It’s a good thing they are charming, because they aren’t really anything else. Not famous, not controversial, not really anything. But charming! Very enjoyable people to spend 45 minutes with.
In the Ranveer-Ranbir episode, Karan got the elephant out of the room right away by asking about Deepika. In this episode, he gets the elephant out of the room right away by talking to the camera and acknowledging that there is no good reason for these two people to be on the show at all, let alone together. No, they aren’t dating. No, they don’t have a movie together coming up. No, they aren’t even that scandalous or interesting. They are just fun to talk to!
I guess this is what makes Karan’s show so different from other celebrity talk shows? He can cast people based on what they are like at parties and in downtime at work, not on their “public” connections. And based on that, he knew that Parineeti and Aditya are kind of a kick when they talk together.
So, show starts! And there really is NO romantic chemistry between Parineeti and Aditya. Which is too bad, because the friendship chemistry is great. But they are sitting on opposite sides of the couch, they are laughing at each other, and they don’t try or avoid touching each other. Frankly, Arjun and Varun had more chemistry together.
Although I guess this is kind of a good thing too? To show a man and a woman who really are just friends. And it’s good for their careers too, at least Aditya Roy Kapur’s. Karan asks about romances and sort of dances around acknowledging that Aditya was really absolutely dating Shraddha and no longer is. Aditya dances around it too, but finally says that right now he isn’t in a relationship, he is just “chillin”. Which is a great career move! Based on the hoots and hollers he got for his friendly appearance in Dear Zindagi, my feeling is that his fan-base is rowdy over-sexed young women. And speaking for us, I can say that a girlfriend relationship is about the biggest turn off. Biggest turn on is a devoted and loving husband-wife relationship. But some kind of girlfriend thing where he is unavailable but also not giving us a perfect marriage fantasy, that’s THE WORST. So until Aditya is officially married and posting sappy selfies of himself and his wife and their perfect home, going with “chillin”, as in “you can pretend that if I met you in real life we might have a magical one night stand”, that is optimal career-wise. And appearing on Koffee with a girl who is really just his friend, that helps the fantasy to live on.
What is not so great is the couple of minutes when Karan and Aditya talk about Parineeti like she isn’t there. I HATE that! And I saw it before, with Karan and Shahrukh and Kajol. Just let the woman talk for herself! They are discussing her career and the year or so when she sank into a depression and really had to work on herself to bounce back, and Karan and Aditya both agree that “she’s come out better, she’s in a really good place now”. Well, thanks a lot for your approval! Otherwise Parineeti might never have known how she felt.
(Here. It’s a fun interview if you can get past all the “Kajol does this, Kajol does that, let’s keep discussing her like she isn’t here”)
So, that part was gendered, but the part that wasn’t gendered is when they talked about their bodies, which I LOVED! Both Parineeti and Aditya were very open about needing to work on their physic, being willing to take off shirts, and how that has helped their careers. Which is also, by the way, one of my favorite things about Indian film. That there really is some kind of gender parity in terms of body image. Everyone is a sex object, and isn’t that nice?
And speaking of bodies and sex objects, takes them right into discussing the Dream Team tour, where apparently Varun guilted all the boys into taking off their shirts. And can I just say THANK YOU VARUN!!!! Speaking for myself, you totally made my evening! And Katrina was terrifying, and in charge of all their work-outs. Oh, and Parineeti mentioned that she always watches Katrina songs at the gym to inspire herself. So does EVERY WOMAN I KNOW!!!! Katrina really really needs to get on this and start marketing herself as a weight loss tool.
(Guaranteed to get you to do that extra ten minutes on the treadmill)
Varun was also terrifying, and apparently used to be constantly checking things like the lighting and the stage set up before the show, while everyone else was still in bed because it was still hours to call time. And then there is a quick comment about how Ranveer is like that too.
So, first, THIS IS WHAT MAKES A SUPERSTAR!!! What Varun is doing. Sure, it is bossy and hateful and irritating now, when he is just starting out. But start with this attitude and keep it up, and 10 years from now when he is on top of the industry, people will be begging for his advice. And this behavior is what is going to get him there, knowing every little detail of everything, and making sure there is that tiny little 2% improvement from him pushing just a bit harder. I’m not surprised to hear that Varun and Ranveer are doing it, and Siddharth and Aditya are not.
Second, how boring must Katrina be? They were nice about her, for once, but their niceness was essentially “she gives really good workout and dieting advice”. I don’t want to talk to someone about workout and dieting all the time! What about current affairs, new movies, gossip, ANYTHING ELSE?
Oh and third, from a meta stand point, this interview felt very different from the others, in that it felt more like two people talking from the outside looking in. Yes, they work with super powerful famous people, and see them at parties, but they aren’t going to know the dirty secrets and scandals the way even, say, Varun and Arjun would.
Karan acknowledged at the beginning that they are a Chopra and a Kapur, but not “that” Chopra and Kapur. And it’s true, they don’t even have those family connections. They are sort of under the glass ceiling, close enough to the real power to be able to see it, but cut off. Which is what they kind of acknowledge when Karan asks what it’s like having an “equation” with both Ranbir and Katrina, and Parineeti and Aditya both say that everyone is fine on the surface, but it’s like there are “vibes” no one talks about going on underneath. See, for Varun and Arjun and even Alia, those “vibes” are right there and talked about around the family dinner table and with the friends you grew up with who are now fellow players in the industry.
Huh. It just occurs to me that maybe that is why Parineeti and Aditya are such good friends. Because I do really believe they are friends after seeing this. And maybe it is because they needed a fellow outsider to hang out with at parties and stuff, while everyone else grew up together and is distantly related and is super super “in”, and they are on the outside a little. Plus, it’s a good career move, building those kinds of alliances.
Oh, and do you think it is because they didn’t grow up in the industry that they are terrible with Hindi film history? Karan accused both of them of this, but through out the show it was clear that Parineeti was a little better, while Aditya was just hopeless. See, this is what the “new” industry structure has brought! All these upper upper class boys from non-film families are getting launched, and they don’t know ANYTHING!!!
It’s been the case for years that it’s the upperclass types who get the film launches. And it’s also been the case for years that the upperclasses tend to look down on mainstream Hindi films. But there used to be more of a likelihood that either you had to be secretly film mad to be interested in the industry (like Karan, for instance). And/or because you grew up in a film family, you learned all this stuff by osmosis anyway. But I guess that’s no longer a requirement? You can stroll on set with your 6 month acting workshop in New York and script written in English and gym body, and it doesn’t matter if you have barely even seen Sholay? That’s too bad.