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Sharman Joshi recalls how 3 Idiots changed people’s perspectives

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Actor Sharman Joshi, best known for his roles in films such as 3 Idiots and Rang De Basanti, is all set for his Gujarati debut with the film Congratulations which features him as a pregnant man. In an exclusive chat with Hindustan Times, the actor talks about working on the films, recalls some of the milestone films in his career, and a few anecdotes from his childhood. (Also read: Sharman Joshi would search phonebook for directors and call them for work)

Talking about playing the role of a pregnant man, Sharman said, “Arnold Schwarzenegger played a pregnant man ( in the 1994 film Junior). Ankush Choudhary also played a pregnant man (in 2006 Marathi film Ishhya), I do not know what is the story (of those films). Unfortunately, I have not seen what Riteish Deshmukh (Mr Mummy) and Ankush have done. But, this one (Congratulations) is what Rehan (writer and director Rehan Chaudhary) has written and I was immediately excited about working on it. We got going very quickly.”

He added that the film also shows some scientific research in the field. “The film focuses on the entire gamut of pregnancy and the challenges, which are kind of addressed in the film, in a light-hearted manner. Primarily, Congratulations is an emotional, dramatic comedy. It is not a make-believe world, we have some scientific references but it is still a work of fiction which could be a reality very soon. It (the film) ends with a ticker saying that in writing.”

Produced by Sharman, Congratulations will release on February 3. The film is not the first time Sharman will act in Gujarati – he has worked in Gujarati theatre earlier – but it is his first film in the language. He said the recent work in Gujarati films inspired him. “In the past 20 years, there has been some great work mostly by youngsters. Abhishek Jain to Krishnadev Yagnik and Pratik Gandhi have all done such fine work and now we hope to join hands and take the journey forward.”

Asked about the best part of working on the film, Sharman said, “The best part of working on it was that I could put on weight. I had to be pregnant, so I was supposed to put on weight, but I got carried away, and that was not a good thing. It was actually embarrassing, the weight I put on in just two months. But, it was for the film, so it was worth it. I was able to return to my normal weight soon enough and towards the end of the shooting, I had started slimming down.”

Reminded that Rang De Basanti and 3 Idiots were path-defining films of his career, Sharman recalled some of the memorable responses to those movies. “Those films were very important for me and my career. I got the exact kind of work that I was hoping to get. They gave me great creative satisfaction. Also, through films such as 3 Idiots and Rang De Basanti, I discovered how powerful our films are, apart from being entertaining, they impact how people look at things.”

He added, “After 3 Idiots, parents have come up to me and told me personally ‘I used to be strict with my children’ and how they changed their behavior after watching the film. They started being a little easier. Many professionals have told me that they were inspired from 3 Idiots to changed track and start afresh in a profession that they wanted to. That was very gutsy.” He then recalled how R Madhavan’s confrontation scene with his father in 3 Idiots remains one of the most inspiring ones. “That encompasses all the emotions of those individuals who came up to me. Their love for what they want to do is stunning. To see and realise that (is amazing).”

Sharman also recalled he was happy and proud when he was told by a film festival director about the smile Hindi films bring to faces. “Once, I went for a film festival in Russia and the festival director took me out for coffee. She told me ‘do you know why all these faces that you see have a serious, intense, or anxious expression?’ When I asked her the reason, she said ‘Most of the films that come here are very political, intense kind of subjects. And, overall Hindi, films add that light-hearted entertainment quotient. They bring smiles’ to the audiences.”

Most recently seen in films such as Mission Mangal and Mera Fauji Calling, currently, he is the host of the sports entertainment show WWE Super Dhamaal. “WWF is what we knew as kids. I was a big fan of WWF, I’d never miss an episode. Then years passed by and Sony Sports came to me with this offer (to host the show WWE Super Dhamaal). I was excited, of course, I had lost touch with WWE. I caught up on various videos to get updated with it.”

Recalling the time when he was a WWF fan, Sharman said, “Yes, we used to play with the cards, and Hulk Hogan was my favourite. I completely believed it was a real fight happening. Then, I realised it is not, but I was hooked on to it.” Asked if ever had fights with siblings or friends the way WWF showed, the actor added, “My sister was too much of a bookworm, so, never at home. (And with friend), the norm for staying over at a friend’s is a current day. In my days, parents were careful. By the time we grew up and had that permission, we realised it is not real.”


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Holly Madison Wasn’t Scared Of Getting Pregnant By Hugh Hefner

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In recent years, Holly Madison has grown increasingly vocal about her experiences in Hugh Hefner’s Playboy mansion.

From being ordered to get on top of Hefner while under the influence, to having baby oil used as lube against her will, Madison has publicly denounced the Playboy mogul numerous times — particularly since the release of her and fellow ex-Playmate Bridget Marquardt’s wide-ranging podcast, Girls Next Level, last year.

For a quick bit of background, Madison was just 21 when she moved into the notorious mansion with Hefner, then-75, and she was branded as the mogul’s “main girlfriend” during many of her years there.

Hefner, who died in 2017 at 91, notoriously engaged in multiple sexual relationships with the young women at the mansion, most of which have attracted widespread scrutiny in recent years.

Last August, Madison and Marquardt recalled the disturbing times that they, along with other women, were pressured into having unprotected sex with Hefner for the first time after a drunken night out.

Explaining that she’d initially planned on watching without getting involved, Marquardt said on the Juicy Scoop podcast. “I was still just gonna watch and then [one of the other Playmates] was like, ‘Aren’t you gonna go?’ It was like, ‘You need to go.’ And I was like, I would rather not. And she’s like, ‘Well, then you probably won’t be invited back.’”

“So then I was like, OK. And I’d seen what everybody else was doing, so I knew that this was, like, a 10-second thing. I mean, definitely no more than a minute,” she went on.

Madison echoed, “My memory is cloudy. I’ve kind of blocked it… Everybody’s just trying to get it done as quickly as possible.”

Now, Madison and Marquardt have opened up further about their sexual experiences with Hefner, discussing the subject of birth control — or lack thereof — on the latest episode of Girls Next Level.

The topic was brought up as part of a wide-ranging Q&A, during which the pair were asked, “Were all the girls on birth control? How did y’all prevent pregnancy?”

Perhaps surprisingly, Madison explained that the women didn’t feel “for a second” that they were going to get pregnant while sleeping with Hefner, and didn’t use birth control as a result.

“I don’t know who was and wasn’t on birth control — I wasn’t — but I just don’t think anyone ever felt for a second that they were gonna get pregnant from Hef,” she said.

Going on to explain the reasoning behind this, Madison said she didn’t want to be “gross and graphic” before noting that Hefner “never finished in anybody.”

“Not to be gross and graphic, but here we are. He never finished in anybody,” she said.

“And when I say that, I don’t mean a last minute pull out,” she continued. “I mean, he would do whatever on our bedroom nights and then the last part of it would just be him jacking off watching porn. Like, it wasn’t even near anybody.”

“So, I just don’t think any of us ever thought for a second that we were in danger of getting pregnant by him,” she said.

Madison went on to further defend her and the ex-Playmates’ choice to stay off birth control by noting that Hefner “knew what he was doing.”

“If you look at his history and all the people he’s been with, he’s only ever had kids when he was married and it was planned,” she said. “So, he knew what he was doing in that respect.”

“I just don’t think anybody was concerned,” she added.

Marquardt then chimed in, noting that while she was on birth control pills, it had nothing to do with her fear of getting pregnant by Hefner.

“I was on birth control pills, but it wasn’t ‘cause I feared I was gonna get pregnant. It was just something I’d already been on and it was hormone-related and that kind of stuff,” she said.

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Anil Kapoor reminisces about his association with the Filmfare Awards

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Thar, a revenge thriller with a Western flair, won over audiences with its plot and excellent acting. In Thar, which was released last year, father-son acting team Anil and Harsh Varrdhan Kapoor excelled. According to the reviews, Anil Kapoor gave a strong performance.

Anil Kapoor won the Best Supporting Actor award at the Danube Properties Filmfare OTT Awards 2022 for his performance. Today, Anil posted a throwback to all the times he has won a Filmfare award to commemorate the January Issue of the magazine which features him as the cover star, along with Raveena Tandon, Jim Sarbh, Taapsee Pannu, Jitendra Kumar and Sakshi Tanwar.

He shared a slew of memorable pictures with the Black Lady and penned a heartfelt note. “In the 4 decades that I’ve been around, tides have changed, talent has changed, tastes have changed and audiences certainly have changed…The one thing that hasn’t changed is the virtue of hard work, persistence and conviction, and they are rewards enough.. But a few awards don’t hurt,” he wrote.

Check out the pictures below:

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YouTuber James Phyrillas Mourns Death of Brother Patrick, Friend Chris

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YouTuber James Phyrillas is searching for answers after a devastating tragedy.
 
The content creator, who alongside his brother Patrick Phyrillas and friend Christopher Schaffer formed the popular Schaffrillas Productions YouTube channel, was involved in a car crash in Pennsylvania on Jan. 29, in which both Patrick, 22, and Christopher, 25, were killed.
 
According to the Lehigh County Coroner’s Office, both died from blunt force trauma head injuries after their car collided with a tractor trailer.
 
After being released from the hospital, James, 25, broke his silence on the tragic ordeal.

“Home now after 3 days in the hospital, with my ribs fractured, my lung punctured, my body bruised, my heart broken,” he tweeted Jan. 31. “Patrick and Chris were my best friends. Been trying to wrap my head around why I was spared. Where I go from here.”

James went on to thank fans for their support and donations towards Chris’ GoFundMe page, noting that Patrick will also have a page set up in the near future.

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