In good company
He may not have bagged one himself, but Anupam Kher is “delighted” that Silver Linings Playbook, the Hollywood film where he plays the role of an Indian psychiatrist, has won as many as eight Oscar nominations. Kher’s performance hasn’t gone unnoticed, though. The hugely talented actor admits that his agent has been getting offers from several international filmmakers — although nothing has been finalised yet. Meanwhile, Kher is keeping his fingers crossed that Robert De Niro, his co-actor in Silver Linings Playbook, will keep his promise of coming to India and visiting his acting school. Apparently, the Hollywood great has also been approached by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations to speak at a seminar in Delhi around the end of January. Well, if De Niro does come here, you can be sure that Kher will be at hand to show his co-star around.
He trained many a budding actor, including Shah Rukh Khan and Manoj Bajpai. Now theatre director and acting guru Barry John is all set to make his own directorial debut. Based on the life of Sher Singh Rana, accused of killing the reformed dacoit Phoolan Devi, the film will hit the floors in March this year. Nawazuddin Siddiqui of Kahaani and Gangs of Wasseypur fame will play Rana. But John is not giving out too many details about the project just yet. All he says is that the film will be a “biopic, with thriller as its genre.” Knowing John, this ought to be a film to watch out for.
What’s in a name? Well, plenty, according to Akshara Productions, a Kannada film production house, which has gone and named its forthcoming film on southern siren Silk Smitha Dirty Picture — Silk Sakath Hot Maga. No doubt, the folks there figured that calling the film so would give it a readymade cachet of popularity, thanks to Balaji Motion Pictures’ hugely successful film The Dirty Picture, based on the life of the same actress. Needless to say, Balaji’s boss Ekta Kapoor (in pic) was not amused. She sued Akshara, and last week, the court ruled in her favour, asking Akshara to think of some other name. Well, we know it’s going to be an effort, but Akshara will just have to do some hard thinking now.
Guess who Sridevi’s role model is? None other than Meryl Streep, the Hollywood star who has continued to remain relevant as an actress over the decades. Sridevi perhaps had the ageless Streep in mind when she motivated herself to make her comeback in the film English Vinglish last year — a film where she managed to look stunningly elegant too. Well, Sri will be seen next in a sequel — husband Boney Kapoor’s Mr India 2. But what she’d really give her eye teeth to do is a desi adaptation of any of Meryl Streep’s films — from Sophie’s Choice to The Devil Wears Prada. Cool. Bollywood directors, are you listening?
Talk about versatility. Rupa Ganguly, who won a National Award recently for her rendition of two Tagore songs in the film Abosheshe, will soon have the audience in stitches when she plays Goddess Durga in debutant director Utsav Banerjee’s film Half Serious. The film is being touted as a satire that questions gender relations in our society. Ganguly plays a goddess who’s cast in a contemporary mould and she’s among a host of other gods and goddesses in the film who meddle in the affairs of humans. Sounds interesting. And it may be right up the actress’s street. After all, she had done a fantastic Draupadi in the teleserial Mahabharat. Now let’s see what she does with Durga — albeit one with a modern twist.