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Post on Oct 30, 2018
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For Gajraj Rao, Badhaai Ho is no less than a miracle. The actor who has been in the industry for over two decades, and still pursues other interests for financial security, says acting alone is not a lucrative profession unless one is a superstar.

“It’s a miracle, it’s magic,” says Gajraj, not talking about his Badhaai Ho character impregnating his wife at an age when couples cradle their grandchildren. Gajraj is dumbfounded by the success the film has got him. “The calls, the messages, friends and strangers alike are calling from all over the country and from outside. I never imagined this film would change my life and career. But it has. It is all destiny,” said the actor, who has been around since 1998.

He doesn’t see his years of struggle as struggle. “It was not as if acting was my only means of livelihood. I made sure my family didn’t have to suffer the consequences of my passion for acting.”

While pursuing his acting career, Gajraj also dabbled in the business of garment export. He also tried his hand at Hindi journalism for a while. And he owns an ad-making agency Code Red Films. All these pursuits serve as financial security for Gajraj and his family.

“I firmly believe acting cannot be a lucrative profession unless you are a superstar. That a major role in Badhaai Ho has come so late in my career can only be called destiny. I never expected to get a pivotal role like this. It was Ayushmann Khurrana who recommended me for the role. I can’t thank him enough, and the director Amit Sharma and the writers for writing such an interesting role for an actor who has never done a central part before.”

Reminded of the hard-hitting real-life TV crime drama Bhanwar in which he had played a child rapist, Gajraj recalled his beginnings. “It isn’t as if Badhaai Ho is the first role I’ve been recognised for. Off and on for films like Black Friday, Yahaan and No Smoking, I was noticed and praised.

“My last screen appearance was in Meghna Gulzar’s Talvar, where I had a brief but interesting role. And my stint in the web series ‘Tech Conversations With Dad’ for The Viral Fever connected me to the young audience. “But earlier when I was recognised by someone at the airport or at an event, it was like, Aapko maine kahin dekha hai . Then I would launch into my own biodata to tell the person who I am.”

But after Badhaai Ho, he says it is for the first time that he is being called out by his name. “When someone shouted, Gajraj at a public place for the first time, it was music to my ears.”

The world of Kaushik, the character that Gajraj plays in Badhaai Ho, is familiar to him. “My father was in the railways, just like my character in “Badhaai Ho”. I’ve spent all my growing up years in a flat in a railway colony. Doing this film was in many ways a process of reclaiming my past.”

Post on Oct 30, 2018
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Hollywood star Will Smith recently visited India and looking at his posts on various social media handles, it is safe to assume the actor had a blast during his stay in the country. In a Facebook post shared by a user, Smith is seen performing the Hindu ritual of Rudra Abhishek. In the video, Smith is seen pouring milk on the Shiva Linga. However, it’s unclear why the actor is performing the ritual.

During his visit, Smith mingled with the who’s who of the Indian film industry, including stars such as Karan Johar, Ranveer Singh and Tiger Shroff. In fact, Smith shot for one of the dance tracks of Tiger Shroff starrer Student of the Year 2, which also features newbies Tara Sutaria and Ananya Pandey in the lead. He had even shared a photo from the sets of the film with a caption that read, ““On Set in Bollywood!! Shout out to the Cast & Crew of Student of the Year 2.

The actor also posed in front of The Taj Mahal during his visit to India. On the work front, Will Smith is all set to star in Disney’s live-action version of Aladdin.

Post on Oct 30, 2018
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A biopic on southern film industry's adult film star Shakeela will see her play a cameo. Director Indrajit Lankesh is helming the movie, which stars Richa Chadha in the role of Shakeela, who was popular in southern showbiz in the 1990s and continues to work even today.

Before commencing the film's shooting, Richa had a rendezvous with Shakeela in Bengaluru to understand the nuances. Seeing the camaraderie between both the actors and also to honour Shakeela's popularity, Lankesh roped in the real Shakeela for a cameo in the film.

Lankesh said in a statement: "I always wanted to make a film on Shakeela. I was immensely impressed with her on-screen and off screen personality.

"I wanted to portray her story, the hardships and rough phase when she was not getting films and was trying for character roles. I wanted to show the true story behind the superstar Shakeela."

He said Shakeela has been an integral part of the making of the movie as she gave the team detailed insights into her life.

"Even Richa got to spend time with her, understand her style of talking, her body language and such nuances. In fact, when she came on set, she gave us very interesting insights like about our art direction and how her house was and is in real life," Lankesh added.

He said it was nice to shoot Shakeela for the biopic, though this is not the first time he has worked with her.

"I have shot with her in the past for another film of mine in 2003. That sparked an interest in me to make a film on her and in 2015 after conceiving the idea of making a film on her, I met her and realised my dream.

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