To be pronounced bride and groom • The real student of the year • Best friends no more
Wedding bells are perhaps round the corner for Bipasha Basu and Harman Baweja. The actress’ friends have revealed that the couple have finally set a date for later this year. Only last weekend, the couple accompanied Bipasha’s visiting parents to dinner at a popular Mumbai nightspot along with the actress’ sister.
Some months ago, at a surprise birthday party for Bipasha, planned by her sister, the actress’ mother openly told friends that they were very happy with Harman and were convinced that he was a good match. Harman, who tended the bar at the do, appeared comfortable with Bipasha’s family and friends, but eyewitnesses reported that the couple pointedly avoided any PDA in the presence of her family.
Bipasha, who next appears in Vikram Bhatt’s 3D horror film Creature, recently signed a romantic thriller titled Alone opposite TV stud Karan Singh Grover. However, Harman is more likely to focus on film producing, now that his acting career appears to be well and truly finished after the box-office failure of Shilpa Shetty’s Dhishkiyaoon.
The real student of the year
Varun Dhawan, Sidharth Malhotra and Alia Bhatt were launched amid much fanfare as Karan Johar’s ‘Students of the Year’, and the trio profess to be great friends. But insiders reveal that there’s no shortage of healthy competition between them either. By all accounts, it was Varun who the industry put its money on, given his family credentials and the fact that he had mentors in Salman Khan and other A-listers.
But it was Alia who graduated with honours before either of the boys’ second release could dazzle the box-office. She earned raves for her performance in Highway, even drawing comparisons with such greats as Shabana Azmi. Then Sidharth notched up a hit in Hasee Toh Phasee, followed by Varun who scored a six with Main Tera Hero. With the monster (unexpected) success of 2 States, Alia established herself as a major player.
No wonder Varun has reportedly asked for the promotions around his own next release to be amped up. Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania opens next Friday, and Varun is touring the country doing just about everything that can possibly be done to guarantee a massive opening. To be fair, the three actors appear genuinely happy for each other’s success. However, both Varun and Sidharth insist that when it comes to pure acting chops, Alia’s undisputedly at the head of the class.
Best friends no more
They were once best friends, brothers in arms, but like so many film industry friendships, they fell out when money got in the way. After collaborating on three successful films, this pair—a director and a producer—ended their friendship and professional partnership rather abruptly, reportedly because the director believed he was being shortchanged by his buddy. Notoriously arrogant, the director apparently decided that he deserved a sizeable chunk of the profits that his films were generating for his producer friend, and was no longer willing to settle for an upfront directing fee alone. His pal, on the other hand, was apparently happy to increase his directing salary, but was unwilling to part with a percentage of the profits. And that’s when battle lines were drawn.
While the director had no problem finding an eager producer happy to fund his next film, the producer had no shortage of directors whose projects needed investment either. For his own passion project, the producer signed his buddy’s ex-girlfriend as leading lady, and word in the industry is that this move was intended purely to piss off the director. Now the producer has announced the latest instalment of a movie franchise that his former director friend had kicked off. Only, he’s hired the writers of the earlier films —without involving his buddy in any way—to helm the new project.
But the director has his own problems to contend with. The first film he did not direct for his producer pal tanked. The second has been anointed one of the worst movies to come out of the industry. The most crippling blow, however, seems to be the fact that he’s finding it hard to woo A-list stars. His producer pal, however, continues to rope in some of the biggest names.