Bollywood Roundup: Anupam Kher, Radhika Madan, Gayathiri, Richa Chadha, and more…

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Anupam Kher (Photo: Facebook)

Anupam turns 63, spends day shooting in NY

Mumbai– Veteran actor Anupam Kher, who turned 63 on Wednesday, spent his birthday shooting in New York for an American series. He counted his blessings in a personalised message to his fans.

In a video message posted on Twitter, Anupam narrated a short story about his life.

He said: “A few years back, in fact many years back, on March 7, Pushkar Nath and Dulari had their first child in a small hill station called Shimla. They nicknamed their son Bittu. Bittu worked hard and over a period of time, Bittu became Anupam Kher.

“Today I am in New York on my birthday, shooting for an American series, my 513th project. God has been kind to Bittu. So today I want to thank you all for your blessings.”

Several of his industry friends also took to social media to wish Anupam on his special day.

My journey has been a roller coaster ride: ‘Dil Juunglee’ actor

Santosh Barmola, who features in a role opposite Taapsee Pannu in “Dil Juunglee”, says his life has been quite a ride.

Santosh, who is London-based, features in the recently released song “Bandeya” from the film.

“‘From London to Bollywood, I must say that, this journey has been a roller coaster ride. I hope that my work is liked by the audiences,” Santosh said in a statement.

On casting Santosh, “Dil Juunglee” director Aleya Sen said: “‘Santosh’s character creates an interesting dimension in the film. He plays a London based business tycoon suave, smooth, shrewd yet charming. Santosh has very aptly struck the balance.”

The film will release on Friday.

‘Chidiakhana’ is the story of every underdog: Director

Director Manish Tiwary says his latest venture “Chidiakhana” says the movie reflects the plight of underdogs the world over.

His film is the story of an underdog named Sooraj, a teenager from the hinterlands of Bihar who comes to Mumbai with his mother and finds himself caught in the throes of the Marathi-Bihari conflict that threatens to take him away from his only passion – football, a game, that he worships, reveres and lives day in and day out.

“When you follow your dreams with passion and work hard, you find help from the most unexpected quarters. But will the boy be able to scale the wall that stands between him and his dreams in the zoo of this world that seems to bring with it unique creatures with minds of their own, forms the base of my film,” Tiwary said in a statement.

Tiwary, who is working on the post-production of the film, added: “The hero might be a young teenager fighting against all odds, but in him lies the story of each one of us, our strife and our will that will bend things our way. I would like ‘Chidiakhana’ to inspire each viewer to achieve his dreams, irrespective of their circumstances.”

The director’s past films include “Issaq” and “Dil Dosti Etc”.

Bollywood on Radhika Madan’s mind

New Delhi– After the success of television show “Meri Aashiqui Tum Se Hi”, actress Radhika Madan has taken a break from the small screen industry to focus on making a career in Bollywood.

“After ‘Meri Aashiqui Tum Se Hi’, I have taken a break from the television industry. But for now, I have recently wrapped up shooting for my Bollywood film and I have a few other films lined up as well which will be starting in the coming month,” Radhika said in a statement.

Before getting into acting, she used to work as a dance instructor in Delhi.

“As a dancer, it actually helps you in acting… The zone which you go to before performing – it is all the same with every artiste, be it an actor, dancer, painter. So being a dancer actually helped me grow as an actor and modified my personality,” said the actress, who has launched her personal app in collaboration with New York-based firm EscapeX.

“Earlier, I used to say that dancing is my first love but now, I love acting and the way I am becoming through acting is what I live for. I am constantly working on myself everyday, to become a better version of me,” she added.

On her love for dancing, Radhika said: “Be it contemporary, jazz or Bollywood, I love taking classes from individual artists. I believe learning individually with help you grow faster as a dancer and would also help in improving skills.”

She says she would like to choreograph actor Hrithik Roshan someday.

Rohit Shetty salutes acid attack survivor

Mumbai– Filmmaker Rohit Shetty has lauded acid attack survivor Lakshmi Agarwal for standing up for herself.

As part of “India’s Next Superstars” show, its contestant Naina presented an act based on the story of Agarwal.

After her act, Agarwal narrated her journey from being a victim to a survivor and then a fighter.

Shetty lauded her and said: “Your name will be written in history for the brave deed you have done. Our country needs more women like you. You’re not a victim, you’re a fighter.”

Agarwal is also the founder of the “Stop Acid Attack” campaign.

Saumya stresses on respecting women

Ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8, actress Saumya Tandon has urged women to pledge to be that mother who would bring up a society that respects women.

Saumya Tandon

“You must be thinking I have a speech for women’s safety or domestic violence or rape or women’s sanitation or equal pay cheque or sexual preferences,” Saumya said in a video shared with IANS.

“But I’m not going to talk about any of these issues. I’m going to talk about ‘respect for women’ because I feel respect is the root cause of all problems. When we were kids, our parents taught us to be honest, to never give up, to work hard, to respect elders but nobody taught us to respect women.”

“And when we grew up as women and moved in the society, we complained about men harassing women on the streets, complained about our boyfriends, husbands, our co-workers, our bosses who were not fair to us.”

Society, she said, “wasn’t fair to us. We don’t have equal rights. But when we become mothers we never teach our sons to respect women. This Women’s Day, let us first learn to respect ourselves, and if/when we become mothers let us make our sons to be the husbands that we want in our lives”.

“Let’s make our sons to be the man in the society, the man on the street that we want in our lives. Let’s all pledge this Women’s Day to be that mother to bring up a society that respects women,” signed off the “Bhabiji Ghar Par Hain” actress.

Glad my Bollywood debut is with a non-glam, realistic role: Gayathiri

Mumbai– Actress Gayathiri, after doing projects in the southern movie industry, is making her Bollywood debut with the role of an income tax sleuth in “Raid”. Happy to work with Ajay Devgn, she says she is glad to foray in Hindi filmdom with a non-glamorous part.

“Raid” is directed by Rajkumar Gupta, and also features Ileana D’Cruz.

“Im glad my debut is with a non-glam and realistic role. Even in the south, I leaned towards roles which didn’t require me to be just a pretty prop. It’s not that I dread running around trees (I have done that and enjoyed it too). It is just that glamour without substance (in a role or otherwise) eventually gets vapid,” Gayathiri said in a statement.

On working with Ajay, she said: “I know Ajay sir is a very good actor and a big star but what really struck me was how he is completely apolitical and everything he says or does seems to have so much integrity and I was thinking that with this star power combined with his integrity he could be a very strong social influence. Of course, I couldn’t bring myself to suggest such gyan to him in person.”

She is also looking forward to working more with Gupta.

“I was excited to debut in Bollywood with his direction, especially since he gave a landmark role to Vidya Balan (“No One Killed Jessica”), a south origin actress herself. But because of the huge ensemble cast in ‘Raid’, he could hardly communicate individually to us. Hope I get to work with him again,” Gayathiri said.

In the southern film industry, the actress has worked in Kannada movies and awaits the release of her Telugu debut film in June. Originally from Kerala, Gayathiri has learnt taekwondo.

‘Dabangg 3’ will take a lot of my time, effort, concentration: Arbaaz

Mumbai– “Dabangg 3” will go on the floors in mid-2018, says actor-producer Arbaaz Khan, who is geared up to let the project take a lot of his time, effort and concentration.

Arbaaz attended a special screening of a short film titled “#METOO” here on Tuesday.

Asked if his production banner will focus on creating content for digital platform, Arbaaz said: “As of now, my concentration is on my production and on my next film because when I involve myself in a certain project, that time I need to have some time for and I personally get involved in it.

“So, after making my upcoming film, I do have plans to create content on digital platform — be it with a web series or short films… The options are pretty much open. As a producer, it is a wide spectrum of things that I want to do and for now, I am concentrating on ‘Dabangg 3’ which will go on floors mid this year. After that I will have more time because ‘Dabangg 3’ will take lot of my time, effort and concentration.”

On short film “#METOO”, Arbaaz said, “It’s an interesting short film. It is relevant with current #METOO campaign on social media. It is basically about women who come out in the open, talk about the experiences that they have had, not feel ashamed about what has happened and to expose the people who have done stuff like that.

Richa cast in Shakeela biopic

Mumbai– Actress Richa Chadha has been roped in to play the lead role in a biopic on Shakeela, a 1990s’ actress from Kerala who acted in several adult films in languages like Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada.

The biopic will tell the tale of Shakeela from when she entered the film business at the age of 16 and traces her life journey from there. Shakeela became a popular figure in the film business at a time popularity was only for the men in the industry dominated by them.

“The film is the story of Shakeela, one of the most famous actors from Malayalam cinema from the 1990s who rose to a spectacular amount of fame. Her fans were spread across Asia and she earned fanfare as a woman which back then was unheard of,” Richa’s spokesperson said in a statement.

“The film’s script was exciting and is a great story to tell and the story will make for a great watch for the audience. The preparations will begin soon and the film should be going on floors in end April or May,” the spokesperson added.

Being directed by Indrajit Lankesh, the film will go on floors in April and will release early next year.

Aishwarya spreads smiles among kids born with clefts

Mumbai– Actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan on Tuesday said she is happy to continue making a small contribution in bringing about a larger and effective change for children born with clefts.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan (Photo: Facebook)

Aishwarya is the global goodwill ambassador of Smile Train, an international cleft charity. It celebrated the completion of 500,000 free cleft lip and palate reconstructive surgeries for children born with clefts within 18 years of starting its India programme.

“I am proud to be associated with Smile Train for all these years and extend my heartfelt congratulations to them for changing the lives of half a million cleft patients in India.

“Supporting this work of Smile Train through The Aishwarya Rai Foundation has been my small personal contribution in the larger picture of honourable, effective change in the lives of cleft patients. I look forward to continuing this journey of giving new reasons to smile to children born with clefts,” the former beauty queen said in a statement.

Looking elegant in a pristine white ensemble, Aishwarya joined 100 doctors, former patients and their families, including Pinki Sonkar of Oscar winning documentary “Smile Pinki” at the event.

Smile Train also launched the Train in India initiative under which medical professionals from other countries in South Asia will be trained in cleft care at its partner hospitals.

Bhumi finds Ayushmann more talented than Rajkummar

Mumbai– Actress Bhumi Pednekar finds her “Dum Laga Ke Haisha” co-star Ayushmann Khurrana more talented than National Award-winning actor Rajkummar Rao.

During an appearance on the Colors Infinity show “BFFs with Vogue”, Bhumi was asked to choose between Ayushmann and Rajkummar on the basis of talent, read a statement.

She said: “Ayushmann is better than Rajkummar.”

Ayushmann also took a dig at his contemporary actor by saying Rajkummar should hire a new stylist.

But he went on to compare Bhumi to superstar Aamir Khan.

Keeping it all fun, Ayushmann said that Bhumi, who played his oversized wife in “Dum Laga Ke Haisha”, has been and still is a “heavyweight” actor.

“Bhumi, you are the only actor in this country, apart from Aamir Khan, to have gone through the physical transformation.”  (IANS)

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