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Kunal Kapoor describes his transformation in ‘The Empire’




Kunal Kapoor will be seen playing the role of Babur, the first Mughal emperor who ruled between 1526-1530 AD, in the upcoming period series ‘The Empire’.

The actor will be showcasing his character’s 25-year-long journey for which he underwent a physical transformation.

‘The Empire’ is a fictional saga of a warrior-turned-king based on books by Alex Rutherford, a pen name of two authors, Diana Preston and her husband Michael Preston. They are known for the six-book historical fiction series ‘Empire of the Moghul’.

Talking exclusively to IANS, Kunal said: “This is the character who doesn’t reach the throne till very, very late in his life. For a large part of the show he is in the forest. It’s a character who goes through a huge journey.”

The 43-year-old added: “From somebody who is a young prince to somebody thrown out of the kingdom and to eventually becoming the emperor. The journey spans about 25 years. So, for me it was very important that I look slightly different physically.”

“Which is why I lost weight and for older parts I put on some weight. So there is a physical distinction between the two characters.”

He did not stop there. Kunal made changes in the voice of the characters.

“The third thing was the change in mindset. The character when he is young is a bit rash and takes decisions which are not thought through as the character becomes older he becomes more thoughtful. The mindset was important,” said the actor, who is married Naina Bachchan, niece of Amitabh Bachchan.

Kunal shared that he has evolved as a person.

“Who I was 20 years back is different from who I am today. There are huge changes from who I am and what I feel so that changes were very important to make,” he said.

Asked about playing a character like Babur, Kunal said: “This is a book by Alex Rutherford and it is an adaptation of that. So, fortunately for us the source material had a lot of information. This is historical fiction and the way that the character is written in the book is very, very detailed.”

He credits the show’s director Mitakshara Kumar for making a strong script for ‘The Empire’.

Kunal said: “Sometimes what happens is when a director comes on board and adapts a book the script fails in comparison to the book. But fortunately for us our director Mitakshara took the script and the book and made the script better than the book was.

“So, she has written the characters in such a detailed way that there was no requirement for me to do research out of that except to understand the time.”

The ‘Rang De Basanti’ actor is feeling nervous and excited for the release of the show.

“It is a combination of nervousness and excitement. The trailer has been very well received and I hope that the show lives up to the expectations,” he said.

Directed by and produced by Monisha Advani and Madhu Bhojwani, ‘The Empire’ will be released on Disney+ Hotstar.


Ekta Kapoor has her plate full with 24 projects lined up for 2022




After a successful 2021 marked by a string of interesting projects and a Padma Shri win, Ekta Kapoor is all set to crank it up a notch in 2022 with more than 24 projects in the pipeline.

Some of the projects have been shot and are ready to release while some are still at the development stage.

Talking about the 2022 content calendar, Ekta says, “I am very excited to announce that my team and I are all set to release more than 24 projects in 2022. We have some amazing content ready to release across various platforms be it theatres, web shows or TV channels.”

Commenting about her production house’s tryst with experimentation, she adds, “We at Balaji have always believed in experimenting when it comes to providing entertainment to the audiences and with our upcoming projects we have tried to take the level a notch higher.”

ALTBalaji, which is the digital arm of Ekta’s production house will dole out projects like ‘#hashtagwarss’, ‘Verdict 2’, ‘Mentalhood S2’, ‘Apharan 2’, ‘Bois Locker Room’, ‘Class of 2021’, ‘Baarish 3’, ‘Band aid’, ‘Paurashpur Season 2’, ‘Bank Heist’, ‘A Cold Mess’ and ‘Farrey’.

In the TV space, shows like ‘Naagin 6’, ‘Kasam Tere Pyaar Ki 2’, ‘Kahan Hum Chale’, ‘Itna Karo na mujhe pyaar 2’ will be broadcast soon.

Coming to films, Balaji Motion Pictures’s slate looks packed with interesting projects like ‘Ek Villain Returns’, ‘Freddy’, ‘U turn’, Hansal Mehta’s untitled thriller, ‘Jersey’, ‘Goodbye’, ‘KTina’, ‘Shehzada’, ‘Shootout at Byculla’, ‘Dobaara’ and ‘LSD 2’.

Ekta is set to work with some of the biggest names in the industry like Amitabh Bachchan, John Abraham, Neena Gupta, Disha Patani, Kareena Kapoor, Hansal Mehta and many more in the coming year.

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Kriti Sanon joins the cast of ‘Shehzada’ in Delhi




Fresh from the success of ‘Hum Do Hamare Do’, Kriti Sanon has joined the starcast of ‘Shehzada’ in Delhi for the film’s second schedule.

The film is being helmed by Rohit Dhawan, who flagged off its Delhi schedule a few days back with Kartik Aaryan and Paresh Rawal.

After wrapping her work in London, Kriti Sanon joined the film crew this morning. The actress made an announcement with regards to this through her social media as she shared a boomerang of the clapboard in her Instagram story and wrote, “Shehzadi in the house.”

Talking about the development, producer Bhushan Kumar said, “We are glad to have Kriti Sanon on our Delhi set. The actress has an infectious energy. She will essay a never-before-seen character in the film. I am sure the audience will enjoy her performance on screen.”

Co-producer Aman Gill added, “Kriti Sanon is one of the most collaborative actresses. I am looking forward to working with her on our Delhi schedule. Till now, we have had a lot of fun shooting here, and I am sure the actress will add a punch of more excitement.”

Earlier, ‘Shehzada’ wrapped its 20-day first schedule in a palatial mansion set in the Film City, Mumbai. The team will now shoot some key sequences in Old Delhi, the filming for which is already underway around Jama Masjid.

In addition to Kriti Sanon, Kartik Aaryan and Paresh Rawal, ‘Shehzada’ also stars Manisha Koirala, Ronit Roy and Sachin Khedekar in key roles. The film produced by Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Allu Arvind, S. Radha Krishna and Aman Gill, will feature music by Pritam, and will release in November, 2022.

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Padmini Kolhapure: It’s an honour to sing Lata Mangeshkar’s ‘Yeh Galiyan Yeh Chaubara’




 After her comeback with ‘Dil Bekaraar’, veteran actress Padmini Kolhapure has sung the new version of the iconic song ‘Yeh Galiyan Yeh Chaubara’.

The label released an endearing image depicting the ideal mother-daughter bond from childhood to the day of the young girl’s marriage.

Speaking on the same, Padmini says, “The emotions that a mother goes through when her daughter gets married is not something that can be put in words. From happiness to sorrow to a feeling of emptiness, one feels so many things at one time. ‘Ye Galiyan Ye Chaubara’ is a rendition of all those feelings”.

The song which was originally sung by Lata Mangeshkar, is from Padmini’s highly acclaimed film ‘Prem Rog’ which was directed by Raj Kapoor.

Describing the experience of working on the iconic track, the actress says, “It was like an emotional roller coaster to sing the same song and I am so proud of the way it has shaped up. There is no bigger honour than being able to give voice to a song that was sung by Lata Ji. I am excited to see how the audiences react to the video as well.”

The re-created version of the song is presented by Saregama and Dhamaka Records and will hit the airwaves on December 6.

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