Big B tutors Rana Daggubati in Hindi

Plus: Aamir Khan's new TV series is a smash hit, Twinkle Khanna and Akshay Kumar are expecting a baby and much more.

Amitabh Bachchan with the actor Rana Daggubati. IANS
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Amitabh Bachchan, who is fluent in Hindi, offered to help the southern actor Rana Daggubati with the language during the shooting of their forthcoming action film Department, due for release next week. Big B said he was initially unaware of Daggubati's weakness in the language, but immediately volunteered to be his tutor when he found out. Production sources say the 69-year-old asked Daggubati to recite tough Hindi lines on set, and remained patient with the 27-year-old when he made mistakes. - IANS

Chopra's career change

Parineeti Chopra, whose film Ishaqzaade hits cinemas tomorrow, holds three degrees in finance and intended to be an investment banker, but 2009's recession changed her plans. "I wasn't getting jobs, so I came back to India from the UK. I wanted to do an internship for six months and I happened to come to the Yash Raj Films office. I was very intrigued by this huge studio in Mumbai. So I said, let me try," said the 23-year-old who debuted in last year's Ladies vs Ricky Bahl. "My respect for the profession increased. I fell in love with acting." * IANS

Khan mentors Kapoor

In more Ishaqzaade news, Chopra's leading man, Arjun Kapoor, credits the superstar actor Salman Khan for inspiring him to take acting seriously. "Salman is a brother to me. But above and beyond that, he is also my mentor," the 26-year-old said. "I feel I can make him proud. I can't thank him enough for having faith in me." Ishaqzaade is the debut outing of Kapoor, the son of the film producer Boney Kapoor. The newcomer said that before he joined the industry, he was overweight and Khan encouraged him to get fit and healthy. "I was 140kg, but he said I had the potential. When somebody like him shows faith in you, you take it seriously," Kapoor said. "I took up the challenge. I was fortunate that he took me along wherever he went and trained me. I travelled with him, worked out with him, lived with him and ate what he told me to eat. He took me under his wings and it took me four years to lose weight, almost 50kg." Kapoor said the best lesson Khan taught him was humility: "Newcomers can't start thinking that they are superstars." * IANS

Twinkle Khanna pregnant

The actor couple Twinkle Khanna and Akshay Kumar are expecting their second child, according to MSN India. Speculations about the pregnancy were rife last week when Khanna was photographed with a tiny bump. The actress, who has been missing from the Bollywood social circuit for weeks, is reportedly 11 weeks pregnant. Her mother, the actress Dimple Kapadia, has moved in with the couple to help out. Khanna and Kumar have an 11-year-old son, Aarav.

Anup Soni: theatre more challenging

The television star Anup Soni, an alumnus of the National School of Drama, considers doing theatre to be more challenging than film and TV work. "While doing theatre, one needs to shout so that the audience can hear you. If you forget a line, there is no cut or retake. Theatre would always be more challenging because one cannot go wrong," he said. "Theatre is an exercise for actors because the live response that one gets from the audience helps an actor to grow." Soni, currently seen on the programmes Crime Patrol Dastak, Comedy Circus and Balika Vadhu, also encouraged his fellow actors to be open-minded towards experimentation. "One should keep trying new roles," he said. "If you keep doing the routine, run-of-the-mill work, then no one will watch you." * IANS

Aamir Khan hailed for TV show

Aamir Khan has been lauded for addressing some of India's darkest social problems after his new programme, Satyamev Jayate (Truth Alone Triumphs), tackled the taboo subject of female foeticide.

Aamir Khan's new TV series, which debuted on Sunday, received praise from the press and the public for its interviews with women about their various harrowing experiences.

The 90-minute broadcast gripped viewers as Khan explored how a preference for male heirs leads to the killing of female foetuses and newborns.

Khan urged the public to help bring about change while an emotional song closed the show.

The mixture of campaigning social activism and an intimate, personal style drew comparisons to Oprah Winfrey.

"Aamir Khan's a Desi Oprah!" said a headline in Monday's Hindustan Times, with a piece quoting praise from celebrities and fans after reaction to the show was so strong that its website crashed.

"Aamir Khan's show can bring a revolution," tweeted the actor Shabana Azmi, adding the programme "forces us to re-examine ourselves".

Khan is reportedly earning Rs30million (Dh2m) for each of the 13 episodes in the series, which is broadcast on Star Plus.

"I can only keep the issues in front of everyone. One person can't bring solutions to an issue," Khan told reporters after the show.

The programme has been given a late Sunday morning slot, at a time when Indian families used to watch serials or Hindu epics.