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Diplomacy was given the boot in 2015 as Bollywood stars made it their business to speak their minds and in some cases, bare their souls. No subject was off-limits as actors revealed their deepest fears and follies. tabloid! gives you a round-up of the top nine newsmakers (in no particular order) of 2015 who told their tales, then stood by them and thrived on it ...
Here’s to an actress who revealed her lowest moments in her life — her battle with depression and anxiety — and emerged as India’s sweetheart for that courageous, personal confession. The 29-year-old star redefined the rules of brand management in Bollywood and proved that admitting vulnerability is a marked show of strength in an industry that thrives from showcasing its actors as infallible and flawless.
“During the time I was suffering, I woke up feeling empty, directionless. There were times I’d feel so low, I’d start crying at the drop of a hat … Last year, I was invited to a conclave, ironically to talk about being the number one actress in Bollywood. I’d sit and cry in the hotel room and then go down and give a speech on being successful,” said Padukone.
She was universally embraced for this. But her ‘My Choice’ video for a fashion magazine polarised her fans. Did she or did she not mistake infidelity as empowerment — or did the video that spoke about a woman’s right to choose freely fuel debate about gender equality? However, there were no grey areas as far as her films were concerned.
Padukone’s career saw a meteoric rise in 2015 and stabilised her position as the top star of the year. Her three films this year — Piku with Amitabh Bachchan, Tamasha with her former flame Ranbir Kapoor and Bajirao Mastani with her rumoured boyfriend Ranveer Singh — solidified her position in this industry. She even took on Shah Rukh Khan’s Dilwale (which released on the same day as Bajirao Mastani) at the box office and came out shining.
At the time of going to print, her period romance had a better second week than Khan and Kajol’s glossy romance.
Her parting shot of 2015? A cryptic tweet about a possibility of a Hollywood debut with Vin Diesel in his Hollywood action caper XXX3.
The former Miss World became the first Indian star to headline a TV series in the US: Quantico, about a group of FBI recruits training at an institute in Quantico in Virginia. She plays Alex Parrish, who’s accused of plotting a deadly terrorist attack on US soil. Barring criticism about her new-found American twang, she killed it. She also scored points for powering the diversity drive on American television and has made it to the top five of the People’s Choice Awards 2016.
“I was nervous... period! Firstly I am trying something new, I was attempting it in a whole new geography, I was doing it in a different language from what the audience is used to for my on-screen persona,” Chopra said in an interview with AFP. Known for experimenting with American pop music and her attempts to break into Hollywood, Chopra did not neglect her Bollywood career, either. In the posh Dil Dhadakne Do, a family drama about privileged, dysfunctional Punjabis, she played the polished Ayesha Mehra, trapped in a loveless marriage.
But our favourite was her performance in the period romance Bajirao Mastani. She played the first wife, Kashibai, of the Maratha warrior Peshwa Bajirao, who’s forced to come to terms with her husband’s infidelity. Even though Padukone (Mastani) and Ranveer Singh (Bajirao) played the title roles, Chopra infused her role with grace and gravitas. Her pop music may not have hit the right notes, but her moves in 2015 were spot-on.
Shah Rukh Khan
In Dubai, the Dilwale star swore that he would refrain from making any political remarks because he did not want to get into trouble. The 50-year-old superstar learnt that the hard way this year. He spoke out against the rising religious intolerance in India with: “Religious intolerance, or intolerance of any kind, is the worst thing and will take us to the dark ages.”
His remarks were lauded and loathed and triggered an intense debate in India. A smear campaign was launched against him. The one that stood out was BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya’s vitriolic accusation that Khan’s soul belonged to Pakistan and that he was a traitor. There was even a call to boycott his recent film Dilwale, which has already crossed the Rs1 billion mark. This year also saw him receive an honorary doctorate from the University Of Edinburgh for his contribution to film and philanthropy.
Khan, his family and his fans will never forget 2015.
It’s the year that saw him being convicted by a sessions court of killing a homeless man in a 2002 drunken hit-and-run crash on May 6. Hours later he was granted bail and seven months later, he was cleared of all charges by Bombay High Court. He’s now a free man. His controversial acquittal raised questions about the Indian judiciary and whether the wealthy were insulated against punishment after a crime is committed. Personally, it may be have been a turbulent year for Khan, but on the professional front he was invincible. Bajrangi Bhaijaan, a tale about a devout Hindu helping a young girl from Pakistan reunite with her Muslim family, raked in more than Rs3 billion. His Diwali release Prem Ratan Dhan Payo also emerged a winner at the box office.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
This Bollywood royal ended her five-year sabbatical with the Sanjay Gupta-directed thriller Jazbaa. She played a stiletto-wearing super mum and A-list lawyer who is forced to defend a rapist after her daughter is kidnapped. The thugs wanted her legal expertise in exchange for her child’s freedom. It was an engaging movie that met with mixed reviews, but what gained traction was not her tryst with film.
A jewellery ad campaign for Kalyan Jewellers, which saw her wearing opulent jewellery and reclining against a velvet sofa as a dark-skinned, emaciated child held a parasol above her head, were condemned for its regressive and racist undertones. Her publicist claimed that the actress did not have control over the final layout of the advert and that the original picture was of Rai Bachchan lounging on a sofa. Following the backlash, Kalyan Jewellers apologised and withdrew the campaign. She also began work on director Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, a love story about a young man (Ranbir Kapoor) falling in love with an older woman, played by Rai Bachchan. Pictures of her going de-glam for the biopic of an Indian convict has also been doing the rounds.
His romantic film Shaandaar, about a big, fat Indian wedding set in Yorkshire, had no takers, but his real-life wedding to 21-year-old Mira Rajput had a happier ending. All eyes were glued on the dishy Kapoor, his lovely bride and his low-profile wedding ceremony at a farmhouse. Around 40 invitees — mostly close friends and family — attended the actual nuptials.
However, the reception was a glitzy bash with the who’s who of Bollywood attending. While there was no powerful film such as Haider in 2015 to bolster Kapoor’s career, he remained in the news for posting cute images of his new wife.
How do you understand a phenomenon like Kangana? It’s fairly simple: Just check out some of the statements she has made this year on various platforms. The Tanu Weds Manu 2 actress proved that content is king when her modest-budget (Rs30crore) film recuperated its costs in the opening week. Here’s a look at her top five statements, made by an unapologetic feminist.
On her success: “That’s why it took me 10 years, because I don’t do shows, I don’t go for awards, I don’t dance at weddings and that’s why many agencies abandoned me.”
On fairness products: “I could never understand why should brown people be white… I think the government should ban these products and I have actually said no to many such products and that’s why you see me in very few endorsements. I think these things are sort of instilling an inferiority complex in our youth, in our women, in our men and it’s just stupid.”
On her struggle in Bollywood: “When I started off, they dismissed me as a nobody and today I am who I am because my understanding of myself never changed.”
On women getting their due: “As a woman we don’t have to hope that we get our due. We need to get up and get it ourselves.”
On being the highest-paid actress in Bollywood: “I think the kind of films and roles I do takes a whole year... I think it is justified. At some point, we have to come to that place where we are equally paid. It is a small step... we are headed to that direction.”
She was demonised this year for distracting her cricketer boyfriend Virat Kohli from his game and was blamed for India’s defeat against Australia in the World Cup semi-final match. Her presence jinxed India’s prospect of winning, claimed some cricket fanatics. But the couple stood tall and remained unfazed by these illogical deductions. Fortunately, such bizarre logic wasn’t applied to her when she turned producer this year with the gripping drama NH10. She played a young, ambitious woman who seeks revenge when a freak accident on a highway claims her partner’s life. It was dark and tragic, yet turned out to be a moneyspinner. It subverted the belief that only glossy musicals and superstars such as the Khans guarantee good box-office business. It earned Rs3.5 crore on its opening weekend — good when you consider its total budget was under Rs30crore.
This thinking person’s actor is known to weigh his words carefully and isn’t rash during interviews. But his take on the AIB roast being vulgar and “violent” took many by surprise.
The producer of the adult comedy Delhi Belly, who hadn’t seen the comedy event, also claimed that he chastised his friends Karan Johar and Arjun Kapoor for taking part in such a crass show. But his chaste comments weren’t what gained global attention. But remarks on rising intolerance in India and saying his wife had asked him about the possibility of leaving the country did. While the majority of his industry colleagues supported him, politicians from the ruling party and actors such as Anupam Kher made their displeasure known.
Khan did not apologise and stood by everything he said.
“First let me state categorically that neither I, nor my wife Kiran, have any intention of leaving the country. We never did, and nor would we like to in the future. Anyone implying the opposite has either not seen my interview or is deliberately trying to distort what I have said. India is my country, I love it, I feel fortunate for being born here, and this is where I am staying. Secondly, I stand by everything that I have said in my interview.”
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Source : http://gulfnews.com/tabloid/celebrity/top-bollywood-newsmakers-of-2015-1.1646082