Tag Archives: star

It’s not just Akshay Kumar, but the female characters in the satirical dark comedy drama, Jolly LLB 2, were also applauded.

It’s not just Akshay Kumar, but the female characters in the satirical dark comedy drama, Jolly LLB 2, were also applauded.

One such character was the wonderfully-nuanced cameo by SayaniGupta, who played Hina Siddiqui, a young Muslim woman driven to despair.  It’s a small but pivotal and deeply impactful role, so much so that Sayani was lauded for her performance by some of the veterans from the industry. Twitterati in large numbers also poured their love for her.

Gupta has so far been doing a balancing act between commercial and art cinema. She has received critical acclaim for her offbeat and distinctive roles in films like her debut Margarita With A Straw (played the role of Kalki’s love interest)and most recently Fan (as Shah Rukh Khan’s secretary), however, Sayani doesn’t take compliments or criticism seriously.

“I have never sat down to ponder over what others have to say because ultimately you know what you have done. Piyush Mishra (theatre and film actor, NSD alumni) called me few days back when I was shooting for Jagga Jasoos, and said while referring to Jolly LLB 2, ‘I didn’t know you acted so well.’  Lot of people are complimenting me on social media as well. Somebody told me that they went to watch the film thrice because of me. There are lot of people who said I made them feel for the part and I made them cry,” says Sayani.

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She continues, “My performance really moved my mother, and she is far too detached about the industry and not at all excited about the film world or what I am doing. She is not in favour of me acting and it was quite a struggle to convince her when I went to FTII (Film and Television Institute of India). Little by little, she is coming to terms with it but she would have rather seen me as an IAS officer or in a regular job.”

“We are from middle class family and they didn’t want their only daughter to get into films. Obviously there are certain perceptions about the film industry. My close friends never say nice things, they are always critiquing my work, but finally they felt that I was brilliant in Jolly LLB 2.”

Strangely enough, Sayani has been getting offers for horror movies for last few years and she, too, fails to understand the reason for it. “Maybe they think I am a Bengali, I have big eyes…” she laughs.

While Sayani so far has rejected two offers post Jolly LLB 2 (as  she is “choosy”, “instinctive”, “and not ready for it”), she is certainly excited about her first international project, The Hungry, which is an Indo-British production starring Naseeruddin Shah and Tisca Chopra. The film, for which the actors were very selectively chosen, is directed by debutante filmmaker Bornila Chatterjee, who is an alumnus from New York’s Tisch School of the Arts. The Hungry is an adaptation of William Shakespeare tragedy Titus Androcinus, which is believed to have been written between 1588 and 1593.

“This year marks the 400th death anniversary of Shakespeare. His stories could seem a tad hyper-real for this era, but this film is a realistic take. The script won at a collaborative cine-lab,” says Sayani, further adding, “The film has a bunch of deadly actors. We shot for it in Delhi and Agra. The ambience on set was stimulating and since we all got along so well, it turned out to be a great shoot.”

Recently, Sayani earned an honourable mention for the Best Actress award for her short film, Leeches, at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles  (IFFLA). In just two years of her career, she’s also bagged one of the lead roles opposite Naseeruddin Shah with The Hungry. The actress considers it her privilege to act alongside ‘Naseer’, who was her teacher at the FTII.

“Naseer was very excited about his role after decades. He plays my father. He has been my teacher and lot of my understanding about acting and the craft is because of him. It was almost like reassurance of sorts when he would come to take our class. I adore him as a human being. He is fun to be around. He has always taught us how acting is all about reacting. He is a keen listener, which adds to the performance,” she says, adding:

“There are two of the coolest men I have worked with – Shah Rukh Khan and Naseeruddin Shah. They are sensitive, they are aware, they don’t take themselves too seriously. They are normal dudes.”

So did Sayani take any advice from the two “coolest” men?

“Some of the things Naseer told me is: ‘Learn your lines till you bump into a furniture. Know your lines backwards. Study the script well. Be relaxed and don’t take things too seriously. Make it fun and light.’ On the other hand, there’s much to learn just by the way Shah Rukh carries himself. He is the most technically sound actor, I feel. His understanding, the cleanliness with which he does everything, his craft is solid. He doesn’t show it. He is persistently hardworking and also the humility. He doesn’t take his stardom seriously,” she reveals.

Two of Sayani’s “friends” from the industry are the erstwhile directors – Rajkumar Hirani and Vishal Bhardwaj. She may not have offers from them yet but she certainly takes their advice. “I don’t talk work with them. Hirani often tells me that I should give people time after they have seen my film. I did audition for a part in Rangoon but Vishal told me that it won’t be good enough for me. I would never ask them to cast me because that could hamper our relationship. Whenever they want to cast me, they will.”

Sayani is currently shooting for Ranbir Kapoor-Katrina Kaif- starrer Jagga Jasoos which has been in the making for a long time. “When I signed the film I was playing the only narrator in the film. I had a separate track of my own. But since there is no script — Dada (Director Anurag Basu) doesn’t work with scripts, he writes as he goes along — my role has changed. I will know what my part is only after I see the film. Also, it is a very difficult film when it comes to format. It is musical, it’s a children’s film, and it is not a normal narrative. I play a 14-year-old girl and that is all I know (laughs),” she says.

Parineeti Chopra as trapeze artist; Suneil Shetty, Sooraj Pancholi also to star in Bosco Martis’ Circus

Choreographer Bosco Martis’ directorial debut Circus has been the talk of the town for quite some time. It has now emerged that Sooraj Pancholi and Parineeti Chopra will be playing the lead roles in the film.

Parineeti Chopra and Sooraj Pancholi.

The film will also feature Suniel Shetty playing the role of Parineeti’s father.

A source told Mumbai Mirror , “Scripting for Circus began a year ago. It portrays a strong father-daughter relationship spanning a decade and will have Suniel Shetty playing Pari’s dad. A child artiste will be cast to play the younger Pari.”

The buzz is that Shetty will be seen doing some gutsy stunts as a circus artist and Parineeti’s role is that of a trapeze artist.

Admitting that direction had been on his mind for a while Bosco said, “There is nothing to say right now. We are still in the initial stages of production and casting. I have been in talks with the actors but Parineeti is yet to sign on the dotted line.”

Happy Bhag Jayegi star cast share fun facts about each other and play The Firstpost Show Funny Face Off

Talented, smart, beautiful and funny, the entire star cast of the upcoming movie Happy Bhag Jayegi: Abhay Deol, Diana Penty, Ali Fazal and Jimmy Shergill was on The Firstpost Show were they spoke about fun facts they found about each other during the course of the making of the movie, advice they received while entering the industry and played a few rounds of The Firstpost Show funny face off.

Happy Bhag Jayegi

Here are a few snippets from the show:

Tell us a fun fact that you found about the person sitting next to you during the course of the making of the movie:

Abhay Deol about Diana Penty: “She’s more like me than I imagined. We are very similar and that was a very pleasant surprise.”

Diana Penty about Ali Fazal: “I found out fairly recently that he plays the guitar, he sings and he dances really well.”

Ali Fazal about Jimmy Shergill: “He’s a lovely singer, closet singer.”

After discussing fun facts about each other, they went on to tell us the most fun advice they received while entering the industry and played super fun rounds of The Firstpost Show Face Off. To know what are the advices each one of them got and to find out how they performed in Funny Face Off, watch the full episode right here.

Watch: The real star of ‘Sultan’ trailer is Salman Khan’s Haryanvi accent

There’s a dialogue in the much-awaited trailer of Salman Khan’s next film, Sultan, which goes something like this, “Asli pehlwaan ki pehchaan akhade mein nahin, zindagi mein hai (a fighter’s real identity is not found in the ring, but in life).”

This can be aptly said about Salman Khan’s life. In contrast to his larger-than-life, on-screen image is his personal life — full of controversies. Balancing between the two can be quite the fight. Ever since his legal battles have grabbed the country’s collective attention, we have seen Salman try to give us on-screen characters that are largely white in the black/white scale.

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However, after 25 years in the industry, it was finally with Bajrangi Bhaijaan that we saw something in Salman that we probably would not associate with him before: hard work. We saw a star who believed in his character and played it to a good degree of its potential.

In Yash Raj Films’ Sultan, Salman’s hardwork can be amply seen in the training he must have undergone to develop and maintain an impressive physique through the shooting of the film.

But that is Salman’s forte. What really takes you by surprise in the trailer is his Haryanvi accent. It’s not completely authentic, by any means, but it surprisingly works. It’s not the kind of accent you hear in a metro in Gurgaon, but it’s an accent that will remind you of a Haryanvi kushti player.

The trailer itself is quite telling of the sports drama that Sultan is going to be. It’s entertaining in places and holds your attention enough to let the goofy bits pass by.

Anushka Sharma, who has been breaking out of her bubbly girl phase with movies like Bombay Velvet and NH10, seems like a fitting co-actor for Salman. Her character of Aarfa, a female wrestler, is not the typical Hindi film heroine by a mile, but she retains the spark we have grown to love in her.

She’s our second favourite aspect about the Sultan trailer, after Salman’s accent. We love it because it finally shows us that he’s taking his movies seriously.

Not Virat Kohli: Saqib Saleem clarifies he isn’t playing the cricket star in ‘Dishoom’

Mumbai: Actor Saqib Saleem, who plays a cricketer in the film Dishoom, says that he is not playing star cricketer Virat Kohli and was not offered that role but it was his own decision to model his character on him.

About reports that he is playing Virat in the film, Saqib said in an interview, “Of course he (the character) is a cricketer but not Virat Kohli. I’m a Virat Kohli fan and I really love how he plays his game, how passionate he is. And when I got this role, I thought because of the fact that he is my favourite cricketer, why don’t I make it around him. It has been a fun journey.”

Saqib Saleem isn't playing Virat Kohli on screen, although his character in 'Dishoom' has been modelled on the cricket icon. Images from News 18. Getty

“Cricket is my first love and I got the opportunity to become a cricketer; there are two passions of mine — acting and cricket — and I got to combine these two, so that was a good feeling,” Saqib added.

Saqib was a part of the Mumbai Heroes team in the Celebrity Cricket League. He was also a part of the under-19 team in Delhi, where he was brought up.

“I played a lot of cricket, watched a lot of videos of Virat and other cricketers, just tried to make him a soldier on a mission, like how Virat plays his game. When he is batting, it doesn’t seem that he will get out. We feel that even if we have to make 400 runs, Virat alone would make it. He has given us that confidence and I wanted to get that confidence into this character. I even had interactions with the director,” he said about his preparations for the role.

Dishoom also stars Varun Dhawan, John Abraham and Jacqueline Fernandez and has been tagged as a “masala action comedy”, directed by Rohit Dhawan.

“It is a very intelligent commercial film; it has all the elements of a commercial film but there is an intelligence as well in it. I feel it is the best commercial film you will see in a long time because it is very well crafted, there is a good graph in the film,” he added.

Saqib added that though the hot weather during the shoot in Abu Dhabi was challenging, he actually enjoyed it as he likes shooting outdoors and in the sun.