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Rasika is yet to watch her maiden Malayalam movie

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New Delhi,  Actress Rasika Dugal, known for starring in critically acclaimed movies “Qissa” and “Kshay”, says she was so upset with director Rajeev Ravi for deleting a huge chunk of her scenes in his 2016 film “Kammatipaadam” that she chose not to watch it.

“Kammatipaadam” is her first Malayalam film, but it was certainly not a dream debut as she only had a few scenes with its lead actor Dulquer Salmaan.

“Rajeev had a four-hour film a week before it got released. He had to edit the entire Mumbai section of the film which was quite a huge chunk. Rajeev was my senior at FTII (Film and Television Institute of India). He was extremely apologetic,” Rasika told IANS over phone from Mumbai.

“People see the film. Then they ask me why I did such a small part. That is annoying because that was not what I had done. But sometimes things happen. Not everything is in your control.

“A director’s cut was to be released. It was a beautiful character and I want to see whether that works or not. I haven’t seen the four-hour version. In fact, I haven’t seen any version of the film because I was so upset that he cut out my portions.”

Even Dulquer was upset.

“He called me and said ‘I think this has happened’. Both, Rajeev and Dulquer, were very apologetic. But he couldn’t release a four-hour film. Nobody would have gone and watched the film then. Two hours is ideal. It’s the business model. So, I understand,” said the “P.O.W.- Bandi Yuddh Ke” actress.

Rasika did have a good time shooting.

“I always find it very fascinating to interact with stars because they have such a surreal life which is different than mine and it’s so nice to watch them negotiate all these things. It’s always a treat to work with a star and Dulquer is a really nice guy. I had a lot of fun hanging out with him,” she said.

Despite “not that good” launch in the south film industry, she is willing to take up more regional movies.

“I would love to do Malayalam films because there is so much talent in that film industry. Rajeev is one of the people responsible for the new wave in Malayalam films. So he and a bunch of people work together. They form their own group so that they can survive and that is so nice. I’d really like to be a part of the movement, but my first movie was not that good,” said Rasika, who also wants to do Marathi films.

She will be soon seen on the big screen as Safiya — wife of popular Urdu writer Saadat Hasan Manto. While there is abundant information available on the writer, the same can’t be said for Safiya.

“Sometimes when there is less information on a character, it makes your job easier because people don’t come with a preconceived notion. That pressure is on Nawazuddin Siddiqui (who plays Manto in the film) because people have an idea of the writer.

“But yes, having no information is also difficult. That part of the job was taken care of by Nandita Das (the film’s director) beautifully. She spent a lot of time with Manto and Safiya’s daughters. Much of the information and anecdotal information were shared with her… stories that family knew about which you can’t find in books.

“Therefore, it is priceless. Most of it made its way to the script. When I first read the script, what stood out to me was that… I was familiar with Manto – the writer, but this was the first time that I was getting to know Manto – the person through Safiya and daughters.”

And to find out that he was a doting husband and a loving father, it was a very new information for her.

“I had not thought of him like that. I thought of him like a flamboyant man with many muses. I also found two essays in which he mentions her,” said the actress.

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Mallika Sherawat supports FIAPO to promote veganism

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New Delhi,  Actress Mallika Sherawat has extended support to the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) to promote veganism in India, and has urged fans to try a vegan diet for 21 days.

Mallika took to her Twitter handle to promote FIAPO’s #21DayCompassionChallenge, asking her fans to ditch dairy and other animal products and try a vegan diet.

In the video, Mallika talks about choosing a compassionate future for herself.

She said: “I believe in compassion for all. I feel we are all inherently compassionate, but fail to see the reality. I have been vegan for more than 15 years and for me veganism is a lifestyle choice – a healthier and cruelty free way of living! Many people think, to be vegan you have to give up a lot of things, but being a long time vegan, I can proudly say I have not given up on anything.

“In fact, I am much healthier and happier knowing no animal had to suffer for my food. I don’t drink cow’s milk and I don’t eat meat because no one should suffer for our choices. I urge all my fans to take the challenge and try veganism for 21 days.”

There is an increase in the number of people choosing a vegan diet.

FIAPO’s Executive Director Varda Mehrotra said: “The best thing about being a vegan is to be able to live a life aligned with one’s values. We can only be in peace knowing we aren’t harming, killing, maiming others for our greed.

“In the last decade there has been a tremendous shift in how veganism is perceived in India. While many organisations and individuals are dedicatedly working on creating awareness, a Bollywood actor speaking up and promoting veganism is a huge push for veganism in India.”

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Industry no more stuck on one hero, heroine stories: Divya Dutta

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New Delhi, National Award-winning actress Divya Dutta, who turned 41 on Tuesday, has been a part of the film industry for over two decades, and she says stories have evolved a whole lot from being centred around just one hero and heroine.

“Industry is no more stuck to typical one hero and one heroine films. Now, filmmakers are producing content-driven films. We are looking into more different and diverse stories. It is a beautiful time for filmmaking right now,” Divya told IANS over phone from Mumbai.

Having featured in the latest release “Manto” and the short film “Plus Minus”, Divya is garnering a lot of positive response from the audience for her roles in the films.

She said: “I am overwhelmed with the responses I am getting for my roles. It always feels good when someone appreciates my acting.

“Both ‘Manto’ and ‘Plus Minus’ are based on true stories. I am glad that people are accepting non-fiction films and are keen to hearing more untold true stories. We have so many stories scattered around us and through films, we get an opportunity to convey those stories to people. This is one of the beautiful changes our cinema has witnessed.”

Divya has appeared in more than 100 movies of different genres and languages. This year, she won a National Award for Best Supporting Actor for the 2017 film “Irada”.

For her, the National Award acts as a source of inspiration as it inspires her to do good work everyday.

“I am honoured that the nation has appreciated my work and felicitated me with the award. I am humbled that people accept me in all kinds of roles. I am gratified after winning the National Award and I want to continue doing good work for my people,” Divya added.

The “Veer-Zaara” and “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag” actress is a writer too. In 2017, she launched her first book “Me and Ma” and she is now in the process of writing her second book, to be published next year.

Born in Punjab, Divya has also maintained her link with her roots as she has worked in Punjabi movies like “Shaheed-e- Mohabbat” and “Des Hoya Pardes”. She will next be seen hosting a Punjabi chat show.

“The format of the show is quite similar to actor Aamir Khan’s “Satyamev Jayate”. It will be an interactive Punjabi show which will focus on the prevailing social issues.”

Be it Hindi or Punjabi — for Divya, language is not a barrier. She has also acted in Nepali movie “Basanti” and tried her hand in a Malayalam film titled “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”.

The actor said: “Be it Punjabi cinema or Marathi or Malayalam cinema, now regional cinema is growing beautifully. People are liking regional films. One will be amazed to see the stuff regional film industries are producing.”

Divya, who made her debut with the film “Ishq Mein Jeena Ishq Mein Marna” in 1994, still feels she is a little girl who has just begun her career.

“I am on role reversal. It feels I am reversing my journey. All my friends are saying that I am still a 16-year-old girl. I feel it is just the beginning…. and there is more to go.”

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Pranitha Subhash enjoys keeping in touch with fans

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Mumbai, Actress Pranitha Subhash says she likes to stay in touch with her fans, but wants to add a personal touch to the whole experience.

For this, she has come out with her personal app. Pranitha launched the Pranitha Subhash Official App in collaboration with New York-based tech firm EscapeX, read a statement.

“I am really excited to be launching my very own app. I have always enjoyed keeping in touch with my fans and interacting with them but with this we take it one step ahead since it’s so personalised,” Pranitha said.

“I’m hoping to keep it very interactive and I promise to keep checking it as often as possible. I will have lot of contests, lots of fun and it’s going to be much more than film promotions. I am really excited about this,” added the actress, who has worked in Kannada, Telugu and Tamil films.

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