Oct 192017

katrinaKatrina Kaif’s upcoming film Tiger Zinda Hai also starring Salman Khan is making noise for all the right reasons. Salman has started the verbal promotions for the film’s December release.

Post this film we will be seeing Katrina in Thugs of Hindostan with superstars like Aamir Khan, Amitabh Bachchan and Fatima Sana Shaikh for which she has already started shooting. She also has Anand L Rai’s untitled film under her name which also stars Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma.

So, Katrina’s all the upcoming projects are with the three khans of Bollywood. Now, these projects with the khans appear to be great for Katrina’s career. However, the buzz is that the actress is not in a hurry to choose her upcoming projects.

A source revealed to a leading website, “Katrina is currently busy shooting for her films and she has decided to do certain number of films with only establish actors. So she is taking her own time to decide on her next films”.

News was that Katrina was offered some films with the newcomer actors in the past but she chose to turn them down for reasons best known to her. It is also been reported that the actress is cautious while signing new projects as her latest films Jagga Jasoos, Fitoor and Baar Baar Dekho failed miserably at the box office.

Rumours of Katrina featuring in Vikas Bahl’s next Super 30 with Hrithik Roshan were also doing rounds after her pictures with Vikas went viral on the internet. However, Katrina has denied signing any projects at present.

What do you guys think? Will working with the three khans bring Katrina’s career back on track?

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Oct 122017

Actor Bobby Deol has been roped in to star alongside Bollywood superstar Salman Khan in upcoming action-thriller film “Race 3”. He says he feels great to be a part of the team.

Producer Ramesh Taurani, who is backing the project through his Tips Industries Limited banner, took to Twitter on Thursday to welcome Bobby on board. “Welcome to the family Bobby Deol. Salman Khan, Jacqueline Fernandez. ‘Race 3′ Eid 2018,” Taurani tweeted.

Bobby replied: “Let’s race along Ramesh Taurani… It feels great to be a part of the team! ‘Race 3′.” Bobby was last seen on screen in actor Shreyas Talpade’s directorial debut “Poster Boys” alongside his brother Sunny Deol.

While directors Abbas-Mustan directed the first two films, ace choreographer-filmmaker Remo D’ Souza has been roped in to don the director’s hat for the third instalment in the franchise.

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Oct 082017

He is a master in disrupting the house. Cheap stunts, foul language, ugly fights…that’s his forte. Since his first day in the Bigg Boss house, he has been creating quite a scene. You can never predict when he loses his mind and starts trashing people and destroying peace.

He created a pandemonium for the first time in the house with his adult joke that people didn’t like at all. His language and his activities have sabotaged his chance for survival in the house. In the first round of nominations itself, he was eliminated along with three other contestants.

On Saturday, he was Salman Khan’s main target and we all know what happens when you displease the Sultan of Bollywood. The actor left no stone unturned and grilled him on National television.

As per the latest episode, the man couldn’t take what Salman Khan said and ended up taking some pills and was rushed to the hospital for treatment. He was criticised by Salman for using abusive language with Bandagi Kalra and Arshi Khan in the house throughout the week.

Zubair Khan (c) Color

Bhaijaan also pointed out that he needs to stop faking his identity as Haseena Parkar’s son-in-law. Salman also asked him to stop calling him Bhai and said, “Tu Mujhe Bhai-waai nahi bolega. Kasam Khuda ki, tujhe kutta na bana diya toh mera naam Salman Khan nahi.”

Well, that was one hell of a statement. He was bashed for stooping so low and using terms like ‘2 Rs woman’. The episode was one hell of a ride as Salman didn’t spare anyone and gave a dose of his special medicine personally to each contestant.

Tonight the first elimination took place and Zubair Khan was asked to leave the house. Well, not many expected that he would be evicted as he surely added the masala element in the show, which is needed to gain TRPs. But looks like viewers didn’t like him despite his full-fledged attempt to gain popularity and he hardly managed to get any votes. While such stunts work in favour for many, it totally backfired in Zubair’s case.

Do you think he might be back in the house during the wildcard entries? 

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Oct 072017

Arpita Khan Sharma posted this snapshot on Instagram of brother Salman Khan with filmmakers Sajid Nadiadwala and Ramesh Taurani. Sallu is slated to kickstart Race 3 with Taurani next month.

 Salman Khan, Sajid Nadiadwala and Ramesh Taurani
Salman Khan, Sajid Nadiadwala and Ramesh Taurani

The star sister wrote: “Look who’s in the office today.” With a hot cuppa in hand, it looks like Khan is inking a new deal with Nadiadwala. Kick 2 perhaps? How we would have loved to write the meeting’s minutes.

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Oct 052017

Bigg Boss Season 11 took off this weekend and fans have already formed their own fanclubs circling around their favourite contestants. From the first promo itself and the list of tentative contests to the first massive fight and nominations—things are happening speedily in the BB house and increasing our anticipation levels.

The show is as dramatic as ever; in fact, you can expect it to be a step further this year. You have a mixed bag of contestants but it is mostly the ‘padosis’ concept that viewers are enjoying a lot.

This season, one contestant in particular has grabbed everyone’s eyeballs, and those who are watching the show already know who we are talking about—Benafsha Soonawalla.

Quite a nice attempt at looking संस�कारी in a crop top and shorts. Not bad Ben. Not bad at all.

A post shared by Benafsha Soonawalla (@benafshasoonawalla) on May 12, 2017 at 1:32am PDT

From her opening performance to her talks inside the house, she is gaining a lot of popularity.

Liking Benafsha on the show? Here’s everything you need to know about her.

Lookin’ like this and saying no for drinks like #dyingalone

A post shared by Benafsha Soonawalla (@benafshasoonawalla) on Jan 7, 2017 at 12:24am PST

Born and brought up in Goa, this Parsi beauty is a total slayer.

Before getting into the glam world, she completed her PG in Management from Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Goa.

#musicallyindia #musically

A post shared by Benafsha Soonawalla (@benafshasoonawalla) on Sep 5, 2017 at 8:46am PDT

Eventually, she followed her passion and started modelling, as she wanted to make it big in the entertainment industry. 


A post shared by Benafsha Soonawalla (@benafshasoonawalla) on Dec 7, 2016 at 11:48pm PST

Soon she came to the city of dreams, Mumbai, and was selected for MTV Roadies. 

Ben’s first @beingsalmankhan moment summarised: – . 1)He makes an Entry, audience applauds. 2)He takes off his Jacket, audience applauds. 3)He breaks into his Signature Dance move, audience goes bananas! . . He talks to Benafsha, Our Ben goes BANANAS #fangirl#omg . . . #teambenafsha#vjbenafsha#vjben#voteforbenafsha#voteforben#biggboss11#bb11#biggboss#salmankhan#fangirlmoment#happy#supportbenafsha#bengoesbananas

A post shared by Benafsha Soonawalla (@benafshasoonawalla) on Oct 3, 2017 at 12:45am PDT

Her journey has now led her this far, as she is making her way to being one of the most popular contestants in one of the biggest reality shows in India.

She left the viewers impressed and pretty soon landed a gig hosting MTV Campus Diaries.

Trials for something coming 🔜🔜🔜🔜🔜🔜🔜!! P.S- this is precisely my face right now while I enter the theatre to watch Annabelle. Pretty confident eh? ( IM GOING TO SHIT MY PANTS!!!!!!!!!!!!) BUT BUT BUT as you can see I’m ripped!! I’ll be okay. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED ANNIE! (I’m sorry this is just to look brave I’m shit scared of you Annie)

A post shared by Benafsha Soonawalla (@benafshasoonawalla) on Aug 21, 2017 at 4:15am PDT

This leggy lass is one of the most talked about contestants of Salman Khan’s show, and is already raising the temperature with her looks.

One look at her Instagram and you will realise she is quite active and loves giving her followers a glimpse of her lifestyle.

From her sexy dance videos to her smoking hot snaps, she totally owns the domain.

Often called ‘Benn’ by her loved ones, she is now all set to rock Bigg Boss 11.

Only time can tell how far will she go in the show. Will her charms help her mingle with the inmates, or will they become a double-edged sword and bring her own doom?

For now, all we can do is stay glued to the screen and see what she does next. Are you rooting for her or can’t wait for her to leave the house already?

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Sep 302017

Everyone’s favourite show ‘Bigg Boss’ is gearing up to make a comeback and fans are already frothing at the mouth. The 11th season of the show premieres on October 1st, and we bet many of you are already clearing your schedules to be able to catch the show, religiously.

 From saucy gossip, flights, love stories, flirting, intimacy, conspiracies and so much more, ‘Bigg Boss’ is all about entertainment, entertainment, and a little more entertainment for good measure! Love it or hate it, the show has a huge fan following and consistently earns insane ratings. And since Salman Khan started hosting it, the numbers have pretty much tripled!

Scripted or not, BB is one of those shows that you’ll be talking about with your colleagues as if the contestants are your family mates. The more you watch the show, the more you start falling for the on-screen drama. Soon, you’ll have the contestant you hate, a contestant you sympathise with and the one you truly want to bag the BB title.

Just yesterday, we gave you all the details on what is going to be happening inside the most watched house in the country and today we are back with the first look of the house.

Right from the time we first saw the promos for the show, all we can talk about is the house. Finally, the channel has shared a scintillating first look of the house, making us wish we could take a walk around the pad ourselves!

#BREAKING !!!! First look 👀 #BiggBoss11 @beingsalmankhan

A post shared by Colors TV (@colorstv) on Sep 29, 2017 at 8:25am PDT

Doesn’t that look grand? But then we don’t expect anything less from the producers of the show. Like every season, here’s the celestial, destiny-changing Jacuzzi! Because in the BB house, a lot can happen in the jacuzzi (geddit?).

Jacuzzi #BiggBoss11 house pic.twitter.com/CN9Z5KIWWv

— The Khabri (@BiggBossNewz) September 29, 2017

The Channel’s handle Twitter ‘The Khabari’ also released another picture of the living room, which looks peppy and vibrant.

Living room  #BiggBoss11 house pic.twitter.com/kbYuS1sC9y

— The Khabri (@BiggBossNewz) September 29, 2017

For the first time, we will have an underground jail with literally no amenities except a string cot in the house, which we can’t wait to check out. It’s almost time to let the familiar chants ring again, “Bigg Boss chahte hai……”


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Sep 292017

In order to mark the release of Sajid Nadiadwala’s ‘Judwaa 2’, actress Jacqueline Fernandez shared a picture of the producer-director duo Sajid Nadiadwala and David Dhawan.

Sajid Nadiadwala is all set to recreate magic after 20 years with the revamped version of the 1997 Salman Khan starrer ‘Judwaa’ with ‘Judwaa 2’.

The uber stylish and glamorous Jacqueline Fernandez will be seen reprising the role of Karisma Kapoor in the 2017 film.  ‘Judwaa 2’ will mark the fifth collaboration of Jacqueline Fernandez and Sajid Nadiadwala after delivering back to back hit films while the film will be Jacqueline’s first collaboration with David Dhawan. The actress who has earlier worked with Rohit Dhawan and Varun Dhawan marks a hattrick working with the Dhawans with ‘Judwaa 2’.

As the film released today, Jacqueline Fernandez shared a picture of the producer-director duo giving them a shout out for their bond. The actress said, “The master minds!! 20 years later stronger and closer than ever! My 2 superheroes ð???ð???#judwaa2 OUT TODAY!!!! #daviddhawan #sajidnadiadwala@nadiadwalagrandson@wardakhannadiadwala”

Sajid Nadiadwala’s ‘Judwaa 2’ is a film packed with action, drama, humour and romance just like the original 1997 Salman Khan starrer ‘Judwaa’. The trailer of the comedy film has left the audience in splits with its perfectly timed jokes and brilliant performances. The songs ‘Chalti Hai Kya 9 se 12’, ‘Suno Ganpati Bappa’, ‘Oonchi Hai Building’ and ‘Aa Toh Sahi’ have got everyone dancing to its tunes.

There has been huge anticipation to witness the evergreen classic get a contemporary twist. Produced by Sajid Nadiadwala, directed by David Dhawan, ‘Judwaa 2’ is presented by Fox Star Studios and Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment. The film hit the screens today with an exceptional opening at the box office.

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Sep 272017

Bigg Boss is back, and how! The popular reality show is all set to come to our TV screens in just a matter of days and of course, any and every information which is even remotely related to the show is making headlines.

The popularity of the show increased manifold when Salman Khan was roped in as the host, back in 2012. Barring this year, every other year, rumors about Salman not willing to host the show do the rounds; much to the dismay of the show’s fans as for most of them, imagining a season of Bigg Boss without Salman is impossible.

Fortunately for them, Salman is back with his charm as the host of the eleventh season. With a confusing yet interesting theme of ‘Neighbours’, this season will see a mix of celebrities and commoners who will stay put in the closed house for over 100 days with more than 80 cameras capturing all their movements.

.@BiggBoss ke ghar mein padosi banke kaun ayenge?
Guess & be the one lucky winner to visit #BB11 set.#BBGuesslist @BeingSalmanKhan pic.twitter.com/Py1NMxitjY

— COLORS (@ColorsTV) September 16, 2017

Now every day there’s some or the other news about the show, whether it’s related to this year’s tentative contestants list, the past controversies associated with the show and even Salman’s outfits. But what manages to garner most attention each year is Salman’s remuneration.  

Given the superstar that he is, we don’t expect him to charge anything less than a few crores. Apparently, he charged around Rs. 2.5 crore per episode from Season 4 to Season 6. Then, he doubled his fees to Rs. 5 crore for ‘Bigg Boss 7′. For ‘Bigg Boss 8′, he is estimated to have charged Rs. 5.5 crore per episode and for ‘Bigg Boss 9′, he increased his fees to Rs. 7-8 crore per episode and for the previous season 10, he took home Rs. 8 crore per episode.

But according to reports, for the eleventh season, Salman will get a mind-boggling paycheck of Rs 11 crore per episode. Yes, per episode. Now the show is expected to go over a period of 13 weeks of shoot, so that means that Salman will earn more than Rs. 250 crores in just three months.

Fun fact: Our calculators were ready to explode after arriving at this number, and so were our minds.

It was highly likely of this news being a rumor so at the press conference of Bigg Boss last night, a journalist asked Salman about his fees.

“Voting for #BB11 will be exclusively on the @justvoot app” @rajcheerfull, COO @viacom18 at the @BiggBoss Press Conference! @BeingSalmanKhan pic.twitter.com/aLh12bGuoN

— COLORS (@ColorsTV) September 26, 2017

The actor, without directly answering the question, started laughing loudly while walking on the stage and went on towards Raj Nayak, COO, Viacom 18. He then started humming a song from his movie ‘Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega’ and said, “Bolo na, Bolo na”. That is when Raj Nayak took the mike and said, “Salman doesn’t come so cheap.”

Although this is hardly confirmation, the fact that the actor didn’t deny these claims says quite a bit.

The truth, however, would probably be revealed once the season gets over.

On the movie front, Salman is gearing up for the promotions of his upcoming movie ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ which would release in December.

But if that feels too far, mark your calendars for October 1 as the eleventh season of Bigg Boss will start to air.

And it’s a wrap! Don’t forget to join us on 1st Oct at 9PM, first day first show! @BeingSalmanKhan pic.twitter.com/IV40HU4Wo8

— COLORS (@ColorsTV) September 26, 2017

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Sep 262017

Bollywood superstar Salman Khan who is gearing up for the upcoming season of Bigg Boss 11 says he expects all the participants to behave properly.

The movie star, who was present at the launch of the show here on Tuesday, told media: “Well, I want everyone to behave properly. I know it is not easy considering the situation where all the participants are coming from different background and mingling the first time; there are friendship, politics, people deals with the tricky situation. However, they should behave.” “I think many people come to the show for revamping their career and if they are fighting and misbehaving with people, industry professionals will not prefer to work with them,” he added.

Asked about if there is any rule in the game that he feels like changing, he said: “I think the first week of elimination is not right because it takes a little time to settle down and mingle with people. So, whoever gets eliminated on the first week, I think it is unfair. The show lunch took place at a housing complex on the suburban side of the city where Salman entered the stage with a gala performance of his hit songs. The COO of Colors channel Raj Nayak was also present there along with Deepak Dhar of Endemol.

The popular reality show Bigg Boss 11 is starting from October 1, on Colors TV.

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Sep 242017

Varun DhawanVarun Dhawan

(To the audience at the Jagran Cinema Summit as the session starts: Aapka dhyan kidhar hai? Humara hero idhar hai!). By the way, who calls himself only a hero (albeit in a song)?
When you’re a hero in a David Dhawan film, you do!

Two reasons you’re the perfect choice to talk about ‘future of stardom’. One, you are the top star among millennials. Second, you’ve literally grown up around Bollywood stars. What did they — say, Salman Khan — tell you about stardom that you’ve always borne in mind?
Firstly, what’s stardom? It’s simply a person’s ability to connect with fans. An actor can’t become a star if people don’t make him one. I remember how as a kid, people would talk about my father’s (director David Dhawan’s) insane box-office record. At home, he’d only talk about how he made movies for the love of people. Many of them would come up to tell me about being unwell, and how they saw my dad’s film, they felt better: Unki tabiyat theek ho gayi! This power to heal people, or make them smile, is stardom. Salman Khan, for instance, was a star 20 years ago. He’s a bigger star now. And that’s because he’s constantly connecting with fans — through Internet, social-media, cinemas, radio… There are far more avenues to connect now. You can’t take stardom for granted. After my first film, Salman Bhai just told me, “Yeh toh chal gayi. Par ab kya karega? (This one worked. What’ll you do now?)” Which is true. The first film chooses you. After that, if the choices you make don’t tally with what the audience wants, they’ll just throw you out.

The other actor you’ve spent a lot of time with is Govinda. Anyone who’s met him knows he’s a pop-philosopher. What gyan did he give you?
When I was a kid, Chi Chi bhaiyya would joke a lot about how he thinks I’d grow up to become an Ajay Devgn type of actor! He found me to be rather intense. I’ve loved them all — Chi Chi bhaiyya, Akshay Kumar — watching Baba’s (Sanjay Dutt) films in Gaiety-Galaxy, which is an unbelievable experience, it’s a film of its own. I remember stepping out of the first-day, first-show of Kaho Na Pyar Hai (Hrithik Roshan’s debut) in Chandan (theatre), and hearing a person say, “Yeh ladka toh heera hai. Heera!” These are moments when you realise that this actor is on his way to stardom.

And then some of them fade. So there’s someone like Salman, who’s right on top still, and Govinda, about the same age, isn’t. If you’re to play film critic for a moment, how would you explain this?
I wouldn’t want to do that. I can’t. It’s too difficult.

Varun Dhawan with the audience at the Jagran Cinema Summit. Pic/Satej Shinde
Varun Dhawan with the audience at the Jagran Cinema Summit. Pic/Satej Shinde

Or for that matter the three Khans, who are still right up there.
As much as people like to put some people up (on a pedestal), they also like to see their heroes fall. That’s just life. As an actor, I just have to choose the right kind of films, as times change. You have to move with the times. Today I shot for an ad, for instance, which was being directed by a 26-year-old, and she knew exactly what she wanted, and how — much better than many seasoned directors I’ve worked with. If this is the future, then it’s great. I’m 30, there’s a four-year gap between us. Five years ago, when I came into the industry, I knew what kids wanted. I haven’t updated myself since, because I don’t consume as much entertainment as I did then. I can’t see trends as well as I could, during school and college. I had to learn from the 26-year-old girl. I was happy that she could tell me where I was going wrong.

You were also very concerned about making it in time for this interview, given your ad-shoot. That’s also the refreshing future of Bolllywood stardom. We know your dad has waited for hours for Govinda to show up!
Well, he’s waited for a lot of people. That is just part and parcel of how things worked back then. Eventually, you have to respect each person’s time. Also, stardom is a result of many people working behind the scenes, day-in and day-out, so you look great on screen, and are loved by people. Stardom cannot be achieved without the film fraternity backing you. You can’t fight the whole system, and become a star. You have to get love from your family first, and then the others.

The other instance of how stardom has changed is that even Salman Khan, who just had to show up on screen and play his image once upon a time, has to work hard on portraying characters.
He just wants you to think otherwise, but Salman Khan is a very hard-working actor, and he’s always been. He just makes it look easy. But yes, since we are talking about the future, today, content is the star. If you look at 2017, films aren’t opening to the sort of numbers they used to. That’s scary. People are waiting. They want to check on a Friday what the reviews (of a film) are like. Thousands of people are giving reviews — good or bad. Some of them haven’t even seen the film. They tell you what they feel it will be like! You have to battle that. But I feel if there is love between audiences, and an actor, they will show up on the first three days. If the film is no good, of course, it won’t work.

You’re in fact one of the few Bollywood stars who’s been around since the advent of social media. Do you think it’s turned the perception game on its head — no film’s as terrible, or terrific, as it’s made out to be?
Totally. And there are social media stars as well. They are stars in their own right. They’re hugely entertaining on the web. But can they open a film, or guarantee numbers? No. Our country is very big. This year, ‘heartland’ films have done better in Delhi-UP, because those audiences could connect with the films. Maharashtra, on the other hand, which would bring in the maximum revenues before, hasn’t posted the best numbers. Here again, the Mumbai audience is different from Delhi’s. So yes, I called myself a ‘hero’ in my own film. But I didn’t call myself a star. I feel the media anoints stars too soon. Of course, personally, I feel good about that. But, frankly, becoming a star is something else. A hundred people trying to touch you, is not stardom. You’re liked as an actor, sure. But a star generates mass hysteria —Rajesh Khanna, Shah Rukh, Khan, Salman Khan, Amitabh Bachchan — these are stars. We mustn’t tag too soon, or so easily. Do you agree?

Sure, as in the difference between a celebrity and a star. And while the former will still get mobbed in a mall…
Exactly. Because that’s free. It has happened with me as well — because an actor is coming for an event, it is packed with people. You go to Amity University, you’d want to simply stand outside! They’re screaming, hooting… Par theatre mein toh aate hee nahin hai (But they’re not coming to theatres)! Then what’s the point? On YouTube, you get 10, 20, 100 million views. Theatre pe koi aaya? These are just tools to manage perception, and create stardom. But only the box-office is the answer to stardom. Let me ask you, who were the actual stars of this year — Rajkummar Rao, Ayushmann Khurrana, Kriti Sanon, Bhumi Pednekar. Bhumi has delivered three hits in a row — Dum Laga Ke Haisha, Toilet, and now Shubh Mangal Saavdhan. In a year when nothing’s working, Ayushmann and Bhumi have clearly done something right. Rajkummar has done some of the best work in his generation. The amount of love they receive is not enough. Soon, if it hasn’t happened already, these actors will become the next set of bankable stars.

How about a star like Akshay Kumar, who consistently comes in with four films in a year, which used to be the norm back in the day. None of the new crop attempt that.
Actors spend about 60 days during shoot, and 20 days tops, to promote a film. I believe we can still do at least two more films a year. The problem is everyone’s got psyched. We’re all worried. We second-guess ourselves too much — not as actors — but as a society. The world is second-guessing itself. You’re worried about what’s happening between America and North Korea — it seems like a WWF match is going on.

What does that have to do with box-office?
No, I’m saying, we’re just worried as a people, always second-guessing ourselves. You can’t do more films. Anything you do, you first wonder — will it go fine, or not; will it work, or not? Akshay Kumar, in that sense, is a legend — he’s the leading example of someone with a strong head. He doesn’t get bothered by criticism. He gets praised, he smiles, and moves on. I’ll tell you what’s up with the millennial generation. We don’t know how to deal with criticism —hum hil jaate hain! And the big cause is social media — it causes depression, anxiety. Younger actors aren’t immune to it.

You’re still, according to Twitter, the most engaged young star on the platform. You’re tuned into social media, unlike many others, like Kangana for instance, who simply stays away for sanity’s sake.
Well, once I start work with Shoojit Sir (on the film October), I’ve been asked to go off social media. He doesn’t want me to think about a lot of (extraneous) things. But even on social media, one has to realise that you’ve put out whatever you had to, and then you just have to move on.

Another thing you’ve made very clear is that you don’t want to be an actor/star whose audience is only in the few big cities. By which you mean going for a pan-India audience?
Yes, that’s right. It’s really sad that our films don’t work in the South. And I don’t even know why we say South. I know it’s in the southern part. But it’s our country, it’s India. I pray that my film does well in Kashmir, the Northeast, Andhra, and why not? They are my brothers and sisters. A film like Baahubali showed us (that it’s possible). Is Prabhas a star or not?

While you want to appeal to a pan-India audience, you’ve pretty much lived in a Juhu-Bandra world. Does that not cause a disconnect between the intended audience profile, and you?
It definitely does. How are you going to understand what they’re thinking? I’m very fortunate that I’m an actor, so I get opportunities (to connect). Like, when I was doing Badrinath Ki Dulhaniya, I went to Kota and stayed there for about 35 to 40 days. I met a lot of people, learnt a lot of things. Luckily, if I have to play a character from Mumbai and say things like, “Aye bhai, ek number,” it would come naturally to me. Because I am from Mumbai. But even when I have to play a Delhi-ite, there is a lot of research that has to go into it. But I do that in my own time, in my own way. So what I can do as an actor is choose those kinds of films. Like, my future lineup: I’m doing a Shoojit Sircar film, and one with Sharat Katariya called Sui Dhaga, which is also somewhat a ‘heartland movie’. So I’ll learn from Sharat, and use that in my performance.

In a recent interview, you said you wished you had more “lived experiences”. What did you mean by that?
That I wish I could have seen more life. How do you do a scene about losing a loved one, unless you’ve lost a loved one? The director will of course tell you. But what about the actual emotion? That ‘dard’ jab koi guzar jata hai! God forbid, it happens to someone. But it’s life. It will. How do you show that? You have to live life for it.
It can happen at a young age as well — as you go through break-ups, make-ups, or probably when you get married. Today, if I have to play a father, I will never know the true essence of that part, until I have a child of my own. I always tell my mother, “I don’t understand why you feel so much love, what’s this instinct?” She says, “When you have a child, you’ll know.” So you have to live life. I’ve seen my father ageing. He had a massive health scare. The emotions I went through in that one minute were the scariest ever. Coming back to acting, one of my coaches told me, a sad thing about actors is that even while something bad is happening to them, and they’re actually going through it, they also observe it (as a third person). It’s not an easy job!

You were apparently really happy when someone first broke your heart once, because you wanted to feel that pain as an actor!
(Laughs) I was a little kid then.

There’s the other popular assumption about your upbringing — that if someone comes from a film-family, as it were, they’re necessarily privileged.
It’s not an assumption. It’s true. You have a better entry into films, people you can talk to, and discuss (films and filmmaking with). The assumption, though, is that each person (from a film-family) is from the same background. Now Vicky Kaushal, a fine actor, is action-director Shyam Kaushal’s son. I’m sure he would’ve found some help. But not so much help. He may have actually struggled his way in. I can say how much ever I have to about my own struggles, but it will be cutting a sorry figure. That’s not the human being I am.

Well, you did audition for Life Of Pi and Dhobi Ghat. Any others?
There were a couple of TV shows I auditioned for. My friend Kavish and I would go together. I would put down fake names on the register. The dilemma I was going through was if I was good enough to be here. Truth is, I did fail a lot of auditions. And I’ve been on both sides. As an assistant director, I’ve taken a lot of auditions. And I would feel bad for the way aspiring actors would get treated. I used to be like, “Yeh log acting ki kadar hi nahi karte hain. Pani aur chai toh poochna chahiye. Bhai saab, aap theek ho?” The other assistant director on the team, Karan Malhotra (in My Name Is Khan) thought I was mad. He’d say, “Tu Oprah Winfrey kyun ban raha hai. Tu audition le, aur ghar jaa.” But yes, there’s a lot of competition. I had a friend called Rajat at Barry John’s acting school, who had come down from Jammu. He’d cycle for auditions, cycle back, spend the whole day, eat there, and his money would dry up. But he’s doing well now.

At what point did you start referring to yourself as an actor?
At 16. I saw American Psycho at a theatre, thrice, back-to-back. I didn’t leave my room for three days after and started enacting scenes. Because there were no people around me, I’d talk to milk cartons, or the door. I would shoot my own video, and show it to friends. And they’d go, “Dude, what’s wrong with you?” I’d say, “I’m an actor. I’m feeling like I’m an actor!” If you’re truly an actor, your self-confidence has to be super-high. You’re gonna get knocked on the chin so many times, especially in 2017 — social-media, critics, or people pretending to be critics. Everyone has an opinion. So your self-belief has to be rock solid.

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