Compiled by Poorva Rajaram
Back with A bang?
Bigg Boss 5 did itself no favours by including lots of non-celebrities at its kickoff. So, in a remorse-filled bid to right this grievous error, they are on the hunt for genuinely controversial house members. They couldn’t have struck hotter news than Sunny Leone (aka Karen Malhotra from Canada) out-bisexual and successful porn star. Leone never made her Bollywood debut in spite of being approached to star in Kalyug. She has already prudently tried to combat layers of cultural unintelligibility by declaring “a porn star is not a prostitute”.
Love-Love, The New Love-Hate
If we were completely honest, we would have to admit that there is no actual reality/chat show on television we watch with unadulterated fervour. Arjun Rampal’s new show, Love 2 Hate U, could just turn us into a slavish TV watchers. Apparently, bloggers and other celeb-haters will get to confront the objects of their hatred. We are intrigued by the concept simply because it could create room on television for non-hagiographic ways of tackling superstars.
The news that Suresh Oberoi will play the late Kannada actor Rajkumar is not new. But the project seems to have crystallised into an account of the infamous Veerappan kidnapping titled Veerappan Attahasa directed by AMR Ramesh.Recently, Oberoi was asked how he is preparing for the role and he answered, “I gave up non-vegetarian food, I did not smoke or drink; I meditated every day and prayed to Dr Rajkumar to come into me and essay the role.” Pre-liberalisation method acting, anyone?
The Sundance-buzz documentary film TheBengali Detective, about crime solvers in Kolkata directed by Philip Cox, will be turned into a feature film. Fox Searchlight has bought the film rights and are enlistingThe Queen director Stephen Frears to make the movie. Of course, such a ripe-for-Hollywoodbreakthrough opportunity cannot occur without speculation about which major male star (Shah Rukh or Aamir?) will take up the role, but considering how foreign market works, the star could well be someone like Dev Patel.
‘I hate people who diet. Can’t get along with them’
WHO Born to famous dancers and Padma Bhushan awardees Raja and Radha Reddy, this Kuchipudi dancer debuted at the tender age of three. She has toured the United Kingdom, France, United States and Dubai. Besides having been presented with a golden key to the cities of Dublin and Fort Lauderdale, she has also won the Devadasi National Award and the Yuva Ratna Award.
Was the first inclination to dance your own or influenced by your parents?
It was my own. As far as I can remember, I’ve always loved dancing. My parents have never forced me. They’d let me attend the classes with the other kids who would come to learn. I was never given special treatment.
What did it feel like to get a standing ovation for your first solo performance at the age of three?
I don’t remember it much. It’s mostly a story narrated by my parents. But I know I must’ve been a menace because I was so passionate about dancing. I’d do little skits on my own. I’d catch my parents at home and ann ounce, “Yamini Reddy’s going to perform” and then dance for them.
Is having famous dancers as parents a boon or a bane?
It works both ways. When I started out, it was probably much simpler for me than it is for a lot of other people. But it’s more difficult for me to survive, and sustain myself in this profession. People have higher expectations because of my parents.
Do you regret giving up a chance to study medicine abroad for dance?
No, never. I’m glad I chose dance. Girls my age may be earning more but I’m probably more satisfied. If you’re happy with what you’re doing, you’re successful.
According to a famous saying: you are what you eat. Are you?
I’m a complete foodie! People think I’m a dancer and so I must be on a strict diet. But it’s because I dance that I don’t need to worry about burning off what I eat. I hate people who diet. I wouldn’t get along with them.
Travelling around the world for dance, have you come across many stereotypes about India?
I’ve travelled a fair bit in America. Some Indians, who left in the ’60s or ’70s to make their life, ask the strangest things like, “Do you get bread in India?” and I think, “Are you still stuck in the ’60s?” We’ve come so far since then. They really annoy me.
Shonali Ghosal is a Trainee Correspondent with Tehelka.