Earlier in the day (March 14), CineBlitz exclusively informed you that Abhimanyu Dassani will be playing the lead in Sabbir Khan’s next. Well, now we also have the name of the lady who will be playing the female lead opposite Abhimanyu. And it’s none other than YouTube singing sensation Shirley Setia. Read on to know more details about the same.
Shirley, who is a popular playback singer and a highly followed YouTube sensation, will be making her acting debut with this untitled project. Since Sabbir Khan is known for making films like Baaghi and Munna Michael, we are assuming his latest offering will also be an action-packed movie which will be produced by Sony Pictures. Shirley, on the other hand, is known for singing covers of popular Bollywood songs. She has collaborated with different artists and enjoys a fan base of 5 million followers on Instagram. Knowing that she is finally making her Bollywood debut, we are pretty sure all her fans across social media platforms must be super happy and excited as well. After all, she has bagged the lead role and that’s indeed a big deal, no?
Talking about Abhimanyu, he has been brought on board as lead even before the release of his first film. His debut film Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota is all set to hit the screen on next week, on March 21. While one more name has been added to the list of actresses making their debut this year, let’s see what Shirley has to offer acting wise.
Omung Kumar B: I have not done a political film, I have done a human story
Director Omung Kumar B talks about his latest biopic on PM Narendra Modi and everything around it, in an exclusive interview with CineBlitz
While director Omung Kumar B has given us amazing biopics in the past, his latest biopic starring Vivek Anand Oberoi titled PM Narendra Modi faced some issues before it released. However, the film finally saw the light of the day on May 24, and the film got mixed reviews. Some have termed the biopic as a propaganda film, but director Omung feels really proud of his latest cinematic offering. Here’s what he had to say to us in an exclusive interview…
PM Narendra Modi’s film has finally released after a lot of troubles, how does it feel?
Yes, finally is the word. We are ecstatic that there couldn’t be better timing for us. Whatever happens, happens for the best, and maybe this was the right time for it to release. All said and done, the producers underwent huge losses because of the ban that happened earlier. Yes, we got only four days to promote the film. But we always knew that elections get over on May 19, after which we got all our promotions back online. Maybe Modiji’s victory will help us. Besides that, the movie has been made with all our heart and soul.
Biopics have been your forte – Mary Kom, Sarbjit and now PM Narendra Modi. But did this biopic put a lot of pressure on you due to whose life it was based on?
Any biopic is somebody’s life that you are portraying, so obviously you have to be true to the person. And you are playing somebody’s character, so you have to think about what you are saying on the big screen. As a filmmaker, you also have to care for dramatism. But still, this was hard enough because he is the reigning Prime Minister. In the history of biographies, no one has made a film on the current running Prime Minister. Secondly, his aura is already in people’s mind, so we have to think about how you see it. How much heroism needs to be shown and how much doesn’t. He is a hero, he falters, and how he comes back…that is the zero-to-hero story we have done. A chaiwala becoming a PM is unheard of, and that is what attracted me to the film.
It’s a known fact that Dev Anand’s Guide was a Major inspiration for Modiji to serve the nation, how much cinematic liberty did you take there?
See, that is symbolism. There are a lot of things that happened that he said he was unclear about. As a child, he wanted to be a soldier, but he wanted to live a separate life also. There are subtle moments in the film, but the effect becomes a highlight. So, in a lot of issues, if he took two-three years with something, we had two or three scenes of it.
The term Chowkidaar was coined now and not during Modiji’s formative journey, so using it in the film was a conscious choice?
These are some things you have to take in context. Like in his childhood, it is shown that chai pe charcha acchi baat hai. These are small liberties that you take. If you take the word Chowkidaar that came in now, and if we put in the dialogue, he must have said it earlier…how do you know? Yes, copywriters write the lines, but he may have said it earlier. So, that liberty needs to be taken. The Pakistan bit ( his words on a fitting response if Pakistan attacked us) we had taken earlier, but with this current word, it also fits in here.
Vivek Oberoi has done a fabulous job in the film.
Vivek is a fantastic actor; he dedicated himself completely to the role. Moulding him into the character with prosthetics was secondary; a fine actor can change the course and make you believe that he is the person. You come and grow in the film; no one knew how Modiji looked earlier, so it was a good thing for me to show him in a different way. When I did Mary Kom, nobody said yes to Priyanka, they all asked me how can Priyanka be Mary Kom? Why not a North-Eastern girl? But when you saw the film, you believed in the character and now Priyanka is Mary Kom and vice versa. So, I could mould Vivek into the character because he is a fine actor. On purpose, I didn’t do the Mitron and go into caricature mode.
The film has faced quite a lot of trouble with the CBFC, then the EC created hurdles. At any point did you just think you would shelve the film completely?
Not at all, why would we do that? That time was not right to release, maybe this is the right time. We are proud of it, we have done it wholeheartedly, and we know what we are doing. So why shouldn’t we go ahead? Just because someone said it got banned, we wouldn’t get left behind.
Was it necessary to make Congress a punching bag just to highlight and glorify Modi’s political career?
I have not mentioned anybody’s name, I have not talked about one single person from the opposition in the film. I have not bashed up any opposition. It is basically a businessman who is non-existent ( in the real context), but he was instrumental in making stuff happen. I have not done a political film, I have done a human story.
Also, in the film, Manmohan Singh was mocked quite a bit. Was that needed?
There are two scenes in the film, one in the start and one in the end. And in one scene, we showed that he is not talking (which everyone says is the truth anyway), and it just became funny. I am not even saying that he is Manmohan Singh.
Have you decided on your next project?
No. If I do, and it doesn’t happen… so I don’t announce only. Earlier I have done this, but now, I don’t even want to announce what is happening next.
Stay tuned to CineBlitz for more news, updates and gossip from Bollywood.
John Wick 3: Halle Berry reveals why she joined Keanu Reeves in the action thriller
In this interview, Oscar-Winning actress Halle Berry and John Wick 3 director Chad Stahelski talk about the blockbuster action franchise John Wick bringing a revolution in the action genre
Apart from getting a kick-ass strong character, John Wick’s universe gets a strong emotional backstory too with Halle Berry joining in as Sophia. In an exclusive interview, the Oscar-winning actress and John Wick 3 director Chad Stahelski together talk about being a part of this action franchise starring Keanu Reeves. Excerpts:
What does Halle’s character Sophia bring to the John Wick universe?
Chad Stahelski: I think we get a little John Wick backstory. We have world expansion and we get a kick-ass female character doing something for I think the right reasons and showing the depth of the emotionality we can have in our world. It’s not just plugging an actress into an action role. We get a little bit of emotion behind it.
Were you always a fan of John Wick?
Halle Berry: John Wick One, I saw it in the cinema and I loved it the first time I saw it. I love the world. I loved when I saw Keanu doing everything he did. And I mean he’s gone 300 times further now. But the first movie I was just blown away and I thought, wow, we have all this access to CG and we’re seeing all these superhero movies. But here it was just a guy who was doing this for real. And I got really lit up by that. And then so the second one I got more lit up and when I heard they were making a third one, I was like, okay, wait a goddamn minute. Somebody is putting me in this movie. There’s no way I’m not going to be in this movie. So luckily Chad let me do that.
Chad you wrote Sofia’s character only for Halle Berry?
Chad Stahelski: Absolutely! Well put it this way the character, the character’s name was there before we met Halle Berry and after we met Halle Berry we rewrote the entire character so the character on screen was written for her.
Halle what had you heard about Keanu before getting to work with him?
Halle Berry- What I have heard and what a lot of people heard is that he is the nicest man in the whole wide world.
How does the franchise continue to attract such high quality cast and crew?
Chad Stahelski: It’s a complete mystery to me. Actually I have no idea but I am happy for it. You know hopefully it has something to do with the look that we give it. We try to make action look very pretty like the aesthetic. The fact that we try to bend the rules of filmmaking a little bit. I’d like to think that I offered an environment that is collaborative and creatively open to express a lot of ideas to take it somewhere else.
Halle, you have some extensive scenes with the dogs in the film…
Halle Berry: I loved these dogs. I really did. I spent five months with them. 3-4 days a week going over training with them, learning them and learning me and really getting to understand how they are and they work. That was great. I love animals. I have two dogs and so everything I learned from there, I’ve been able to parlay that into my real life. Like I have these killer labradoodles now.
Chad Stahelski: They wear a bulletproof vest when they deliver the newspaper.
Halle Berry: Somebody comes to the door. I have all these commands for them now. They really could attack somebody. I mean, I don’t know if they’re going to go for the balls, but they could really attack somebody.
How was it filming in Morocco?
Halle Berry: I thought it was beautiful. It was a nice change far away, far from the world. It was colourful. I could smell it through the screen you know it’s palpable.
Chad Stahelski: Same you know with juxtaposition to New York city, an Arabic environment that had such a rich and colourful palette.
The John Wick series redefines action films…
Halle Berry: The John Wick series has brought a revolution in action genre and it is something different from what we are offered today. It’s real life action and it is beautiful. It won’t disappoint it has got Keanu Reeves who I think single-handedly who is one of the only guys in this generation that can really get away with it. I know that’s what I watch for whenever I watch these movies.
Starring Keanu Reeves and Halle Berry, John Wick 3, the third installment of the blockbuster franchise is produced by Erica Lee and directed by Chad Stahelski. The biggest action franchise John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum released by PVR Pictures is currently running successfully in theatres.
Sunil Grover on Bharat: First few days I couldn’t believe that I was having dinner with Salman Khan
Comedian-turned-actor Sunil Grover talks about his experience of working on Bharat, in an exclusive interview, read on…
Life is turning out to be a fairytale for Sunil Grover, yes, after garnering enough fame on the small screen, this man is rocking on the 70mm too. Though he has featured in some films earlier namely Aamir Khan’s Ghajini, off-late his roles are getting noticed and with that Sunil is upping his game. After Vishal Bhardwaj’s Patakha, he will be seen playing Salman Khan’s best friend in Bharat, talking about the film, his equation with the cast and future plans Sunil gets candid in an exclusive interview with CineBlitz.
How excited are you for Bharat?
I have the same excitement as the citizens had when Bharat got independence in 1947. It is great to be a part of such a big film with a great story and star cast. The way it has been made, I feel lucky to be a part of it.
How about working with Salman Khan and on a Salman Khan film?
I have always admired his work and I have been his fan. I had seen him from far, but it was nice to hang around, first few days I couldn’t believe that I was having dinner with Salman Khan. So it was a great feeling. I was nervous initially. When you are standing next to him you think you should be ready with your lines and everything so that the scene goes well. But he made me comfortable. Ali sir was very clear about what he was making, so after that, I realized that I should surrender to him. I would prepare a scene couple of times in a couple of ways, but when he would come on the set he would suggest something else only. It became easier later on because I got the rhythm right.
You have worked on a decent number of films, so it wasn’t very alien on a film set, right?
It wasn’t alien. I am playing a friend in this film. To be friends with Salman Khan or think like that was difficult for me.
You are amongst the very few people who actually have a good sense of humour, did you crack jokes and have fun on the Bharat sets?
Yes, that is my second nature. I had a good time, Ali sir would tell me to work more seriously because the film was made on a budget of 200 crores. But I would keep enjoying.
How was it working with Katrina and others…
Katrina is a big star and she would bring sunshine to the sets. I was mesmerized and impressed by the way she works. She is very hard working; she prepares her scenes and has a schedule. It was really nice to see such dedication.
What is your immediate plan after Bharat?
(Laughs) Even when I work I feel like I am on a vacation. I enjoy working the most, so kaam ke saath hi chutti ho jaati hai. Yes, maybe for a few days if I go somewhere for work I might extend the stay. But yes, if I get a few days then I might just go for a vacation.
BHARAT, directed by Ali Abbas Zafar, starring Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif in lead roles is produced by Bhushan Kumar, Alvira Agnihotri, Atul Agnihotri, Krishan Kumar under the banners of T-Series, Reel Life Productions and Salman Khan Films. The film releases this Eid on June 5. Stay tuned to CineBlitz for more updates on Bharat and other Bollywood news.
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