Ayushmann Khurrana changes look for new film

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Actor Ayushmann Khurrana says he has started preparing for a change of image for his next film, which will start filming in Punjab next month. “In Manmarziyan, I’m playing a Punjabi, so I’ve grown a beard for it,” said the 31-year-old. “I’m shooting in Punjab for the first time. In Vicky Donor, [my character] was a Punjabi from Delhi, but here he is a proper Punjabi. It is a proper romance from the soil of Punjab.” The film also features his Dum Laga Ke Haisha co-star, Bhumi Pednekar, and will be directed by Sameer Sharma (Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana). – IANS

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Stars call for Oscars boycott

Director Spike Lee and actress Jada Pinkett Smith have said they will boycott next month’s Academy Awards ceremony because black actors were ignored in the nominations. It came as the Academy acknowledged that it needs to do more to promote diversity. The Oscar acting nominees, announced on Thursday, lacked black performers for a second year in a row, leading to the revival of the Twitter hashtag #OscarsSoWhite that emerged last year. “How Is It Possible For The 2nd Consecutive Year All 20 Contenders Under The Actor Category Are White? And Let’s Not Even Get Into The Other Branches,” wrote Lee, the director of Do the Right Thing and last year’s Chi-Raq. “40 White Actors In 2 Years And No Flava At All. We Can’t Act?!” added the director, who was awarded an honorary Oscar in ­November. Cheryl Boone ­Isaacs, ­president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which organises the Oscars, said while the ­Academy had made changes in recent years to drive diversity, “the change is not coming as fast as we would like. We need to do more”. Isaacs, who is African-American, called for “big changes,” saying she was “heart-broken and frustrated about the lack of inclusion” in this year’s crop of nominees. – Reuters

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Winslet tips DiCaprio for Oscar glory

Leonardo DiCaprio has been nominated five times for an acting Oscar – and his co-star in the 1997 blockbuster Titanic says this might finally be his year. DiCaprio got a nod for his lead role in survival drama The Revenant, and faces competition from Bryan Cranston for Trumbo, Matt Damon for The Martian, Eddie Redmayne for The Danish Girl and Winslet’s Steve Jobs co-star, Michael Fassbender. DiCaprio, 41, has already won a Golden Globe and a Critic’s Choice Award for his role in The Revenant and is seen by many as the Oscar favourite. “I do think it probably will be, I think you can sort of feel it,” said Winslet at the Critics’ Circle Film Awards in London. “And I think that everyone wants it for him and it would be amazing. But it’s also slightly difficult for me, too, because Michael Fassbender has been nominated, and I think his performance is so extraordinary. But, I think you can sort of feel the temperature, it’s probably going to be Leo’s year.” – Reuters

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Bollywood is tough, says Claudia Ciesla

Kya Kool Hain Hum 3 actress Claudia Ciesla says it is difficult to blaze a trail in Bollywood and that success in the film industry requires patience. “Definitely, to make a mark in Bollywood is kind of difficult and sometimes it takes time,” said the 28-year-old Polish-German star. “My career started with television, then item songs and after a few years, finally, I got the opportunity to be a part of a full-fledged Bollywood movie. So, definitely, you have to be patient. Sometimes it’s not easy, but work was happening for me. I was equally happy with my television work, so destiny, luck, hard work plays a part.” Ciesla’s last notable work was her musical performance in director Akshay Kumar’s 2012 action-comedy film Khiladi 786. She also appeared as a contestant on the third season of reality TV show Bigg Boss. – IANS

Published: January 19, 2016 04:00 AM

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