Bollywood Roundup: Salman Khan, Pankaj Tripathi, Kamal Haasan, Ekta Kapoor, and more…

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Salman Khan (Photo: Twitter)

How Salman Khan turned lyricist for ‘Selfish’ in ‘Race 3’

Mumbai– Salman Khan has sung songs before, but his upcoming film “Race 3” marks his first time as a lyricist. The superstar says he had only penned a few thoughts, which the team loved and were eventually used as lyrics for the song “Selfish”.

Salman Khan (Photo courtesy: Economic Times)

It is the second song from the action entertainer, and will be released on Friday.

Talking about it, Salman said in a statement: “While discussing the creative for the song, I penned down a few thoughts on paper in sync with the plot of the film, which is about the selfishness within the family.

“When the music director Vishal Mishra heard it, he got extremely excited and said he will come back with a tune for the same. I said, ‘But this is a part of a conversation and not lyrics’.

“However, he insisted to use the thoughts as it is for the song. Everyone loved the thoughts and wanted it to be used for the song.”

Featuring Salman, Jacqueline Fernandez, Bobby Deol and Daisy Shah, “Selfish” is a romantic song.

It is sung by Pakistani singer Atif Aslam, who has delivered “Pehli nazar” and “Beintehaan” for the earlier instalments of the “Race” franchise.

“Race 3”, directed by Remo D’souza, will release on Eid this year. Produced by Salman Khan Films and Ramesh Taurani under the banner of Tips Films, it also features Anil Kapoor and Saqib Saleem.

Pankaj Tripathi starts shooting for ‘Criminal Justice’ remake

Mumbai– Actor Pankaj Tripathi has started shooting for the remake of BBC’s international series “Criminal Justice”. He says he cannot wait for the audience to see his character in the show.

Pankaj Tripathi (Photo courtesy: Indian Express)

The National Award-winning actor will be seen alongside Jackie Shroff and Vikrant Massey in the project, directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia.

“This is one of the most anticipated projects I’m working on. We’ve just begun shooting and working with Tigmanshu Dhulia is turning out to be all that I expected and wished it would. I cannot wait for audiences to see my character,” Pankaj said in a statement.

“Criminal Justice” was first shown in 2008. It starred Ben Whishaw as Ben Coulter, a young man who is accused of murder after a drunken and drug-filled night out, though is unable to remember committing the crime. It was directed by Otto Bathurst and Luke Watson.

In 2009, the second series featured Maxine Peake as troubled housewife Juliet Miller whose husband was stabbed in their bed. Yann Demange and Marc Jobst directed the second series.

Kamal Haasan visits Thoothukudi firing victims

Thoothukudi (Tamil Nadu)– Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan on Wednesday met people injured in police firing on protestors marching against the Sterlite Copper Smelting plant here and demanded to know who ordered the firing.

Kamal Haasan

“We must know who ordered this firing. It is not me but the victims who are demanding this. Merely announcing compensation isn’t a solution. This industry must be shut and this is what people demand,” Kamal told the media here.

People here have been demanding the closure of Sterlite’s copper smelting plant, alleging it was polluting the area and leading to severe health problems among the residents besides depleting the water table.

The protests led to the death of 10 persons, including a girl, in police firing on Tuesday and a young man on Wednesday.

“The peaceful protest by the people against Sterlite demanding justice was ignored by the governments. Negligence of the governments is the reason for all the unfortunate incidents. Citizens are not criminals. They are the ones who lose their lives; earlier due to Sterlite and now due to the government’s orders,” he said on Tuesday.

After meeting the victims and their near and dear ones on Wednesday at the General Hospital here, Kamal took off for Bengaluru to attend Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy’s oath-taking ceremony as the 25th Chief Minister of Karnataka.

Kamal, chief of Makkal Needhi Maiam, believes his trip to Bengaluru will help in an open dialogue with Karnataka on the Cauvery issue, which is very important for the people of Tamil Nadu.

Ekta Kapoor plans personal screening for film after eight years

Mumbai– Producer Ekta Kapoor says it has been eight years since she kept a personal screening for her films. She is making an exception for “Veere Di Wedding”, which she feels will be remembered for being a film that tells the audience to “just be”.

Ekta Kapoor (Photo: Twitter)

Ekta on Wednesday tweeted: “For the first time in eight years keeping a personal screening of my film! I never do! The last time I kept a screening was for ‘The Dirty Picture’.”

Directed by Shashanka Ghosh, “Veere Di Wedding” is slated to release in June 1. Rhea Kapoor is also producing the movie, which stars Kareena Kapoor Khan, Sonam Kapoor, Swara Bhasker and Shikha Talsania.

Sharing some pre-release sentiments, Ekta added: “Okay the time has come to say this! ‘Veere Di Wedding’ is about to release and it’s important to say this before the release! Outcomes define our memories. Film does well, we remember it fondly. Does not, we conveniently erase the memory or call it a mistake.

“Sometimes the journey, intent, joy (and) attempt have to take over. Even though financially the film has a more than safe pre-sale thanks to our super partners ZEE, the outcome cannot always define the experience. I am super proud of ‘Veere Di Wedding’.

“Years later… a generation will remember a film came that told us with absolute irreverence that its ok to be! Be divorced, unmarried, overweight, undersexed (and) oversexed! Just Be.”

Sidharth Malhotra urges Modi to strengthen animal protection laws

Mumbai– Bollywood actor Sidharth Malhotra has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on behalf of of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, requesting stronger penalties for people who commit acts of cruelty against animals.

Sidharth pointed out that India’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, contains outdated penalties, such as a maximum fine of Rs 50 for convicted first offenders who abuse an animal, which he calls “barely equivalent to a slap on the wrist”.

“As a result, the newspapers are filled with reports of disturbing and egregious animal abuse in our country…including incidents in which dogs were poisoned, cows were burned with acid, and cats were beaten to death. This does significant damage to our reputation as a nation that respects animals,” he wrote.

The “Ek Villain” star said psychologists, sociologists, and law-enforcement officials have all documented that children who hurt animals often end up hurting other humans.

“If those guilty of cruelty to animals received jail time and significant fines – as well as counselling and a ban on contact with animals – it would help ensure that our duty under Article 51A(g) of the Constitution of India to show animals compassion is better upheld and respected and that society at large is protected from violent behaviour,” Sidharth wrote.

On the work front, Sidharth will be seen in the Karan Johar-produced biopic on Kargil war hero Vikram Batra, who was posthumously awarded the Param Vir Chakra, India’s highest war-time gallantry award.

No problem with Censor: Rhea Kapoor on ‘Veere Di…’

Mumbai– “Veere Di Wedding” producer Rhea Kapoor has denied any trouble so far with the censor board although the film was yet to receive any certificate ahead of its June 1 release.

Dismissing reports making rounds that because of cuss words and language used in the film, “Veere Di…” has received an ‘A’ certificate, Kapoor who was at the music launch along with the entire cast and crew here on Tuesday, rubbished all the rumours.

“So far we have had no problem with the Censor Board. I don’t want to talk more about it because we still have not gotten the Censor (certificate) in our hands. Once we get it, we will issue a proper press release,” she said.

Kapoor said that veteran actor Anil Kapoor, her father, had accompanied her to present the film to the censor board. “And let me tell you,… One can be certain that if we can make a film for which my father can come along, then clearly, as women none of us should be ashamed of the film.”

Ekta Kapoor, who is also the co-producer of the film, added that the film has already covered its cost and they are looking at a clean run.

“Actually, I love this film. I trust the producer and I have four stellar leading women in the film. I have always picked a script which was not a hit on paper but on release became super successful,” said Ekta.

To prove her point she mentioned her controversial, yet hit film, “Dirty Picture”.

“Like when I made ‘Dirty Picture’, I was told this film is a flop. How can you make a film with Vidya Balan playing a heroine that too, as an item number girl?

Pooja Bhatt agrees with New Delhi Archbishop on political situation

Mumbai– Actress-filmmaker Pooja Bhatt on Wednesday said she agrees with New Delhi Archbishop Anil Joseph Couto that there is “turbulent political atmosphere” in the country and added that its “democratic and moral fabric” is in tatters.

The Archbishop in his May 8 letter had asked priests and churches in the national capital to hold a year-long prayer campaign for the country to protect its democratic principles and secular fabric ahead of the 2019 general elections “when we will have new government”.

“I see nothing wrong with Archbishop Couto’s letter and everything wrong with the knee-jerk response to it.

“The democratic and moral fabric of our nation is in tatters. Time we addressed that plainly. Attempts to gag and snuff out discourse that meanders from the prescribed must end,” Pooja tweeted.

The Centre on Tuesday said India is safe for minorities while the Bharatiya Janata Party virtually attacked the Delhi Archdiocese, saying “no one should speak to mobilise people on the basis of religion”.

I wanted to do Sanjay Dutt’s role in ‘Sanju’, says Aamir

Mumbai– Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan says he was offered to play the role of late Sunil Dutt in Rajkumar Hirani’s “Sanju”, the upcoming biopic on actor Sanjay Dutt, but he refused it only because he wanted to essay the title character.

Aamir interacted with the media here on Wednesday.

Asked if he was offered to play the role of Sunil Dutt, he said: “He (Hirani) approached me with the script and I loved it. He wanted me to play Dutt saab’s role. It is a fantastic role and the story is largely on the father-son relationship. But Sanju’s role is unbelievable.

“So as an actor, I told Raju that Sanjay Dutt’s role is so wonderful that it won my heart. So in this film I can’t do any other role but Sanjay Dutt’s, which of course I cannot do because Ranbir (Kapoor) is playing it. So, do not offer me anything.”

Aamir, who has clocked 30 years in the film industry, finds Ranbir a good actor and he is confident he must have done well in the film.

“I cannot wait to watch the film now,” said Aamir, who has worked closely with Hirani in films like “3 Idiots” and “PK”.

In real life, Aamir shared a strong bond with Sunil Dutt.

Reminiscing some fond memories of the late actor, he said: “He always sent me telegrams in those days to wish me on Diwali, Eid, birthday… If my film did well, he sent me a congratulations note.”

What was his favourite memory of Sunil Dutt?

Aamir said: “During the riots of 1993, the Hindi film industry took a delegation to the then Chief Minister to stop the riots. Around 40 people went to the CM’s office. After that, we decided that since no immediate action had been taken, we will sit under the statue of Mahatma Gandhi near Mantralaya. All 40 of us came and sat under the statue and we decided until the violence stops, we won’t move from there. (IANS)

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