More than once Anil Kapoor has credited his son Harshvardhan with nudging him in the right direction when he was confused about projects that he originally perceived as risky. The Ram Lakhan star has said it was Harsh who practically badgered him into saying ‘yes’ when Danny Boyle asked him to play the quiz show host in Slumdog Millionaire, which famously went on to become the actor’s gateway to Hollywood.
Anil has revealed it was Harsh again who insisted that he take the role of the family patriarch in Zoya Akhtar’s Dil Dhadakne Do, despite Anil’s reservations that playing father to grown-up stars like Priyanka Chopra and Ranveer Singh might forever pigeonhole him in “daddy roles”.
Only 25, and having studied film in Los Angeles, Harsh has seldom hidden the fact that it’s in writing and direction that his heart truly lies. He assisted Anurag Kashyap on the Sri Lanka schedule of Bombay Velvet, and subsequently made a big impression on both Kashyap and Lootera director Vikramaditya Motwane.
But any plans to write or direct will have to wait, while Harsh takes a shot at acting. This younger brother of Sonam Kapoor will make his debut in front of the camera in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag helmer Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s ambitious twin-narrative love story Mirzya opposite fellow first-timer Saiyami Kher.
In the film he reportedly plays two parts: a stables boy to a rich prince in the contemporary portions, and an archer consumed by love from the ‘Mirza-Sahiba’ folklore part of Mehra’s film.
There’s talk that he’ll also star in a film that Motwane’s planning, aside from the inevitable speculation that he could reprise his father’s role in a possible Mr India reboot, and in Rohit Shetty’s remake of Ram Lakhan. Given that Anil Kapoor has made it more than abundantly clear that he has no intention of hanging up his Mr India boots anytime soon, this might just be the first time that a father and son—separated in age by a good 30 years— will vie for the same part.
Playing It Safe
Has Sanjay Gupta’s Hrithik Roshan starrer fallen through? Industry insiders are saying that the project could be in jeopardy after TV actor and Gupta’s former friend Sudhanshu Pandey sent a legal notice to both Gupta and producer Rakesh Roshan for copyright infringement of his script.
According to Pandey, Gupta and Roshan Sr have left him out of a project he’d scripted himself, and which he intended to produce too, with Gupta directing it. When Pandey refused to take a paltry ‘walk-away fee’ in exchange for handing over his script and complete control of the film to Roshan Sr, he alleges that the powerful producers just went ahead anyway without him. Gupta, for his part, has clarified that the film he’s making with the Roshans is not Pandey’s script. But it’s Rakesh Roshan’s response to the controversy that might be the most telling. The veteran filmmaker said he hasn’t officially announced the project, “which should explain it all”.
Friends of the veteran producer reveal that he doesn’t wish to get entangled with messy projects (‘He won’t want a repeat of that scenario with Ram Sampath and the Krazzy 4 song’) and might distance Hrithik and himself from Gupta’s film if this ‘problem’ doesn’t go away.
The Reckless Diva
A certain starlet and social butterfly who manages to get into every big-ticket party and event was spotted in Goa this past weekend living it up at a hotshot industrialist’s birthday celebration.
Eyewitnesses say she got more than a little tipsy, and after posing for dozens of selfies with even random folk whom she didn’t recognise, she had to be rescued by a friend who deposited her back to her hotel and begged her not to surface till she’d sobered up.