A new star on the horizon • A curious case of inertia • An uneasy habit to break
From the look of it, Deepika Padukone might have competition for the Number One position. Barely four films old in the business, and Alia Bhatt is fast emerging the next best alternative for filmmakers who can’t work with Deepika, or those that don’t want to. You’re probably wondering which director or producer wouldn’t want to cast Bollywood’s most successful leading lady. The answer is: those seeking to create a fresh casting coup. Like Deepika’s Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani director and close friend Ayan Mukherjee, apparently.
The story doing the rounds is that Ayan doesn’t want to pair Deepika opposite Ranbir Kapoor again for his next film, and particularly so since the actors would have also appeared together in Imtiaz Ali’s next, which will likely wrap up before Ayan even begins working on his own project. Insiders are saying Ayan has zeroed in on Alia to play his female lead, and turns out he has his leading man’s blessing. Ranbir has famously been a strong proponent of Alia’s talent since he watched an early cut of Highway, and is reportedly excited about working with her.
What that could mean for Karan Johar’s next directorial venture is uncertain, given that Alia’s name was being tossed around for that film, which is also expected to star Ranbir. But before any of these films take off, the 2 States star will begin filming Queen director Vikas Bahl’s Shaandar opposite Shahid Kapoor.
None of this is meant to imply that Deepika is out of work or anything. Far from it. DP’s got her hands full between Shoojit Sircar’s Piku, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani, Imtiaz’s RK-starrer, and at least one Excel Productions film. But it is clear that just when it seemed as if Deepika had no competition— Kangana Ranaut and Vidya Balan couldn’t keep the momentum of their careers going—here comes an actress who could keep her on her toes for a bit.
A Curious Case of Inertia
Whatever happened to the Kareena Kapoor of such films as Chameli, Omkara, and Jab We Met… ? Who switched her with this blockbuster-hungry hack that we’re stuck with? The abundantly gifted and once-fearless star has openly admitted she has nothing left to prove in terms of her talent, and now only wants to be a part of commercial successes. That explains such questionable choices as Golmaal 3, Bodyguard and Ra.One.
Recently Kareena turned down Kahaani director Sujoy Ghosh’s Durga Rani Singh, a female-driven drama, and Shaitaan director Bejoy Nambiar’s next with Amitabh Bachchan and Farhan Akhtar, which Vidhu Vinod Chopra will produce. Instead she reportedly expressed interest when they were considering her for the lazily-titled Akshay Kumar starrer Singh Is Bling. As it turns out, the makers wanted to go ‘younger’, so they dropped the idea of casting Kareena and have apparently cast Heropanti’s Kriti Sannon in her place.
But Kareena has insulated herself with another potential blockbuster that she is slated to appear in next—the big Independence Day release Singham Returns. The second installment of Chennai Express director Rohit Shetty’s cop-drama franchise, Singham Part Deux once again stars Ajay Devgn in the lead, and is still filming in Hyderabad even as its release date approaches fast.
Unit members have revealed that Kareena’s presence in the film is limited to a clutch of songs and handful of scenes, even as Ajay does all the heavy lifting.
An Uneasy Habit to Break
It appears that another Bollywood romance has hit the rocks. A sometime-actor and producer never hid his feelings for this smoking-hot model- turned-actress, flirting with her openly on Twitter, and taking cozy holidays together at sun kissed beach resorts. The lady in question, famous for her bohemian lifestyle, might have finally found a reason to call India home… God knows her film career wasn’t exactly soaring!
But friends of the couple reveal that their relationship is more or less over. They continue to be good friends, but that may be the extent of it. And unlike popular perceptions, it wasn’t the actress who was wary of committing to something more long-term, but the actor-producer, who is reportedly in no mood to settle down just yet—despite being well in his forties.