Truly a Rockstar

Frustrated with Shahid’s tantrums, director Punit Malhotra apparently went crying to producer Karan Johar, and was thrilled to bits when the actor finally decided he wasn’t going to do the film. It’s a done deal. Ranbir Kapoor will star in Bombay Velvet, Anurag Kashyap’s ambitious passion project set in the 1960s. Aamir Khan was originally said to star in the thriller, and Band Baaja Baaraat leading man Ranveer Singh’s name was also tossed around recently. When Ranveer got busy with Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film, Kashyap reportedly approached Ranbir, who is believed to have said ‘yes’ immediately. The actor apparently told Kashyap that he loved the script, and that he’d been looking for an opportunity to challenge himself.

Say what you will about Ranbir’s insatiable sexual appetite, but the guy cannot be faulted for his brave movie choices. After starring in Imtiaz Ali’s anything-but-predictable Rockstar last year, we’ll see him play a deaf-mute man who takes up with a mentally challenged girl in Anurag Basu’s Barfi this year. Only days from now, he’s expected to start shooting Wake Up Sid director Ayan Mukherjee’s Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, a road-trip movie set in north India that also stars Deepika Padukone, Aditya Roy Kapoor and Kalki Koechlin. And there’s also talk of his starring in Rajkumar Hirani’s next.

Sometime next year, Ranbir could also be filming the adaptation of Chetan Bhagat’s Two States, a film he’s committed to doing for producer Sajid Nadiadwala, who snapped up the book’s rights and originally cast Shah Rukh Khan in the project under Vishal Bharadwaj’s direction. Now that Ranbir is to star in it, there’s a very good chance it could be Farah Khan in the director’s chair.

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Star Airs Strike Again

Shahid Kapoor, who was recently approached by I Hate Luv Storys director Punit Malhotra to star in a rom-com he’s directing, allegedly drove the young filmmaker nuts with all his crazy flip-flops. Story goes that one day he was keen to do the film, and the next he wasn’t too sure. His list of script changes only kept increasing by the day, and he wanted to provide inputs on the film’s casting too.

Frustrated with Shahid’s tantrums, Malhotra apparently went crying to producer Karan Johar, and was thrilled to bits when the actor finally decided he wasn’t going to do the film. A source within UTV also reveals they couldn’t put together a project with Shahid recently because the actor insisted on the right to the film’s ‘final cut’, or approval of its final edit, over the authority of the director and studio.

Currently, Shahid is committed to starring in Band Baaja Baaraat and Ladies vs Ricky Bahl director Maneesh Sharma’s next for Yash Raj Films, where he can’t possibly make any such demands, given that Aditya Chopra takes the final call on just about everything.

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Director Non Grata

He directed what is considered the best Hindi film in the past dozen years or so. And yet, if the industry grapevine is to be believed, he’s having a hard time finding actors who’re willing to work with him now. Even B-level heroines have apparently been avoiding his calls because the filmmaker refuses to pay them their market price, and can’t even deliver hits anymore.

His last two releases were major box-office turkeys and received scathing reviews from critics. At least two studios have decided internally that they don’t want to be in business with him anymore, after being sucked dry financially the last time they worked with him. And perhaps most awkward of all is that even assistant directors are nervous about seeking employment with him.

Turns out the filmmaker’s wife keeps a firm eye on the set food consumed by assistants, and at one point even rationed out rotis during lunch break. One former assistant reveals that a leading male star often sent his staff out to buy the assistant directors McDonald’s burgers because he was aware that they weren’t being fed enough while they were shooting on the outskirts of the city.

Currently working on a thriller, the filmmaker has already cast his male lead—a popular senior star—but cannot seem to get any actress to commit herself to the project. Those who’ve worked with him previously won’t even listen to a narration, and others have heard too many horror stories to take a chance themselves.

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