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Novelty inspires me: Ayushmann Khurrana



Ayushmann Khurrana

Kolkata: Known for portraying ordinary men – often flawed and insecure – with almost no one character being similar to the other, Ayushmann Khuranna says novelty of any kind inspires him.

“Novelty inspires me, any kind, any shape or form. It could be the first attempt in Hindi cinema. That inspires me.

“Any person living a mundane life, 9 to 5, and still motivated to live, that inspires me, because as an artist you have a very vibrant life. You live a different character each day,” Khurrana said during an interaction at the Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet on Thursday.

Khurrana, whose next film ‘Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan’ based on homosexuality is slated to hit the theatres on February 21, said he has prepared for each of his vastly diverse roles by being with the milieu and also banked on his exposure to Hindi theatre as also the convent education he received.

“The idea is to be one with the milieu, get grasp of the colloquial jargons, twangs, and India is a country where every ten kilometres, the dialect changes.

“I am glad that I have done Hindi theatre, Hindi public speaking, though I was convent educated. So that made me quite a linguist. That exposure was quite early in life,” he said during the session at the iconic Victoria Memorial Hall premises.

From essaying the role a sperm donor in his debut film Vicky Donor, to depicting a man with erectile dysfunction in ‘Shubh Mangal Saavdhan’, or a blind pianist in the 2018 thriller ‘Andhadhun’, Khurrana has been hailed as having “cornered the market when it comes to playing flawed, insecure men with confidence issues”.

The films, generally set in small towns amid middle class environs, have time and again dealt with taboo subjects, and are sprinkled with liberal doses of wit, humour and comic situations. The much feted actor says all of these are essential for the movies of his genre.

“By default these characters are set in middle class, small towns. That’s where the conflict is there. In urban centres, like Delhi, Mumbai or Kolkata they are receptive to taboo subjects. So where is the conflict then?

“In the middle class society, we’re like the flag bearers of morality, that’s where the humour emanates, when you are stuck in that conventional dogma. And we are not trying to make people laugh as the situation is funny. For the male lead or the main lead, it is tragic,” he said.

As for the upcoming film, Khurrana says he has a lot of friends who are part of the LGBTQ (lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders and queers) community. “And it’s a journey. I am learning every minute”.

The 35 year old actor gave credit to the audience for receiving well his films themed on progressive subjects.

“The choices I am making are going down well with the audience. Audience is also evolving and receiving well these subjects which are progressive.

“Earlier these used to be for art house cinema stuff. But now these middle of the road cinemas – a great collaboration of content and commerce – are evoking good responses,” he said.

‘Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan’ would be another case study, the actor says, calling it the first film dealing with homosexuality in the realm of the commercial Hindi cinema.

“In parallel or arthouse cinema we have seen films dealing with homosexaulity. But those were the films catering to the converted. The audience watching these films are within the LGBT community already.

“We want to reach out to people, who are averse to homosexuality. This is the first Hindi mainstream commercial film in India based on homosexuality. We hope it will at least usher in the conversation and have a discussion on LGBTQ,” Khurrana added.


Rani shares Kamal Haasan’s wise words on her height




Rani Mukerji at a Juhu Durga Puja pandal in Mumbai on Oct 5, 2019. (Photo: IANS)

Mumbai, Feb 18 (IANS) Rani Mukerji has revealed what actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan said to her that made her more self-confident about her height and her brilliant skill-set as an actor.

Rani and Kamal’s critically acclaimed movie “Hey Ram” has completed 20 years of its release in the Hindi film industry. The “Mardaani” actress goes down memory lane and shared interesting life lessons that she learnt from the movie, directed by the southern superstar Kamal Haasan.

“‘Hey Ram’ has been one of my most major learning curves. Getting an opportunity to work with Kamal Haasan for me at that point in my career was something very special because I was always an admirer of his performance and his acting and here I was going to get directed by him. So, I think it was one of those opportunities that I didn’t want to let go and I remember going to Chennai for the shoot,” she said.

Rani says she loved every second of just being on the sets of “Hey Ram”.

“What I loved about ‘Hey Ram’ was the discipline of the entire shoot. There was a bell that used to ring for the take to start, there was a time given for make-up, there was a time given for hair which today is very normal in the way actor’s shoot,” she said.

Rani added: “Today, there is a shoot call, there is a call time, there is make-up time, there is hair time, there is costume time, but in Hey Ram that I actually saw a production house following every aspect of this and that was amazing.

“The first shot used to be taken at 6 in the morning and pack up used to be at the time that the bell used to ring. They used to not go even one minute more than that time and even if there was a take left to be shot like even if we had rehearsed for the shot and the bell rang for pack up we would have to pick up that scene the next day, which for me was completely a new experience because of this work ethic and work discipline on a set.”

Kamal gave Rani invaluable lessons in building self-confidence.

“I remember in those times, because I am quite short, I remember wearing these platform slippers and Kamalji looked at my slippers and said ‘wow, wow what are these!’ I said I was very comfortable walking in platform slippers, but, because my height is short. He said ‘are you crazy?, just wear flats. You are not to be measured by how tall you are but your achievements will measure who you’ are and I think that also stayed with me,” she said.

“From then on, I was confident about my height. To be an actor, you don’t necessarily need to be tall. Being an actor is about performing, is about acting and that is the biggest lesson I learnt from Kamalji.”

The 41-year-old actress was seen in no make up for the film, which was a huge learning for her.

“Getting to be directed by Kamalji, I think, I have learnt a lot from him. It was very, very, special. I remember the first day walking onto the set — Kamalki looked at me and said okay now you can go and wash your face and come back. I was like what is he saying, he was like ‘ya ya just go and wash your face and come back’ and I remember going back; as an artiste, you always have the insecurity of facing the camera without make-up.

“I remember being slightly insecure about the fact that he was asking me to wash my face and I went back just removing some of it and I went back on set and he looked at me and said no, I need you to wash your face again. I said but I have washed, he said no you have not washed!”

“He said to go back and wash it as if you are leaving the set after pack-up, I said ok and I went back and actually removed all my make-up and I came to set completely stripped of all make-up. At that time, doing a film without make-up was unheard of. Kamal Ji came and he put the bindi on me and he told the makeup artist to just put little kajal in my eyes and then he said yes, ‘now my Aparna is ready’.”

Rani said that was the first time she “understood actresses or actors don’t need that much make-up”.

“You can actually do a film without make-up. It all depends on the lighting, the lenses the cameraman uses and I think I found a lot of confidence with the way Kamalji went through with his shoot,” she said.

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KJo to launch Suhana Khan, Asim Riaz in ‘Student Of The Year 3’?




Karan Johar

Mumbai, Feb 18 (IANS) News of Shah Rukh Khan’s daughter Suhana Khan and popular “Bigg Boss 13” contestant Asim Riaz’s Bollywood debut is doing the rounds on the Internet.

According to the latest reports, filmmaker Karan Johar, who is known to launch new actors in his films has taken up the task to introduce Suhana. Reportedly, he will be launching Suhana and Asim in the third installment of the ‘Student Of The Year’ franchise, reports

Karan has previously launched Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, Sidharth Malhotra, Ananya Pandey and Tara Sutaria with the “Student Of The Year” franchise.

The filmmaker currently awaits the release of “Bhoot Part One: The Haunted Ship” scheduled for February 21.

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Rajpal Yadav: Without right timing, comedy becomes tragedy

“Coolie No. 1” is slated to release on May 1 while Priyadarshan’s directorial “Hungama 2” is expected to release on August 14.



Rajpal Yadav

Mumbai, Feb 17 : Timing is the last word when it comes to comic characters, says ace Bollywood comedian Rajpal Yadav. The actor, who has tasted immense popularity due to his performance in comic roles, shares a tip for young actors who are enthusiastic about comedy movies.

“Everything depends upon your timing. That is the most important thing. If your timing is not correct then comedy will become tragedy. You can practice dance, climbing a mountain and action stunts, but to get your timing right you have to have the power of imagination and an alert mind. Your timing should match with that of your co-actor and that’s the secret to success in a comic role,” Rajpal said.

Rajpal has been a popular choice for comic roles in Bollywood for two decades. When quizzed about his popularity among the audience, the actor replied: “I feel it is the blessing of my parents and my guruji that audiences shower me with so much love. As I said, timing is the most important thing. It will either make you a zero or a hero. I feel lucky that I have been getting nice roles in the comic genre. Today, I am what I am is because of this industry and the audience.”

On the work front, Rajpal Yadav has his kitty full with movies like “Coolie No. 1” and “Hungama 2”. Talking about working with David Dhawan in “Coolie No. 1”, which is a remake of the veteran director’s 1995 film of the same name, the actor shared: “My relationship with David Dhawan saab is 20 years old. He has always loved me like a son. I have worked with him in movies like ‘Mujhse Shaadi Karogi’, ‘Maine Pyar Kyun Kiya’, ‘Partner’ and ‘Judwaa 2’ and every time I have enjoyed the experience. Dhawan saab holds a special place in my biography.”

However, the actor did not reveal which character he is playing in the comic drama. “Everyone has watched the first film. I can’t reveal right now which character I am playing. All I can say is that my character in the movie is very important and I am happy for being selected for such a role.”

Digital platform is the new destination for a lot of actors who prefer good content. A lot of B-Towners are also increasingly opting for web series and original movies. However, Rajpal Yadav seems to be not in a hurry to opt for the platform yet. He said: “The digital platform is bringing up brilliant concepts, the subjects are also fresh. But I’m not in a hurry. I have a few offers but I’ll choose my script wisely.”

“Coolie No. 1” is slated to release on May 1 while Priyadarshan’s directorial “Hungama 2” is expected to release on August 14.

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