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HindustanTimes Sun,28 Dec 2014

Romantic rumours don’t help films succeed, actors claim

Dibyojyoti Baksi, Shalvi Mangaokar Dibyojyoti Baksi, Shalvi Mangaokar, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, March 12, 2013
First Published: 13:51 IST(12/3/2013) | Last Updated: 18:37 IST(12/3/2013)

We speak to filmmakers and trade analysts on whether rumours about a link-up between actors make a film successful; to much surprise, they unanimously say it doesn’t matter.

As reported by Dibyojyoti Baksi
Tapsee Pannu is yet to make her Bollywood debut, but she’s doing a good job managing the occupational hazard that comes with her profession — dealing with rumours. The actor, who has been linked to Varun Dhawan and will star in the upcoming Chashme Buddoor, says that gossip can be beneficial to an actor’s career.

“I don’t think the rumours will help the film in any way but it’ll help people keep an eye on me. Since the news of the link-up has come up way ahead of the promotions, it means that people are curious to know about me. It’s better to see the glass half full,” says Tapsee. 

A popular name down south, the actor isn’t new to such media speculation. “I am used to such rumours. I take them in my stride,” says Tapsee, whose debut Hindi film is a modern take on the 1981 classic of the same name. The film is directed by her alleged boyfriend’s father, filmmaker David Dhawan.

As reported by Shalvi Mangaokar
Ever wondered whether the ‘hot chemistry’ between a film’s lead pair, just before their film’s release, helps it fare better at the box-office? In an industry where rumours spread about an alleged relationship between the movie’s stars, it makes the audience wonder whether there’s any truth to the buzz or if it’s  just another publicity gimmick.

Ask trade analyst Taran Adarsh whether these rumours actually help the film’s success and he rubbishes it saying, “Earlier, this was a common thing. Rumours about an affair between Hema Malini and Dharmendra or between Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha were always floating around. But in today’s time, the common man doesn’t care. Only if there’s something real and substantial between two people, will the audience care. It’s the content and the story that makes the film what it is.”

Exhibitor and distributor Akshaye Rathi says that “these rumours help spread awareness about the film to a small extent, but they don’t actually help the film.” He adds, “When Jab We Met (2007) released, rumours about Kareena Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor’s break up were around, but that created an impact because it was the truth. But nowadays, the viewers are smart. They don’t take this seriously anymore and these gimmicks don’t help the film’s business.”

In the original film, Deepti Naval played the lead. Ask Tapsee if she’s worried about reprising a role that’s etched in public memory and she replies, “There’s no pressure because I am not playing the character that Deepti ma’am played. Mine is a totally new role. Everyone knows that I am new to Bollywood but not new to acting. I don’t dismiss any criticism saying I am a newcomer.”

Tapsee is also rumoured to be starring in a Balaji Films’ venture as she was spotted auditioning at their studio. But the actor plays it safe by neither confirming nor rubbishing the news. “I am not saying that I am
working with Balaji. At the same time, I am also not saying I won’t. It’s too early to speak about my projects. So far I haven’t signed anything,” she says.

What do the stars feel about link-up rumours?
Anushka Sharma: My first film, Band Baaja Baaraat (2010) was promoted in a way where we (Ranveer Singh and her) had to be together all the time. Be it awards functions, chat shows or public appearances, we had to hang out as a team. And because the film was a hit, our pair became a hit. He was always my co-star and nothing else. Actors’ lives are exaggerated.

Deepika Padukone: Going out with someone for coffee or dinner is a normal thing among youngsters. I don’t understand why such a big fuss is made about it (if stars do it). If I want to go out on a hundred dinner and coffee dates, I will do that and no one has the right to question it.

Shahid Kapoor: Initially, I used to be shocked to read such news items, but gradually I got used to them, so I don’t take them seriously. Sometimes I feel it’s excessive and it makes me uncomfortable. I guess it’s going to keep happening till I get married. Anyway, I don’t care about it, so it doesn’t matter.

Priyanka Chopra
People have the right to speculate as I am a public person and it comes with the territory. I have been controversy’s favourite child. But because I have been a little aloof all along, the speculations have taken on epic proportions. I don’t socialise and am a very ‘kaam se kaam wala’ (minding my own work) person. I hang out with the crew I work with, and part ways with them when the shoot is wrapped up. However, I don’t say that the rumours didn’t affect me. What affected and upset me was that there was an autopsy done on my life. 

And what do filmmakers have to say?
Sanjay Leela Bhansali: I interact with my artistes only as ‘actors’ on my sets. As long as my artistes are playing roles in all honesty, I am happy. It's important to respect people’s personal lives. Once they leave the sets, their space is private and we don’t interfere in each other's lives. But if two people get along and connect with each other, it’s great because it’s nice to work with two people who are connected, instead of ones who are completely disconnected and come to the sets to only perform ‘professionally.'

Karan Johar: These link-ups are for entertainment purposes and they don’t help the film in any way. But it’s great fun. In this industry, there are always rumours flying about. The chemistry between two people is the result of working in the film and it’s the content that works, not the rumours. Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol have always shared great on-screen chemistry, but they’ve never had a link-up. They’ve never had anything personal. And frankly, the last thing these rumours will do is help the movie.

Sajid Khan: All these rumours and alleged relationships only last till the film hits the screens. After the first day, the first weekend actually, none of these work. It’s just that phase. But will that determine the film’s success? No, right? It’s the content at the end of the day that will determine the success of the film.

Kumar Taurani: This (rumours) is something really personal and I shouldn’t comment on other actors’ or production houses’ strategies, on whether they are using this method to promote a film.
I can say that we have never indulged in all these things. We have never done marketing based on our lead pair’s or actors’personal relationships.

Bollywood link-ups
Akshaye Khanna-Aishwarya Rai (Aa Ab Laut Chalen, 1999)
Shahid Kapoor-Vidya Balan (Kismat Konnection, 2008)
Ranbir Kapoor-Katrina Kaif (Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahaani, 2009)
Shahid Kapoor-Priyanka Chopra (Kaminey, 2009)
Ranbir Kapoor-Priyanka Chopra (Anjaana Anjaani, 2010)
Ranveer Singh-Anushka Sharma (Band Baaja Baaraat, 2010)
Ranveer Singh-Deepika Padukone (Ram Leela)

Hollywood link-ups
Ellen Page-Alexander Skarsgard (The East, 2013)
Daniel Radcliffe-Erin Darke (Kill Your Darlings, 2013) 
Selena Gomez-Gucci Mane (Spring Breakers, 2012)
James Franco-Ashley Benson (Spring Breakers, 2012)
Taylor Lautner-Lily Collins (Abduction, 2011)
Jennifer Aniston-Gerard Butler (The Bounty Hunter, 2010)
Emma Stone-Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-Man, 2011)

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