I hope after 'Quantico', Indian actors are taken seriously: Priyanka

M0umbai: She remembers being bullied as a "brownie" in her teenage years in the US. But now Priyanka Chopra, who has landed a key role in American thriller show "Quantico", hopes her new endeavour helps her to break the "stereotype" that global pop culture has made out of Indians, and opens more doors for the country's actors to be taken seriously in the west.

"The fact that 'Quantico' happened was a big win. I just hope it is successful because I really think that it would make a dent in Indian actors being taken seriously. I think," Priyanka said here.

A teaser of "Quantico", which has been picked by ABC, gives ample footage to Priyanka, who essays FBI Agent Alex Parrish. And she even speaks with an accent!

Commenting on her debut in the US TV series, the 32-year-old said she agreed to work in the show only on a condition.

"The fact that she is an Indian should have nothing to do with the story. 'I am an actor, so cast me as an actor' (was my point)... They indeed found me a part where I play a half-Indian, half-Caucasian FBI agent."

"I play an American girl, I have an American accent, and it's nothing related to the stereotyped image of Indians. We are beyond the exorcism, spirituality and yoga... it's there, which is great, but that's not it," said Priyanka, who also broke stereotype when she ventured into the global music scene with her single "In my city".

Some of her past memories of the US -- when she went to study there -- are sour.

“I was bullied a lot when I was in a school in America. A lot of racism happened with me... which is why I came back. I was in high school, only 16 years old. I was called 'Brownie, go back on the boat you came from' and things like that."

“So, when the opportunity of working in the West started coming in, starting with my music, I really wanted to try and bring relevance to Indian talent, because I was given the opportunity,” added the multi-talented former Miss World.

The National Award winning actress, who has made her mark in Bollywood with films like "Fashion", "Mary Kom" and "7 Khoon Maaf", shared that it is important for her that Indian talent be recognised.

"Our accent is made fun of, and we all do not speak like that! We all do not smell of curries, we all are not just nerds who are ugly looking, sitting behind computers...Why... Why do we have Indians stereotyped? We are very proud of our big families, but that doesn't mean that you will see 15 people coming out of one car."

"My point is that in global pop culture we are represented like that. I wanted to break that. It annoyed me that my country is seen only like that."

Sonakshi Sinha to sing at IIFA

New Delhi: “Dabangg” actress Sonakshi Sinha, who will soon be seen as a judge in "Indian Idol Junior", will entertain the audience in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her voice and sing live at the 16th edition of the three-day International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Weekend and Awards in June.

Hosted by actors Ayushmann Khurrana and Parineeti Chopra, IIFA Rocks, an exclusive music extravaganza, will see a host of musical performances by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Mika, Ankit Tiwari, Kanika Kapoor, Javed Ali and the Nooran sisters.

Sonakshi will also exercise her vocal chords at IIFA Rocks on June 5.

“There will be some exciting first-ever at the IIFA Weekend and Awards. Sonakshi Sinha is going to take the stage as a singer at IIFA Rocks,” Sabbas Joseph, director, Wizcraft International Entertainment, the organisers of IIFA, told IANS over phone from Mumbai.

Actresses Jacqueline Fernandez, Aditi Rao Hydari, Lisa Haydon and Lauren Gottlieb will also perform at IIFA Rocks.

Joseph shared that Sonakshi will perform on the awards night June 7 as well.

“On the awards night, we will see performances by Hrithik Roshan, Anushka Sharma, Priyanka Chopra, Farhan Akhtar, Parineeti Chopra, Shraddha Kapoor, Sonakshi and Shahid Kapoor. It will be larger than life, big and spectacular,” he said.

Established in 2000, the International Indian Film Academy was initiated with the aim of celebrating Indian cinema across the world.


Salman to tweet in Hindi and Urdu for fans

Mumbai: Superstar Salman Khan, who is excited to reveal the teaser of his new movie "Bajrangi Bhaijaan", has promised his fans that he will soon start tweeting in Hindi and Urdu.

The “Dabangg” actor took to micro-blogging website Twitter to share his new commitment.

“Also for all my fans, I will soon start tweeting in hindi and urdu also,” Salman tweeted.


Parineeti gets grumpy in morning

It seems actress Parineeti Chopra is not a morning person, or so it seems from a latest image, where she was seen making a grumpy face for having to wake up early.

In the image, the 26-year-old is seen sitting in a car, and sporting a no-makeup look, teamed with a pink full-sleeved T-shirt, which had the message “Cheer up”.

“Even my sweatshirt is telling me to cheer up. Dear sweatshirt, do you realise how early in the morning it is?? #Grumpy #MorningPersonNOT,” Parineeti tweeted.

On the big screen, the actress was last seen in "Kill Dil".


When Farhan Akhtar met Brett Lee

Actor Farhan Akhtar, who is currently busy promoting his forthcoming film "Dil Dhadakne Do", met former Australian cricketer Brett Lee, whom he considers a "cool man".

"Always a pleasure catching up with this cool man... @BrettLee_58," the "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag" actor tweeted along with a photograph of himself with the cricketer.

Farhan was sporting a headband, a black jacket and shorts, while the cricketer was wearing a dark blue shirt and jeans.

I don't care about looking perfect: Melissa McCarthy

Los Angeles: Actress Melissa McCarthy, who is launching her own plus-size clothing line with apparel company Sunrise Brands, is aware that she doesn't always look her best. But she insists she is no longer concerned with other people's perceptions about her.

"I have caught my reflection and thought, Oof. That girl is struggling. That girl is tired. I've had mornings where I'm like, 'Oh God, I have weird hair. I look like Fraggle Rock'.

"(But) who cares if my eyes are puffy because I ate 44 almonds last night? Or my legs are short? To my core, I don't care ... I've let go of that quest for perfection," McCarthy said.

The “Tammy” actress also revealed that she was inspired to design the line as she was sick of feeling segregated from other shoppers because of her dress size, reports femalefirst.co.uk.

"People don't stop at size 12! I feel like there's a big thing missing where you can't dress to your mood above a certain number. (Malls) segregate plus-size,” she said.

“It's an odd thing that you can't go shopping with your friends because your store is upstairs hidden by the tire section, 'We'll put you gals over there because we don't want to see you and you probably don't want to be seen'," she added.

The 44-year-old actress added that she has put all her efforts into the collection, which consists of 80 pieces, from sizes 4 to 28.

"It's pretty consuming. My problem is, I don't hand things off very well. I just figure if it has my name on it and I want to make people feel good about wearing it, I can't pass it off," McCarthy told More magazine.

Lewis Hamilton smitten with Kendall Jenner

Los Angeles: Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton wants to take model Kendall Jenner on a "proper date".

The 30-year-old, who split from Nicole Scherzinger in February after seven years of dating, is reportedly smitten with the 19-year-old, reports femalefirst.co.uk.

Hamilton, who was spotted sunbathing and jet-skiing with the “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” star and her friends, including Gigi Hadid and Hailey Baldwin, on his yacht in Monaco earlier this week, is said to have fallen for her at the 68th Cannes International Film Festival. He also thinks she is "really cute and smart".

“He's single and ready to date seriously again,” UsMagazine.com quoted a source as saying.

Kendall is equally attracted to Hamilton and enjoyed spending the day with him on his boat.

The source added: “Kendall definitely has a major flirtation going on with Lewis and seems into him. They were very flirty all day long. Lewis was spraying water on Kendall with the back of his jet ski and she was loving the attention. They were both laughing and having a great time."


Cooper was 'nervous' before first kiss for film

Los Angeles: Actor Bradley Cooper says he got "nervous" when he had to kiss a girl for the first time on the big screen at the age of 25.

While recalling his earliest acting memories, the 40-year-old said the two things that have stayed with him are how anxious he was about kissing a female co-star for the first time and how awkward he felt when makeup artists wanted to blow dry his hair, reports pagesix.com.

“My earliest screen test was for 'All My Children' or 'One Life To Live' or whatever they called Kelly Ripa's soap opera. Who knows what they tried to turn me into? I remember most they kept blow-drying my hair. I was maybe 25. My action was kissing a girl. Oh, I was so nervous,” Cooper said.

The “American Sniper” star has locked lips with several famous beauties for entertainment purposes since his career took off, including Jennifer Lawrence in “Serena” and Amy Adams in “American Hustle” and he even kissed 93-year-old Betty White for a comedy skit on TV show “Saturday Night Live”.

He has also done his fair share of kissing in real life and was earlier spotted smooching with his new girlfriend model Irina Shayk, in both London and New York City.


Chris Pine in talks for 'Wonder Woman'

Los Angeles: Actor Chris Pine is in negotiations to star in upcoming film “Wonder Woman”, which stars Gal Gadot.

If all goes well, Pine would play Gadot’s love interest Steve Trevor in the film, which will be directed by Patty Jenkins from a script by Jason Fuchs.

"Wonder Woman" will be released in 2017, reports variety.com.

In DC Comics, Steve Trevor was an intelligence officer in the US Army during World War II whose plane crashed on Paradise Island, the isolated homeland of the Amazons. He was nursed back to health by the Amazon princess Diana, who fell in love with him and followed him when he returned to the outside world. There she became Wonder Woman (and also his co-worker, Diana Prince).

Rumours were that Scott Eastwood had landed the part, but sources say that Eastwood was given a choice to test for the Trevor role or sign on for a guaranteed supporting part in “Suicide Squad”, which he opted to take.

Pine, having starred as Captain Kirk in the last two “Star Trek” movies, is no stranger to the fan-boy world, but “Wonder Woman” will mark his first venture into cinema’s most popular genre and should lead to more opportunities in comics Justice League universe.


Rihanna poses with spunky pink gun

Los Angeles: Singer Rihanna has posted a daring photograph in which she is seen posing with a pink gun.

The “Diamonds” hitmaker shared the image on her photo-sharing website Instagram account on May 25, reports aceshowbiz.com

In the image, the singer is seen wearing a green oversized jacket, and she carries a black leather bag, while her red hair is worn down.

The pink gun she carries in the photograph, looks like a drill as it has drill bits-like stuff on its muzzle.

The 27-year-old singer captioned the picture: "Brainwashed."

Edward Maya takes Bollywood turn for Indian concert

Bengaluru: The beats of electronic dance music (EDM) will amalgamate with tunes of Bollywood when international music composer and performer Edward Maya joins hands with Indian artists like Ankit Tiwari, Kanika Kapoor and Badshah for a concert here on May 30.

Conceptualised by LIVE Viacom18 and Cineyug, the concert titled MTV Bollyland will enliven a musical extravaganza at White Orchid here, read a statement.

DJ Chetas will also enthrall the music lovers with the artists.

The Romanian DJ, musician, producer, performer and composer, Edward, who spiralled his way to success after his first single “Stereo love”, has always been vocal about his love for Indian music.

"I do follow Bollywood. I like Shah Rukh Khan the most," Edward had told IANS earlier.

Edward is now collaborating with Indian singers like Sona Mohapatra for “Shab”.

Tiwari, known for numbers like “Sunn raha hai na tu”, “Galliyan”; while Kapoor, who gave the groovy “Baby doll” along with Badshah will collaborate with DJ Chetas of "Chaar bottle vodka” and will mesmerise the crowd, read a statement.

MTV Bollyland is a property that sees the fusion of popular Bollywood soundtracks with heady electronic beats, aimed to create a unique experience meant to keep dancers tapping their feet.


Jyotika and I may act together next year: Suriya

Chennai: Actor-producer Suriya says he may act alongside his actress-wife Jyotika in a Tamil project next year. The duo has been reading scripts over the last few months for their comeback on screen.

Suriya and Jyotika were last seen on screen in 2006 Tamil romantic-drama "Sillunu Oru Kadhal".

"Talks are on. We are listening to scripts and if everything goes as planned, we may act together next year," Suriya said at the success meet of Jyotika's comeback film "36 Vayadhinile".

He is extremely elated with the response to "36 Vayadhinile", which is also his maiden production venture.

"The response has been phenomenal. Jo (Jyotika) has been getting so many calls ever since the film released. The film has also done well at the box office and we're thankful to everybody," he said.

"My parents said Jo is a better actor than me and that only makes me proud. With this film, I think she has proved it," Suriya added.

"36 Vayadhinile", which was directed by Rosshan Andrrews, has raked in over Rs.10 crore in over two weeks since its release.

Subhash Ghai to be honoured with IIFA lifetime achievement award

New Delhi: Writer-filmmaker Subhash Ghai, known for making movies like "Karz" and "Taal", will be conferred the lifetime achievement award at the 16th edition of the three-day International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Weekend and Awards, to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in June.

"Subhashji will be conferred with the lifetime achievement honour for his outstanding contribution to Indian cinema," Sabbas Joseph, director, Wizcraft International Entertainment, the organisers of IIFA, told IANS over phone from Mumbai.

The award, called Outstanding Contribution to Indian Cinema, will be handed over to the filmmaker on the awards night June 7.

"Lifetime achievement... sometimes for many people, it signifies the end of a person’s career whereas we have people who continue to contribute in a large way. That’s why ‘outstanding contribution’ seems more appropriate,” said Joseph.

The 70-year-old filmmaker, who has also made movies like "Hero", "Karma", "Saudagar", "Khalnayak" and "Pardes", is these days mostly tied up with activities at his Whistling Woods International Film School.

His last directorial “Kaanchi: The Unbreakable” released last year and bombed at the box office, and now he is co-producing the remake of his film "Hero".


'Indian' sequel on the cards: A.M. Rathnam

Chennai: Producer A.M. Rathnam says the sequel to critically acclaimed Tamil blockbuster "Indian" is in the offing.

He added that talks with filmmaker Shankar have been initiated, but it is still not sure when the project will go on the floors.

"I recently met Shankar and discussed the possibility of a sequel to 'Indian'. Since he's busy with 'Enthiran 2', the project is unlikely to happen soon," Rathnam told IANS.

Shankar-directed "Indian" featured Kamal Haasan in the title role. It was about a man who takes corruption head on.

Asked if the sequel will feature Haasan in the lead, Rathnam said: "It's too early to talk about it."

Rathnam also said he is planning to bag the theatrical version of Shankar's "Enthiran 2" with superstar Rajinikanth.

'Terminator Genisys' to release in India on July 3

New Delhi: Hollywood star Arnold Schwarzenegger will be back with more action, thrill and adrenaline pumping stunts through “Terminator Genisys”. His latest science-fiction horror action film of the popular franchise will hit the screens in India on July 3.

“Terminator Genisys”, which also stars Emilia Clarke, Jason Clarke and Jai Courtney, is the fifth instalment in the "Terminator" series. The film opens in the future, making the audience part of a relentless race through various time zones along with the Terminators.

Produced by Skydance Productions, the film will be distributed by Viacom18 Motion Pictures due to their strategic alliance with Paramount Pictures, read a statement.

The film will bring forward the fight between humanity with machines for survival. The film's director Alan Taylor said that it was the futuristic appeal around the film franchise that made him opt for the project.

"I had just come off my first big movie experience with 'Thor: The Dark World' and had mixed feelings in many ways about getting involved in another large production, but I couldn't say 'no' to 'Terminator Genisys'.

"First of all I was drawn to the themes that were already very strong in Cameron's (franchise creator James Cameron) first two movies, even though they were big budget action films, as they were very pressing and still relevant today in regards to what it means to be human," Taylor said in a statement.


SRK, Aamir promote 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan', Salman 'touched'

Mumbai: Superstar Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan's gesture of promoting “Bajrangi Bhaijaan” has touched the “Dabangg” actor Salman Khan, who has “thanked” his colleagues for supporting his forthcoming film.

Both Shah Rukh and Aamir shared the first look of "Bajrangi Bhaijaan" on their respective social media pages.

The “extremely happy” Salman took to micro-blogging website Twitter on Wednesday, and wrote: “Thanking sharukh n amir for the 1st look of bajrangi bhaijaan. V touched n extremely happy. God's give them n thr fans all the happiness.”

The first look of “Bajrangi Bhaijaan” focusses on only a peek-a-boo into Salman's look. One can make out that he sports a rugged and intense look with a stubble. But it's a silver locket dangling from his neck that has grabbed all the attention.

The 49-year-old also shared that the teaser of his much anticipated film would be releasing on Thursday night.

“Bajrangi Bhaijaan ka namaste, aapko! #BBTeaserTonight @BBThisEid,” he tweeted.

Directed by Kabir Khan, "Bajrangi Bhaijaan" is extensively shot in Kashmir, Mandawa and Delhi. The movie narrates the tale of a Muslim boy and a Brahmin girl, essayed by Kareena Kapoor Khan.


Guerrilla filmmaking for Nara Rohit's 'Appatlo Okkadundevadu'

Chennai: Filmmaker Sagar Chandra says his next Telugu directorial "Appatlo Okkadundevadu", which is based on true events, will be predominantly shot using guerrilla style as a lot of shooting will take place in real locations.

"Most of the film's shooting will take place in live locations of old Hyderabad. It's impossible to go there and shoot as a film crew. Hence, we've decided to use guerrilla style to shoot. It's going to be tough, but that's the only way to do it," Chandra told IANS.

"One of the reasons I'm planning to cast mostly newcomers, including the heroines, is because I can easily shoot with them in real locations," he said.

The film features Nara Rohit in the lead, while Sri Vishnu plays one of the leads.

It is based on events that transpired between the years 1992 and 1996 in Hyderabad.

"It's inspired from true events that happened during this time period. I have fictionalised these events for the screen. It's partly based on a crime biography. I can't reveal more at this moment," Chandra said.

"The story will revolve around Rohit and Vishnu. We're on the lookout for two heroines. We're also in talks with a popular Kannada actress to play the role of a sister. We should be able to finalise the cast in a week's time," he added.

Known for directing the underrated 2012 Telugu drama "Ayyare", Chandra says "Appatlo..." will be "very different".

He adds that recreating the bygone years will be a major challenge.

"The entire topography of Hyderabad has changed. Its people have also changed. I need to keep all that in mind when we start shooting. It will be tough to make a 100 percent foolproof film, but we'll try our best to do justice to the time period in the story," he said.

The movie will be officially launched in the first week of June, followed by regular shooting.


Pratyusha Banerjee to play Parinda in 'Gulmohar Grand'

Mumbai: TV actress Pratyusha Banerjee, who found popularity via "Balika Vadhu", has now landed a role in new show “Gulmohar Grand”. She will play a rich businessman's daughter named Parinda.

Her character will be seen as a guest in a hotel named “Gulmohar Grand”, where her marriage is due to be held.

“Here I'm playing the character of girl who has come to the hotel with her parents and relatives who are forcing her to get married. Since it's against her wishes, she runs away,” Pratyusha told IANS about her role in the new show on TV channel Star Plus.

The actress says her role is very different from what she has done in the past.

"The audience will get to see a lot of quality work which is not seen in normal daily soaps," added the 23-year-old, who will be seen as a bride-to-be.

“Gulmohar Grand" is a mini series where each episode is a story in itself. The cast consists of actors like Gaurav Chopra, Aakanksha Singh and Deven Bhojani.


Nepal earthquake recreated on 'Yeh Hai Mohabbatein'

Mumbai: Actress Divyanka Tripathi has shot a sequence, which is inspired by the April earthquake in Nepal, for the soap opera “Yeh Hai Mohabbatein”. She says she wanted to do “complete justice” to the sequence as it was a very “sensitive” issue.

According to a source, the creative team decided to add a track of the same, along with a fire sequence.

"The whole sequence including the fire breaking out and the earthquake sequence were quite difficult to shoot. We shot until really late. It's a very sensitive issue that we were tackling and I wanted to do complete justice to it and give the shot my 100 per cent. Even the children, Ruhaanika (Dhawan) and Gautam (Ahuja) have done a fabulous job," Divyanka said in a statement.

The Star Plus show also features Karan Patel and Anita Hassanandani.

The earthquake special episode will be aired on Friday and Saturday.

Award-winning 'Masaan' to release in India on July 24

New Delhi: Neeraj Ghaywan's debut feature "Masaan", which won two prestigious awards at the Cannes International Film Festival earlier this month, will release in India on July 24. The filmmaker says he "never dreamt of this day".

The movie, which follows the stories of four people from a small Indian town and how they fit into the moralities, won the Promising Future Prize and the International Federation of Film Critics (Fipresci) Award at the ongoing festival. Moreover, the film received a five-minute standing ovation at the film gala.

Ghaywan said in a statement: "I wish I could say, 'This is a dream come true'. I never dreamt of this day. This is magical. My first film, produced by the people who inspire me, is a great feeling and now winning these awards, is a feeling one cannot articulate. I am happier for India and my team than myself."

A joint production between Manish Mundra (Drishyam Films), Macassar Productions, Sikhya Entertainment and Phantom Films, "Masaan" was selected in the UnCertain Regard section at the Cannes fest.

Ghaywan said that a "win in the official selection has been long overdue for India and we have a double win".

"For so many years, indie supporters as Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane, Guneet Monga, and now Manish Mundra, have worked immensely towards giving a platform to Indian Indies with the limited resources they had, against the conventional Bollywood structure. This win is an acknowledgement of their stupendous effort for so many years," he added.

The film stars newcomers Vicky Kaushal and Shweta Tripathi and powerhouse performers Richa Chadha and Sanjay Mishra.

“We will now work for 'Masaan' to ensure a successful release globally along with theatrical release in India," said Mundra, while Monga added: "Neeraj is a true talent whose path-breaking work has taken us to the global stage and made us all proud. This is truly the age of Indian cinema arriving to the world."

Motwane believes the awards "reinforce our faith in telling good stories and backing new talent".

"We are thrilled that the team's hard work has paid off and we are fully confident that the Indian audience will love the film as much," he added.


'Inside Out' to release in India on June 26

New Delhi: Disney-Pixar's animation venture "Inside Out", which received a standing ovation at the 68th Cannes International Film Festival, will hit the screens in India on June 26.

In "Inside Out", Oscar-winning director Pete Docter will take viewers to the most extraordinary location of all -- inside the mind.

The film had a Cannes premiere earlier this month, and it received a warm response.

It traces the growing up of Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Riley is guided by her emotions -- Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith).

Riley is voiced by Kaitlyn Dias, and providing the voices of Mom and Dad are Diane Lane and Kyle MacLachlan.

"The emotions are kind of like the voices in our heads," Docter said in a statement.

"When we were just getting started on this film, we looked around at our kids, friends, co-workers... and we realised that everybody has a default temperament. We all go through periods of being happy or sad, but certain people are just happy or angry or what have you. Riley is one of those happy kids," he added.

I'm lucky to have good genes: Eva Longoria

Los Angeles: Actress Eva Longoria feels "lucky" to have inherited olive skin and a flawless complexion which has kept her looking youthful.

The former “Desperate Housewives” actress has revealed she feels privileged to get genes of her Mexican American parents, Ella and Enrique.

"I'm lucky to have good genetics and great olive skin, so the (ageing) process is not taking its toll on me - yet! That's not to say I won't have thoughts on it when it happens, but it's not on the forefront right now,” femalefirst.co.uk quoted Longoria as saying.

The 40-year-old added she is happy to embrace ageing.

"I am welcoming it. I associate ageing with wisdom, so the more wisdom I gain, the better,” she said.