B-Town stars go back to school
Bollywood actors who took a well-meaning break to brush up some skills - old and new
In an industry that is ever changing, evolving with the passage of time, it is but natural for stars to want to brush up their skills…to get ready to meet the world with something new to offer. In the process, they could stumble upon a newfound passion. For instance, after Aashiqui 2 Shraddha Kapoor wants to carry on with her music lessons. After all they say, there is never an end to the learning curve.
Debut: Holi (1985)
Last release: Talaash (2012)
Status: Mr Perfectionist takes his own sweet time to get it right. The actor had gone to Australia - taking about half a month’s time - to learn a unique dance form that will be a blend of tap dancing as well as ballet. Turns out he was always interested in tap dancing and producer Adi Chopra thought of incorporating it in their upcoming film.
Debut: Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities (2004)
Last release: Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana (2012)
Status: The lean actor was away from Mumbai for three months. During this hiatus, he not only shifted base to Delhi but also took acting lessons from the celebrated NK Sharma.
Debut: Socha Na Tha (2005)
Last release: Raanjhanaa (2013)
Status: The Shanghai actor once confessed that he had three other professions in mind before he chose acting. Painting, philosophy and journalism were the other three. Right after Dev D released, the Thinking Woman’s man shifted to New York and signed up for a course in welding and metal work at the Arts Students League. Reason: He wanted to do something other than acting.
Debut: Ishq Vishk (2003)
Last release: Phata Poster Nikhla Hero (2013)
Status: For a film heavily influenced by Top Gun, Mausam required an actor who could fly - quite literally, that is. Directed by Pankaj Kapur, beta Shahid enrolled himself for flying lessons. The effort paid off when he flew F16 with a more experienced co-pilot and the scenes they shot together were seen in the final cut.
Debut: Kyo Kii... Main Jhuth Nahin Bolta (2001)
Last release: Once Upon a Time in Mumbai Dobaara! (2013)
Status: Once known for her fiery temper, the TV and film producer wanted to perk up her management skills. So she decided to go back to Harvard in May. Ekta enrolled herself for a one-month business development course in Massachusetts. She regularly attended the classes. In her absence, her team took care of the business.
Debut: Pyaar Mein Kabhi Kabhi (1999)
Last release: Pyaar Impossible! (2010)
Status: Kunal must have had company in the capital. After all, Dino also decided to sign up for the three-months course. The model-turned-actor ended up spending about seven hours a day and six days a week on workshops held by Sharma. Well, a well-spent monsoon away from the city.
Picture Abhi Baaki Hai
Some of the actors who wanted to learn the art of filmmaking...
>> Manisha Koirala took a sabbatical from the mad rush industry and flew to USA. There, she took classes in filmmaking - something Hindi actresses aren’t known for. In an interview with us, the brave cancer survivor had expressed a desire to direct a film some day in the future.
>> Being an engineering dropout worked wonders for Sushant Singh Rajput. After making his mark on the small screen, he was all set to go to the US for a filmmaking course when casting director Mukesh Chhabra spotted him and asked him to audition for Kai Po Che.
West side story
Some actors from Hollywood who went back to learn...
>> Daniel Day-Lewis took some time off to work as a cobbler in Florence, Italy before director Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio lured him into coming back to New York so they could persuade him to accept the lead role in Gangs of New York (2002).
>> Already an established actress, Natalie Portman completed her BA in psychology from Harvard in 2003 while still working. When asked why she decided to go back to school, she said: “I don’t care if college ruins my career. I’d rather be smart than a movie star.”
>> James Franco already has one PhD to his name and is currently working on his second.