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Monday,17-May-2021

Bollywood

Actress Rani Mukerji was initially ‘reluctant’ to work in ‘Black’

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The Sanjay Leela Bhansali film Black, starring Amitabh Bachchan and Rani Mukerji, released 16 years ago on this day. Rani, who essayed one of the most challenging roles of her life in the film, surprises you by saying she was initially reluctant to do the role.

“At first I was reluctant to do the film when Sanjay offered me the role. Not because I had any doubts about the film or the character as such, because working with Bhansali is a dream for any actor,” Rani recalled.

She plays the specially-abled girl Michelle McNally, born with visual and hearing impairment. The story traces her bond with her teacher, played by Big B.

“I had already been a huge fan of his work after watching ‘Devdas’. So, for me to get an opportunity to work with Bhansali was huge. However, as an actor, I wasn’t very confident that I would be able to pull off the role that Sanjay was offering me. I discussed this with Sanjay and asked him, ‘are you sure you are asking me to do this role, I think it is a very difficult part, something which I have not even envisaged ever in my life’,” Rani said.

She was “quite intimidated” at first but it was entirely Bhansali’s belief in her that helped them make “Black”.

“When he told me that he believed I would be able to pull off the character and that he would be there with me at every step guiding me through the role, and give me as much help as is I needed to basically study the character of Michelle McNally through the real people who are speech, sight and hearing impaired, I felt confident,” she said.

“Sanjay fulfilled his promise because I actually went through intense training and learning the sign language and interacting with all the impaired people for 6 months and that’s how I was able to then get into the character of Michelle,” Rani added.

She was deeply touched by Dilip Kumar’s kind words for her.

“The fact that when Mr. Dilip Kumar watched the film, he wrote a letter of appreciation for my work and for me — I think that was one of the highest compliments I received as an actor, from an actor of legendary repute like Dilip Kumar. Getting blessings and a pat on my back from a thespian like him is no less than an honour,” she said.

Rani shared that her father, late filmmaker Ram Mukherjee, has worked with Dilip Kumar. The late filmmaker was screenplay writer of Dilip Kumar’s 1964 release, Leader. She has “literally grown up hearing tales about his work and professionalism”.

“I have been a huge fan of his work from childhood. We as a family have always looked up to him as an elder in the family so obviously a letter of appreciation for my work written from him is something I will always cherish,” she said.

Bollywood

Amitabh Bachchan warns against effects of cyclone Tauktae in Mumbai

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Veteran Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan has warned against the effects of cyclone Tauktae in Mumbai.

“The effects of the #CycloneTauktae have begun .. rains in Mumbai .. please be safe and protected .. prayers as ever,” Bachchan tweeted early on Sunday.

He also spoke about the cyclone in a blog post written early on Sunday.

Taking to his blog, Big B wrote: “Cyclone Tauktae in the Arabian Sea intensifies along the Western Coasts of India .. from the South moving up .. the effects of its arrival have begun here in Mumbai with rain as I write .. the preparations for the monsoon rain sheds had just begun so the vulnerability of leaks , is there and the dealing with rain leakages about is a concern .. we try to make some make shift arrangements .. but they are weak and not entirely protective.

“The severity of the monsoons as you all know is massive and all buildings and locations become most vulnerable during those 3-4 months of its presence. The JVPD Scheme is a low lying area and flooding is most imminent .. so.”

Informing about how the cyclone has been named, the veteran actor further wrote: “The word ‘tauktae’ .. the naming of storms cyclones typhoons et all are taken up and suggested by the countries in the region and this name has been given by Myanmar, erstwhile Burma, which is the name of a vocal lizard.”

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Prasoon Joshi reacts after Amitabh Bachchan credits him for poem

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Poet-lyricist Prasoon Joshi has reacted after veteran Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan rectified his error and credited Joshi for the poem which he had recited on social media.

“I feel humbled if my poem ‘Ruke na tu’ can provide support in these difficult times, which has been recited by respected Amit ji with all his heart, as always. Several sites in the internet consider it as a creation of respected late poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan. It is an honour that his craft is reflected in my work. My respect to Ma Saraswati,” Joshi tweeted in Hindi late on Wednesday.

It all began with Amitabh Bachchan reciting the poem “Ruke na tu” on social media on Tuesday and erroneously claiming it as the creation of his father, late poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan.

Bachchan took to social media on Wednesday to rectify the mistake he made the day before and acknowledged in a tweet that the poem is actually written by poet-lyricist Prasoon Joshi.

Bachchan had recited Joshi’s poem in an attempt to encourage frontline workers amid India’s battle with a raging second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Mrunal Thakur: ‘Most important thing is patience’

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Actress Mrunal Thakur says uncertainty is a natural trait if one belongs to the film industry.

“I think the most important thing is patience. As an artiste, you are always curious to perform but the big question is content. You have to choose the right script. I feel pressured (and think) should I choose this script? I feel internally that I can do better but then I feel if I let this script go, will I get more films? This thought keeps bothering me all the time,” she told IANS.

Mrunal has interesting films such as “Toofan”, “Jersey” and “Aankh Micholi” coming up, and says it is important to not take up films just for the sake of having work.

She talks of patience again, while noting that the Covid outbreak has delayed her releases, just like all other films.

“It all depends on how patient you are. It’s been a while after ‘Batla House’, then ‘Ghost Stories’ came, and now ‘Toofan’, ‘Jersey’ and ‘Aankh Micholi’ are taking time. I tell myself every day that I know it is difficult but the wait is worth it. These are special stories and it is an honour to be part of them. These are the kind of films which deserve to be celebrated. The storyline content, screenplay, characters, makers — everything. It is difficult but it’s a game of patience,” she says.

Like everyone else in the industry, Mrunal wants to be part of cinema that is meaningful.

“If I try to hurry up, I may end up taking up scripts just for sake of it. I will end up losing myself. For me, films are an integral part of my life and I want to be associated with a film that will have a message and do good for society in some way or the other,” she sums up.

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