Our Bollywood celebrities sure know how to stay in the limelight and no, don’t get us wrong. We are not talking about the controversies that go hand-in-hand with our film stars, but rather the positive news that was associated with them. The first half of 2019 is over and there has been no dearth of newsworthy events related to some of our beloved actors.
From Vicky Kaushal to Salman Khan to our very own desi girl Priyanka Chopra Jonas, the stars managed to make headlines with their every action. Here’s a look at the significant newsmakers of the first half of this year.
URI: The Surgical Strike
Vicky Kaushal has become the golden boy of Bollywood. The actor stole the limelight last year with his every performance and was the toast-of-the-town too. This year, he started off with a bang by playing the role of an Army man in URI: The Surgical Strike. The film was a stupendous hit and managed to break quite a few box office records as well.
Takht and Sam Manekshaw
The actor will also be seen in Karan Johar’s historical drama Takht playing the role of Aurangzeb and has also been roped in to play Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw in his biopic directed by Meghna Gulzar.
Gully Boy Rage
Ranveer Singh has become the biggest new age superstar with his impeccable performances. After closing last year with a bang at the box office with Simmba, the actor was seen playing the role of an underground street rapper in Gully Boy. Ranveer gave his vocals in the film as well and happily made the entire country sing along ‘Apna Time Aayega’.
Following the success of Gully Boy, Ranveer launched his own independent record label InkInc. It is the actor’s passion project in collaboration with his friend Navzar Eranee. The label will be featuring rappers like Slow Cheeta, Kaam Bhaari, Spitfire.
Ranveer’s upcoming and much-anticipated film is the biopic on Kapil Dev and his world cup winning team of 1983. Directed by Kabir Khan, Ranveer plays the role of Kapil Dev. On the actor’s 34th birthday his first look from the film was released and everyone went gaga over his striking resemblance to India’s greatest all-rounder and captain. The film also stars Deepika Padukone playing the role of Kapil’s wife Romi Dev.
Bharat/Priyanka Chopra’s exit
Salman Khan erased the bad memories of last year’s Eid debacle Race 3 with his film Bharat. The film became a resounding success and earned accolades for both Salman and Katrina Kaif. Directed by Ali Abbas Zafar the film made the headlines last year when Priyanka Chopra who was the original female lead decided to quit the film due to her impending marriage to American singer-actor Nick Jonas. During the press interactions of the film, Bhaijaan made sure he stays atop all the headlines cc Priyanka Chopra, and how!
Sona Mohapatra’s comment calling Salman ‘poster child of toxic masculinity’
However, Salman also received tremendous flak for projecting toxic masculinity by poking fun at Priyanka’s exit. He did not spare even his co-star Katrina and made fun of her in several media interactions during the promotion of the film. When Salman was asked about Priyanka quitting Bharat, the actor had said, "She, over Bharat, did choose USA in the 'Nick' of time. She has worked so hard all her life, okay? And when she got the biggest film of her life, she dumped that film and got married. You know, hats off! Usually, people leave their husbands for a film like this." Singer Sona Mohapatra slammed him for his views on Priyanka and said that PeeCee had better things to do in life and called him, “A showcase and poster child of toxic masculinity.”
Akshay Kumar holds a Canadian passport and the actor have never refuted this truth. However, during the 2019 General Elections, this issue came up and went viral for no rhyme or reason. Apparently, people had a problem with Akshay holding a Canadian passport and doing patriotic films and taking up Bharat Ke Veer initiative and supporting the Indian government. However, the actor issued a statement and let everyone know that although he does have Canadian citizenship he loves India and will continue to work for the betterment of the country and finally made everyone shut their mouths.
Kesari-Battle of Saragarhi
We Indians are a strange lot indeed. We know a lot of history, mythology, and facts about Western countries but hardly have any inkling about our own heritage. We hardly ever stand up and speak about our own culture and history and often behave like pushovers when it comes to defending them. However, Akshay brought forth one of the bravest battles ever fought in the limelight through his film Kesari. The film was based on the Battle of Saragarhi where a contingent of only 21 Sikh soldiers fought bravely against an invasion of 10,000 Afghan Pashtun Orakzai tribesmen in 1897. The 4th battalion of the Sikh Regiment of Indian Army commemorates the battle every year on 12 September, as Saragarhi Day but somewhere down the line the common public forgot and was never taught about the valour of our forefathers.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Interview
The General elections 2019 gave a clear cut and resounding majority to the ruling party Bharatiya Janata Party. However, just before the country went to poll PM Narendra Modi gave an exclusive interview to Akshay which was completely non-political. It was the first time that an actor became a journalist and interviewed an eminent leader of the country. The interview was a hit and paved the way once again for Narendra Modi to take up the leadership of the country with a clear mandate.
Deepika did not sign a single film last year after the release of Padmaavat and took time off to plan her lavish wedding to Ranveer Singh. However, post the wedding she blew everyone’s mind by signing up to play the role of acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal in Meghna Gulzar’s directorial. Her first look from the film, where we see a disfigured Deepika, blew everyone’s mind off.
After starring opposite hubby Ranveer Singh in three films but not able to have a happy ending, Deepika will finally share screen space with him in the sports biopic ’83 where she will essay the role of Kapil Dev’s wife Romi Dev. The actress is also co-producing the film.
Cannes- Ranveer outfit cues
Deepika once again walked the red carpet at Cannes but this time around her sartorial fashion choices raised quite a few eyebrows as many thought she is taking fashion cues from Ranveer post marriage. However, few knew that the neon gown she sported will become the raging colour in the days to come.
Priyanka Chopra finally made her Cannes debut this year along with husband Nick Jonas. The diva rocked the red carpet with her looks and made heads turn. The icing on the cake was Nick who made sure that his wife gets the limelight and happily played second fiddle to her global star power.
If I Could Tell You Just One Thing
Priyanka announced a new digital show this year. She will interview notable stars on the YouTube original series called If I Could Tell You Just One Thing. American gymnast and Olympic gold medallist Simone Biles and Belgian-American designer Diane von Furstenberg will feature on her show.
InStyle Magazine cover
Fashion is such an important part of global culture, often arising from centuries of tradition, and doesn’t go out of style when the seasons change. The ‘Saree’ is one of the most iconic and recognized silhouettes from India. To me, its beauty lies in its versatility, not just in drape and fabric. It embodies elegance, femininity, and power, and I love how I feel when I’m wearing one. I’m so proud to be wearing a @Taruntahiliani saree on @instylemagazine’s July cover! Thank you @laurabrown99 for being such an amazing creative partner, and for sharing some of India’s incredible fashion with the world. #IndianSummer #ProudDesi (Link to the story in bio)
Priyanka also featured on the US magazine InStyle’s July issue wearing a saree on the cover, that too sporting a bareback.
Jophie Wedding/Sucker Video/Chasing Happiness documentary
There was a lot going on in Priyanka’s new family with hubby Nick. Nick’s elder brother Joe Jonas got married to actress Sophie Turner. After tying the knot in Las Vegas the couple had a formal wedding in France attended by their friends and family. Priyanka looked sultry in a pink saree. She also starred with Kevin Jonas’ wife Danielle Jonas and Sophie in the Sucker video of the Jonas Brothers. The song was the first track after the brothers regrouped and became a No.1 hit soon upon its release. The Jonas Brothers also came up with their documentary titled Chasing Happiness that had their fans weeping happy tears.
Shah Rukh Khan
— Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) April 4, 2019
Shah Rukh Khan received yet another honorary doctorate from The University of Law (London) in Philanthropy. He was awarded the merit during a graduation ceremony for more than 350 students at the University. SRK already has honorary doctorates from The University of Bedfordshire and The University of Edinburgh.
Suhana Khan’s graduation
Shah Rukh became a proud father as his daughter Suhana Khan graduated from Ardingly with flying colours. SRK and his wife Gauri were present at the graduation ceremony and cheered their daughter for her accomplishments. Gauri also shared the news that Suhana has bagged the Russel cup for Exceptional Contribution to the cinema.
The Lion King and Aryan Khan
Shah Rukh is lending his voice to Disney’s live-action magnum opus The Lion King by giving the voice of Mufasa in Hindi. Not only this, he will be joined by his son Aryan Khan who is voicing Simba in the film. This piece of news comes as a pleasant surprise for the fans of the superstar as it was 15 years ago when the father-son duo teamed up to lend their voices in the Hindi version of The Incredibles. As soon the voice teaser dropped, Twitterati broke into a string of compliments, comparing Aryan's voice to daddy SRK, and proud father's joy multiplied leaps and bounds.
Taking a break from films
Shah Rukh’s last two releases Jab Harry Met Sejal and Zero failed to light up the box office. After the debacle of Zero, SRK is taking his time on signing films as he is wary of taking up any role right now. Till the time he is taking a break from acting, the Badshah is busy producing films and web series under his production banner Red Chillies Entertainment.
Sonali Bendre- Cancer and return
Sonali Bendre sent a shockwave last year down everyone’s spine when she revealed that she is suffering from high-grade cancer. Soon the actress took off to New York for treatment and kept on sharing happiness with her inspirational messages on social media. She returned back victorious after her battle with cancer and has continued to inspire millions with her encouraging words and posts.
Malaika Arora’s and Arjun Kapoor’s Relationship
After playing hide-and-seek with the media for the greater part of last year, Arjun Kapoor and Malaika Arora finally made their relationship public. The lovebirds recently returned from a romantic vacation from New York and looked much in love as they posted cute pictures on social media. They have refuted rumours of getting married anytime soon and claim to be enjoying this blissful relationship.
Sara Ali Khan-Kartik Aaryan-Ananya Panday triangle
Relationships in Bollywood usually come with an expiry date and that is usually the release date of the film. Stars start dating while they work on a film or give out hints to the media about some impending romance brewing between the lead actors that eventually fizzle out once the film opens in theatres. Sara Ali Khan made quite a revelation when she said that she would like to go on a date with Kartik Aaryan on Karan Johar’s chat show. Little did we know that a film was on the cards between the two young actors. Sara and Kartik wrapped up the shoot of Imtiaz Ali’s Aaj Kal and are rumoured to be in a relationship. On the other hand, Ananya Panday who is starring opposite Kartik in Pati, Patni Aur Woh is also rumoured to be dating Kartik. What is the truth only these three know?
Ananya Panday – Bullying campaign and awareness
Ananya Panday made a successful debut in Student of the Year 2. She reaped accolades for her performance but soon got embroiled in controversy. Apparently, some so-called school friends of Ananya’s claimed that the actress had not received any admission for a journalism program at the University of South Carolina. However, the actress shared photos of her acceptance letters at the University and expertly shut down her trolls. She went on to start a DSR initiative called So Positive where she aims at creating and spreading awareness about social media bullying. Instagram gave thumbs up to the actress’ initiative and announced features for anti-bullying.
Kareena Kapoor Khan
Dance India Dance TV debut
Kareena Kapoor Khan made her television debut as a judge on the dance reality show Dance India Dance 7. Her association has brought new glitz and glamour to the show. She is seen judging the show with choreographer Bosco Martis and rapper Raftaar.
Kareena took off for a vacation in London with hubby Saif Ali Khan and son Taimur Ali Khan, where the lil one has been enrolled in a summer playschool while both his parents are busy shooting for their respective films.
Rishi Kapoor and Bollywood visitation
Rishi Kapoor was also diagnosed with cancer last year. However, the actor kept the news under wraps for the major part of the year. He took off for New York with wife Neetu Kapoor for treatment and now is looking to return back after getting cured of the fatal disease. However, his sojourn has been filled with happy times with family and several visitations from the Bollywood fraternity.
Everyone from Priyanka Chopra, Aamir Khan, Sonali Bendre, Anupam Kher, Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Aaradhya Bachchan, Nita Ambani, Mukesh Ambani, Kapil Dev, Arjun Kapoor and Malaika Arora, Nikhil Nanda, Rajkumar Hirani, Manish Malhotra, Karan Johar, Shah Rukh Khan, Vicky Kaushal and Deepika Padukone have paid a visit to Rishi and Neetu in New York. Not to mention their own family and Alia Bhatt who with beau Ranbir Kapoor has made several trips to visit the couple.
As we close the first half of 2019, let's hope the second half of the year bring us more potboilers!