Tag Archives: Hollywood

Interview: Deepika Padukone talks about xXx: Return of Xander Cage

 

In xXx: Return of Xander Cage, Bollywood beauty Deepika Padukone stars as Serena Unger, deadly rival turned xXx partner-in-crime in Vin Diesel’s merry band of lethal misfits. Tasked by the NSA’s Jane Marke (Toni Colette) with retrieving ‘Pandora’s Box’ –  a nifty little gadget capable of hijacking and weaponizing satellites – the third installment in the franchise sees Padukone and Diesel (joined by Donnie Yen, Ruby Rose, Nina Dobrev, and Rory McCann) in a race against time to save the day.  

Listed by Forbes as one of the highest paid actresses working today, 31-year-old Deepika Padukone is one of the movie’s most beloved stars in her native India. Her collaboration with co-star Vin Diesel and director DJ Caruso (I Am Number Four) in xXx marks her Hollywood debut.

What’s it like making your Hollywood debut
It’s been so exciting and so much fun. I think this was the most perfect launch of a new film that anyone could have asked for, period, especially considering what a big franchise movie it is and that Serena, my character, has such a strong part – so different from the way we’ve seen women in action films before. I think all of these things made this experience, for me, truly special.

Tell us about your character, Serena Unger, and how you approached her?
I think my approach was pretty organic. For me, Serena is someone who’s very today, very contemporary. And she’s also very relatable. I remember watching action films when I was a little girl and thinking ‘Why am I watching this movie?’ Because there was nothing to relate to. When I read the script of xXx and saw what an important role Serena plays in the story, first as an individual – strong, confident and intelligent – and then how she works with others to form a team and even lead the group when she needs to… Well, I was hooked. She has a lot of fun moments as well and a lot of romantic moments too… I think all of these things make it so, so relatable, especially for women. I think every woman has that strong, heroic voice inside them. I think Serena is the representation of that voice.

(L-R) Vin Diesel as Xander Cage, Deepika Padukone as Serena Unger, and Toni Collette as Jane Marke in xXx: RETURN OF XANDER CAGE by Paramount Pictures and Revolution Studios
(L-R) Vin Diesel as Xander Cage, Deepika Padukone as Serena Unger, and Toni Collette as Jane Marke in xXx: RETURN OF XANDER CAGE by Paramount Pictures and Revolution Studios

It seems like the part was written specifically for you.
In a way, yes… Vin and I had begun working together on another project that didn’t work for logistical reasons. But I had such a great experience when I met him and he remembered me from that when he decided to revive XxX.  And so I didn’t have to audition for the role. It just landed in my lap because I was right for the part. Everyone now, of course, is asking me “How does it feel to represent your country with this film?” I think all of those things are amazing, but as an actor the most important thing is just to fit the part… And so I think that it’s very, very flattering. Especially that when they decided to write the film, they thought of me first.

What kind of training did you do to prepare for it?
The physical part of it was what I needed to focus on most. The character herself was very relatable, as I said. It was something that was very organic. But the gun training, the weapons, the knives – those are the things that I needed to work on. I had done an action film in India before. But it didn’t involve any weapons. The minute you have weapons involved, the kind of focus and concentration that’s required is much more intense. And so to get there, we would rehearse every weekend. We’d film Monday to Friday, and then train over the weekend to make sure we’d get it right.

What was it like working with Vin?
I felt very comfortable. I think it helped that I’d met him before and that we had that connection. So when I walked onto the set, I felt like I already knew him. It was not a new relationship that I had to discover. But also there was DJ Caruso. You know, it’s so important to have a director who believes in you and who keeps feeding you that energy and making you believe that whatever you’re doing is beautiful and amazing. At least, I’m that kind of actor. I need my director to keep telling me that I’m doing well, because that gives me the confidence to do even more. So my sense of confidence and comfort came from Vin, but a lot of it came from DJ as well. It really came from both of them.

MUMBAI, INDIA – JANUARY 12: Vin Diesel and Deepika Padukone attend the Mumbai Fan Event of the Paramount Pictures Title “xXx” on January 12, 2017 at PVR, Phoenix Lower Parel in Mumbai, India. (Photo by Ritam Banerjee /Getty Images for Paramount Pictures)
MUMBAI, INDIA – JANUARY 12: Vin Diesel and Deepika Padukone attend the Mumbai Fan Event of the Paramount Pictures Title “xXx” on January 12, 2017 at PVR, Phoenix Lower Parel in Mumbai, India. (Photo by Ritam Banerjee /Getty Images for Paramount Pictures)

What was the vibe on set like? From what I’ve heard, it sounds like the cast formed a special bond making the movie?
Absolutely, films will come and go but it’s the experience that stays with you forever. We became a real family making this film. And I think everyone really gave their best effort to make the best film possible.

What was it like to be finally filming the action sequences? Is there a particular scene that stands out for you?
There are a couple. First, there’s the one after the grenade sequence where I take down those Russian guys in hand-to-hand combat… I was in so much pain after that day! You know, almost a week after that I still couldn’t move (laughs)… The other fun sequence for me was the one with Ruby Rose, where we’re both firing weapons. We had to train constantly to get all the elements right for that, because we had to be perfectly in synch with each other. That was another really great one for me… In the film it takes place in slow motion. It’s an action sequence, but it almost looks like a beautifully choreographed dance scene.

How does your Hollywood experience compare with your Bollywood one? How are the two different and how are they similar? And how will it affect your career?
They’re exactly the same. The same energy, the same love, the same work, the same enthusiasm, the same ups and downs that any film would go through. I don’t know how my life is going to change after this movie releases. I honestly don’t know if any of that is going to be different. But the filming experience for me was exactly the same as it was back home.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 10: (L-R) Tony Jaa, Nina Dobrev, Donnie Yen, Vin Diesel, Deepika Padukone and Ruby Rose attend the European Premiere of Paramount Pictures' "xXx: Return of Xander Cage" on January 10, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures) *** Local Caption *** Tony Jaa; Nina Dobrev; Donnie Yen; Vin Diesel; Deepika Padukone; Ruby Rose
LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 10: (L-R) Tony Jaa, Nina Dobrev, Donnie Yen, Vin Diesel, Deepika Padukone and Ruby Rose attend the European Premiere of Paramount Pictures’ “xXx: Return of Xander Cage” on January 10, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures) *** Local Caption *** Tony Jaa; Nina Dobrev; Donnie Yen; Vin Diesel; Deepika Padukone; Ruby Rose

We’ve talked about how the part was written with you in mind. Did you have any additional input as to her development before the cameras rolled?
I actually went in a couple of weeks before they needed me to start filming and I remember doing this brainstorming session with the writer and with my director. We sat locked up in my room for an entire day, just going through it, scene by scene. She was already a well written character. But there were certain things that I thought I could add, certain things I could remove, certain feelings or emotions to highlight, which only an actor can do when you step into it and you ask certain questions. So I went through that entire process with the writer and director and I think that for me was the most fruitful experience. Because once we had that out of the way, when I actually started filming, I had no questions. I had no doubts. I knew what I was doing with Serena. I knew where her journey started and where it was going to end.

What was it like watching the finished film for the first time?
My first reaction was that we made such a beautiful movie that’s also entertaining and fun. Obviously, it’s got the adrenaline. But there’s also a socially relevant message there. It’s very difficult, I think, to come across scripts that have both. Sometimes you have films that really have a very strong message, but they’re not very entertaining. And then you have the entertaining films that just leave you feeling nothing. For me, xXx is unique. It has all the action and adventure, and it’s fun. But at the same time, it makes you think. Best of all is how DJ Caruso has blended it all together so seamlessly.

Will there be more films in the franchise? And if so, will you be back for more? Will the franchise continue?
I don’t know. I think it’s too soon to tell. I think we first need to share this film with the world before we can think of anything else… Right now we’re just focusing on sharing this with the world.

XxX: Return of Xander Cage is now in cinemas.

 

 

Interview: “Hollywood and Bollywood are very separate things” – Nargis Fakhri

Spy Nargis FakhriBollywood actress Nargis Fakhri can now be seen in UK cinemas in the new action-comedy film, Spy, also starring Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Rose Byrne, Miranda Hart, Bobby Cannavale, Allison Janney and Jude Law. 

The gorgeous actress plays a small but pivotal role in the film and has a major action sequence with actress McCarthy in the movie. 

Nargis, who was born in New York, made her Bollywood debut opposite Ranbir Kapoor in Imtiaz Ali’s Rockstar and was most recently seen in Main Tera Hero with Varun Dhawan. 

The 35-year-old star recently flew into London to walk the red carpet at the European premiere of Spy, held at Leicester Square, and caught up with BollyNewsUK ahead of her big night.

You have flown in from Kenya. What were you doing there?
Oh My God, I was saving rhinos (Rhinoceros). There is only one left. It was at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Nanyuki, Kenya. He’s the last male northern white rhino in the world. Can you imagine that there will be no more once he dies? There used to be twenty-thousand from the 1960s and now there is only one left. I was there to raise awareness because people should visit the place because it’s an once-in-a-lifetime experience. I was also trying to get people to donate as they’re trying IVF and it’s very costly.

TCopyright - Facebook SPY Movie (3)he last time you were in London to promote a movie was for Rockstar (2011). How has it been so far to be here for Spy?
Wow, that was such a long time ago. I love London and it’s always nice to be here, especially when the weather is nice. It’s really close to Mumbai too as it’s only eight-hours on a flight compared to sixteen-hours to New York or even twenty-four-hours to Los Angeles.

You are represented by CAA KWAN in India, formerly known as KWAN, who joined hands with CAA, one of Hollywood’s top talent agencies, a few years ago. Did ‘Spy’ happen through that association?
No, my agent in London DAA were handling everything in relation to Spy. I actually met Paul Feig, the director, in LA a while back. It was quite surprising that he knew about Bollywood and Indian cinema. He knew about the work that I had done. We were having a meal when he mentioned to me that he will be starting a movie and there is a role that he felt I was perfect for. He asked me whether I would have time for it. I said yes immediately.

Were you worried about how much screen time you’ll get in your debut Hollywood movie?
I have realised that Hollywood and Bollywood are very separate things. They don’t get each other. They have a different way of doing things. I was born in New York City and was exposed to American cinema from a young age. I have friends who are actors, writers and entertainers. I know how hard it is to get into the industry. It’s super hard. You have talented people struggling for years. Yes, same goes for Bollywood but you don’t get judged for having small part in a film in Hollywood. You can have a really small role in one film and be the leading actor in your next. It doesn’t work the same way in Bollywood. If you do a supporting role, you get pigeonholed and only end up doing that. In Bollywood you have to work with the big guys and that’s it. You can’t work with anyone else. I understand that but getting offered this part in Spy with this amazing director and cast was a no-brainer. It doesn’t matter how many minutes I’m on-screen or how big the role is, this is a big deal.

Copyright - Facebook SPY Movie (2)

Was the experience more comfortable for you, compared to working in Hindi movies, because English is your first language?
It was but the sense of humour culturally is very different in India. I get the American sense of humour and even the British one. In Main Tera Hero, we have a scene where Varun sings a bhajan (devotional song) to the beat of Ranbir’s Badtameez Dil. I just didn’t get that (laughs). I really questioned everyone and asked how this is funny? Anupam Kher explained it to and had to associate it with something that I would understand. Then I said, “Oh, that’s funny”. With me, it’s sometimes lost in translation in Bollywood. I literally translate everything and I don’t get the jokes. Then someone has to explain it to me. I am the poor person that has the delayed reaction to a joke (laughs).

Spy Melissa

There is a major action sequence in the film between you and Melissa McCarty. Did you have to prepare a lot?
I had three days of choreography and quite some time over the day going over everything. There were still issues when we filmed it. I hurt myself a few times and Mellisa hurt me a couple of times too. But it turned out alright in the end.

Spy, released by 20th Century Fox, is in UK cinemas now.

This interview was first published in Asian Sunday Newspaper (National). 

 

Watch: ‘Happy Ending’ Trailer

Eros International has released the  official trailer of Happy Ending, directed by Raj & DK. The flim features Saif Ali Khan, Ileana D’Cruz, Kalki Koechlin, Govinda & Ranvir Shorey. The film is produced by Saif Ali Khan, Dinesh Vijan and Sunil Lulla with music composed by Sachin-Jigar.

Synopsis: A Hard core Commitment Phobic , running away from all the I Love You’s best describes Yudi. He may not have a problem with the phrase but the after effects of it are too much for him to handle. An author in his late 30’s, he’s suave, sophisticated and is enjoying his life whilst avoiding any kind of sticky love situations. His claim to fame being a single book written by him years ago which was an instant hit . He hasn’t managed to pen anything in many years since then as he doesn’t have to . He’s got everything that he always wanted – Fame, Money & Girls! Why exert yourself when you have everything you need ?

Happy Ending UK Release Eros InternationalEspecially not like his friend Montu , who fell in love with one woman & married her and then became an Oops father . Why tie yourself down to one woman when you have the buffet at your disposal!

Yudi thanks his lucky stars every time he thinks otherwise.

Sounds like a Happy Ending to us…. But don’t get carried away, it’s just the beginning! Yudis happy life is about to encounter a speed breaker as he’s out of both money & luck.

To make matters worse his ex-girlfriend  who thinks she still is his girlfriend  has him on a tight leash while he’s also trying to compete with Aanchal, A famous and talented love story writer. His only salvation comes in the form of his agent who gets him a gig to write a script for an upcoming  Bollywood comedy. And the hero in this film? Action star extraordinaire Armaan who is looking to  reinvent himself as a lover boy & has enough help from every famous  cosmetic surgeon in the world.

So with such odds against him, what happens to Yudi ? Does love or a Happy Ending Exist at all??  Does he get his Happy Ending after all? “HAPPY ENDING” the Baap of all Romantic comedies which mocks love stories by pointing a finger at love, Puts all Romantic comedies to shame.

Eros International will release the film in UK cinemas on 21 November 2014. 

Akshay Kumar wishes his fans Happy Thanksgiving

Akshay Kumar - GabbarThanksgiving is just around the corner and the whole of America is gearing up to celebrate one of their most cherished celebrations.

 At the intersection between Bollywood and Hollywood stands Akshay Kumar, an A-list Indian star and an unofficial global ambassador for Indian cinema. Akshay has been associated with the US in a number of ways and not just through his associations with Western artists such as Brandon Routh and Sylvester Stallone in Kambakth Ishq, Kylie Minogue in Blue and American musicians such as Ludacris and Snoop Dogg.

Akshay has expressed admiration not just for American talent but also American traditions. Hence, on the joyous occasion of Thanksgiving, Akshay extended his warm wishes to Americans across the world: saying:

 “Here’s wishing everyone in America a very happy and prosperous THANKSGIVING!! May all your prayers be answered, your wishes fulfilled and your Harvests flourish to feed the lives of so many… This is a wonderful time of year, for families to rejoice, to give thanks and to remember how blessed we all are in our own sweet ways… I wish you all a wonderful new year and a scrumptious joyful feast all the way from India ;o) …

Love & Prayers”

Akshay has always made headlines for his dapper looks and in fact very recently got a shout out on American Dad for being ‘the most handsome man in the world’. He was mentioned on the popular American animated comedy ‘American Dad’ by Stan, the lead character who in praise of his son says to him that he looks like Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar. This explains the diversity and popularity of Akshay not just in India but also in America.

 

 

Spotted: Priyanka Chopra at ‘Exotic’ Launch

Indian film actress and global recording artist Priyanka Chopra recently launched the video of her second international single, Exotic – featuring Pitbull, in Mumbai.

The gorgeous superstar launched the music video in Mumbai at Hard Rock Cafe. Watch the video of the launch here:

 

Check out some photos here:

Copyright: Raindrop Media

Raindrop Media

Raindrop Media

 

Photos: Raindrop Media

YRF and Shekhar Kapur to co-produce ‘Paani’

Shekhar Kapur

Shekhar Kapur and Yash Raj Films have joined hands to make Shekhar Kapur’s ambitious project, Paani.

Talking about this association, Shekhar Kapur said, “I have been preparing for this film for a long time, but always wanted an Indian partner that has the same passion for the film as I do and in Adi I have finally found that. It’s a huge production that demands futuristic sets and large action pieces. With Yash Raj Films, I have found a perfect home for Paani“.

The film is based in a future world where wars over water have broken out. Water is now owned by International Corporations who use thirst as a weapon of control. In one such future city, a young love story breaks all the rules and in the ensuing war, water flows back to its people. The film will have a strong Indian and Western star cast, headed by a young leading actor from India and a young leading actress from the west.

The film, produced by Aditya Chopra and directed by Shekhar Kapur, will be shot in India and overseas. Music is by A. R. Rahman.

Paani goes on floor mid-2013.