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    A big, velvety getaway
    It was indeed a unique marketing exercise—flying media from around the country to Goa for the promotion and marketing of Bombay Velvet—but no one was complaining. Boards welcoming ‘Big Shots’ greeted arrivals at the Goa airport, before being whisked away to a beachside resort. Among those present were director Anurag Kashyap, lead actors Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma and Karan Johar, supporting actors Satyadeep Mishra, Vivan Shah and Siddharth Basu, music men Amit Trivedi and Amitabh Bhattacharya, singer Neeti Mohan, writers Thani and Vasan Bala and producers Vikas Bahl, Vikramaditya Motwane and Vijay Singh. Kashyap’s biggest film till date has been mired in controversies from the start—when it was with another studio and another star. It passed hands to Fox Star India and Kapoor who plays Johnny Balraj in the 1960s crime drama. Kashyap was visibly nervous at the beginning of the two-day junket and reportedly found Dutch courage in a couple of quick drinks. And who can blame him? This is his first `100- crore-budget film. As he was overheard remarking to co-writer, Vasan Bala, “We made your film (Peddlars) in the budget \
    of this junket!”

    Ranbir, life of the party
    Besides Johar, who is always highly entertaining, the life and soul of the evening revelry was Ranbir Kapoor, who had
    sportingly been obliging fans and journalists with selfies all day and, in the evening, gamely hopped on to the stage to dance to some of his hit songs. He shocked the audience, and some unsuspecting journalists, when he embarrassed a leading male critic with a lap dance and coaxed another leading female critic to dance in the aisles with him. After a while, the stars retracted into one of their suites for an after-party that went into the wee hours of the morning. The result was a late start to the press interviews the next morning and hoarse voices requesting strong cups of coffee.

    Anushka feels at ease
    When I asked Anushka Sharma if she was enjoying the Big Shot weekend, she said she liked how easy everything was and how quality work was being done in a chilled out environment. “We are all in the same hotel, so it’s easy and relaxed and we are able to do better and more work,” said the actress, who seemed to be enjoying the camaraderie among the unit. “A unit like this doesn’t take itself too seriously. That’s why this is so successful.” After two days with them, there’s no arguing with that.

    Karan fears critics
    Karan Johar was clearly enjoying being on the other side for a change. Playing the villainous Khambatta in Bombay Velvet, he was under stress on the junket. accustomed though he is to being producer and director, this time has him unconcerned about the box office and the final outcome. “I am only concerned about how many costume changes I have,” he quipped, but later admitted that he was indeed nervous about being reviewed as an actor. “My final vindication will be if a positive word is said about me. I am stressed that someone might write that he was really bad or it’s best it he sticks to talk show hosting. I don’t want to read that. I am fragile at 43 and it’s not easy making a debut at my age! I hope the critics will be kind to a senior citizen,” he said, not entirely in jest. As for his costumes, Johar stuck to the period (1960s) and mostly wore suits and mix-and-match jackets over shirts and T-shirts with a variety of fashionable shoes and sunglasses. “I am
    the only one who has travelled with two suitcases for two days,” he laughed.

    -Udita Jhunjhunwala

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