Saturday October 20, 2018

Ranveer Singh Claims, “Celebrity Life Not Easy”

"There are many things which you can do as a person who is not famous that you cannot do when you are a public figure.

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With celebrity status comes a certain responsibility
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Bollywood heartthrob Ranveer Singh loves all the attention. He admits being in spotlight is like living his dream. The actor, who is fondly called the Hindi film industry’s livewire, thanks to his infectious energy and smile, says being a celebrity comes with some responsibilities — which he is happy to embrace – but doesn’t let any of it take away his focus from his first love, acting.

“Celebrity life is not easy. There is a lot of scrutiny. This is compounded with the coming of mobile phones and smart phones which have a camera. There is constant attention, sometimes too much of it,” Ranveer told IANS in a recorded response from Mumbai.

“But this is something you take in your stride. If you decided to be an actor, then with that kind of territory comes a lot of attention and I am only too happy to receive attention,” he added.

The actor, who made his debut in 2010 with the film “Band Baaja Baaraat” as a raw Delhi boy, says he was “an attention seeking kid while growing up”.

“So, for me this is like living the dream. People aspire to be in the limelight, so if you have been blessed with an opportunity to be there, then you should look at it as a positive. I don’t feel any kind of pressure in any aspect of my life,” said the actor, who lent his voice to Ryan Reynold’s Deadpool in the Hindi version of Hollywood film “Deadpool 2”.

With celebrity status comes a certain responsibility — and Ranveer is learning to handle that.

“There are many things which you can do as a person who is not famous that you cannot do when you are a public figure. I have started understanding that slowly. But in the midst of all of this attention and noise sometimes, you cannot lose the focus of what is the most important (thing) — which is the core of what you do — which is acting in films,” he says.

The actor feels “being famous, being a celebrity, being in limelight and being a public figure” are all by-products of his profession.

“I always make it a point to not lose focus of what I am really here to do — which is to act in films. That time between ‘action’ and ‘cut’ is what I live for.”

The 32-year-old asserted he does not work with any load of pressure.

Bollywood
I always make it a point to not lose focus of what I am really here to do — which is to act in films. That time between ‘action’ and ‘cut’ is what I live for. Wikimedia

“Pressure is only pressure if you take it as pressure. I think pressure stifles you. It will restrict you. I take each day as it comes, each gig as it comes and try and do my best at everything… It is just a habit, or has become a habit to try and give my best,” he said.

After making his debut, Ranveer has made a name for himself in the industry and a star on which people can place their bet on. There are more hits than misses in his filmography.

He has proved his mettle in the various roles in films like “Ladies vs Ricky Bahl”, “Lootera”, “Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela”, “Gunday”, “Dil Dhadakne Do” and “Bajirao Mastani”. He added more power to his star status with the hit film “Padmaavat”.

“Expectation is only a good thing. I must be doing something right for people to have such expectations,” said the actor when asked about being under pressure to maintain his success rate.

Ranveer is always looking to try out new things, and that is what prompted his decision to be part of the “Deadpool” universe.

Read More: Sonakshi Says, Unfair to Judge the Competitiveness of Hindi Film Against Regional Cinema

Based on Marvel Comics’ most unconventional anti-hero, “Deadpool” is the original story of a former Special Forces operative who turns into a mercenary and is now out to seek revenge against the man who nearly destroyed his life. Brought to India by Fox Star India, the film released last week in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.

“This is not something I have attempted before. But that was the large part of the attraction. The fact that I was keen to do something new in the creative space (was also one of the reasons). This is something that presented itself out of nowhere and I really jumped at it because I saw ‘Deadpool’ and I really enjoyed it,” Ranveer said, adding that he is happy to be the face of irreverent humour.

Apart from “Deadpool 2”, Ranveer has films like Zoya Akhtar’s “Gully Boy”, Rohit Shetty’s “Simmba” and Kabir Khan’s “83” in his account. (BollywoodCountry)

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India’s #MeToo Movement Makes The Most Glamorous Industry Its Subject Of Scrutiny

While India has been under the spotlight for sexual violence against women, sexual harassment at the workplace has seldom been under scrutiny.

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#MeToo, women, sexual harassment
Bollywood actress Tanushree Datta presents a creation by designer Sanjeet Anand at the Bangalore Fashion Week in Bangalore, India. VOA

India is in the midst of its #MeToo moment as leading figures from the country’s entertainment and media industries face a volley of accusations of sexual misconduct from growing numbers of women.

The firestorm has had a powerful impact. In recent days two leading editors have stepped down, a Bollywood production house has been shuttered, India’s top comedy troupe faces an uncertain future and a popular author has apologized.

#MeToo
India’s Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar (front) arrives in Venezuela’s Caribbean island of Margarita for the 17th Non-Aligned Summit in Venezuela. VOA

The allegations have also touched the government. India’s junior foreign minister, M.J. Akbar, is among those named by several women journalists for alleged misconduct during his previous tenure as a leading journalist and editor. He has not yet responded to the allegations and foreign minister, Sushma Swaraj, did not comment either.

The trigger for India’s #MeToo campaign came from Bollywood actress Tanushree Datta who last month filed a police complaint in a 10-year-old case alleging that a leading actor, Nana Patekar, behaved inappropriately during a film shoot. He has denied the accusations and sent her a legal notice.

Soon after, a female comedian, Mahima Kukreja, accused a former member of comedy group All India Bakchod, Utsav Chakraborty, of sending her lewd messages and photos. Following similar accusations by other women, Chakraborty apologized on Twitter saying, “It’s a little too late, but I am sorry.”

The two allegations appeared to have touched a nerve among many women in media. During the past few days, there has been an outpouring on social media from scores of women journalists sharing their experiences of inappropriate behavior, ranging from suggestive messages to unsolicited advances with #MeToo.

#MeToo
Christine Blasey Ford testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sept. 27, 2018 in Washington. VOA

The Network of Women in Media group called it a “watershed moment for all of us in journalism,” and said it encouraged more women to “document their accounts without fear or inhibitions.”

In the glitzy Bollywood industry, producer and writer Vinta Nanda, accused actor Alok Nath of sexually abusing her almost 20 years ago on a Facebook post. Nath has told a news agency, “It must have happened, but someone else would have done it.”

Nanda told reporters the movement taking place is “very encouraging, very enabling and this is the reason why I have brought it up.”

Lawyer Vrinda Grover who has helped draft India’s laws on sexual abuse and harassment, said that enabled by technology and social media, women had spoken out because in a new environment, “They will not be immediately blamed as in the past.” On the other hand, it is bringing consequences for harassers.

A high profile movie company, Phantom Films, was dissolved after HuffPost India published an investigation alleging that one of the founders, Vikas Bahl, had assaulted a female employee after a party in 2015. The other partners apologized for mishandling her complaint.

#MeToo
Queen” star Kangana Ranaut hasn’t been far behind in calling out Bahl,

A popular author, Chetan Bhagat, issued an apology after a woman uploaded a screen shot of a text in which the married writer said he wanted to “woo” her.

The editor of a leading newspaper, Times of India, K.R. Sreenivas, has been sent on leave pending an investigation after several women accused him of making sexual propositions. The political editor of another popular daily, the Hindustan Times, Prashant Jha, stepped down after a former colleague accused him of harassing her.

Amid a global movement to hold powerful men accountable for sexual misconduct, Indian women have picked up courage, said journalist Rituparna Chatterjee. “The floodgates to women’s anger have been opened.”

Some women said they were inspired by the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford, the university researcher in the United States, who accused, without evidence, U.S. supreme court judge nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers. He is now a Supreme Court justice.

#MeToo
The hushed whispers are getting louder. Flickr

This is not the first time when efforts have been made to bring the #MeToo movement to India, but in the past it has quickly faded away. Last year for example, a crowd-sourced list of academics accused of harassment got little attention.

Also Read: Nana Patekar Denies Accusations of Sexual Harrassment

But lawyer Vrinda Grover calls the ongoing spontaneous campaign a “significant moment” in the effort to address workplace harassment. But she points out that the women who have spoken out largely represent the educated, urban elite and says it will be much harder for those working on shop floors, on construction sites and as household maids to bring attention to their stories.

While India has been under the spotlight for sexual violence against women, sexual harassment at the workplace has seldom been under scrutiny. (VOA)

One response to “India’s #MeToo Movement Makes The Most Glamorous Industry Its Subject Of Scrutiny”

  1. Although this exposure applies only to the famous men, it surely will open eyes of less successful men involved in this kind on action. But just like men many women employees are also lazy/useless/inefficient etc. So punishing those women employees could be tricky for bosses because they can claim punishment for their refusal for bosses’ advances.