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Thursday,28-October-2021

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Vidya Balan: I did not set out to break stereotypes

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Vidya Balan has time and again challenged Bollywood stereotypes with her roles, living out her characters with power-packed performances. The actress says it was not something that she did consciously.

Ever since she made her Bollywood debut with “Parineeta” in 2005, Vidya has wowed the Hindi audience with her work in films such as “Bhool Bhulaiyaa”, “No One Killed Jessica”, “The Dirty Picture”, “Paa”, “Kahaani”, “Ishqiya”, “Mission Mangal”, “Tumhari Sulu” and “Shakuntala Devi”. She will next be seen in “Newton” maker Amit Masurkar’s “Sherni”, which casts her as a forest officer.

“I did not set out to break stereotypes but I think through my experiences in life, especially as an actor, I have realised I am not going to let anything come in the way of me being an actor,” said Vidya, who has been feted with a National Award and a Padma Shri.

The 42-year-old actress added: “So if you tell me, I am too short to be an actor, too fat to be an actor, I am too bold to be an actor, I am too brazen or too intelligent or whatever, I am just saying random things, I cannot change who I am but I can still find my way.”

“My passion for what I do has seen me through because I really can’t change anything about myself, so I did not set out to break stereotypes. I just said if it doesn’t work, too bad it has to work, because I am going to make it work. It has to work because I want to be an actor,” she added.

The actress, who at the age of 16, starred in the sitcom “Hum Paanch” and essayed the role of the bespectacled Radhika in the sitcom, “did not challenge the stereotype with a conscious mind”.

“So, I think those stereotypes were challenged not consciously but probably unconsciously,” she said.

Currently, she awaits the release of “Sherni”, where she plays an upright forest officer battling social barriers set by the patriarchal society and lackadaisical attitudes within her department.

“Each of us is a Sherni, but it feels wonderful to be called one!” she smiled, and added: “They are all women who derive their identities from the work they do. They are very passionate about the work they do, because I feel I am that woman, too. So, therefore, I steer towards these characters. I like women with purpose and therefore I tend to choose them.”

Vidya added: “The more I look around me, more and more of us are finding that purpose, are living out our dreams. I think it is also a reflection of what’s happening in the world around us because cinema is a reflection of reality.”

“Sherni” is scheduled for a digital release on June 18 on Amazon Prime Video.

Bollywood

Bhumi Pednekar to star opposite Rajkummar Rao in ‘Bheed’

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Actress Bhumi Pednekar will be seen sharing screen space with Rajkummar Rao once again after ‘Badhaai Do’ in the upcoming social drama ‘Bheed’, directed by Anubhav Sinha.

Bhumi said: “Being part of an Anubhav Sinha film is a matter of great honour and privilege. He shares my value system in believing that movies have the power to shift mindsets. As artists, the responsibility of telling such stories lies with us… This is a crackling subject and I can’t wait to get on to the journey of this film.”

The film will be shot across Lucknow. It is expected to go on floors in November as the unit continues their pre-production for the next few weeks.

Sinha said: “Bhumi was the perfect choice for a film of this nature. She is an assured actress and a woman with a mind of her own. That’s the quality this character needs to have. I couldn’t have asked for a better cast. These are performers who not only shine every time they are on screen; they elevate the written word to create magic on screen.”

He feels blessed to have the team he is working with.

Sinha added: “I couldn’t have asked for a better collaborator than Bhushan Kumar who is immensely supportive at every step along the way. He is the kind of visionary who believes in the diversity of cinema and choose to tell stories that are gutsy and off the beaten path.a

‘Bheed’ is jointly produced by Bhushan Kumar’s T-Series and Anubhav Sinha’s Benaras Mediaworks.

Bhushan Kumar added: “Bhumi is a fantastic performer and there couldn’t have been a better choice for the role.”

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Debutante Sharvari: ‘Bunty Aur Babli 2’ is my big-screen debut, have given it my all

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Debutante Sharvari will be seen as the new ‘Babli’ in the comedy ‘Bunty Aur Babli 2’. She says it is her big screen debut and has given it her all.

Sharvari said, “I was honoured that YRF could see me as the new Babli in the film. ‘Babli’ is an iconic character in the history of Indian cinema, thanks to Rani ma’am’s incredible work in the first film. I’m a big fan of her and hope that I have done justice to the role.”

The new actress is being presented in an uber-glam avatar in the film in which she has been paired opposite Siddhant Chaturvedi who plays the new ‘Bunty’.

Sharvari will imbibe all the characteristic traits of Babli — highly intelligent, sassy, always up for a great challenge, and most importantly a supremely talented con-woman. The new Babli is tech-savvy, she is a product of the digital boom and thus, supremely skilled and equipped to pull off intricate cons.

“Since my character is based in today’s times, I have tried to play it in my own way and I only hope that Rani ma’am and the audiences will love my effort. This is my big-screen debut and I have given it my all. I can’t wait to see all the responses that my performance will evoke. I’m keeping my fingers crossed,” she added.

‘Bunty Aur Babli 2’ is an out-and-out family entertainer that is set to release on November 19. The film has been directed by Varun V. Sharma.

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Bombay HC to hear Aryan Khan’s bail plea on Oct 26

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The Bombay High Court on Thursday posted to October 26 the hearing of the bail application of Aryan Khan, arrested in a drugs case by the Narcotics Control Bureau.

The matter came up before Justice N.W. Sambre with Khan’s lawyer Satish Maneshinde seeking urgent hearing on Friday or Monday.

However, Justice Sambre decided to take up the matter on Tuesday next, and Aryan Khan may have to spend five more days in custody.

Khan, the son of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, has challenged a ruling of the Special NDPS Court on Wednesday, rejecting his bail plea, along with co-accused Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha.

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