Actor Vardhan Puri, grandson of late actor Amrish Puri, talks exclusively to The Daily Guardian. Excerpts:
Q. How was the year 2020 for you?
A. It was a year full of learnings and realisations. It taught me the importance of family, health and internal happiness. I learnt to be comfortable in my own company which I am very grateful for.
Q. What did you miss doing the most in 2020 and why?
A. I wish I could have shot more films as acting is the only thing other than sports which makes me feel alive. I also wish I could have dedicated more time to my cousins and close friends. I miss the family get-togethers and feasts which we used to have before the lockdown.
Q. Professionally, how was the last year for you?
A. 2020 was a year full of growth. I shot for ‘The Last Show’ with director Vivek Agnihotri and legendary actors like Anupam Kher, Satish Kaushik and Pallavi Joshi. I also read some brilliant scripts which I am agerly looking forward to shoot in 2021. Most importantly, I got ample time to work on my craft and discipline, so hopefully, I have become a more equipped actor.
Q. What was the lowest moment for you in 2020?
A. Losing close family friends and acquaintances due to Covid. It was heartbreaking.
Q. What was last year’s best moment for you ?
A. Spending my parents’ 35th wedding anniversary with close family. We had a swell time and were in the best of moods.
Q. What do you believe will change for the entertainment industry going ahead?
A. Since the audience is now to top-notch content, especially from the west, hopefully, we will produce better content in our country since we have the resources now more than ever. I already see the change with brilliant shows like ‘Scam 1992’, ‘Paatal Lok’ and ‘Mirzapur’. Also, since the whole so-called ‘star system’ is fading away, the most deserving actors and technicians will be selected purely on merit. Everything is changing for the better.
Q. How do you see the OTT boom in India? Do you believe the digital medium is here to stay and how will it change things for you?
A. The OTT platform is the best thing that has happened to our country’s entertainment industry. A lot of key players are ready to take risks with some amazing content and that’s a gift to our audience. The digital medium is here to stay and it’s the best thing for us actors as we have so much material to choose from and dig our teeth into. Earlier the big producers were only backing content if it was ‘commercially viable’ but now with OTT and simple recovery patterns, the same producers are happily producing high content, medium budget films/shows with high concepts. It’s great news for us!
Q. What is your New Year’s resolution?
A. To do quality work, stay healthy, work on my craft every day and spend quality time with those who matter (not in this order).
Q. What are your hopes for 2021?
A. I sincerely hope that the Covid-19 vaccine is a success and the world is a happy place once again. I want to shoot for a lot of films in 2021 and surprise the audiences with my performances.
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RASHMIKA EXPRESSES GRATITUDE AS ‘SAAMI SAAMI’ BECOMES A MASS SENSATION
MUMBAI: Hailed as the National Crush of India, Rashmika Mandanna managed to leave a lasting impact even in a de-glam role like Srivalli from the mega-blockbuster ‘Pushpa: The Rise’.
Her song ‘Saami Saami’ went on to become a national sensation and has even been trending across all social media platforms. It had clocked over ten million views in less than 24 hours of its release. Expressing gratitude, Rashmika Mandanna said, “The amount of love I have received for my song Saami Saami is overwhelming. I would like to thank all my fans for making the song so successful and loving me in it. I had great time shooting for saami and I remember rehearsing for it for long hours to give my best to the peppy number. In the past few days, I’ve been seeing so many of you doing the hook step on social media, which takes me back to the shooting days of Pushpa. All the love I have received from people all over the world just makes the song super special and memorable.”
The actress was praised for pulling off the choreography in her signature style with hundred of fans and social media users recreating the steps from the popular song that’s become a mass sensation. With the massive success of ‘Pushpa: The Rise’, Rashmika has achieved waves of appreciation and praises from all across, and is rightfully touted as ‘The Next Big Thing in Bollywood’. She will be making her big-ticket Bollywood debut with ‘Mission Majnu’ and ‘Goodbye’.
MOUNI ROY TIES KNOT WITH SURAJ NAMBIAR
NEW DELHI: And the journey begins! Actor Mouni Roy and Suraj Nambiar have tied the knot at a dreamy wedding as per Malayali rituals in Goa.
Thanks to social media for giving a glimpse into the dreamy wedding of Mouni and Suraj. As per the viral pictures and videos on the internet, the two got hitched on Thursday morning as per the Malayali rituals in Goa.
Mouni, who belongs to a Hindu Bengali family, looked resplendent in a broad red-bordered white saree which she accessorised with heavy gold jewellery inclusive of customised matha patti, broad bangles, heavy jhumkis, a heavy bridal choker set teamed with a Ganapati-style heavy pendant set and a broad waistband.
Keeping her makeup subtle, the ‘Naagin’ star accessorized her hair in a gorgeous white gajra running through her long braid. Meanwhile, Suraj who belongs to a Malayali family sported a tanned brown colour kurta with traditional white dhoti.
The intimate ceremony was attended by the couple’s family members and close friends. Mouni’s close friends from the entertainment industry including Arjun Bijlani, Mandira Bedi, Manmeet Singh from Meet Bros musical duo and Aashka Goradia also attended the ceremony.
NETFLIX RE-EVALUATING ‘BAAHUBALI’ PREQUEL SERIES
NEW DELHI: The much-anticipated two-season Netflix prequel to India’s ‘Baahubali’ titled ‘Baahubali: Before The Beginning’ is now being “reevaluated” by the streaming giant, reported Variety.
The prequel series to the fan’s favourite blockbuster hit film ‘Baahubali’ was announced in 2018 with the film’s producer Arka Mediaworks producing for Netflix. As per Variety, Deva Katta and Praveen Sattaru were on the director’s chair. For the unversed, the series based on the bestselling ‘Baahubali’ franchise novel ‘The Rise of Sivagami’ by Anand Neelakantan, was to follow the journey of Queen Sivagami from a rebellious girl to a wise queen.
One of the two seasons ordered by Netflix cost USD 20 million and was directed by Katta at Hyderabad film set. The series is currently in the post-production process.
However, as per Variety, Netflix was not entirely happy with the finished product, and considered bringing in other directors, including one who had directed two previous Netflix projects— Padma Shri awarded filmmaker S. S. Rajamouli. There were mid-stream cast changes as well.
“Netflix have been struggling with the project for some time now,” an insider informed Variety.
“’Baahubali: Before the Beginning’ is one of the country’s most loved IPs (but) creating India’s first epic series comes with its own challenges. The last two years with Covid were full of complexities and hurdles, which impacted productions, especially one of this scale,” the source added. Netflix is “reevaluating the project to bring the best version of this story” to audiences, the source explained.
SONU NIGAM DEDICATES HIS PADMA SHRI AWARD TO HIS MOTHER
After being conferred with the Padma Shri award, singer Sonu Nigam expressed his happiness.
He issued a statement in which he shared that he would like to dedicate the award to his late mother Shobha Nigam. “January 25 was a rather special day for me and my family. I’m very thankful to the Government of India for thinking of me as a deserving candidate and bestowing me the Padma Shri. My heartfelt thanks to all those who selected me and suggested my name for this prestigious honour. I would also like to thank my mother, Shobha Nigam, and my father, Agam Kumar Nigam. In fact, I want to dedicate this award to my mother. Had she been here today, she would have cried a lot,” Sonu said. The ‘Kal Ho Naa Ho’ singer also thanked his gurus for teaching him the valuable lessons of music. “I would also take this opportunity to fold my hands before my gurus who have taught me so much. Whatever I know today is because of them and their blessings. Watching and listening to them has been a learning experience for me. My sincere gratitude to my friends and colleagues who have been a part of my journey, and my family who is my pillar of support,” the statement concluded
KAREENA SPENDS ‘PERFECT AFTERNOON’ WITH BFFS
MUMBAI : Bollywood actor Kareena Kapoor Khan on Wednesday afternoon spent some quality time with her friends Manish Malhotra, Karan Johar, and the Arora sisters, Malaika and Amrita.
Glimpses from their get-together were shared by Malhotra on his Instagram handle where the celebrity fashion designer posted a couple of pictures of them, in which the stars could be seen posing for the camera. He captioned the post as, “That perfect afternoon home with friends @kareenakapoorkhan @karanjohar @amuaroraofficial @malaikaaroraofficial missing you @therealkarismakapoor.”
The post garnered more than 17,000 likes within an hour of being shared and several fans of the celebs left heart and fire emojis in the comment section.
Meanwhile, on the work front, Kareena will be seen sharing screen space with Aamir Khan in ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’, which will release on Valentine’s Day, 2022. The film is a loose adaptation of Tom Hanks’ ‘Forrest Gump’.
B-TOWN EXTENDS HEARTFELT GREETINGS ON 73RD REPUBLIC DAY
On the occasion of 73rd Republic Day on Wednesday, members of the film industry took to social media to extend their heartfelt greetings to everyone.
Megastar Amitabh Bachchan shared a slew of photographs, a few of which show him dressed up in white and holding the Indian flag.
Taapsee Pannu shared an excerpt of the Indian Consitution that came into force in 1950. “OF the people FOR the people BY the people” Happy Republic Day to the PEOPLE of India #RepublicDay,” she wrote on Twitter.
Actor Shahid Kapoor shared a picture of a postal stamp from 26 January 1950, and wrote, “Happy Republic Day”. Filmmaker Karan Johar urged people to always celebrate our constitution. “To the spirit of our republic – may we continue to uphold, cherish and celebrate our constitution – the pillar that upholds the country’s values and binds it together in unity! Jai hind,” he posted on Instagram.
Actor Varun Dhawan sent out wishes on Republic Day by painting his cheeks in tricolour. He also posted a video of him unfurling the flag. “Had the absolute honour of unfurling the flag. #proudindian,” he wrote.
Actor Tiger Shroff uploaded a clip from his music video ‘Vande Mataram’ to mark the occasion. Republic Day is celebrated every year on January 26 to commemorate the adoption of the Indian Constitution, which came into effect on this day in 1950.
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