Compiled by Poorva Rajaram
We can’t believe we are saying this, but Lady Gaga has done us a favour. When she agreed to do Simi Garewal’s new show, it was shot in Singapore. So us poor viewers have been spared Simi’s hideous set for at least one episode. And we can even guess the first lines of the show: “We know all about the persona of Lady Gaga, but I want to know who the real Lady Gaga is.” If Gaga’s reply is not a glib ‘I was Born This Way’, then Simi will be treading where most interviewers go, and fail: the real Gaga.
The incident was caught on camera
We are foxed. There is a film promotion gimmick we find charming. Pandit Bhagwat Guruji, the priest told to act as a priest in the Vipul Shah-produced Force, has come out with a startling revelation. Apparently, during the shooting of a wedding scene, he decided to play the part so well, he accidentally married off John Abraham and Genelia D’Souza. Now, he is quibbling with the film’s producer about whether the two are really married or not. Some law school out there is using this incident to test students.
The release of Gandhi To Hitler, or Dear Friend Hitler to the West, is upon us on 29 July. The promotions do have a lot to answer for (lots of men walking around stridently in army gear). Notably, Raghuvir Yadav will star as a non-satirical Hitler. Neha Dhupia is perfectly cast as the fur-wearing Eva Braun. Perhaps the movie can be rationalised another way — the pleasingly trashy historical movie (in which there has to be fake moustaches).
(Of patience? endurance? repeat storylines?)
No More Golden Age
Somewhere far away from Gandhi, Hitler and Bose, someone is thinking of abandoning historical movies. Shekhar Kapur will finally make Paani, a movie about water inequalities he has dreamt of making for many years. He has proved his water-scene directing credentials after that eye-catching image of Cate Blanchett bravely facing the sea while waiting for the Spanish Armada to arrive in Elizabeth 2. We will do our best not to make a pun with the word tearjerker.
‘I love to look good. But I also like to be authentic’
WHO Born in Tunisia, Jagannathan is the daughter of an IFS officer. At 30, she gave up her job as a consumer and brand strategist to take up acting full time. Since then, she has acted in American TV shows like Royal Pains, Law & Order, The Game and Love Monkey, among others. She made her Bollywood debut with Delhi Belly. Based in New York, Jagannathan is married and has a son.
By Shinjini Datta
Being the daughter of an Indian Foreign Service officer meant that you were always on the move. Did you ever secretly wish to stay at one place?
Yes! Being a diplomat’s kid, meant a lot of things — I obviously got the best education and it was an intense life experience. But at the same time, it was tiring to get tossed every three years into an unfamiliar country. Learning new languages and trying to integrate was a lot to handle at times.
You were in advertising, but later decided to be in films. What gave you the confidence?
Initially, I was very scared. I was doing plays but couldn’t make the move to act full-time. But six years into my advertising career, I quit and went to graduate school to study acting. I also started my brand consulting company to ensure I had a regular source of income.
Do you think you are foraying rather late into Bollywood?
I know Bollywood has a thing for hot new, young actresses. I mean who doesn’t have a thing for them? But I try not giving too much of a s**t about whether it’s too late or not. I do what I do.
Is looking young always an advantage?
Yes. Looking young is fantastic and a great advantage. However, I am who I am. If I start denying that, I have a feeling it’ll show up in my acting. I appreciate authenticity.
How has marriage changed your life?
I used to be a girl who would do everything presented to her: if I had four choices then I would find a way to cram in all four things. Marriage and having a family has taught me to prioritise.
You’ve said that you have to keep lying to minimum otherwise your blood pressure might drop. When do you choose to be untruthful?
Honestly, I used to lie a lot while growing up. Unfortunately, now if I lie, I get so anxious that it manifests physically. Pity, no? In a game of truth and dare, it’s easier for me to pick the dare.