I suppose you could put it down to the festive mood and the spirit of good cheer… or there’s something in the water they’re drinking. Whatever be the reasons, it does appear that Bollywood’s starry lot is putting aside their rivalries and their insecurities and cutting a happier, friendlier picture these days.
Just look at the Dubsmash video that Salman Khan and his Prem Ratan Dhan Payo cast (Sonam Kapoor, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Swara Bhaskar) recorded to the tune of Shah Rukh Khan’s Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge track, complete with SRK’s signature step. Or the one Shah Rukh and his Dilwale stars (Kajol, Varun Dhawan, Kriti Sanon) recorded in response, to the Prem Ratan Dhan Payo title song. Who’d believe that until only a few months ago, these ageing superstars had been bickering like babies?
Earlier in the week Ranbir Kapoor and Ranveer Singh— both currently promoting their respective films, Tamasha and Bajirao Mastani—ran into each other at an event and happily posed together, along with Deepika Padukone who’s the leading lady in both their films. You couldn’t tell from their friendly banter, or the mischievous poses they struck for the frenzied photographers, that the two young men are in stiff competition for the best roles and the top spot in the business.
Tiger Shroff was amused rather than irritated when Ranveer photo-bombed him recently at Mehboob Studios in Bandra where Tiger was posing for a swarm of shutterbugs. And Varun Dhawan sportingly joined Jacqueline Fernandez in an Instagram video that she recorded, announcing that she’d amassed 3 million followers on the photo-sharing app. “I’ll get there,” Varun snarled, playing along in jest.
Here’s hoping the camaraderie lasts until long after the din of fireworks has ended.
The Birth of Prem
Earlier this week, Salman Khan and his Prem Ratan Dhan Payo director Sooraj Barjatya dug out a little surprise for the star’s fans—his audition video for 1989’s Maine Pyar Kiya, which went on to become Salman’s first superhit. The pair, who have worked together four times over the years, revealed that Sooraj rejected Salman after that initial audition, and also because the actor had already been shooting “a side role” in Biwi Ho To Aisi.
It was after Salman shot a second “and much better” audition, that Sooraj decided he had found his leading man. Now they only hoped nobody would notice him in Biwi Ho To Aisi, or that the film would “come and go quietly”. But that wasn’t meant to be. “The film was a big hit, and I was the only one in the film who wasn’t very good. So everybody noticed me… and dismissed me immediately,” Salman revealed.
Describing the famously camera-shy, soft-spoken Sooraj as his favourite director, Salman explained that as much as he loved working with his friend, it was hard because Sooraj’s sets are “abuse-free” zones. Anyone who’s ever met Salman will tell you that’s a hard rule for him to live by.
Afraid of Himself
Rumour has it that a notoriously difficult star, who resurrected his career and his reputation with a terrific performance in an acclaimed hit last year, is back to his old ways. Tabloids are reporting that he’s walked out of an experimental film he signed, despite having shot a few days for the project. There isn’t much clarity on the status of his involvement in the film now, although there does seem to be some truth to the fact that he’s having problems with the director and the producers.
Film industry insiders are saying this behaviour is typical of the star… that he’s developed cold feet after his recent flop, which also happens to be produced by the same team. “He’s lost faith in these producers, and this is his idea of damage control,” one trade watcher explains. “First he signed three movies with these producers because they were the cool, new kids on the block, and because he wanted to be part of the ‘cool club’. But one flop and he’s running as far away from them as he can.”
Incidentally the star has already finished shooting a second film with the same banner, but that is slated for release next year. Turns out he became nervous about the new (third) film because it’s not your typical commercial film; it’s an experimental subject in which he plays himself.