Stars and their bizarre publicity stunts

There’s no such thing as bad publicity, right? Wrong. However, when it comes to actors’ hogging the limelight with the intention of diverting attention towards their forthcoming films, it’s difficult to draw the line. Some of the stars go overboard while others show restraint. But then, showbiz is a funny business and almost everything amounts to entertainment. This year saw several such incidents where publicity was the ultimate goal and means didn’t matter much...

Aamir Khan’s bowler
Aamir Khan
By now, every Bollywood fan (or otherwise) is aware how Mr Perfectionist doesn’t mind covering lengths for the promotion of his films. Yes, Talaash seemed like a rare exception. But then, they call him a marketing guru for a reason and his commitment towards his work doesn’t require a second guess. Having said that, his decision to wear that black felt hat -- wherever he went -- before Dhoom-3 released came across as tad tiresome.

Underworld calling
Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha
Just weeks before Once Upon Ay Time in Mumbaai Dobara released, its PR machinery got into an overdrive. There were empty assertions that Dawood Ibrahim himself has expressed a desire to watch the crime drama. Not only that, there were rumours doing the rounds that a phone interview was in place with the most wanted guy. As predicted, nothing came out of it except some much-needed buzz for the mafia-in-love debacle.

Costume-ised Vidya Balan
Vidya Balan
As far as her filmography goes, Vidya didn’t have an exceptional year. With Ghanchakkar being her only major release, the Kahaani actress failed to taste either critical or box-office success. Speaking of the Sujoy Ghosh film, she was appreciated last year for her active participation in the promotion of the woman-centric film (remember that fake baby bulge?). A similar trick backfired this year as hardly anyone liked her turning up at press conferences in her character’s loud garb.

Romance unlimited
Sonal Chauhan and Neil Nitin Mukesh
Actors getting linked up during the making of the film is a common practice nowadays. And something similar was tried with Neil Nitin Mukesh and Sonal Chauhan when their film 3G was about to release. Even though both the parties kept the grapevine guessing about their relationship status, it was obvious by the end that all the romantic stories involving them were floated with a purpose.

Mallika Sherawat
Mallika Sherawat
The sex bombshell simply knows how to stay in news no matter what. The seemingly ignorant version of hers in foreign countries is nicely balanced by a witty persona witnessed within the country. Well played.

Taken for a ride
In the days leading to Fukrey’s release, the ‘masterminds’ requested the four young actors to mount on horses for the promotion of the film.

From left: Director Mrigdeep Lamba with producers Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani

Turned out their characters in the movie too had a scene where they are seen riding horses.

The leading cast of Fukrey on horses

What’s worth noting about this enjoyable tamasha was the director-producer trio turning up on bicycles because of their fear of horse-riding!

When pink turned pale
'Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola'
For some reason, the marketing brains behind the first major release of the year -- Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola -- thought that the early focus should be on Gulabo, a pink buffalo from the political satire. At the end of the day, the publicity stunt didn’t work as Gulabo failed to do for the film what Fakhru the pug could for last year’s Kyaa Super Kool Hain Hum.

Not-so-simple Dimple
Dimple Kapadia in 'What The Fish'
In recent memory, very few onscreen protagonists captured imagination like Dimple Kapadia’s grumpy lady in What The Fish. However, on the eve of the film’s release, Poonam Pandey and Rakhi Sawant were invited for the event. And as expected, the two controversy queens managed to catch as many wagging tongues as possible. No wonder the veteran actress chose not to attend.

Realty bytes
With Atul Sabharwal’s Aurangzeb dealing with the crime world -- and construction business, particularly -- in no small measure, the marketing team decided to hold a conference in an under-construction building in Lower Parel. It was a first-of-its-kind event; at least as far as the dry cement in the air is concerned.

Unleash, release
Just days after Tejpal Tarun controversy emerged in the headlines, Sudhir Mishra reportedly came up with a notion that his film Inkaar could have been more relevant if it were to release later instead of the early part of the year. Maybe he was just making a point. But with all sincerity, we’d like to see him go back to making gems like Haazaron Khwaishein Aisi.

One tight slap
'Satya 2'
After the production-related delays, Satya 2 finally hit the marquee last month. And on the eve of its release, it made news for all the wrong reasons. Its lead actor, Puneet Singh, slapped Rupesh Jain, the marketing head of RGV Productions. And that too in full public view. Police case happened later and the forgettable hero got some free bytes to grab some more news space.

Small screen, big stunt
Pratyusha Banerjee
Pratyusha Banerjee filed a police complaint against ex-boyfriend Makrand Malhotra claiming harassment and verbal abuse on the phone. The incident fizzled out as quickly as it appeaerd in the news wire with the telly actress days away from moving into Bigg Boss.

Siddharth Shukla
Only kids don’t get lost. Siddharth Shukla was reportedly missing last month and he didn’t report to the sets of Balika Vadhu for two days. With all the melodrama attached, the episode turned out to be a mere rep stunt. 

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