Laughing Gas

Jan 01, 2013, 04:08 IST | Subhash K Jha

Here's saluting those self-styled showbiz celebrities who were heard off screen more than they were seen onscreen in 2012

There is an unmistakable tendency among a certain section of showbiz to make their presence felt through stories about their (imaginary) amorous escapades rather than through their work. While one applauds the marketing acumen of these self-styled newsmakers, one also wonders what happened to their decisions to let their work speak for them. Here’s looking at the prominent gasbags of 2012:

Rana Daggubati
All through 2012, we kept hearing tall, taller and tallest tales of Rana’s romantic exploits. Trisha Krishnan, Bipasha Basu, Nathalia Kaur, Shruti Hassan... the list of women he was “seen” with is endless.

Rana Daggubati
Ladies’ man: Rana Daggubati has been linked with several actresses, though his Bollywood career is on the downswing

Each linkup was followed by months of vehement denials and seemingly embarrassed protests of breached privacy. Turns out, it was all a hoax. One of the women Rana was linked with found out that all these tales were actually spread by his marketing team. Apart from these linkups, Rana was only seen in Ram Gopal Varma’s hideous Department. Not one Hindi film in his kitty since then. Figures.

Mallika Sherawat
She was the queen of self-generated hype for the eighth year in a row. She has ensured herself a renewed self-promotional shelf life through pictures clicked with various American icons including, ahem ahem, President Barack Obama. But do Obama and Antonio Banderas really know about the existence of Ms Sherawat? Mallika’s US pictures are random fan photos clicked at dos where the celebs don’t even know whom they’re being clicked with, say some.

Mallika Sherawat with Antonio Banderas
Footloose: Mallika Sherawat with Antonio Banderas at a party

True or not, Mallika continues to build herself as an international star — in her head, of course. She speaks about American icons and film projects in the US with enthusiastic familiarity, as though she is straddling stardom in Bollywood and Hollywood with equal ease, when the fact is that Mallika’s career in Bollywood has touched rock-bottom with Kismat Love Paisa Dilli (KLPD) not setting cash registers ringing. Mallika has now signed a K C Bokadia film where she plays the slain nurse Bhanwari Devi, and has apparently announced to Bokadia she is willing to strip as much as he wants. Skin-deep stardom? Not really.

Nargis Fakhri
When Rockstar was in production Ranbir Kapoor had raved, “Forget the popular awards for Best Debutant, Nargis will win all the Best Actress awards.” When the film released, the pretty-pouty Pakistani-Czech actress proved to be an acting dud. Not one project came her way thereafter; Khiladi 786 was snatched away with the feeble explanation that she didn’t look like Mithun Chakaborty’s sister.

Nargis Fakhri
Fashion tips, anyone?: Nargis Fakhri is now seen more on the ramp than on the big screen. Pic/afp 

As if Asin, who replaced her, did! Hee hee. All through the year, Nargis was known for being seen in public places with eligible heroes, first with Ranbir, followed by Shahid Kapoor and Uday Chopra. We hear Ranbir decided to stay away from all things Nargis when he realised where the stories of their link up were coming from.

Angela Jonsson
The Kingfisher Calendar girl’s career nose-dived even before it took off. All through the year, we heard of her various love interests. Not surprisingly, actors became wary of being seen with Ms Jonsson. Salman Khan bravely took her under his wing. (He does love the underdogs, our Salman.) But now their proposed film together, Sher Khan, has undergone a change of title and cast. We hear Angela may not fit the bill at all. Sad.

Shirish Kunder
He spoke of his film Joker as if it was Raj Kapoor’s Mera Naam Joker revisited. He claimed he walked out of directing Sajid Nadiadwala’s Kick when in fact the walk-out theory was a face-saving device conceived in Nadiadwala’s office. Shirish spent most of 2012 spreading bumper-sticker wisdom on Twitter — including barbed comments about Shah Rukh Khan’s RA.One which landed him on the floor in a pub with SRK staring down.

Shirish Kunder
Up to no good: Shirish Kunder was in the news in 2012 for all the wrong reasons — from Joker’s bad luck at the box office to his brawl with Shah Rukh Khan

Of course, in a week, the ignominy was forgotten. They all kissed and made up. Who kissed whom first, we’ll never really know. At the end of the year, Shirish returned to his original vocation. No, not insulting people, but film editing. For Rensil D’Silva’s Unglee. Hopefully, it’s not the middle one.

Ranveer Singh
As far as gasbags go, this one takes the cake. And makes us quake. With his aggressive self-promotion, Ranveer makes Vivek Overoi look low-profile in comparison. The minute this wannabe Oberoi sees an A-list actress, he declares himself her fan and then gets his PR machinery to send stories linking them together to the media.

Ranveer Singh
Take a bow: Ranveer Singh strikes a pose. Pic/Yogen Shah

Ranveer’s latest imaginary link-up is Deepika Padukone. The lady is apparently left red-faced by Mr Singh’s unwarranted attention. Being too polite to refute his exuberance, Deepika has decided to smile her way through their film together, Ram Leela. Though he didn’t have any releases in 2012, he was constantly in the news. Watta way to grow.

Veena Malik
And finally, Mademoiselle Malik... ah! She makes Rakhi Sawant, Poonam Pandey and Sheryln Chopra look like novices in the art of self-marketing. Sample this: one fine day, in the middle of all her come-look-at-me gimmicks, Veena decided to ‘disappear’ from the sets of a movie that is unlikely to be released.

Veena Malik
No Munni or Sheila: Veena Malik 

She turned up later, claiming she was tense, terribly worked up and needed to be “alone”. Veena is a congenital attention-seeker. Her movie career in Bollywood is practically non-existent, but she makes her presence felt in unorthodox ways. They may not endear her to the radicals but they sure don’t hurt the hits she gets on the internet. 

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