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Priyanka Chopra side-steps question on Padmavati after advising fans to ‘be fearless’

Bollywood’s global icon Priyanka Chopra has definitely made her mark both on the national and international platform with a bevy of films, shows, brand endorsements, commercials to her credit. She has won multiple awards for her performance in Bollywood films as well as for her successful stint on ABC’s hit show Quantico.

The actress was at the Penguin Annual Lecture in New Delhi on 26 December when she spoke about a number of topics ranging from pay disparity, casting couch and sexual harassment in Bollywood to her dreams, upcoming projects etc.

Priyanka Chopra arrives at the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

Priyanka Chopra at the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards in 2016, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. AP/Richard Shotwell

But when asked about her opinions on the outrage that Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati faced this year, Chopra simply veered away saying, “Why aren’t these questions asked to politicians? What can I do as an actor?”, reports The Print.

That was a rather conflicting move by the actress who strongly spoke about her being fearless and demanded her fans to be feisty as well.

“I am very fierce. People are a little bit scared of me. When I walk into a room, I make sure that no one can… Yes, I have had situations when I have been thrown out of films because someone else was recommended… A girlfriend was recommended after I was signed for a movie. So, that’s an abuse of power… Girlfriend of the hero or girlfriend of the director. I couldn’t do anything about it. I was removed last minute from many such situations because I never catered to the whims and fancies of powerful men. I only cater to my colleagues and friends who give me respect.”

“I was treated in a different way because I commanded that, and it was because I had the strength and support of my family,” said the 35-year-old actress, whose last Bollywood appearance was in Bhansali’s 2015 film Bajirao Mastani.

She further spoke about how her dream has always been about achieving the intangible joy of leaving behind a legacy.

“It’s not about whether I want a car or want so many zeros on my cheque. For me, it has always been bigger than that… There’s a bigger picture,” she said.

So, do those zeroes matter? “Yes. Because I work very hard for them. And I wasn’t born with a silver spoon, though my parents always gave me one. I always worked very hard to be where I am and I think each one of us deserves to be compensated for it,” says Chopra who was recently featured on Forbes’ Top 100 Celebrity List. She was the only woman in the list of Top 10 Indians.

“But it was funny because there are so many people who talk about the kind of numbers that I apparently get for certain minutes of my time,” she said, taking a dig at reports that she charged Rs 5 crore for her five-minute performance at the Zee Cine Awards earlier this month in Mumbai.

“The boys are never asked this question. Their zeroes are ridiculous. Have you even seen the zeroes that they get on their cheques? We should be celebrating that at least there’s one girl who has gone out there.”

Priyanka Chopra arrives at the 74th annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Priyanka Chopra at the 74th annual Golden Globe Awards in 2017. AP/Jordan Strauss

Raising a question on gender pay gap, the UNICEF goodwill ambassador said: “I am very proud of myself that I have had the ability to work so hard that I can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with my male counterparts in the top 10 of India, but at the same time, there’s a question — Why is there just one of me when there are so many of them in that industry.”

Chopra looked bright and lovely in a shocking pink jumpsuit, delivered a motivational lecture at the Siri Fort Auditorium, which had full attendance. She received a standing ovation for being what she called her “witty and sassy” style of interacting with people.

During her lecture, she shared “PC’s 12 rules of being the best version of yourself”, urging fans to be greedy for ambitions, to not compromise, to fail and rise like a phoenix and to always remember where you came from, among other things.

Speaking about sexual harassment in the movie industry, Chopra said, “I think it has struck a chord with everyone in the world. You have all seen what happened with the Me Too hashtag. It was not just restricted to the US… It went all over the world.

“Different countries have different cultural boundaries. Meryl Streep can stand up and talk against the President over there (in US). They can sell anti-Trump memorabilia outside his house. It’s just a different way we live in our nation and we need to respect it.”

Chopra further said the situation will change in India when the next generation is taught to respect a woman.

“I wouldn’t call women victims, I would call them survivors. But there shouldn’t be a world where women have to survive, there should be a world where women thrive.”

When the anchor pointed out to the National Award-winning actress that author Shobhaa De commented that “look at how many (Weinsteins) there are in Bollywood”, the actress said in a witty way: “She seems to know a lot about it more… Why are you asking me?”

(With inputs from IANS)


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Diljit Dosanjh on picking projects in Hindi films: ‘Unlike in Punjab, I’m not in a position to choose roles in Bollywood’

A few years ago people would wonder whether a turbaned sikh guy could be a mainstream Bollywood hero but Diljit Dosanjh has put those doubts to rest. Not only is the singer-actor having back to back releases in Bollywood but is also being cast opposite A-list heroines. After making a promising debut and an earnest performance in Udta Punjab opposite Kareena Kapoor, he was seen with Anushka Sharma in Phillauri. In his upcoming release, Welcome To New York, he will be seen with Sonakshi Sinha and then with Taapsee Pannu in Soorma, a biopic on hockey player Sandeep Singh, which will hit the theatres in June. He is currently shooting with Kriti Sanon for Arjun Patiala.

Diljit Dosanjh. Image from Twitter/@diljitdosanjh

Diljit Dosanjh. Image from Twitter/@diljitdosanjh

Naturally, Diljit’s confidence has taken a boost. In his initial days, he would have probably wondered in self doubt when asked if there was a limitation to the kind of roles offered to him, but today he confidently states in a mix of Hindi and Punjabi, “Isn’t there a turbanator in every field? Sikhs are there in Navy, Army, the police force…there is no profession left where there is no sikh. So how can I have any such limitations?”

He further adds, “In the beginning when I started with music in Punjab and was keen on acting as well, people would dismiss me saying it wasn’t possible as no sikh had ever been seen as a Punjabi film hero and that I should be restricted to music. My first Punjabi film didn’t but I slowly started delivering hits, some of which even became top grossers. (Diljit has been appreciated for his versatile performances in Punjabi films like the Jatt & Juliet series, Punjab 1984 and Ambarsariya). Later, people said that I won’t be successful in Bollywood because I wear a turban, but my turban helped me get films here.”

Not easily accessible and also considered media-shy, Firstpost tracks him down on the sets of the singing reality show, Rising Star, where the jovial and happy go lucky jatt is the centre of attention. He is in the midst of young singers and some big names from the music industry – Shankar Mahadevan and Monali Thakur. Sporting a shiny yellow jacket and black turban, Diljit seems to be enjoying every bit of it. “I am enjoying both, acting as well as singing, I just wanted to do some good work which I am doing, let’s see where my life takes me. I enjoy each day of my life. Sometimes I have my mood swings but I still try to maintain a balance,” says the singing star, who candidly talks about his upcoming stage-show reality film, Welcome To New York which is based on an award show. “There are so many actors in it, and I, too, have a small part. But if you ask me the experience of doing the film, I really didn’t understand anything. I don’t know how they shot the film in so much chaos. I have no idea. It was difficult to shoot but I kept taking orders from the director and went on doing what I was told,” he laughs.

Known for his rustic charm and simplicity, Diljit might have a lot in the pipeline, but he isn’t someone who would succumb to stereotypes. He wants to do roles that are integral to the story. “I won’t do as many films now. It is just that I had lesser commitments and hence I can be seen in so many films. Last year I refused three to four films. If I don’t like anything I say no to it. Even in Punjab, I did just one film a year and I will follow the same in Bollywood provided I am offered one. I am in no hurry, no greed, as I am getting more than what I am capable of. I would like to use the remaining time on my singing and churn out more Punjabi films for my fans. I also have fans in the US, UK, Canada and I would like to continue doing stage shows for them. Whatever I have to say from my heart, I do it through Punjabi music,” he says without displaying an ounce of stardom.

“I enjoy making music more because there are no limitations as compared to movies. You have a team with who you gel and make music. But the film is not under your control. You listen to the story and script but what finally comes on the canvas could be different, whereas in music you can reject your own composition if you don’t like it and try something different. But films are huge projects; a lot of money is invested and directors have their own point of view,” he adds.

Secondly, Diljit says, he finds more freedom in the choice of movies back home. “I am not in a position to choose roles right now in Bollywood but in Punjabi films I have that choice. Producers are friends there but in Bollywood whatever is being offered I am taking up. My upcoming Punjabi film, Rangroot is on World War I which was something I was passionate about,” he says.

Considering the fact that Diljit never played any sport earlier in his life, one would expect the Shaad Ali-directed Soorma to be one of his most challenging roles of that of a hockey champion. Diljit says jokingly, “When I was a kid, I didn’t get the opportunity to play much sports as my parents would tell me to study. And now when I am getting paid to play so why not? (laughs) But I didn’t face any difficulty while shooting for Soorma. I didn’t have to do much training in the sport, I just had to play the game. I am very happy that in the second year of my acting career in Bollywood I got to do a biopic. Actually, I don’t find my work difficult. Just that when I am acting, I try to feel for the character I’m portraying but every take of mine tends to be different. I don’t treat myself as an actor who has a process, I perform with instinct.”

And even as Bollywood is showering love on him, Diljit prefers to meet people only for work as he doesn’t like “bothering people unnecessarily”. “I don’t stay in touch with industry folks much. I am here only to work. I never got work because of networking or meeting producers in parties. I don’t believe in PR,” signs off the endearing star.

Published Date: Feb 22, 2018 08:57 AM | Updated Date: Feb 22, 2018 08:57 AM


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The Joker origin film, directed by Todd Philips and produced by Martin Scorsese, to roll from 1 May

IANS

Feb,22 2018 09:29 23 IST

Los Angeles: Filmmaker Martin Scorsese’s untitled The Joker origin film is scheduled to start production in May.

Jack Nicholson as the Joker. Image courtesy: Facebook

Jack Nicholson as the Joker. Image courtesy: Facebook

The production house Tracking Board’s Jeff Sneider announced the news on social media. Sneider posted what appears to be a part of a press release which featured the project’s logline and listed a start date of 1 May, reports aceshowbiz.com.

The post, which was shared by him on Wednesday, also revealed the status of three-time Oscar-nominated actor Joaquin Phoenix, who was recently revealed to be in talks with the studio for the role of the Clown Prince of Crime, as “interested”.

Sneider, however, wrote that the details are subject to change. Details on the upcoming Joker origin movie’s plot are currently unknown though the film is set in Gotham City in the early 1980s and has more of the look of a gritty crime drama than comic book movie.

It is also said that the film will be separate from the DC Extended Universe in an effort to create new and unique storylines.

Acclaimed filmmaker Scorsese will serve as a producer for the project. Todd Phillips is set to direct the standalone film from a script he co-wrote with Scott Silver. Release date has not been locked for the Joker stand-alone film yet.

Published Date: Feb 22, 2018 09:29 AM | Updated Date: Feb 22, 2018 09:29 AM

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‘Beyonce needs to auto-tune’, says TV host Wendy Williams; Twitterati roast her for remark

Los Angeles: American TV host Wendy Williams has faced backlash from fans for criticising singer-actress Beyonce Knowles and saying she needs auto-tune.

Beyonce. Image from Twitter.

Beyonce. Image from Twitter.

Williams criticised the singer on her show on Tuesday, where she said, “There are only a few people who can sing raw dog and Fergie is not one, she needs autotune. Jennifer Lopez needs autotune. Janet Jackson needs autotune. Beyonce needs auto-tune.”

Her remarks sparked rage on social media. While one user tweeted, “Wendy Williams, Beyonce has autotune where?”; another posted along with a clip of Beyonce flawlessly hitting high notes during a live performance.

Another shared a clip of the singer at a cappella performance of ‘Halo‘ and wrote, “Wendy Williams: ‘Beyonce needs auto-tune to sing.”

Beyoncé the ONLY!! And I repeat ONLY bitch we got that sounds better than her studio recordings live. And NO I DONT want to hear about your out of breath ass, throat surgery needing, can’t hold a note for dear life faves!!!! I SAID WHAT I FUCKING SAID!!!! pic.twitter.com/Dlw9VlKfRm

— 💎 (@KnowlesCarta) February 21, 2018

With inputs from IANS.

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