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“We can’t really stop working and sit at home, can we?” Asks Telugu Superstar Nani

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Nani is one  of Telugu cinema’s  leading lights. His track record since 2008 is  impressive, to say the least. With two back-to-back  blockbusters Tuck Jagadish and Shyam Singha  Roy in 2021 Nani is being seen as  one  of the front-runners  at  the Telugu boxoffice.

   Speaking on  his spectacular performance in Shyam Singha Roy, Nani  says, “ The script  was the  king here. The way the script was written and  the way it was narrated to me…I really  enjoyed  it . I could visualize what  a spectacular experience it would be  on the  big screen, and I am glad it  came true.”

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Nani did not let  the pandemic dampen his  spirits. “I never let  it come in the way of my decisions  regarding which  films to do or not do.I’ve been  working non-stop  through the pandemic.Shyama Singha Roy finished  its  run in the movie theatres, and then went  to Netflix so that  everyone  who  didn’t get to  watch it …who couldn’t see  it in theatres saw it on Netflix .I am  happy to have success in both the theatres  and on  Netflix   I couldn’t have asked for more.”

At this juncture in his  career what is Nani  looking for  in his projects?  “Just the excitement  of being in something that  I  haven’t done before. The  script of Shyam Singha  Roy was so mainstream  and yet so unique and so subtle. What am I looking for? I want to tell great  stories, explore new  content  and I am curious to know how  the audience responds to my  films and performances.”

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The Tamil-Telugu superstar  admits  it wasn’t easy making  Shyam Singha  Roy through the pandemic. “It was a very big challenge for  the entire team . There was medical  assistance on the sets  all the time checking junior artistes , every  lightman, every  part  of the team. It  was  a big challenge for all of us to wear masks  constantly  and to work under such tough conditions. But then, when you are working hard to create something  as special as Shyam Singha Roy you tend to forget all the  challenges. A   lot of  film crews  faced    the same challenges  during the pandemic. Life has  to go on. There is  no other option.We can’t really stop  working and sit at home, can we?”

  At the top of the game for 14 years,how does Nani  look back at his journey as an actor so far?

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“I  am filled with  happiness gratitude    . I never  thought I’d come this far. There are  quite  a lot  of  memorable roles. But if I  have  to pick  a few…obviously  the  first film Ashta Chamma. My journey started  from there . Then there  is Pilla Zamindar,  Bheemili Kabaddi Jattu, Rajamouli’s Eega  was  very special, Yevadi Subramaniam… all these are  very special  to me  .I am  very very happy where I am. I will keep searching for great content in other languages. Not that I’ve anything against doing a  Hindi  film—if something  interesting comes along, why not—but I am very  happy doing Telugu and Tamil films.”

One of  Nani’s   finest films Jersey has been remade in Hindi.Nani bats  for Shahid Kapoor in the  remake. “The  whole idea  of a Hindi remake started with  Shahid loving the  original and the original director  directing. It all happened at the time when we were  getting all  the love  for Jersey from all  corners. I am very very  excited  to see  how Shahid  has done the part. The Jersey role  is very close  to me heart. And  Shahid is a great actor. I am sure they’ve done  a super  job. I am  really looking forward  to   the remake.”

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If Shyam Singha Roy were to be remade in Hindi whom would Nani like to see in the title role? “There are quite  a  few options. I think  Hrithik would be great, Ranbir would be  great, Shahid too.”

 Nani’s  next release is Ante Sundaraniki . “It is  a laugh riot. And  it will release this  summer.  I start  shooting my next film entitled Dasara  in  a month’s time.”

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Karan Johar Moves Alia Song From Switzerland To Kashmir

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Rocky Aur Rani  Ki Prem Kahaani

The  romantic duet in  Karan Johar’s Rocky Aur Rani  Ki Prem Kahaani  which was to be  shot in Switzerland and which was  delayed  due to the film’s leading lady Alia Bhatt’s motherhood, is now being relocated to  Kashmir.

Purely out of  the  love for  new mom Alia.

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Says a source in the know, “Karan loves Alia  like his own daughter. He would do anything for her. He postponed  the  release of Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani as the love duet could not be shot before Alia’s maternity leave. Karan had decided to shoot the song in Switzerland  after Alia’s maternity love. But now he has relocated the song to Kashmir  as Alia doesn’t want to leave her  baby girl behind for  long stretches.”

And as Karan Johar argued, snow is  snow. How does it matter whether it is  Switzerland or Kashmir?

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This  song would be Karan Johar’s tribute to  his  idol Yash Chopra. Alia would be dressed in chiffon sarees while  Ranveer, for  a change, would be seen in  formals.

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Bobby Deol’s Switchover To Villainous Roles

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Bobby Deol

After  Prakash Jha’s webseries Ashram where Bobby  played a sleazy  godman, and Love Hostel  where  he was a ruthless assassin,   he is playing the villain to Ranbir Kapoor in  Sandeep Vanga’s  Animal.

Bobby says it is not conscious career decision to play negative characters  but a conscious  decision to play interesting characters. “ I don’t look at  characters as positive or negative.When I watch  films there is always  one character  that stays  with you. I want to play that  character.”

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Prakash Jha’s Ashram proved a gamechanger for Bobby.  He admits finding  challenging roles is tough.  “I am trying. I  am doing Sandeep Vanga’s Animal with Ranbir  Kapoor , Parineeti Chopra. Then I am doing the family film Apne  2 which I am  very excited  about.”

 In an  earlier  interview with  this writer Bobby spoke  about his   long absence  from screen  before Prakash Jha’s Ashram.  “My fans   would ask why I wasn’t being seen on the screen.And I couldn’t tell them it was  because  I wasn’t getting good roles. But my fans  stood by me. They gave me  the strength  to  keep looking for the right roles. Thankfully I found the roles I liked. My new  films have given  me  some new fans. I am  thankful  I am still here. Yeah , I am in a good space right now.”

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Pathaan Collects 55 crore nett in India On Day 1

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Pathaan

YRF’s Pathaan has apparently wiped out all previous records as it collected 55 crore nett in India and recorded the biggest ever Day 1 for a Hindi film. The total collections of Pathaan on Day One is 57 crore nett (Hindi – 55 crore and dubbed versions 2 crore).

It is the widest Hindi release of  all  time in India and also the highest grossing 1st Day for a   Hindi film.It is  also the  highest grosser  on the  first first for a  non-holiday release. Pathhan is  also the highest  opener for Shah Rukh Khan.

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Akshaye Widhani, CEO of Yash Raj Films, says, “It is a historic day for Indian cinema and we are humbled to see the love and appreciation that is flowing for Pathaan globally. For Pathaan to shatter records in this fashion on a non holiday, just proves that the theatrical business is here to stay, provided we make films that entice people to come to the cinemas to witness a never seen before experience that entertains them thoroughly.“

He adds, “We, at YRF, are thrilled with the start that the film has got across India and we are hopeful that Pathaan brings joy to cine-goers globally in the days to come! Pathaan is the fourth film of our YRF Spy Universe and we are thrilled that we have been able to elevate the cinematic experience of audiences with each film from this franchise. We humbly share this moment with all the stake-holders of the film who have given their blood, sweat and tears to give people a movie-going experience like never before.”

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“Professionally, What  A Year It Has Been For Me,” Raveena Tandon On Her Padma Shri

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Raveena Tandon

Raveena Tandon  feels  she is in a dream. “I woke  up  today to the  news that  I have been awarded the Padma Shri by  my Government. I felt all my years  of hard work  has  finally come to  fruition.I can’t wait to get  back to Mumbai.”

Raveena  is  in Bhopal attending a  wedding.  “I woke  up  on Thursday morning to the good news. My husband(film distributor Anil Thadani) who is in Mumbai had no clue about it. I had to inform him that his wife is now Padma Sri Raveena,” she laughs heartily.

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She then grows  melancholic. “The past one year has been a whirlwind  for me. Professionally, it couldn’t get any better. My webseries Aranyak on Netflix  and  then the bigscreen  blockbuster KGF 2 where I played one of the protagonists , became huge  successes.Sadly,it  was  also the year that  I lost my father(well-known producer-director Ravi Tandon). It was  the severest blow of my life.I am still processing the loss. The Padma Shri would have made  my Dad so proud.”

Remind her  she is  still young and already a Padma winner and Raveena expresses  her  happiness. “I guess I am lucky to have received the honour at the  midpoint of my life and career. I am also very happy that M M  Keeravani Sir has  also received the Padma Shri.His Naatu naatu has  the  world dancing to his tune. But even  before Naatu naatu he has done such exemplary work.”

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Getting nostalgic Raveena  says, “I started working when I was 17.I have done every kind of  cinema, balancing out a Chote Miyan  Bade Miya  with  a Shool, a Rakshak with a  Ghulam-e-Mustafa,  a Bulundi and a Khauff with a Daman and an Aks. It’s  always been  my endeavour to be be seen in escapism and  real cinema. Some people think dancing around trees  and  doing the masala  stuff is easy.  It is  not!  In fact  being real on screen is far easier.”

Raveena feels the  good days  are  back in the entertainment  industry. “I saw Pathaan and  I whistled  and clapped the loudest. It is  an out-and-out mass entertainer and bound to revive the  sagging fortunes  of  our industry.  While the Padma Shri is a personal triumph,  the success of Pathaan  is  a happy occasion for the entire industry.So yeah, I am on top of  the world,”

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Raveena’s fans  would like to know her khubsoorati  ka raaz.

She  laughs, “It’s nothing more than sleeping and eating right. I  try to eat  correctly. I have only  organic  food. More  importantly,I am happy and secure in life. If you are content within it is  bound show on your face.”

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