THE GRAPEVINE

11 Oct 2020

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Alif Noon

A movie based on the iconic TV and stage characters Alif and Noon (originally played by the late Kamal Ahmed Rizvi and Khawar Butt a.k.a. Nanha, and created by the former) is on the anvil. This has been announced by none other than pop singer Shehzad Roy, who will be acting in and producing the film. Apparently, the late playwright-actor Rizvi’s wife has also given her blessing to the film. The project will be directed by Faisal Qureshi (comedian, and not to be confused with the Bashar Momin actor or the social commentator having the same name). What’s yet to be announced is the role Shehzad R is playing in the story. Our mole says he’s going to essay the unscrupulous character of Allan (Alif) played by Rizvi. Makes sense, since there’s no way the lean Shehzad R could become as rotund as Nanha, even if he tried.

Home Sweet Home

The KP government’s announcement to follow through on a 2013 decision and turn Indian film stars Raj Kapoor’s and Dilip Kumar’s ancestral homes in Peshawar’s Qissa Khwani bazaar into museums has been extremely well received. When Dilip sahib came to know about it, he requested his fans on social media to send him pictures of his home in Peshawar. The response was quick and, to the satisfaction of the legendary, 97-year-old actor, a Pakistani journalist posted images of the house. He was gracious enough to thank the journo for the gesture. How sweet is that!

Indian La La Land

Alrighty then! The uber-talented Bhumi Pednekar recently appeared on Neha Dhupia’s online show and responded to her queries with complete candour. When the host asked her who she would like to see in the Bollywood version of the Oscar-winning Hollywood blockbuster La La Land, as replacement for its lead actors Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, she promptly replied Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor. Bhumi P, good choice.

Not sure if Emma S and Ryan G would approve of it though.

Richest Actresses

It goes without saying that the Covid-19 pandemic has caused a fair amount of monetary loss to artists, especially actors. Still, the Forbes list of the highest paid actresses of 2020 (June 2019 to June 2020) released on October 2 reveals a pretty striking bunch. Who’s number 1? Surprise, surprise: it’s none other than the Modern Family star Sofia Vergara, with a whopping income of $43million. Reports say this has largely to do with her presence as a judge on the show America’s Got Talent. Second to her is the super-celeb Angelina Jolie, with $35.5million and Gal Gadot is at number 3 with $31.5million. PS: Now two of these women are happily married, and one, Angeline J, is happily single. And not ready to mingle, probably wisely so.

Eye to Eye

Check this out. In the late 1990s, the drop-dead gorgeous Jessica Alba worked in two episodes of the famous TV show Beverly Hills 90210 playing a teenage mom (she was 17 at the time). Last week, giving an interview on a YouTube channel, she said that when she was filming the episodes, she wasn’t allowed to make eye contact with her fellow actors. “It was like, ‘you’re not allowed to make eye contact with any of the cast members or you’ll be thrown off the set’.” Jessica A didn’t talk in detail about it but we’re sure there’d be many a cast member who now wish the star would make eye contact with them.

Partner in Time

Young guns Ishaan Khatter (brother of Shahid Kapoor) and Ananya Pandey (daughter of Chunky Pandey — so much for the fight against nepotism) will be seen together for the first time in an upcoming film Khaali Peeli. The gal in particular seems to be over the moon about the jorri. Sharing a picture on Instagram from the sets of the movie, in which both she and Ishaan K are looking deep into each other’s eyes, Ananya P wrote, “my partner in crime, always.” Okay… we’re happy for you too, girl, but is ‘always’ a bit over the top?

Published in Dawn, ICON, October 11th, 2020