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If I can get share of both pies, why not: Akshay

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Actor Akshay Kumar is on a roll, and when is he ever not? After signing up for a web series, the superstar is now getting ready for his next release “Kesari”. He says he is happy getting a share of both the pies.

Excerpts from the interview:

A. Honestly, my son Aarav was one of the main driving factors for me to think in this direction and move into the digital space. It’s where the youth is hooked onto and it is here that I wish to create something extraordinary and connect with them. It’s going to be high octane action is all I can reveal as of now.

Q. Do you think the future of the movie-going experience lies in the digital space? Or do you believe, as I do, that the magic of the movie theatre can’t be eradicated?

A. I’m of mixed opinion here. The actor in me would want and love to believe the magic of the movie theatres never fades away but having said that I’m also aware that a lot of content consumption is being done in the digital space and that is something that cannot be ignored. And if I can get a share of both the pies, then why not?

Q. You had three major successes in 2018. “Kesari” is your first release for 2019, and it’s looking like a blockbuster. What are your expectations regarding “Kesari”?

A. “Kesari” is an extremely special film for me, my first war drama. It’s a film I’m very emotional about. The answer on why I picked this film is in your question itself. I was amazed that such a brilliant and brave story has such little recognition and it’s a story I’m really proud and excited about to share with the audiences.

Q. In “Mission Mangal”, you play a real-life astronaut. And there are several interesting female actors sharing the limelight with you. Would it be correct to say this is your first film in recent times where the women have important roles to play?

A. I’d like to correct you here. In “Mission Mangal”, I do not play an astronaut but a scientist and yes, I worked with an interesting mix of female co-actors in it. Well, it’s actually very subjective and never been a conscious decision. I pick films which excite me. For instance, I was also a part of “Naam Shabana”, where I most certainly wasn’t the central character and my female co-actor Taapsee Pannu had a much more important role to play. So that’s how it is.

Q. “Good News” brings you together with one of your most constant co-stars Kareena Kapoor Khan. You also share screen space with Diljit Dosanjh, who is a huge fan of yours. What was it like working with them?

A. Working with Bebo (Kareena) is always fun but Diljit and I get along like a house on fire, if I were to say so myself. Our Punjabi connect is amazing and I think it will show brilliantly on-screen.

Q. You have played a number of real-life characters in recent films and I believe you are playing Prithviraj Chauhan in the future. How different is it to play a real character as compared with an out-and-out fantasy character like the one in “Housefull”?

A. With real characters, you’re briefed and taught about the characteristics and mannerisms. I wouldn’t say it’s easier but the scope is more defined whereas in case of fictional characters you have the liberty to bring your own to the table and add or subtract as per your will and add a touch to it.

Q. Audiences have come to expect an Akshay Kumar film for Republic Day and Independence Day every year. But you’ve announced “Sooryanvanshi” for Eid 2020 which is considered to be Salman Khan’s release domain. Please comment?

A. It’s a perception-created domain. With the number of films eyeing for holiday releases, we all just seek a less crowded window for release and Eid 2020 happened to be just that for “Sooryavanshi”, at least for now. Fingers crossed.

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My wish fulfilled: Alia on Rajamouli’s ‘RRR’

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Actress Alia Bhatt, who turned 26 on Friday and will make her Telugu debut with S.S. Rajamouli’s “RRR”, says now her wish has been fulfilled as she always wanted to work with the “Baahubali” series filmmaker.Alia was interacting with the media at the Economic Times Edge – Femina ‘Maharashtra Achievers Awards 2019’ here on Thursday, on the day Rajamouli announced that she and Ajay Devgn would be a part of the period action film which stars Jr. NTR and Ram Charan in the lead.
On being a part of “RRR”, Alia said: “Now, I am doing the preparation for it. I can’t reveal details of the film because I don’t know whether I am supposed to talk about the film, but… I am feeling really grateful as I wished in my heart that I wanted to work Rajamouli sir and that wish has been fulfilled now, so I feel immense gratitude.

“It’s my first time to work in the South Indian film industry, so I am really excited.””RRR” will tell a fictitious story based on two freedom fighters. The film will release on July 30, 2020, in Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, Malayalam and other Indian languages simultaneously.Apart from this announcement, the teaser of Alia’s upcoming film “Kalank” has got an immensely positive response from the audience. After that she will feature in “Brahmastra”.
Asked if she she has set a new benchmark for herself by doing such big films, she said: “Whenever I do any film, I first see what is my character in the film and who is the director of the film. I think it’s not important to remember that what benchmark I have set for myself.”I feel that playing my character honestly is important and what my director wants me do with that character is important than anything else, so I don’t know what benchmark I have created, but now I just want to create something good for my next film with lot of honesty.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday urged well-known personalities and others to strengthen voter awareness efforts across the country.Urging people to cast their votes in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, Alia said: “I tweeted that the nation’s voice is the nation’s choice. We have elections for every resident of the country, so I urge people to go out, cast their vote and make a choice.”

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Every young actor can become a superstar: Rajkummar

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Actor Rajkummar Rao feels that every young actor of his generation has the potential to become a superstar of the Hindi film industry as all of them are doing some very good work.Rajkummar spoke to the media on the sidelines of Economic Times Edge – Femina ‘Maharashtra Achievers Awards 2019’ here on Thursday.Actors like Varun Dhawan, Ranbir Kapoor, Ranveer Singh, Ayushmann Khurrana, Tiger Shroff and Sushant Singh Rajput, apart from Rajkummar himself are doing some great work in the Hindi film industry.
Asked which actor has the potential to become a superstar, he said: “Every young actor has the potential to become a superstar. Who am I to say which actor has or does not have the potential to become a superstar? I am really happy to see that we are doing some good work as an industry and because of that, we are able to see good performances from every other actor.”When I see a good performance on-screen, it inspires me to do better work.”
What’s the status of his film “Mental Hai Kya”?”We are going to announce release date of that film very soon,” he said.On his experience of working with Kangana Ranaut in the film, Rajkummar said: “I had a really good experience working with her. I think she is one of finest actresses of this country. Earlier, we have worked together in ‘Queen’ and now I worked with her in ‘Mental Hai Kya’. It is always fun to work with her.””Mental Hai Kya” is a black comedy crime thriller, produced by Ekta Kapoor and directed by Prakash Kovelamudi.

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If a film does well, it becomes trendsetter: Priti Shahani

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Film producer Priti Shahani, who has commercially successful films like “Badhaai Ho”, “Raazi” to her credit, says though once a particular kind of film becomes a superhit, it becomes a trendsetter, it is certainly not a rule.Talking about how the receptive audience is encouraging new narrative to earn box office numbers, Priti said, “The problem is that once a certain kind of film does well, it becomes a trendsetter. When few biopics did well, I know there are 6-7 biopics are ready to be directed and released. But I don’t think that is a rule. The markers from audiences have been very encouraging. There has been an eclectic number of stories that were very well received.
She was talking during interactive sessions at the 20th edition of FICCI FRAMES, the global media, and entertainment conclave, conducted by Anjum Rajabali on behalf of Screenwriters Association.Though there are many budding scriptwriters has tried to reach out to the production house, many times they feel disappointed as they do not receive any response from producers. To find a solution to the matter, she said, “A good writer cannot be necessarily a good narrator. As a producer, it is impossible to read all the scripts that are submitted to you as it is really time-consuming. So the writers should try and tell their stories in 15-20 pages.”
“If we see merit in that, then we are very happy to go through the entire development process with a writer. I also think that 15-20 pages are enough to attract director because it is a combination of a writer-director coming together, that makes a feature film,” she explained.

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