Compiled by Poorva Rajaram
Import a Simple life
The backdrop for this particular misunder- standing seems to be Paris Hilton’s visit to India to promote her clothing line, scheduled on 24 September. Kangna Ranaut, depending on who you believe, either was or wasn’t approached to become Paris Hilton’s brand ambassador in India. Hilton’s PR has rubbished the idea, saying Paris’ face is globally recognisable, while Kangna’s spokes people are sure they were approached. We just want to point out that Paris should consider herself lucky that the anti-corruption brigade hasn’t gotten wind of this scandal. No doubt the word scam is applicable.
Subsidies For The Arts
Ever since five words at the bottom of a press release told us that Amitabh Bachchan would star in the upcoming Great Gatsby adaptation alongside Leonardo DiCaprio, there have been many swirling sub-stories. Apparently, Bachchan will not be paid for the movie. We wonder if this is because of director Baz Luhrmann’s bad credit rating after his previous botched venture, Australia. So, we have to wonder: every time we buy an Aarakshan movie ticket or a Parker pen, are we subsidising Bachchan’s Hollywood career?
After the triple successes of Dabangg, Ready and Bodyguard, we accepted that Salman Khan will inevitably be compared to Rajinikanth. We all know what they rather obviously have in common: cult followings, ridiculously highgrossing movies, similarly charming rigor mortis styles of dancing and increasingly self-referential storylines. However, all this is a weak basis for Salman Khan to star in a proposed Rajinikanth biopic. And need we remind everyone that if the internal logic of Tamil cinema was at work, Rajinikanth would be the first choice to star in his own biopic.
(Either being daft or cleverly giving a reason he should star in the next Dhoom movie)
Only the most optimistic person would have bet that after Singham, we would stop seeing cynical Bollywood attempts to tap into all the atmospheric chauvinism present in Maharashtra. Director Soham Shah, though, has taken this scheme to its apex. He is reportedly recruiting Ajay Devgn to play Shivaji in a historical movie while working on Sanjay Dutt to co-star as Aurangzeb. We’re not sure when things got so bad for Sanjay Dutt and why he would consider giving himself to public hatred so easily. Dutt already has an upcoming villain role in Agneepath.
‘At 13, girls in school spread rumours that I was pregnant’
WHO Dia Mirza won the Miss Asia Pacific title in 2000. Later, she acted in movies such as Rehnaa Hai Tere Dil Mein, Parineeta, Lage Raho Munnabhai, Dus and Kurbaan. The actress has now opened her own production house, Born Free Entertainment, along with actor Zayed Khan and her director boyfriend, Sahil Sangha. Her first movie as a producer, in which she stars, is Love Breakups Zindagi.
You have not been a part of a project for a while. Does that build a pressure on you as an actor?
I don’t feel pressured as much as I feel exasperated. I feel that I have a lot of latent talent and could have done better, but I wasn’t utilised well enough. When I started working, it was a compulsion as I needed that financial independence. I worked first to be a good daughter, then to be an independent person. Now I work for myself.
Were you a popular as a child?
I felt very different from everyone because my father was German and I had fair skin and golden brown hair. As a child, I often felt very alienated. People said, “Oh my god, you are so pretty,” but all I wanted was black hair and dark skin. I was an introvert, but after I turned 13, I became more outgoing. But girls at school would spread horrible rumours. There were days when I came home crying. Once, I had typhoid and missed school. My classmates said I got pregnant and had to get an abortion. Children can be so sweet and so cruel.
Your parents separated when you were fairly young. How did you deal with it?
I was 5. I wanted my family to be perfect and could never quite understand why they had separated. They both went on to marry different individuals and at one time, I had four parents. What I learnt from this was to quickly draw positives from everything.
What is the craziest fan incident that has happened with you?
Someone sent me a card that my PR person put away on my fridge. I hadn’t seen it. I heard strange music at a particular time in the night from the card every day. It scared the life out of me. And some letters had blood in them. I used to feel sad sometimes. I am not Michael Jackson.
What is the status on your shoe fetish?
It does not exist anymore. I still enjoy shoes but don’t hoard them. I’ve realised there is too much poverty in our country to accumulate things.
Avesta Choudhary is a Trainee Correspondent with Tehelka.com.