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“I Am Overwhelmed By The  Response,” Avantika Dassani

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Maine Pyar Kiya’s star Bhagyashree’s daughter Avantika Dassani has just made an impressive debut in Applause Entertainment’s  series  Mithya on  Zee.

Speaking on  playing such a complex character so early in her  career  Avantika  says, “I think the excitement took over the nerves when I was getting into Rhea’s skin. It wasn’t easy but challenges and roles like these are what an actor yearns for. Also being a series we didn’t have the luxury of time like you do when you’re shooting a film so there was constant learning, and risks that I took not knowing how it would turn it out, since we didn’t workshop or prep much before shoot, but I’m overwhelmed by the welcoming response towards my performance. I’m also grateful to the whole cast and crew for making me feel comfortable and supported throughout our shoot.”

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Avantika  says she sought out the  part  of the creepy  Rhea when she heard it was up for grabs. “I was in the middle of different auditions when I heard about the part and thought I should give it a go, because it seemed like an exciting challenge, it was also one of my first zoom auditions and I was nervous but we tested a couple of different things and it clicked immediately. Then when they told me they’d like to sign me on I went through the script, the original BBC series and got a feel of the character.”

She admits  to  being challenged  by the  dark complexities  of  the character. “We did a break down of the pros and cons and I won’t lie there was a little hesitation because I knew it would be a risky debut, if I got it wrong, I would fall flat on my face, but as an actor I was really excited to be thrown into the deep end in the very beginning because it would allow me to learn, grow and showcase my abilities.”

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The  young actress  recalls being interested in acting from childhood. “I was very interested in the  performing arts and the creative space in general as I was growing up. Every time I would watch a movie and fall in love with a character, I would dress up like that, raiding my parents’ closets, getting into my mom’s make-up, and getting myself yelled at for the mess that I created. As I grew up my interest and education steered my in a different direction but Somewhere down the line I began my workshops and went through the process of an actor and I realized how much I love it. And realised that this is what I’m really passionate about and pursued it wholeheartedly.”

Avantika’s   mom Bhagyashree  is the Maine Pyar Kiya superstar. Her brother  Abhimanyu  too is an actor. So is acting in Avantika’s  DNA?  “I don’t know about that, but a lot of my work ethic comes from striving to be even half as talented as them. Which I know comes from relentlessly working, trying and testing things and being open.Growing up we saw that anywhere we go around the world, Mom was showered with love and praise even after 30 years of its release. It is a reminder of the fact that when you do something so amazing, you have the chance to touch people’s hearts through your work.”

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Avantika is  fascinated  by the  opportunities that have  opened  up  for actors in India.  “The landscape of Indian cinema has drastically evolved over the last 2/3 years. Today OTT platforms are where audiences come looking for the most exciting stories, characters and I’m really glad to start my journey by being a part of this change! It’s all about the content. I would want people to concentrate on Avantika Dassani the actor more than anything else whether it’s OTT or movies.”

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Aamir Khan’s Sister Plays Shah Rukh’s Mother In Pathaan

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Aamir Khan’s Sister Plays Shah Rukh’s Mother

Ever  since Pathaan released on Wednesday, audiences  have been  curious to know who  is the woman who plays Shah Rukh Khan’s adoptive mother in Afghanistan. The stately lady  with  royal looks is none  other than the late producer  Tahir Hussain’s daughter and  Aamir Khan’s elder  sister Nikhat Khan.

 Nikhat has been  closely  associated with the  film industry  and has helped her father in the production of his  films like Dulha Bikta Hai and  Tum Mere  Ho.

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Nikhat has  acted earlier in the Akshay Kumar starrer Mission Mangal ,  Ajay Devgan’s Tanhaji and  in Sandh Ki Aankh(as a Maharani).

For Pathaan, it was Shah Rukh Khan who suggested Nikhat Khan should play his foster-mother in  Afghanistan who names him ‘Pathaan’. It proved to be  an inspired  piece of casting, as  audience have  loved Nikhat  Khan’s cameo.

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It is  heartwarming that  all three Khan superstars  are  associated with Pathaan in one  way  or the other.

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Anurag Kashyap’s New Film Is About Love Jihad

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Love Jihad, whatever  that means, is  the theme  of  Anurag Kashyap’s new film Almost Pyaar  With D  J Mohabbat.

Debutant Karan  Mehta plays a Muslim boy  in an intense relationship with  Alaya F who plays  a Hindu  girl.Kashyap has spared the  audience none of the ugliness that  such a relationship generates  among  social-media  bouncers, the self-styled  guardian of morality .

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In the hardhitting powerful and pertinent film  a  bigot is heard commenting snidely, “These people first talk about Mohabbat. Then  they talk about Mohammed.”

Happily and  surprisingly,  the Central Board Of Film Certification gave the  film a ‘UA’ certificate  with no  cuts: a  rare non-‘A’ film of Kashyap.

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So far  Kashyap and his  team have kept the Love Jihad part  of  the plot  out of all media interaction.

But the  cat is  now  out of the bag.

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Samantha Ruth Prabhu to Star Alongside Varun Dhawan in Prime Video’s Indian Original Series , Samantha Speaks

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Samantha Ruth Prabhu

Samantha Ruth Prabhu will be starring alongside Varun Dhawan in the Indian installment of the Citadel universe, the global-event series from Prime Video and the Russo Brothers’ AGBO. The untitled Citadel series based out of India is being helmed by renowned creator duo Raj & DK (Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK), who are the showrunners and directors.

 The local installment is written by Sita R. Menon, along with Raj & DK. The streaming service also confirmed that the production is currently underway in Mumbai. After this, the unit will head  to North India and then onwards to international locales like Serbia and South Africa.

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  Richard Madden (Bodyguard) and Priyanka Chopra Jonas will star in the first-to-launch series within the Citadel universe, which comes from the Russo Brothers’ AGBO along with David Weil (Hunters) and is set to premiere in 2023. Alongside Madden and Chopra Jonas, the first-to-launch Citadel series will also feature Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games saga). Additional local-language Citadel productions are also in the works, including an Italian Original series starring Matilda De Angelis (The Undoing).

  Speaking on  her participation in  The Citadel  franchise for  the  first time,Samantha says, “When Prime Video and Raj & DK approached me with this project, I decided to take it up in a heartbeat! After working with this team on The Family Man, it is homecoming for me.The Citadel universe, the interconnected storylines between the productions across the globe, and most importantly, the script of the Indian installment really excited me.”

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   Samantha  says she is  looking forward  to working with Varun Dhawan  .  “I am thrilled to be a part of this brilliant universe conceptualised by the Russo Brothers. I am also looking forward to be working with Varun for the first time, on this project. He is someone who is full of life and cheer when you’re around him.”

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Bollywood’s Achche Din Have Come

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 Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar

All you doomsday  prophets, the  booms-day  profits  are here.  Pathaan  has  opened the floodgates again for Bollywood’s  bumper  bonanza at the  boxoffice.And now there is  only the achche din ahead  for  Hindi  cinema.

In the  next   two months there are  three sureshot  blockbusters coming up, beginning with Shehzada.  An astute devilishly impish  adaptation  of  Allu Arjun’s  2020 Telugu   blockbuster  Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo.The super-popular Kartik  Aaryan gives  his own  spin to the  character. This  performance will take   Kartik to the  next level of stardom. Kartik’s version of  Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo is  radically different  from  its Telugu  version. Shehzada  takes  the core idea of  the Telugu original  and turns it into a  something  completely different. Kartik’s  co-star in Shehzada  is  Kriti  Sanon with whom he earlier shared superhit space in Lukka Chuppi.

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 Then there  is Luv Ranjan’s ravishing rom-com   Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar. The director’s   male viewpoint on the chaos  of love relationships  crests to a comic  high in his latest. Ranjan  for  the first time, collaborates with Ranbir Kapoor for the  first time  collaborates with Shraddha  Kapoor  who badly needs a hit.This film should do the  trick. The winsome  lead pair tries  to do one  another  in a  game of Luv This is Luv Ranjan’s Hum…Aapke Hain Con. Ranjan  has in the past used  the romcom  space to  entertain his audience  to the hilt, he  says this  time the stakes are different. It is  not something we’ve seen before.

 Finally  it is   Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani.  Karan  Johar’s first directorial in six years(not counting the one segment each  in Ghost Stories and  Lust Stories). This time he has assembled a dream star-cast  of Dharmendra, Jaya Bachchan, Shabana Azmi, Ranveer Singh and  the  boxoffice darling(s) Alia Bhatt.  But trust me, this one is  not about assembling stars  into a complacent plot. The writing in this  zany Romeo & Juliet is so crisp  and engrossing, the experience  is  likely to be   the visual version of a multi-flavour icrecream cone. Colour, choler and karma collide in this tragic-comic love story . Let the  box office dhamaka  begin  from the house  of Dharma.

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