Here’s taking a look at the interactions I’ve had with Bollywood celebs so far – some good, some not-so-good. Let the guessing game begin!
“So you cover the film beat? You must be meeting celebrities. Lucky you!” This is the most common reaction I’ve encountered so far, whenever someone gets to know about my work. And the next thing they ask is ‘How is so-and-so in person?’ That’s when I really take a moment and think, ‘Do you really want to know?’
My first celebrity interview was that of a filmmaker who is considered one of the best in the country. Given his body of work and intellect, I was pretty nervous the day before. But call it beginner’s luck or whatever, it actually turned out to be a wonderful experience.
He, who is known for his adaptations of Shakespeare’s works, was humble and soft-spoken. It was tough to believe that this is the person who gave India some hard-hitting films. Not only did the interview go well, he was patient enough to let me click more than one photo with me (as the first two were blurred) – after I asked for it. And all along he was smiling, exuding warmth and a friendly vibe!
Another Bollywood filmmaker I met at an event was just the opposite of this polite man I was talking about. He had done some good films – which exposed the real side of various spheres like the fashion industry, corporate world and journalism – in the past. But in recent times, his films failed to perform well at the box office.
When I met him, I realised how arrogant he is, how full of himself. He kept the media waiting, and then it was said, “He has a flight to catch, so he’ll leave”. And the way he was talking to others, especially the press, was outright rude.
Then there was another filmmaker, whom I met at a story-telling event. He is one of my favourites, and I am glad that the feeling remains that way. He is known for his romantic films, and has given Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor Khan their biggest hit till now. I am sure you have guessed who.
He is a really humble man, without the slightest air of arrogance. The way he speaks, with so much politeness, it is truly adorable. His films are truly a depiction of what he is. No doubt of that. Accompanying him, at that very event, was a singer who rose to fame with an indie pop song. This singer has a voice which is unique; he dons a cap almost always and is a ‘rockstar’ in real sense. He was really shy and spoke softly – just the opposite of what someone would have imagined, if familiar with his powerful voice!
Apart from these, I had telephonic interactions with few filmmakers – both famous and not-so-famous. Among them, I spoke to one Bollywood filmmaker who gained popularity through his political films. Given the gravitas of his films, I was quite nervous initially but when we spoke, I was impressed by his simplicity.
On the other hand, a not-so-well-known filmmaker – who has received awards for his films, many of which dealt with the ongoing Kashmir conflict – was not-so-humble. One could definitely sense a bit of arrogance in his voice or maybe he was in a bad mood – can’t tell! One thing I can be sure of is that he is a rebel –his films rightly portray that. And that was indeed impressive. He did not shy away from taking a dig at the ruling party, and at the Hindi film industry.
Another filmmaker, who has got a good name in the Marathi film industry, was – like his films – simple. He seemed unfazed by fame, and well aware of his craft – something which is rare to find in a fame-driven world. Similarly, I spoke to a documentary filmmaker from Meghalaya whose film was honoured at Cannes. He told me that he wanted to make a name in Bollywood, like any other budding filmmaker – aiming to be an Anurag Kashyap or Sanjay Leela Bhansali. But while he was studying films at SRFTI, his views changed and now all he wants to do is tell stories.
Come to think of it, I have not so far had many interactions with actors, the reason probably being their busy schedule. One needs to literally ‘chase’ them! But that chase may or may not be successful – like the one time I met a National Award-winning Bollywood actor – who recently featured in a web series on Amazon Prime named The Family Man.
He is, undoubtedly, a star in his own right. It was hard to get even five minutes with him. Plus his PR team made sure his ‘precious’ time should be distributed properly. But amidst the entire busy schedule also he interacted with all his fans and his energy was infectious!
And I encountered such infectious energy again when I met a budding Bollywood actor – who is the brother of a superstar. Both are known for their cuteness, chocolate boy looks and great dancing skills. I did not interact with him, but attended his session at a film festival. He was, like any 23-year-old, full of energy and vibrant. But spoke with maturity and clarity.
It would be wrong to say I wasn’t overawed or star-struck at times. But my biggest fan girl moment was with the man who has been my biggest crush – since forever! This model-turned-actor and fitness enthusiast, who rose to fame with the indie pop song ‘Made in India’ – has got women all over India drooling. I was glad to find out how humble, positive and enthusiastic he is as a person.
This made me realise he’s much much more than his drop-dead gorgeous looks and flawless body! Hope you have guessed his name by now.