Varun Dhawan

EP 230: “Woman Need to be their Own Heroes” Taapsee Pannu Talks Naam Shabana

This is one from the secret Upodcast vault!

We spoke with the wonderful Taapsee Pannu during the release of Naam Shabana but never managed to post the episode.

Since we talk a little about Judwaa 2 and the release is around the corner, what better time to than now to put our conversation up!

In this episode we talk about:

  • How many other Taapsee’s Taapsee knows?
  • Her career after Baby and Pink
  • How Hindi Cinema has changed for actresses
  • and what her favorite songs from Judwaa is

Naam Shabana is available for home viewing now!

Judwaa 2 releases 29th of September in UK theaters.

You can listen/stream/download the episode below.

Or you can subscribe to our iTunes page and never miss a show

We would love it if you can rate or write us a small review on iTunes! Just click here.

 

Karan Johar : “I don’t discriminate”- LSE India Forum Event Full report

Two people who pride themselves on being punctual, Karan Johar and Anupama Chopra, are running late for their discussion panel at the London School of Economics SU India Forum. It’s not a starry late entrance though – they simply didn’t know that one never makes plans in London without checking the number of obstacles the city will inevitably throw your way when you’re in a rush. On this lovely, sunny Saturday, an entire section of the London Tube has been closed for repairs and two separate, giant protests (one against the Trump state visit and the other against the systematic gutting of the NHS) have blocked traffic in all sorts of interesting ways. Johar finally makes it in about 15 minutes late, having taken a cab from Mayfair like a total noob; Chopra got as far as Trafalgar Square before the massive crowds persuaded her to just hoof it. Johar, mindful of the plane he needs to catch later in the evening, uses the 20 minutes before she arrives to field questions from the room.

The LIF is a yearly event but this is the first time they’ve held a pre-LIF discussion and one suspects it was because they had to accommodate Johar’s packed schedule. He is clearly a speaker that draws a crowd – 200 students bought out the tickets in nine minutes flat and quite a few older guests have inveigled an invite as well. In person, he is exactly as you have seen him on TV: average build, medium height, familiar smirk. I’m struck by his shoes because a) I’m so used to seeing him midshot on TV, I don’t remember having seen his feet before; and b) they’re a violent shade of neon silver sneakers that I’m sure are the pinnacle of some mysterious men’s fashion that is more attractive to men than women.

The crowd is entirely desi (I spied one white photographer) and the young women in the audience are all dolled up and ready for their shot: perfect makeup and long, straight hair, chic dresses that are entirely too flimsy for the weather. The young men are no less, clean cut and leaning intently forward as Johar speaks, nodding along to his bon mots and catty zingers alike, some sporting those high collared Nehru vests that are the last word in rising-Indian-politician chic. He says hello to someone’s mom, professes his love for La La Land and Ranbir Kapoor, announces that Bombay Talkies 2 is in the works (Zoya Akhtar has already finished filming her segment while he is yet to begin scripting his) and speaks of Dharma’s evolving digital plans. One of the first questions is from a Pakistani fan who wants to know if Johar will ever take a chance on a Pakistani actor again; he is witty and diplomatic as he deflects her with protestations of his own helpless progressivism and effusive praise of Fawad Khan’s talent. Another young woman wants to know his take on Saif Ali Khan’s homophobic witticisms on this season’s Koffee with Karan; a nervous Nehru-vest-clad student organizer pipes up thinly that personal questions are discouraged. “Was that personal?” Johar winks broadly at the roaring audience before choosing to answer by affirming Khan’s liberalism in his personal life.

Once Anupama Chopra arrives, they’re immediately off; the comfort of long familiarity evident by how easily they’re able to launch straight into deeply personal subjects. The talk is as wide ranging as any Karan Johar event based on the always fascinating subject of himself that you might have witnessed before, with Chopra referencing a chapter in Johar’s recent memoir, An Unsuitable Boy, where his mother ticks him off for being mediocre in every respect and how that went on to fuel his discovery of himself as the celebrity we recognize today. He is candid about only attending award shows that pay him to emcee, his fear of eventual and inevitable irrelevance, his love of Hindi film music, that entire scenes of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil have been adapted straight from his failed romances, and his desire to make a film that Chopra will love.

Things then took a turn: Chopra introduced a segment on pay parity in Hindi cinema, pointing out that while she understands the pay scale being pegged to a star’s ability to attract an audience, even newcomers are paid different rates according to gender. Johar immediately distances himself from such practices.

“When it comes to newcomers, I don’t discriminate. When I launched Varun (Dhawan), Sid (Malhotra) and Alia (Bhatt), they all got the same number. Why should there be any kind of disparity in remuneration?” he said to loud applause. “You guys make the men bigger stars. When the audience empowers the women more, I would love to pay Deepika Padukone more than I pay Ranbir Kapoor but the truth of the matter is he opens to a number solo and she opens to a number solo. We have six movie stars in India who’re all men and then we have a few women who are doing really well but they can’t match the numbers or get that opening. They can’t get the economics right – satellite, music, overseas, digital, theatrical. They can’t pull in the same numbers on any of them so there is this disparity.”

Chopra reminds him of Sonam Kapoor’s recent statement that her upcoming project with Kareena Kapoor, Veere di Wedding, was unable to generate a fraction of the funding given to a Varun Dhawan and John Abraham project.

“Because Varun Dhawan is a bigger movie star,” Johar said, flatly matter-of-fact.

Really?” Chopra said.

“Yes,” he said. “Seriously! He has an ABCD that opened to 14 crores. Neerja opened to 4 crores. Dhishoom opened to 11 crores. Sonam is an amazing beauty and a humongously talented girl but she cannot compare on the economics.”

Next came the controversial segment where Johar defended himself from Kangana Ranawat’s accusation on a recent episode of Koffee with Karan that he is the “flag bearer of nepotism” and part of the “movie mafia” that made her early years in the Mumbai film industry a nightmare.

“I just want to say, I’m glad she knows what it all means,” he began, a perfect (and perhaps unintended) callback to Ranawat’s point that Johar was one of those who mocked her relentlessly for her poor English when she first arrived in Mumbai. The crowd erupted in raucous cheers that turned variously into gasps and applause as he went on to list the number of directors with no prior industry links who have been employed by Dharma. Even if Ranawat was talking about actors, he said, the only two industry kids he has given a break to are Alia and Varun, neither of whom are related to him. As for being a member of the so-called movie mafia that excluded her, he said he couldn’t understand the charge – although he considers her to be an outstanding artist who is fully deserving of praise, when it comes to making his films, he felt entitled to his choice of cast.

“I am done with Kangana playing the woman card and the victim card,” he said, to noticeably louder cheers than his statement identifying her as a serious talent. “You cannot always be a victim who has this sad story to tell about being terrorized by this bad industry. Leave it. Who is forcing you to be here? Do something else.”

Later, as the evening came to a close, I overheard a couple seated behind me discussing how much they’d enjoyed the evening and Johar’s frankness. I came home and began to write this article, Googling to see if anyone had uploaded video of the event – and the very first link was the surprise announcement of Johar’s brand new fatherhood via surrogacy. The man had sat five feet from me at an event to discuss himself, interviewed by a woman who plainly felt no qualms asking him sensitive questions, and there hadn’t been so much as a hint of any such thing in the offing. In fact, it apparently came as a surprise to most of his acquaintance who’d attended a well-publicized singles party for Valentine’s Day at his home a mere seven days after his children were born. In hindsight, therefore, the entire event became a whole other exercise in studying how celebrities hide in plain sight and retain the ability to practice discretion when warranted, even in the media-saturated environment of 2017. Celebrity events are a dime a dozen but it is always a pleasure to attend a master class.

by Amrita Rajan.

You can find more of her work on her blog or follow her on twitter!

 

LIF is the first of its kind forum in the UK involving keynote speeches and panel discussions on major economic, political and cultural issues facing contemporary India. The conference serves as a platform for students and young professionals alike to engage with some of India’s leading industrialists, politicians, economists and popular culture icons.

This year, the forum has been segmented into two unique events – the next even will be

LIF – Saturday, 11th March: India – A Superpower in the Making?

 

Dishoom Review Upodcast

New Podcast for your Ear holes! This week we take to task the Buddy Action revival directed by Rohit Shetty starring younger brother Varun Dhawan, John Abraham and Jacqueline Fernandez.

We are joined by Hani from wonderful podcast The Bollywood Project and Sujoy aka @9e3k.

(Here is a link to our appearance on their show)

Will Dishoom enter into the pantheon of other classic buddy cop movies?

Does pack enough punch to Dishoom?

Listen/stream/download to the episode below and find out.

Or Subscribe to our iTunes feed and never miss a show!

Wazir Review Upodcast

Wazir tells the tale of two unlikely friends – a wheelchair-bound chess grandmaster (Amitabh Bachchan) and an ATS officer (Farhan Akhtar). Both are brought together by grief and a strange twist of fate as part of wider conspiracy that has cast a dark shadow over their lives. Wazir is a pulsating thriller, a moving character study and a gripping revenge story.

This episode we are joined by Sujoy Singha, also known as @9e3k on twitter, where we try to be as careful as possible and not reveal anything that isn’t in the trailer or promo’s.

There is a spoiler warning from the 43 min mark, so if you haven’t seen the movie yet, you can still listen up that point.

For those have seen it, let us know what you thought of uPodcast in the comment section below.

You can listen/stream/download the episode below.

Or subscribe to us in iTunes and never miss an episode.

 

 

Varun Dhawan and Kriti Sanon talk Dilwale with Upodcast

Rohit Shetty’s big release, Dilwale,  is just over a week away so ShahRukh Khan, Kajol, Kriti Sanon and Varun Dhawan were in town for a press conference.

Upodcast had the change to sit down with Varun Dhawan and Kriti Sanon and ask the questions that only a nerdy podcast like ours dares ask. (Like debating which Star Wars character Kriti Sanon is Chewbacca or R2D2)

The video of our interview is below but the podcast gives you a bit more behind the scenes gossip as well as the 5 things we learnt segment which quite a few of you like listening to.

Do give us a shout or RT or like if you’re enjoying the interview!

Dilwale is a family entertainer with a perfect blend of action, romance and comedy. The film is produced by Red Chillies Entertainments in association with Rohit Shetty Productions. The film will release on December18th 2015.

You can find our Student of the Year interview by clicking here!

After the press conference the stars headed over to Feltham for a meet and greet and here is some of the craziness that ensued:

BIG BIG BIG thanks to our awesome Twitter Friend @JessicaSisk for all the help on the video editing, we were lost without her! Give her a shout on twitter if you liked the video

You can Download/Stream/Listen to the Podcast episode below.

Raees Teaser and posters!

After the Fan Teaser which was released last week, we now have the first look and teaser trailer of Raees. Shahrukh Khan’s collaboration with Rahul Dholakia whose not worked with any big canvas movies until now.Although the next movie SRK will be releasing is Rohit Shetty’s Dilwale, but like any Rohit Shetty starrer, it’s pretty much money in the bank, both Fan and Raees seem to be riskier propositions. (even if you wonder if having a movie star SRK is ever a risky proposition box office wise anymore)

I do wonder how great of an idea it is to release a trailer of an blackmarket alchohol selling muslim gangster on the most holiest days for Muslims especially when the portrayal of that community is so very skewed already.

But at least SRK makes a Shalwar Kameez and uncle glasses look good!

 

Raees Poster2 Raees Poster

Raees Teaser | Shah Rukh Khan I Nawazuddin Siddiqui I Mahira Khan

Release: EID 2016

Directed by: Rahul Dholakia
Produced by: Ritesh Sidhwani, Gauri Khan and Farhan Akhtar
Written by: Rahul Dholakia, Harit Mehta, Ashish Vashi and Niraj Shukla
Director Of Photography: K.U. Mohanan
Lyrics: Javed Akhtar
Music: Ram Sampath

Karan Johar Press Interview Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania

Karan Johar, brought in fresh faces for his latest rom-com (I think we can all be grateful he took a break from the Imran Khan – Kareena Kapoor combo).

Here is some of the press release:

Bollywood heartthrob Varun Dhawan (Student Of The Year, Main Tera Hero) plays hopeless romantic ‘Humpty Sharma’, an eternally optimistic young man, who is amiably searching for his ‘Dulhania’ (bride). Enter strong-willed, no nonsense Delhi girl ‘Kavya Pratap Singh’ (Alia Bhatt, Student Of The Year, Highway, 2 States). What ensues is a sweet and amusing story, as the ever simple loser in love ‘Humpty’ deploys every means at his disposal to convince ‘Kavya’ that he is her soul mate.

Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania stars Bollywood’s new-kid-on-the-block Varun Dhawan, who made his successful debut with the breakthrough Dharma Productions film Student Of The Year along.Famed for playing the sentimentalist and also renowned for doing his own stunts, Varun is set yet again to show why he is one of Indian cinema’s rising stars in Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania. With charisma and acting talent in abundance, the young actor has already won awards, including the Star Gold and Lions Gold awards, and has been nominated for several ‘newcomer’ accolades.

Bollywood sweetheart, Alia Bhatt, who also made her big-screen debut in the Karan Johar production Student of the Year and received widespread critical acclaim for her role in Highway and 2 States, convincingly plays the main female protagonist, sealing her position as one of Bollywood’s most sought after leading ladies.

Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania is directed by debutant director Shashank Khaitan and is produced by award-winning film-maker Karan Johar.

Here is our favorite Koffee host answering some questions from the “press”.

Q:  Is ‘Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania’ in any way related to the super hit ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’?

A:Our film (‘Humpty Sharma..) is an ode to ‘DDLJ’. One will see glimpses of ‘DDLJ’ but the love story is different from ‘DDLJ’. We have made this film with honesty, integrity (and) with an intention to entertain people.

Q: As a person you seem to be very happy & make a lot of people laugh, but most of your movies make people cry. Why is that?

A: I love crying and to me, cinema crying is very cathartic. I remember when I watched The Namesake with Mr Bachchan. All my pent-up emotions of losing my dad came out, even though, thematically, it had nothing to do with losing a parent. But something triggered an emotion and I just remember weeping. The second time I cried was while watching Taare Zameen Par as I was in boarding school for four days, that too, in the same one shown in the film. I remember my parents leaving me behind there. Seeing the film, I think Niagara Falls had begun and I wept and wept and I called Aamir after the show. The first film I cried was in Ankhiyon Ke Jharokhon Se. I was eight years old and was bawling at the end of it. My mother kept explaining to me how that was not real, but that didn’t stop me from crying.

 

Q: What attracted you to ‘Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania’?Karan Johar

A:I really liked the script and I found it very funny. I also loved the fact that the classic ‘boy-meets-girl’ tale has been made into a unique and quirky youth drama for the modern generation.

 

Q: Alia Bhatt is often being compared to Kareena Kapoor. What is your opinion on the two Bollywood divas?

A:There is only one Kareena Kapoor – I am not only a huge fan of her work but I value her as a friend too. Kareena and Alia are two different people. Kareena has been in the Bollywood industry for a long time now; she has created a tremendous niche for herself and set a bar so high that it’s unfair to compare her with Alia. Alia is charming in her own way and I am sure she will make her own space. You just have to give her some time.

 

Q: You have launched quite a few newcomers to Bollywood – do you think it is much easier being launched rather that doing everything on your own?

A: It is definitely difficult for them. Even though they are very young they have seen pretty much everything now – they have seen success, failure, insecurity and anxiety up, close and personal. They have seen too much that can eat into them. The basic perception is that it is easy, but it is really not. They have a point to prove… there are so many expectations from them. I think film fraternity and star kids have it tougher.

Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania, releases on 11th July 2014

Karan Johar and the cast of Student of the Year Upodcast Interview

For the promotion of Student of the year, Karan Johar accompanied by Sid Malhotra,Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt flew over to London to talk to the UK press and Upodcast was invited.

If you have ever seen a full press conference it’s pretty hard to get a non rehearsed answer out of the celebrities especially so if they have the quick wit and verbal prowess of Karan Johar, nevertheless we had a 1 one 1 interview where we could ask a few more personal questions.

Student of the Year is in theaters from today and I hope you enjoy our interview with Karan and the rest of the cast.

 

Listen or download below or subscribe to Upodcast in iTunes and never miss a show!

 

@asimburney

 

Enhanced by Zemanta