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from India Insight:

And Then One Day: Naseeruddin Shah on his memoirs and life

It's difficult to hold back your surprise when Naseeruddin Shah, one of India's foremost art house actors, says the film industry doesn't interest him greatly. In a career spanning almost four decades, Shah has worked with Dadasaheb Phalke Award-winning director Shyam Benegal and James Bond actor Sean Connery, won acclaim for his movie roles and continues to dabble in theatre.

But Shah wasn't exactly a child prodigy. His grades were the poorest in class and his teachers thought he would "find it difficult to amount even to a small bag of beans," he writes in his memoir "And Then One Day."

It took him a long time to grow out of the conviction that he was a "complete idiot," Shah told me when I met him at The Oberoi, a hotel in central Delhi.

Shah, born in 1949 or 1950 (he isn't sure) in a small town near Lucknow, began writing "And Then One Day" because he "had nothing else to do" and continued as he found he enjoyed it though he is "still frightened of the computer." He discussed his autobiography and his life in an interview with India Insight.

from The Great Debate:

Robin Williams: Appreciations of his talent, his work and his life

File photo of actor Williams arriving at premiere of "World's Greatest Dad" during Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah

Robin Williams, the 63-year-old comedian and Oscar-winning actor who died Monday in an apparent suicide at his home in Northern California was rare. Not just in his talent, his success, or his fame or fortune, but in how universally he was loved by the public.

Since he leapt to the world's (not just America's) attention in the late 1970s, he never disappeared from the public eye for long. We all knew that he'd struggled with drugs and depression. At least we could have known if we were interested. His battles were out there, on the record.

from India Insight:

Vijender Singh enters the Bollywood ring with ‘Fugly’

Vijender Singh, the pin-up boy of Indian boxing, made his Bollywood debut on Friday, starring in a thriller about four youngsters who get into trouble with the police.

Singh, whose middleweight bronze at the 2008 Beijing Olympics helped raise the sport's profile in India, is training for next month's Glasgow Commonwealth Games at a boxing camp in Patiala and was yet to watch "Fugly", a film produced by Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar, when we interviewed him.

from Photographers' Blog:

Bollywood dreams

Mumbai, India

By Danish Siddiqui

The Hindi film industry or Bollywood can make a star, a household name out of anyone overnight. It can bring instant money, fame and the fan-following of millions from across continents.

Bollywood is an addiction for many that attracts thousands of aspirants to the breeding grounds, the city of Mumbai, everyday. I was keen to look at this other side of the glamour world. The side that entails the struggle to enter the world of aspiring dreamers and their struggles to become a star.

from India Masala:

The phenomenon called Amitabh Bachchan

Twitter is abuzz with the spirit of festivity, and here’s why: It is Amitabh Bachchan’s 70th birthday.

One of the few people who can be described as a superstar, the ‘Big B’ is one of the greatest actors India has seen, and (I dare say) one of the few who does not need an introduction almost anywhere in the world.

from India Insight:

INTERVIEW – Supreme Court lawyer on Khushboo case

Pinky Anand, counsel for actress Khushboo in the Supreme Court, spoke to Reuters about the case and how the verdict would have a far-reaching impact.

from Your View:

A young boy gesture to an actor imitatin

A young boy gestures to an actor imitating Charlie Chaplin, during the Serbarile Timisoreana festival in Bacau, Romania, August 07, 2009.  Your View/Sebastian Sascau

from Fan Fare:

Pfeiffer ‘felt like an alien’ until acting came along

michelleMichelle Pfeiffer said she felt like "an alien" before discovering a home in acting.

At another one of the Berlin Film Festival's notoriously entertaining news conferences with all sorts of unusual questions and answers (who can forget George Clooney calling one journalist a jerk for criticising his film at one press conference a few years ago), the American actress also revealed she only bothers taking care of her appearance when she's out of the house but otherwise doesn't really care what she looks like.

from India Insight:

Superstar Chiranjeevi turns politician. Finally.

The Telugu actor launched his Praja Rajyam (People’s Rule) party this week, the latest in a long line of bigwigs from the acting fraternity in south India to nurse political ambitions.

Actor ChiranjeeviChiranjeevi, 53, is in good company. M.G. Ramachandran, N.T. Rama Rao, J. Jayalalithaa and M. Karunanidhi had all successfully made the leap from silver screen to political stage.

And with assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh looming in 2009, I wouldn’t be too surprised to see Chiranjeevi seated on the chief minister’s chair.

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