom is layered with sheer organza. Wear with a white bucket bag, strappy stilettoes and oversized sunnies for the Audrey Hepburn look. Rs 15,188 on perniaspopupshop.com
No one does checks like Burberry, and they’ve brought out a version of their signature tartan scarf to fit the gingham trend. A playful mix of wool and cotton, the unisex scarf blends indigo, white and black to give you a versatile accessory. Available in contrast colours, it pairs well with a sporty LBD or even over a white blouse and faded denims. Rs 12,500 at Express Avenue. Details: 2846 4135
Launched in 2009 by DJ and designer Massimo Giorgetti, Italian label MSGM blends vibrant colours and contrasting textures. And this tweed mini dress, part of the label’s fresh Resort ’15 collection embodies that perfectly. The yellow and white piece is finished with a fringe trim and sheer organza inserts, Clearly a day dress. Rs 38,000, approximately on net-a-porter.com
Zara’s V-neck top with ruffled frills is feminine and elegant, and sure to turn heads. While it attracts enough attention by itself, we think you should go the whole hog and pair it with matching cropped trousers from the brand. Style it with a neat handbag and sling-back heels. Rs 2,890 (each for top and trousers individually). At Phoenix Market City. Details: 30083700
Trust Diane Von Furstenberg to get creative with an everyday print! The chequered black and white look is taken to a whole other level with this wrap dress, that sees a fitted jersey bodice gracefully flowing into a swirling chiffon skirt. We suggest you keep things slick and sexy with black patent leather pumps. Rs 32,140, approximately. At Kitsch, Mumbai. Details: 022 32445293
Sporting the timeless checks, French Connection’s Shrimpy gingham skinny jeans are a cheery addition to your wardrobe. When at work, pair with a black top. For an off-duty look, throw on a yellow blouse and brogues to go. Cut closely to fit the body, but not compromising on the zip fly and classic five-pocket styling, we think this is a spring essential. Rs 5,500 at the store in Phoenix MarketCity. Details: 30083393
Oscar de la Renta gets creative with the check-inspired print with this dress. Infusing ikat into the mix, the fit and flare dress comes with a full skirt, seam pockets and a back zip. Crafted from cotton, it is best worn with a matching pair of blue suede shoes. Rs 73,292. Details: neimanmarcus.com
Get the trend right with these separates from high street label, Mango. While the blouse is a lightweight affair with a round neck and keyhole detail at the back, the Bermuda shorts feature an elastic waist with side pockets and welt pockets on the back. Keep the look casual with statement thong sandals. Blouse (Rs 2,290), shorts (Rs 2,990). At Express Avenue. Details: 28464535
Get summer ready with this adorable romper from Forever 21. The fabric is punctuated with bright sunflower prints that form a fine contrast against the black and white background. With adjustable shoulder straps, a pleated front and slanted front pockets, this one is a great summer buy. Rs 1,219. At Garuda Mall, Bengaluru. Details:080 41104473
Aakanksha Devi and Rashmi Rajagopal
The journey can often rival the destination, if you’re travelling through one of the world’s top airports
Airports do not always have to be soulless hubs of transit. Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport has the ability to make most travellers feel they can afford Chanel or Burberry, even while struggling towards departure gates with their off-brand carry-ons. Tokyo’s Narita International Airport can keep you happily engrossed for ages just with their amazing toilets, bizzare goodies and, believe it or not, McDonald’s Filet O’Fish burgers. Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur International Airport boasts a steamy rainforest and excellent sandwiches from DeliFrance Express. But to steer you through the bewildering list of layover hubs and specials, we asked Fiona Caulfield, the force behind the Love Travel guidebooks and a frequent flyer, to give us her verdict.
“I know that there are many challenges at Heathrow, but I find it interesting each time I visit. There’s constant innovation, such as having Alain de Botton as writer-in-residence, and the Love Actually lounges” she begins. In Amsterdam, it’s ‘the idea of shops with groceries and flowers that you can get on arrival before the trip home’ that appeals, while Hong Kong, according to Caulfield, has the best lounges. “Cathay does lounges better than anyone else. It’s actually a pleasure to be there—and I have a 12-hour layover quite often,” she says.
While there are no airports from South or North America in SkyTrax’s top 10, Caulfield recommends Denver in the USA, which has ‘architecture with a sense of place, in that the roof looks like the surrounding mountains,’ and Tierra del Fuego, off the South American mainland. “It’s basically a shed with a great view, but it made me want to skip the connection and start walking,” jokes the author who recently released two new editions in the Indian series of her guide books (see box, Book of secrets).
Best of the rest
Thirteen million passengers have voted and the SkyTrax World’s Best Airport results are in. So the next time you find yourself booking a flight, think about the route as much as where you are heading to. Munich, Zurich, London Heathrow and Amsterdam fly the flag for Europe SkyTrax’s Top 10, but Asian airports dominate, with two each from Japan and China, one from South Korea, and, of course Singapore.
Three Indian airports made the top 100 of the world’s best airports for travellers this year, with Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi ranking highest, at 58, and Bengaluru not far behind at 64. The third airport is Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, which weighs in at number 70. Bengaluru (for the first time), and Delhi (for the second) were also selected in the Best Regional Airport in Central Asia and India category.
Maintaining its top spot for the third year running is Singapore’s Changi Airport. When it opens in 2018, their latest project, Jewel Changi, will house one of the largest indoor collections of plants in Singapore, in a five-storey garden topped off by the world’s tallest indoor waterfall.For now, the 54,000,000 plus people who pass through every year can enjoy a stroll through the open-air gardens, spend a few hours in the entertainment deck — which has everything from a movie theatre to an XBox Kinnect room — or relax in the Balinese-themed swimming pool. Shopping highlights include luxury brands like Prada, Tiffany &Co and Bvlgari, while for dining, the latest development is Singapore Food Street. “It’s an amalgamation with the look and feel of old Singapore, offering well-loved local cuisine,” shares Robin Goh, assistant VP of the Changi Airport Group. And if you’re planning to break your journey in style, then take note that the world’s best airport hotel — the Crowne Plaza Changi Airport — is here.
Book of secrets
Caulfield’s gorgeously tactile range of Love Travel guides have updated versions for Jaipur and Goa. From a bike shop that sells bicycle horns to the best place to stock up on art supplies in Jaipur, Caulfield gently leads you into new cities in the same way a sophisticated local friend would. A Love to Shop guide is in the pipeline, as is another on Kolkata. Rs 1,350 upwards at Good Earth andlovetravelguides.com. Details: 43087878
Maegan Dobson Sippy
Trail nuts and ancient seeds are passé for these celebrities who snack on fried ants and earthworm omelettes instead
It was in 2010 that actor Zac Efron got his first taste of the exotic. And by that we mean scorpions. On the George Lopez show, he ate a scorpion on toast. And, over the years, the 27-year-old has grown fond of bugs for lunch. His favourite is the Taiwanese cricket. “That is the best one,” the actor enthuses. However, Efron has had his share of the gross food experiences, too—like the Super Worm Cocktail, a concoction of creepy crawlies marinated in lime juice and served in a martini glass. He called it the worst of them all. On a recent episode of Bear Grylls, the actor was made to dig up earthworms and look for other possible protein sources to eat. He made earthworm omelettes on the show and even had them. Now that is hard on our appetite.
Worms for Cage
While you’ll have to wait to actually see him eat worms, Norman Reedus, who plays the rugged Daryl Dixon on The Walking Dead, is apparently happy to munch on them. Executive producer Greg Nicotero revealed that Reedus ate real worms while filming the latest episode, Them with No Qualms. ‘‘I think he was gung-ho about doing it. But I would be surprised if he, by the time we are done, didn’t regret it slightly,’’ Nicotero said. When talking about it on the show Conan, Reedus got host Conan O’Brien to admit that he’d eaten fried bugs on the show, while admitting that he does all sorts of things for the camera. Reedus ate the worms as a tribute to Nicholas Cage’s cockroach eating in Vampire’s Kiss.
She is widely known for portraying Marcia Brady on The Brady Bunch show, in the 70s. But now American actress Maureen McCormick has left behind that cute image and is, instead, living the rough life on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! The 58-year-old, who is a vegetarian, was reluctantly made to eat fly pupae during a challenge called ‘Yuck of the Draw.’ Remarking that she had no idea what to expect, she shoved the entire wooden spoon into her mouth and swallowed hard—all the while hitting the table to show her disgust. Eating a cockroach, on her next challenge, seemed to be easier, but she later admitted that it was ‘the hardest thing (she) has ever, ever done’.
Looks like even cricketers who’ve entered tinseltown have jumped on the bug-eating band wagon. Batsman Andrew Flintoff ate a giant cockroach as part of the first series of the Australian version of the reality show, I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! After swallowing it, the 37-year-old cried, “Oh my word. The back end of it is horrible!” Host Chris Brown reportedly threw up after watching Flintoff eat the bug.
This nature loving, shampoo avoiding, clay eating Hollywood actress has a new fetish to add to her list. Shailene Woodley recently said, “I’ve eaten ants and bugs, and it was great. I think the future of food is insects, so we’ll see what happens.” Her thoughts are shared by researchers and scientists. “Crickets are pretty commonly eaten because they are a great source of protein and easy to rear on organic food material. There’s a smaller carbon footprint on these insects compared to beef, chicken, pork and fish,” said Lou Sorkin, a senior scientific assistant at the American Museum of Natural History.
Mrinalini Sundar & Aakanksha Devi
From a kalamkari workshop at DakshinaChitra to sailing classes in Pondicherry, Plan your summer along the ECR
Check into Auroville
With the holiday season upon us, trips to Auroville are a given. Why don’t you check into the new Green Hotel, a beautiful heritage-style house,
surrounded by gardens. The hotel with 10 rooms—both single and double—offers complimentary breakfast and free WiFi. Located 200 metres from the Visitor’s Centre. At Rs 750 per night. Details: 8148429294
Sign up for a two-day workshop on the traditional kalamkari technique from Kalahasti, Andhra Pradesh. Vijaya Kumar from DakshinaChitra will teach participants how to draw floral and animal motifs, and paint on fabric using vegetable dyes. The colours are made from natural material like barks, leaves, roots and flowers, which results in hues like red, yellow, indigo and green. Rs 2,000 (including materials, refreshment and transportation). Tomorrow and Sunday. Details: 9841777779
Here’s a chance to experience something unusual. Auroville-based artist Catherine Marquette paints while she dances, giving expression to her soul’s journey. On April 7, she will present this performance—dancing and painting in a circular room. At Kala Kendra – Bharat Nivas, from 5.30 pm to 7.30 pm. Details: bharatnivas.org
Adishakti is hosting a month-long festival to celebrate renowned artiste and founder Veenapani Chawla’s birth anniversary, on April 5. This week, a jazz concert by Kirtana Krishna will be folowed by a 45-minute multi-media presentation, Sun Mere Bandhu Re. It will include recorded readings from noted radioperson Ameen Sayani’s book on music composer, SD Burman. Finally, expect therakoothu performances by Arulmigu Sri Iyyappan Nataka Mandram and folk drama by Pragaladhan Sarithram. At Adishakti, today, from 7 pm onwards. Details: 0413 2622287
Follow the green
To encourage environmental awareness, Ainthinai, a Chennai-based NGO, is holding a sapling maintenance and camping session in Pondicherry this weekend. As part of green activities, they had planted 135 saplings at the Pondichery University and 50 saplings at Mailam a few weeks ago. The volunteers will remove weeds from around the saplings, ensure regular watering, manuring, pruning and mulching. From 6 am. Details: docs.google.com/forms
Ready to sail
With more people showing an interest in sailing, The Pondy Sailing Association (PSA) has started classes for adults and children, this summer. Situated at the Thengaithittu estuary, near the Pondicherry fishing harbor, PSA has a small fleet of boats and offers both theoretical and practical sessions. Students will be taught nautical terms, how to raise the mast and balance the boat when under sail. Classes for kids begin from Rs 8,000 and for adults from Rs 12,000 (for eight sessions of two hours each).Details: 9677418078
Auroville’s Nilesh Nisar and Geetha give you more choice when it comes to healthy snacking
The next time you’re at the Visitor’s Centre in Auroville, don’t miss the newly-introduced dark vegan chocolates and roasted nuts at their food counter. For the couple Geetha and Nilesh Nisar have made additions to their popular dry fruit ladoos and cashew toffees. “Most of the people in Auroville are vegans and are particular about the chocolate they consume. That’s why we started making vegan chocolates, with just cocoa, sugar and dark chocolate,” begins Nisar, a Gujarati from Mumbai, who has been selling his products under the brand, Natraj, since 2007.
Adding to their list of healthy munchies, they offer roasted and salted cashews, almonds and pistachios that are light and oil free. “Our cashews come from Panruti, Tamil Nadu and the others from Delhi,” says Nisar, who seems to be doing well in Chennai and Bengaluru, besides Pondicherry.
It all started when Nisar discovered that he was diabetic a few years ago, and the doctor advised him to give up sweets. This was hard on the 44-year-old who couldn’t imagine a day without a sugar fix. “That’s when we started experimenting and came up with these delicious ladoos that have no ghee, sugar, honey, jaggery or preservatives. Instead, we use dates,” explains Nisar. Their factory, located in Auroville, produces 3,000 ladoos a day. They supply their products to almost all the Nilgiris supermarkets in Chennai and have several orders from Bengaluru, too.
Roasted almonds (100 gms) costs Rs 140. Details: 0413 2623623
With an Arabian majlis and specially designed floors, Hutte Royale is your unwind centre for the weekend
SERENITY Beach is the latest venue to create a buzz in Pondicherry. There is a new restaurant, Theevu Plage, a surf school and the just-opened Hutte Royale, a sea-facing resort right at the end of beach. Walk in and you will find a massive deck, at the end of which is the reception. With 10 rooms, an Arabian majli (place to sit) and fresh seafood, Hutte Royale can be the perfect weekend getaway for workaholics. Owned by Chandru G, a Pondicherry-based architect, it is just a few months old but is fully booked over the weekends.
The big catch
Chandru walks us through the rooms, where a ladder leads up to the attic bedroom (with AC), cozy and perfect for honeymooners. We notice the floor is curved, to which he says, “It follows a concept practised in Ayurveda. People with back aches are adviced to sleep on curved or slanted floors. It helps them maintain the correct posture when sleeping.” He is also doing his bit to promote green buildings—the reason why all the rooms have thatched roofs. For those who are looking for a peaceful spot, head to the sea-facing Arabian majli on the first floor. With cushions and a bamboo carpet, this is our favourite place. “We serve Arabic tandoori specials, kebabs, and grilled chicken and seafood. We see a lot of foreigners who spend the whole day reading books, listening to music or just relaxing,” says Chandru who also owns a Pondicherry-based TV channel, Media 7. Seafood lovers will not be disappointed with their selection, which includes shrimps, prawns, calamari and fish. “Serenity Beach is a fishermen settlement and we have locals offering fresh catch every day. We’re also working on creating a pond inside the premises where we can breed fish,” he explains.
Chandru is working on other activities for residents—starting with a volleyball court. “I want to introduce a catamaran ride and plan to provide bicycles for visitors. I have also opened another new property in Serenity Beach, which has five extra rooms—when this one gets full. Most of the visitors who come to the resort are from Bengaluru,” he concludes.
Rooms start from Rs 4,000. Details: 0413 2238533
Herbie Fully Loaded
(Comedy), Z Studio HD, 5.35pm
Cast: Lindsay Lohan, Michael Keaton, Matt Dillon
Eighteen-year old Maggie Peyton (Lindsay Lohan) is passionate about racing. On her birthday, her father Ray Peyton Sr (Michael Keaton), a once famous stock car driver, takes her to a used car yard to get her a set of wheels. She picks Herbie, a rickety 1963 Volkswagen. But when Maggie decides to race Herbie professionally, she ends up going against her dad’s advice. Lohan was reportedly unhappy about her single, First, being played with the credits, instead of being used as the background score for the big race scene.
Bee Season (Drama),
Romedy Now, 2.55 pm
Cast: Flora Cross, Richard Gere, Juliette Binoche
Based on the novel of the same name by Myla Goldberg, the film is about a young girl’s talent and how it helps to unearth a family secret. Eliza (Flora Cross) is always ignored, as her parents are too wrapped up in their work and her musically-gifted brother. When she wins a spelling bee, her father, a Jew, concentrates on honing her skills and introduces her to the Kabbalah. But will it help bring them together? Dakota Fanning was initially cast as Eliza, but the directors went with Cross as they felt she looked like Juliette Binoche.
Let the Bullets Fly
(Action / Comedy), Star Movies Action, 9.30 pm
Cast: Jiang Wen, Chow Yun Fat
Set in Sichuan during the turbulent 20s, a notorious bandit chief, Pocky Zhang (Jiang Wen), appears in a remote town pretending to be the mayor. Out to steal the town’s money, he doesn’t expect any opposition. But local mobster and gang leader, Huang (Chow Yun Fat), is unhappy about sharing his territory. Thus begins a series of mind games and complex plans hatched by the two crooks to beat each other. Wen, also the director, went through plenty of script drafts for the film. The final one used was the 30th version.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
(Sci-Fi / Fantasy), HBO, 8 pm
Cast: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellan, Richard Armitage
Dwarf king Thorin (Richard Armitage) and wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellan) recruit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) to reclaim the Lonely Mountain, home of the dwarves. On the journey, they encounter sorcerers and are captured by goblins. Meanwhile, Bilbo encounters the creature Gollum and steals a powerful ring. Will they be able to get away from the Great Goblin? Daniel Radcliffe, Shia LaBeouf and James McAvoy were considered for the role of Bilbo, but director Peter Jackson says Freeman was his first choice.
The Grey (Adventure), Sony Pix, 11.23 pm
Cast: Liam Neeson, Dermot Mulroney, Frank Grillo
A group of workers are flying home for a vacation after an intensive five-week shift at an oil refinery in Alaska. Their plane runs into turbulence and, after a struggle, it crashes. Finding themselves in the wilderness, the men feel they are being watched and soon discover that they have landed in a den of wolves. With the animals intent on killing them, John Ottway (Liam Neeson), puts up a tough fight for survival, even as he sees his companions being eaten one by one. Will he make it through alive? Neeson is reported to have consumed wolf jerky to prepare for his role.
Entertainment (Comedy), Zee Cinema, 9 pm
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Tamanna Bhatia, Johnny Lever
Akhil is a struggling advertising executive who is never paid his due, quite literally. When he proposes to his girlfriend, Saakshi (Tamanna Bhatia), she accepts, but her family objects to the alliance on grounds that he is not wealthy enough to support her lifestyle. When Akhil discovers that he is actually adopted, he tracks down his biological father, a Bangkok-based millionaire. But the father dies before he has a chance to get in touch with him. The millionaire’s dog, Entertainment, inherits all the money. Akhil tries to kill the dog to inherit the wealth, but soon the two form a friendship. Lever’s character’s name was changed from Abdullah to Habibullah on the request on the censor board, who felt it might hurt religious sentiments.
Winter’s Tale (Fantasy/Drama), HBO Defined, 10 pm
Cast: Colin Farell, Jessica Brown Findlay, Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly
Set in a mythical New York City of arctic winds and bright white lights, the film portrays the battle between good and evil. Peter Lake (Colin Farrell), a poor orphan, is taken under the wings of Pearly, a demon posing as a gangster. When Peter attempts to leave Pearly, he is marked for death. Making a last attempt to rob a mansion on the Upper West Side, he is surprised to find the daughter, Beverly Penn (Jessica Brown Findlay), in residence. But she is seriously ill. Their chance meeting sparks off an affair that could potentially save Penn’s life. Warner Bros initially approached Martin Scorsese to direct, but he turned it down, saying it was “unfilmable”.
Babylon AD (Sci-Fi), Star Movies Action, 2.30 pm
Cast: Vin Diesel, Michelle Yeoh
In 2058, a mercenary, Toorop, is hired by a mobster, Gorsky, to smuggle a girl named Aurora from a Neolite convent in Russia to New York. Unknown to Toorop, the girl is part of a cult and has special abilities. Her guardian, Sister Rebeka (Michelle Yeoh), and he are in for a huge shock when the convent is bombed and Aurora reveals that, though a virgin, she is pregnant with twins. When they realise that Gorsky’s men are after them, they try to protect Aurora. But things go awry when she goes out of control and Rebeka and Toorop are caught in the cross fire. French actor Vincent Cassel was initially cast in the lead role, but then Diesel, who dropped out as the lead in Hitman, got the part.
(Romantic Comedy), HBO, 1 and 9 pm
Cast: Drew Barrymore, Adam Sandler, Wendi McLendon-Covey
After a blind date goes horribly wrong, single parents Lauren (Drew Barrymore) and Jim (Adam Sandler) decide they must never meet again. But that pact goes out the window when they each sign up separately for the same family vacation with their kids. As luck would have it, they are stuck sharing a luxurious suit on an African safari resort, and the kids become fast friends. Will the end of the week see the end of this seemingly ideal relationship? The film references 50 First Dates and The Wedding Singer in dances, songs and certain dialogues. Those are the two films Barrymore and Sandler starred in together previously.
Roy (Drama), Star Plus, 8 pm
Cast: Arjun Rampal, Ranbir Kapoor, Jacqueline Fernandez
Kabir Grewal (Arjun Rampal) is a high-flying filmmaker and scriptwriter who is also quite the ladies man. He heads to Malaysia to shoot the final instalment of his Guns trilogy. There he meets London-based filmmaker Ayesha Aamir (Jacqueline Fernandez) and the two have a relationship, which ends when she learns of his womanising ways. Heartbroken, Grewal is unable to continue writing the script. Parallely, the story also follows the characters in the film—Roy (Ranbir Kapoor) a mysterious art thief, who pretends to fall for Tia (played by Fernandez), an art collector whom he meets at an auction, so he can steal a painting from her.
Will Grewal’s relationship with Aamir affect the storyline of his film? Valentine Cawley, who played the auctioneer, improvised his lines as it was unscripted.
MasterChef India, Star Plus, Saturday and Sunday, 10.30 pm
The latest episode of MasterChef India season 4 was all about cooking the perfect khandvi in two hours. Judges Sanjeev Kapoor, Vikas Khanna and Ranveer Brar set a high bar and we saw the elimination of one of the strongest contestants, Minu. The finals will be on April 12 and there is talk that actor Aamir Khan will be judging it.
Reign, Z Cafe, Saturday, 6 pm
Set in 1557, this series is about a young Mary Stuart who rises to power as the Queen of Scotland. In the latest episode, while the Queen is away, she finds out that English troops have camped out on Scotland’s borders and requests Portugal’s help, which they refuse. Will she be able to save her country while she is away in a foreign country?
Hi Tea, Food Food, Wednesday, 4 pm
Want to relax with music and food? Catch chef Ajay Chopra as he introduces us to some refreshing and easy recipes for the evening. The latest episode saw the chef cooking kachoris stuffed with dry fruits and namak paare with dips. Chopra also shared recipes to make the perfect mango kulfi to beat the heat.
The Americans, Star World Premiere, Wednesday, 10 pm
Two Russian spies, Philip and Elizabeth Jennings, are sent to the US to spy on the government. The latest episode sees them working to bring down a repair facility in Pennsylvania. But when they arrive to bug the place, an old lady who works there discovers their secret.
Monday to Friday, 11 pm
Fans of Dexter can watch the series all over again, with it being aired on AXN now. The pilot episode is about the Ice Truck Killer, who has a fetish for killing prostitutes. Can Dexter, a blood pattern analyst with the police department, be able to find and kill him, before he is called in to analyse the murdered prostitutes’ blood?
Arsenal vs Liverpool,
Star Sports, 5.15 pm
It will be a dramatic Saturday in the Premier League, with four top teams in action. A rejuvenated Arsenal host Liverpool in the return leg. The Gunners need to win, as Manchester United, who is just a point short below them, host Aston Villa on the same day. Meanwhile, table toppers Chelsea will also look to extend their six-point advantage tomorrow, when they host Stoke City.
Actor Vin Diesel insists that his Fast & Furious 7 is bigger and could be selected for the Academy Awards
IN Diesel is confident that his latest film from the Fast and Furious franchise will pick up an Oscar. Though none of the earlier instalments got selected, the seventh film is special to the 47-year-old as it features his friend, guide and confidante Paul Walker’s last performance. Recently, Diesel even named his newborn daughter Pauline, after Walker. Diesel, who is also a producer, is best known for his Chronicles of Riddick. For an actor whose life has revolved around biceps and action stunts, Diesel’s past is interesting. Did you know that he used to live in an artist’s community in West Village for a long time and was surrounded by painters and theatre artistes? In fact, his stepfather was a theatre director and his mother an astrologer. Back to his movies, Diesel fills us in on Fast & Furious 7:
After 15 years, how do you wrap your head around this ride?
So much has happened to me in my personal life—I’ve become a father and I’d like to think that I’ve matured a little bit. I can’t stress enough how much of an impossible task this might have felt like 15 years ago.
How do you maintain a balance in your films?
My approach to filmmaking is always one of integrity, regardless of whether it’s a drama piece or action. The idea that we could even attempt to one-up the stunts and the action sequences is fun, and it’s a rich, rich challenge. But, increasing the emotional stakes is what will set this saga apart.
This film deals with vengeance like never before.
It’s something that we were really conscious about, to be directly answering the previous film with the kind of unforeseen, residual effect from completing a mission for the law, in essence.
Why do you think Jason Statham was right for the role of the villain?
Jason is one of those actors who keeps it cool and consistent. He’s a wonderful talent to watch, period. We needed a character that represented the location we’d just lived in for two hours, which is London. Jason Statham did that. I went on Facebook, and I asked the fans, “Who would you like to see me work with? Who would you like to see me incorporate, if I could?” And the top name was Jason Statham, more than the next three combined.
Why is Abu Dhabi special?
The audience now has grown to expect these new locations, and they enjoy travelling with the characters that they know so well. When we travel and visit these other cultures and countries, it only strengthens the idea that we are all citizens of the world.
All the actors have dressed with style. Tell us more.
Oh, we had a blast doing it. And I have to give James Wan credit for wanting to go into that rarefied Bond air, and doing it unabashedly. When audiences see this movie they will see a new director’s approach to it. James Wan is a much more refined kind of director than we’ve had in the past.
Do you have an outline for the future films?
What this series has done as a saga has proved that there is a new way to approach sequels and sagas. One should have a long view of what your story looks like, over multiple pictures, and with Universal, I wouldn’t have been interested in just doing seven if they didn’t have an idea or feel comfortable with what the new trilogy would look like, of how seven, eightand nine would roll out and how they would connect to one another.
Fast& Furious is scheduled to release today.
Canadian singer, Shashaa Tirupati, is living her dream, courtesy A R Rahman’s latest, O Kadhal Kanmani
Singer Shashaa Tirupati is devoted to music composer AR Rahman. Literally. “I have a photo of him in my temple and I’ve been lighting incense sticks and diyas for the past 12 years,” says the enthusiastic singer, who has snapped up three songs in the most anticipated album of the year, O Kadhal Kanmani. Her first stint with the Mozart of Madras was in 2013, for Coke Studio (Naan Yen Piranden, also her ringtone currently), which got her a song in Kochadiyaan and Kaaviya Thalaivan. Tirupati tells us about the three songs in O Kadhal Kanmani. “I have Kaara Aattaakkaara, which is the title track. Rahman sir first gave us a very basic tune and asked us to repeat it. I thought it was not part of the soundtrack. The next day, they asked me to re-record it and that was the actual song. Next is Paranthu Sella Vaa, which is a fun song. It begins with a western music note but moves on to become a ballad and there is a little groove to it,” explains the 27-year-old. The third song, Naane Varugiraen, reveals the soulful singer, is the toughest song she has sung till date. “Only Rahman sir would have got that out of me. I constantly had doubts about myself because it is very classical and is taal based. I have learnt only Hindustani music and this was very difficult to do. I couldn’t understand the down beat track at all. It took me a lot of time,” she says. The singer from Canada still doesn’t believe that she has three songs in the album.
Rafi to Rahman
Inspired by Mohammed Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar, Tirupati has been rooted to Indian musicfor years. “I dropped out of medical school in Canada when I heard Guru songs,” says a nostalgic Tirupati explaining how she moved to Mumbai and got started, working on more than 400 jingles. She also worked with composer G V Prakash before meeting Rahman. “I wanted to prepare myself to work with Rahman sir. I came to India in 2007 and got a chance to work with him in 2013. The best part about him is that he will go after you and get the right tone, attitude and pronunciation out of you,” says the totally-smitten Tirupati. Though she doesn’t know more than 10 Tamil words, she is all set to move to the city by the end of June. “I hope to learn the language soon,” she says.
Back in time
With her roots in Kashmir, Tirupati says her surname has nothing to do with the famous temple in Andhra Pradesh, “It is just a family name, often misspelt as Tripathy.” The singer is working with other composers and an album, too. “We recently released an album called Bollywood Unwind, with six other artistes. It has old Bollywood classics. If given a choice, I would have loved to be part of the 20s, 30s and 40s era. Louis Armstrong and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan are my idols,” she concludes.
The music of O Kadhal Kanmani is scheduled to release tomorrow.
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