Oh there is FUN STUFF today!!!!!!! Talk about contract disputes and filming hierarchies, my favorite! Oh, and also terrible gossip that lets us feel like better people than celebrities and gives that little “zing” of excitement from conspiracy theories.
Manikarnika Leaks Turn Into a Flood
First, Bollywoodhungama has it that the budget has more than doubled, shot up from 60 crore to 125 crore, because the current cut has none of the relationship drama and grounding that was in the original script and the producers are forced to ask for reshoots. (story here)
That’s one story, there’s another one in BH that has THREE separate anonymous sources saying the same things, that Kangana drove the director out despite having no right to do so. And that this is a pattern with her (story here). Source 1:
He was eased out. Krish was expelled. She (Kangana Ranaut) gradually took over the project and the producers meekly complied. She first muscled into the writing, then the direction. It came to a point where Kangana was telling the actors what to do. Krish is no walkover. He has directed many blockbusters in Telugu cinema and done historical epics like Gautamiputra Satakarni and Kanche. He was chosen to direct Manikarnika for his vast experience. How was he to know that he would be so humiliated and pushed out of the project?
This is exactly what Kangana Ranaut had done with Hansal Mehta and Vishal Bhardwaj. During the shooting of Rangoon she tried to muscle her way into the writer and director’s chair. Vishal discontinued the shooting and gave Kangana an ultimatum to either stop interfering with his work or allow him to shut down the film. That’s when she decided to back off. Hansal meekly complied with all her demands and lived to see his film become a mess.
The irony is Krish has shot an amazing film. What he has captured on camera is epic. Kangana has no business stepping in to add her two-bit. It’s like the Taj Mahal getting an extra coat of paint.
And finally, the Simran writer who made a stink back when Kangana insisted on getting credit for his script, has some quick tweets with his take on the situation:
So, basically, this is confirming what we all here have been speculating. Kangana was so out of control she drove the director away and she is holding the producers hostage by threatening not to do promotions and so on.
I am most fascinated by that information about Rangoon! One of the things Karan poked at in his Koffee episode (showing that he must have heard about problems on set), was that Kangana had a confrontational style on set. She was proud of it, she talked about how it isn’t true art unless it comes out of passionate conflict, and Saif looked veeeeeeeery uncomfortable while she was talking. I saw it as a slam at Karan, who is known for his “happy happy all friends” kind of set and filming experiences. And it’s still that too, Kangana just does not seem capable of seeing things from the other side, realizing that what she is saying so definitely is an insult to the other person. But I think it is also Kangana’s perspective on what happened on set, she was creating an environment of artistry and so on and so on, not directly contradicting the director and trying to take over the film.
Abhishek is Perfection
And on the other hand, we have this story about Abhishek from the set of Manmaarziyan. Abhishek did two years as an assistant director before his launch, fairly standard for people who want to be major stars. You need that grounding in the basics before you do anything else. And so when he wanted to get involved in the behind the camera part, he had the experience (story here).
Anurag Kashyap, the director, described what happened:
We shot scenes with Abhishek at a busy place like Ahuja Lassi Centre in Amritsar. It was a crowded street and I had told him that we would shoot him wearing a turban, with hidden cameras and sound equipment. Abhishek agreed and he loved the experience. By the end of the schedule, he had begun to ride on scooters and bikes around the city and was game for such shoots. He was in such a great mood that one day, when he didn’t have a scene to shoot that he decided to assist me. He controlled an entire dhaba full of people for the shot. Since people knew it was him, they tried to get close and take pictures. He even promised to take pictures with all of them once the shot was canned. He took charge of the entire scene so well; I think he was a good AD to have on the set.
Obviously this is promotional spin, they aren’t going to say “Abhishek did terrible”. But in that case, they just wouldn’t say anything at all, right? So they are telling the truth, because there would be no reason to lie when they could just say nothing.
Abhishek, right now, is about as big a star as Kangana. But he isn’t pushing to direct, he is casually asking to stay behind the scenes and watch something interesting because he wants to learn, because he sincerely likes understanding more about the film process. And he has the experience to be helpful, not just in the way. And, obviously, he has no problems being humble and helpful and working with a dhaba of extras under orders of the director instead of insisting on taking control of the whole set.
So, basically, Abhishek is the perfect star you want. Eager to learn, eager to help, and with the knowledge that lets him be legitimately helpful.
Two stories coming out of Jonas-Land. First, Nick Jonas just landed a new film role, doing a voice for the Uglydolls animated film. Also featuring Pitbull, who coincidentally collaberated on the “Exotic” song with Priyanka ages back.
Second, Nick Jonas’ parents are bankrupt. Well, his father’s company. 1 million in debt, declaring bankruptcy. Hmm. I don’t know how common this is in India, but while it isn’t UNCOMMON in America, it is notable. Not something you just brush past as business as usual.
I don’t know enough (or anything really) about American celebrity to make any conclusions here, but from the Indian side, it seems a bit odd to want to marry someone whose father is going bankrupt. And very odd to have a whole big celebration while that is going on. And it also seems weirdly coincidental (or maybe not, I have no idea how small the Hollywood world is) that Priyanka worked with Pitbull 5 years ago on a random studio set up and now Nick Jonas was just hired for a project with him.