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THE GRAPEVINE

Updated July 30, 2017

Kangana injured

Kangana Ranaut does not seem to have a moment of respite in her life. Just when it seemed that her never-ending spat with Karan Johar over nepotism — whose bitter effects also spilled over to the recently-held IIFA awards in New York City — was about to lose steam, the girl was in the news for another harrowing reason. She injured herself with a sword.

Well, the Rangoon star is these days busy filming Manikarnika: Rani of Jhansi, a period drama for which she has to take part in battle scenes. In one such scene, the actress was struck by a sword between her eyes. She was immediately taken to a nearby clinic. But the headstrong gal that she is, after receiving initial treatment Kangana R said, “I’m a bit embarrassed to be thrilled to have a battle scar on my face … but I’m excited my face was covered in blood and I got a genuine and authentic glimpse of the queen’s [of Jhansi] life.”

Girl, tell you what: don’t make it a habit — you will be playing a whole lot of different characters in your career and, trust me, you don’t want to get a genuine glimpse of some of them.

Fair, handsome, racist

Boy oh boy, even the best of actors face racism in the subcontinent! Nawazuddin Siddiqui will soon be seen in a movie called Babumoshai Bandookbaaz.

Its casting director Sanjay Chouhan whipped up a fair bit of controversy last week when he, giving an interview to a news outlet, said that when Chitrangada Singh left the project, they had to find an actress who could look good with Nawaz S because they “can’t cast fair and handsome people opposite Nawaz.” The actor instantly reacted to that with a tweet: “Thank you for making me realise that I can’t be paired with the fair and handsome because I’m dark and not good looking … but I never focused on that.”

After that Sanjay C said that his statement was ‘misquoted’ and that he’d never want to hurt Nawaz S. Yeah right! The ‘misquote’ was unfair and unhandsome.

Meera’s complaint

To be honest, Meera has a point when she says that “senior artists” are being kept away from the film industry. Although she puts it down to the rather far-fetched idea of a “conspiracy” against them, it has to be said that ever since relatively younger filmmakers in Pakistan have begun to make movies, the likes of Reema and Meera have not been featured in them as much as they would’ve liked.

This could also be attributed to the casting choices that present-day directors make; perhaps they haven’t found roles for them to fit in. So, wait on, Meeraji, your chance will come, much before you stop calling yourself a “senior.”

Dating yes, but … 

It’s no more a secret that Ben Affleck is dating TV producer Lindsay Shookus. Ever since the Hollywood A-lister got separated from his wife Jennifer Gardner, the press was conjecturing about who is the woman he’s with because he can’t remain single for a long stretch of time.

However, recently it came as a bit of a surprise (a bit, because showbiz is full of such surprises) to know that both Ben A and Lindsay S were seeing each other even when they were married (she was married to her former colleague Kevin Miller and got divorced in 2014.)

Yes, there’s a word for this but we’re not going to use it.

It’s a girl

One more showbiz celeb adopts a child, and this time round it’s none other than Sunny Leone. Yes, the actress who is known for her no-holds-barred item songs (among other things) has adopted a baby girl from Latur. She is uber-happy about it, and though she and her husband Daniel Weber have tried to keep the news under the radar, her fellow artists, especially Sherlyn Chopra, have been talking about it on social media, congratulating the couple.

Beware Sunny L, now you might see some Bollywood heroes acting as children in front of you.

Tum Hi Ho

It is indeed a bold step taken by Sangeeta to release her film Tum Hi Ho on August 4. Bold, because Bollywood’s much-anticipated venture Jab Harry Met Sejal will hit the cinema screens the same day.

Syed Noor’s Chaen Aey Na is expected to release the same month as well. This goes to show that our directors are not scared of competition. At the end of the day, it is the strength of storytelling which pulls the audience towards the cinema halls, not the industry that a particular story is coming from. Who knows if Sangeeta’s film outruns Imtiaz Ali’s! Then we will definitely say tum hi ho ….

Published in Dawn, ICON, July 30th, 2017