Bollywood Roundup: Abhishek Bachchan, Anushka Sharma, Vir Das, Nora Fatehi, and more…

Abhishek Bachchan

Want to be known as a PKL team with winning attitude: Bachchan Jr

Mumbai– Jaipur Pink Panthers owner Abhishek Bachchan on Wednesday explained the idea behind not retaining any player ahead of the upcoming sixth season of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), starting October 19.

Abhishek Bachchan

The Panthers’ owner while speaking to mediapersons on the sidelines of the ongoing PKL auctions said that the franchise wanted to build a new team which will be known for their winning ways.

Notably, Panthers were the inaugural PKL title holders but failed to continue with the winning momentum in the subsequent editions of the league.

“The idea is to reshuffle the side and come with a much stronger and dynamic team,” Abhishek said.

“We won the inaugural season of the league but now we also want to be known as a winning team, a team with a winning attitude,” he said.

With the money flowing in on the Kabaddi players on the rise since the PKL’s inception in 2014, Abhishek said it was all due to the league getting bigger and better every season.

Significantly, Rakesh Kumar was the costliest player in the first season of the PKL after being purchased for Rs 12.80 lakh by Patna Pirates. Three years later in 2017, Nitin Tomar became the most expensive player after being pocketed for a whopping Rs 93 lakhs by UP Yoddhas.

“The league is getting bigger and better. The viewership has also increased almost to 10 times which shows the potential of the league,” Abhishek said.

“Kabaddi is one of the few sporting leagues in India which is growing exponentially in terms of viewership. With viewership comes sponsorship which brings more money and as a result teams spend more money on players,” the Bollywood actor explained.

Anushka’s character in ‘Sanju’ inspired by film’s writers

Mumbai– The mystery around actress Anushka Sharma’s role in “Sanju” was unravelled here as director Rajkumar Hirani revealed that her character as a biographer is modelled on himself and Abhijat Joshi, who have co-written the film.

Anushka Sharma

At the film’s trailer launch here on Wednesday, Hirani told the media: “To showcase a biopic like this, you have to compress few parts into one. Similarly, Anushka Sharma’s character is derived from myself and Abhijat. She is playing a biographer from London, and she comes to India. Sanjay wants her to write a book on him whereas she doesn’t want to.

“We were also skeptical at first whether we should do this character or not. So basically she is us, but not as a filmmaker… (as) a biographer.”

The actress sports a messy, curly hair avatar in the movie, which talks about the ups and downs in the life of actor Sanjay Dutt. Ranbir Kapoor plays the central character in the film, which will release on June 29.

Vir Das teams up with Nikkhil Advani for ‘Hasmukh’

New Delhi– Comedian-actor Vir Das will be working with filmmaker Nikhil Advani on upcoming dark comedy “Hasmukh”.

Sameer Nair-headed Applause Entertainment, the content studio from the Aditya Birla Group, is backing the project.

Vir and Advani will be writing and creating an original show, read a statement to IANS.

“This is going to be insane!!! So excited! Gentlemen, let’s murder this,” Vir tweeted.

Praising Nair, he wrote: “It takes a killer sense of humour to greenlight this madness.”

Apart from this show, Vir has been signed on by ABC for a new hour-long weekly dramedy FBI series “Whiskey Cavalier”, produced by Warner Bros. Netflix has also ordered two additional live stand-up comedy specials from Vir, the first comedian out of India to have a Netflix original special.

The Das special “Abroad Understanding” made its debut on the streaming platform in April 2017 and tackled nationalism, globalism, good food, and bad politics in two crosscut performances in New York and New Delhi.

According to, the first of the two newly ordered specials will be shot in San Francisco at the Regency Ballroom on July 14.

I respect John’s work sensibilities: Nora Fatehi

Mumbai– Actress Nora Fatehi, who will be seen sharing screen space with actor John Abraham for the second time for a song “Dilbar” from the film “Satyamev Jayate”, says she respects his work sensibilities.

Nora Fatehi (Photo: Twitter)

“I was obviously thrilled to collaborate with John again when I first heard it is with him. I respect John’s work sensibilities and he is a part of some really great projects,” said Nora, who first shared the frame with him in the song “Rock the party” from the film “Rocky Handsome”.

Nora said the “Dostana” star is “really appreciative” of her talent.

“He always mentions it without fail. And I’m thankful for that. I think we got the lucky streak together and it should work again hopefully the second time around,” she added.

“Satyamev Jayate” will release on August 15, 2018. Nora will be seen dancing on a recreated version of the 1990s’s song “Dilbar”, which was picturised on actors Sushmita Sen and Sanjay Kapoor for the film “Sirf Tum”.

“The last song we did together was a hit and people loved it, but ‘Dilbar’ is going to be on another level. Our take on this amazing iconic song is mesmerising and shot so beautifully. People are calling this a remake but actually it is more of a unique and completely different take on the song both visual and audio,” she said.

Nora will also be seen on the small screen as the host of MTV’s upcoming series “Dating in the Dark”.

Priyanshu Painyuli bonded with Harshvardhan Kapoor over films

Mumbai– Actor Priyanshu Painyuli says he bonded with his “Bhavesh Joshi Superhero” co-star Harshvardhan Kapoor over movies.

“For me, one of the most memorable days would be when after a really long and tiring schedule we managed to get a day off. The night before off Harsh suggested that we should go to his place and watch movies,” Priyanshu said in a statement to IANS.

“I still remember we were so tired, but it did not stop us from watching and chatting about movies all night long. We both love cinema,” he added.

Directed by Vikramaditya Motwane, “Bhavesh Joshi Superhero” is a vigilante film in which Harshvardhan plays the protagonist, who along with some of his friends, starts taking action against the corrupt. The film narrates how that journey transforms him from a common man to a superhero.

Priyanshu, who will be seen as one of his friends, also loves the song “Tafreeh”.

On working with him, Priyanshu said: “We travelled together, lived together, and also partied together and became real good friends. I guess this translated into the onscreen chemistry”.

Puneet Issar likes to challenge himself

Mumbai– Actor Puneet Issar says he prefers to do television in breaks, and likes to take up roles which challenge him.

The actor will soon be seen in &TV’s mythological drama “Paramavatar Shri Krishna”. The show tells tales about Lord Krishna, and Puneet will essay the role of Jarasandha.

“I usually do television in breaks and prefer to take a role that would excite or challenge me. Every character that I have done till now has really been an exciting one,” Puneet said in a statement to IANS.

“It has been a while since I have done a mythological show and I am really excited to play the role of Jarasandha. It’s going to be a fascinating and challenging role,” he added.

Puneet is popular for playing role of Duryodhana in TV show “Mahabharat” and for his stint in a season of reality show “Bigg Boss”.

On taking up a mythology show, he said: “I believe the show is doing absolutely well. It caters to the kids and I think they really enjoy the show because of the character and splendid graphics.

“Mythology hamari sanskriti hai (Mythology is all about culture). And people want to see these traditional characters and know to which era they belong. It may be mythology to the western world, but to us it’s our culture and that’s why Indians love it.”

Anil Kapoor is an eternal hero: Niharica Raizada

Mumbai– Actress Niharica Raizada says her “Total Dhamaal” co-star Anil Kapoor is an eternal hero.

Niharica Raizada (Photo: Twitter)

Niharica was spotted shooting for an ad film here with “Total Dhamaal” cinematographer Keiko Nakahara and ad film director Roop Naik.

Anil’s film “Race 3” is set for release, and its trailer is out.

Praising him, Niharica said: “There is no one as young and ‘jhakaas’ as you. You are the one and only Bollywood star who has maintained the evergreen style and status. I mean seriously, no one can guess your age. You are the eternal hero.”

Niharica was asked about the progress of “Total Dhamaal”. She said: “I am happy to work with Keiko who is also shooting ‘Total Dhamaal’. There isn’t much I can talk about the film right now but it is a great project with big stars. This is a big opportunity for me and fingers crossed, I can make good use of this chance.”

Lauding Niharica, the ad film’s director Roop Naik, said she had surprised him with her acting skills.

“She is good for all kind of roles, for glamorous roles and excellent for innocent yet subtly sexy roles. To me, she is a very intense actor. I am trying to do a web series with her. And maybe when I do a bigger feature, she will be a part of that too.

“Total Dhamaal” is directed by Indra Kumar.

Niti Taylor joins ‘Laal Ishq’

Mumbai– Actress Niti Taylor has been roped in for the upcoming show “Laal Ishq”.

Niti Taylor (Photo: Twitter)

TV’s new property “Laal Ishq” will present love stories with a mysterious twist, the twist being a supernatural element.

The core concept of the series will highlight love as the only emotion and feeling that has the power to transcend life.

For the first episode, the makers of the show have roped in Niti, who has featured in shows like “Bade Acche Lagte Hain” and “Yeh Hai Aashiqui”.

“In my career, I have always been open to work on unique concepts which challenge me as an artiste. ‘Laal Ishq’ gives me the opportunity to test something that I have not done till now, to work in a genre that I have never explored,” Niti said in a statement.

“Concepts like that of ‘Laal Ishq’ has never been seen on Indian television. We have seen so many love stories but nothing with such an unusual twist.”

I’m not made for Bollywood: Baba Sehgal

Mumbai– Rapper-composer Baba Sehgal, who is known for tracks like “Thanda thanda paani” and “Dil dhadke”, says he is not made for Bollywood.

Baba was speaking on the second season of “Talking Music” on Saavn, a music and audio streaming service.

“I’m not made for Bollywood. Bollywood has never gotten along with me. It’s always been a little scared and insecure. Before ‘Thanda thanda paani’, I had gone to Bappi Lahiri’s bungalow to give him my cassette. He heard my song and said it’s nice, I will call you when it’s time. I used to wonder how will you call me when you don’t have my number,” Baba said in a statement.

He added: “Bappiji’s father was alive then, and he was a very nice person. He was like how all fathers are… He used to feel no artiste should go hungry from their home. This was a special trait of Bappiji’s family. Whenever you go there, you return with your stomach full which was such an amazing thing.”

Rhea Kapoor inspired ‘Veere Di Wedding’ composer Shashwat Sachdev

Mumbai– Music composer Shashwat Sachdev says “Veere Di Wedding” producer Rhea Kapoor has been the source of inspiration and encouragement for his music in the film.

“Rhea Kapoor has been a major source of inspiration and encouragement for my music in the film. Rhea has a massive history of three great albums that she has produced in the past, so there was a lot to learn from her experiences and her business knowledge,” Sachdev said in a statement.

The composer, who made his debut with Anushka Sharma’s “Phillauri”, said Rhea never put him in a box and gave him “complete freedom to explore my musicality”.

The musician from Jaipur returned after a stint in Los Angeles where he worked on international projects. He has collaborated with Grammy Award-winning sound engineer Tony Maserati, who has worked with the likes of Lady Gaga and Beyonce.

On actress Sonam Kapoor’s involvement, he said: “All the inputs came from Rhea. However, I remember meeting Sonam a couple of years back after I finished making ‘Bass Girade’ and ‘Pappi’. She really liked my work and did not shy away from honestly expressing it.”

Sachdev also praised Sonam’s “charming humility”.

“Veere Di Wedding” will be hitting the screens on Friday. It also features Kareena Kapoor Khan, Swara Bhasker and Shikha Talsania. (IANS)


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