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Rahman, Shruti Haasan thrilled about Cannes debut



Rahman, Shruti Haasan

Chennai, May 19: Double Oscar-winning composer A.R. Rahman and actress Shruti Haasan are thrilled to have made their maiden appearance at the 70th edition of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.

Both are representing their upcoming trilingual historic drama “Sanghamitra”, a story set in the eight century AD.

On Thursday, the first look posters of the film were launched in Cannes.

The project sees Rahman team up with director Sundar C for the first time.

“This is my first time at Cannes. I’m so overwhelmed to be surrounded by wonderful people,” Rahman told IANS on the phone from Cannes.

“It’s a very ambitious film. Six months back when I heard just 30 minutes of the narration, it was good enough for me to come on board,” he said about the rumoured Rs 150 crore project.

Rahman added “Sanghamitra” not only has great story but “Sundar has good vision for music too”.

“Nothing as compelling as ‘Sanghamitra’ came my way in recent times. The project is in rights hands,” he said, heaping praise on the makers – Sri Thenandal Studios.

The film features Shruti in the role of a fierce warrior.

Talking about being in Cannes for the first time, Shruti told IANS on the phone: “The atmosphere is lovely and there’s so much of excitement around that you get sucked in. It feels special to be in this place at the beginning of my career.”

Has being at Cannes made her happy?

“I’m usually happy around people. I’m a nomad and I find happiness irrespective of the place I’m in,” she said.

In preparation for her role, Shruti has been training in sword fighting in London over the last few weeks.

“It’s going to be a physically taxing role. I’m getting myself ready not just physically but also mentally. Being fit also means building stamina and that’s precisely what I’m trying to achieve,” she said, expressing absolute joy over being part of this project.

Talking about her character, she said: “It’s not a straight-forward role where I follow the instructions of my director and act. The character is layered and I have been waiting for a long time to essay such a role.”

On joining hands with Sundar C, she said it’s going to be “one epic combination”.

“As a director, he is someone who understands the audience’s pulse like nobody. This time with an epic subject in hand, we can only imagine the magic he can weave,” she said.

The project is slated to roll from August. It also stars Jayam Ravi and Arya.



Priyanka not a bridesmaid at Markle’s royal wedding



New York, April 26: Actress Priyanka Chopra says she will not be a bridesmaid at Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle’s upcoming royal wedding.

However, the actress didn’t clear the mystery whether she has been invited to the wedding or not.

In an interview with, Priyanka expressed her excitement about Harry and Markle’s wedding. The couple will exchange vows at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 19.

“I’m super excited about her and her big day,” Priyanka said.

She added: “It’s not just going to be life-changing for both of them, it’s life-changing for the world that needs to see strong women as icons, and I think Meghan has the potential to be that.”

Talking about Markle, the “Quantico” star said: “She’s just a really real girl. She’s a girl’s girl. She’s a really relatable young woman who is concerned about the world just like you and I are. That’s what I love the most about her. I feel like her authenticity is what’s going to make her really stand out in this new life she’s going to take on.”

Prince Harry and Markle started dating in July 2016 and made their first public appearance as a couple in September 2017.

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Karan Johar launches 6 Pack Band 2.0, says used to think he is ‘different’



Mumbai, April 26: Filmmaker Karan Johar, who along with Y-Films introduced a specially-abled teens band 6 Pack Band 2.0, says as a child there were times when he used to feel different from others.

“At times, as a child, I used to think that I am different. To accept that, was a task. Though I shouldn’t say that my condition was like these children, I surely understand their emotions.

“I understand how it feels to fear to go outside and mingle….I think it is our responsibility to create an atmosphere to make sure that all these children feel free to come out and live,” Karan told the media here on Thursday.

While Karan urged all the parents to support their children, he said: “I think I was very fortunate to have parents who were very affectionate and supportive towards me which gave me the confidence to overcome my fears.

“My parents were very progressive to understand me, and never made me feel like I am a kid who tends to behave differently in a certain situation. As elders that is what we should do…every child is different and parents should support them all through, to achieve their dream.”

The band will come up with six songs along with their music videos. All the songs are written by lyricist Kummar.

Sharing his experience of working on the project, Kummar said: “I was the last person who came on board for this project. So, basically I just added lyrics to their beautiful thoughts.

“Of course, it was a very different experience of writing songs for this project because these are not regular film songs. This is a very special project, with a wise vision.”

The six members of the band are Ananya Halarnkar, Anjali Ramesh, Maitreya Matale, Paarth Padhye, Prerna Agarwal and Rishaan Patil.

The children have come up with their first video titled “Jhakkad pakkad dance”, choreographed by Adil Shaikh.

The initiative is intended to create awareness about autism and mental illness. The campaign is partnered with Brooke Bond Red Label.

“Encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive response that India’s first transgender band received, we are back with India’s most special band. We hope that our talented band members receive similar love this time around as well,” said Shiva Krishnamurthy, General Manager, Beverages, Hindustan Unilever.


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Sexual favours happen in entertainment, political world: Shatrughan Sinha



BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha
Actor Shatrughan Sinha. (File Photo: IANS)

Mumbai, April 26 (IANS) After choreographer Saroj Khan and senior Congress leader Renuka Chowdhary, actor-politician Shatrughan Sinha says sexual favours are demanded in and given in both the entertainment and the political world.

“Neither Saroj Khan nor Renuka Chowdhary is wrong. Sexual favours are demanded and given in both the entertainment world and in politics. It’s an old and time-tested way of getting ahead in life. ‘You please me I’ll please you’.

“This has been happening since time immemorial. What is there to get so upset about,” Sinha said.

Defending Khan, he said: “Saroj Khan’s contribution to choreography and to shaping the careers of Rekha, Madhuri Dixit and the late much-missed Sridevi, was invaluable. Saroj Khan is a legend in her own right.

“She often speaks from her heart and lets emotional correctness rule over political correctness. If she said that girls have to compromise sexually in Bollywood, she must be aware of what goes on.”

Sinha himself does not deny the existence of the casting couch.

“I completely agree with both Saroj and Renuka. I know the kind of compromises girls have to make to get into films. Perhaps Sarojji has herself gone through her own pain and humiliation.

“As for politics, I don’t know what we can call the casting couch in politics maybe the casting-vote couch. Of course the young aspiring brigade is known to offer sexual favours and of course the senior brigade is known to accept.

“I am not saying it is right. I would never be part of such a compromise. But we cannot shut our eyes to the reality around us. Don’t condemn Sarojji for speaking the truth.

“Condemn those who create a situation where girls and boys feel they have to compromise to get ahead in life.”

However, Sinha is quick to point out — like Khan — that the casting couch is a personal choice.

“What happens on the couch or wherever two people come together, is a matter of personal choice. No one is forcing any girl or boy to lie down on the couch. You have something to give and you are offering it to someone who is interested. Where is the coercion or compulsion.?”


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