Kangana Ranaut has the media eating out of the palm of her hand. The Tanu Weds Manu Returns star appears to have mastered the art of dropping quotable quotes that make for sensational headlines. At the trailer launch event of her new film last Sunday, the actress, questioned about her blow-hot-blow- cold relationship with Deepika Padukone found a clever way to plug her new project. “It’s katti batti between us,” she quipped, smiling proudly at her own cheeky choice of words.
But Kangana wants you to know she doesn’t just talk the talk, she walks it too. The currently red-hot star sent industry watchers into a real tizzy when she reportedly turned down the female lead opposite Salman Khan in a Yash Raj Films project titled Sultan, and chose instead a Vishal Bhardwaj film opposite Saif Ali Khan and Shahid Kapoor. “I can afford to be choosy,” she declared at the same event when asked about making bold choices that filmwaalas might consider unwise.
Meanwhile, there is talk of differences between Kangana and producer Ekta Kapoor, which could mean that the planned Sujoy Ghosh-directed thriller may not fructify. Insiders have said that Kangana demanded specific conditions in her contract—including approval on the film’s marketing and promotional material—which Kapoor is un- willing to concede. The actress has told close friends that she’s not throwing starry tantrums; she’s merely protecting herself after being “betrayed” by the producer on Shootout at Wadala.
According to her, she “bailed out” her Once Upon a Time in Mumbai producer when no actress was willing to take a thankless bit role in Sanjay Gupta’s gangster film. But she was disappointed when she was completely sidelined in the film’s promotions at a time when she needed the visibility. Unwilling to take any more chances with the same producer, she now wants approval on marketing. Simple.
Varun Dhawan, who has been tirelessly promoting his new dance film ABCD2 for what seems like forever, will return to the sets of Rohit Shetty’s Dilwale after his latest movie is out this weekend. He told me he’s not so nervous about shooting with Shah Rukh Khan (with whom he established a friendly rapport while assisting Karan Johar on My Name is Khan), but has butterflies in his stomach when it comes to filming with Kajol: “We have quite a few scenes together, and I don’t know what to expect because I hardly know her.”
He’s excited about the mixed-bag year it will turn out to be for him, having started with Sriram Raghavan’s twisted thriller Badlapur for which he earned raves. Whatever be the fate of ABCD2, Varun insists it’s the hardest he’s had to work physically on a project, and the most fun he’s had on a set. With the star-powered Dilwale slated for a December release, it could well be a merry Christmas for the 28-year-old after all.
Talk Show Tango
Film industry folk will likely attribute this development to the fact that she’s had four major flops in a row (thus putting a question mark over her current box-office clout), but the truth is that this prominent actress had more-or-less made up her mind—even before her last release—to say ‘yes’ to a television offer she’d been considering for some months now.
No, she won’t show up in a Balaji soap (been there, done that!). She has not agreed to judge a music or dance reality show either. Well-placed sources reveal that this powerhouse performer may host an Oprah-style talk show on the small screen soon. Interestingly, these won’t be lighthearted chats with fellow celebrities, but insightful conversations around topical subjects. Before you can say ‘Satyamev Jayate’, however, I should add that comparisons with Aamir Khan’s popular programme on social themes have already been dismissed by my sources, who insist that the actress’ gab-fest will rely on “her warmth and ability to get people to open up to her”. Details are sketchy at this point, but the channel reportedly zeroed in on the actress in question because she’s ‘educated and articulate’ and also because she is ‘comfortably bilingual’.