Gere Kiss Still Haunts Shilpa Shetty

Five months later, Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty is still feeling the effects of a kiss from Richard Gere. Immigration officials at Mumbai airport briefly detained Shetty, saying she was still wanted for obscenity charges filed in the wake of the public kiss with the Hollywood star, her publicist, Dale Bhagwagar, said Thursday.Shetty was in tears late Wednesday after being stopped at the airport while on her way to Berlin where the musical “Miss Bollywood” opens this weekend, said Bhagwagar. Shetty plays the musical’s lead role.”She called me in the middle of the night and was in tears,” said Bhagwagar, adding Shetty was finally permitted to join her dance troupe after prolonged questioning.”I can understand something like this if I’d committed a criminal offense. But what was my offense, when I’m just an actor, going to perform a musical on foreign land,” Bhagwagar quoted Shetty saying.Gere embraced and kissed Shetty on her cheek at a public AIDS awareness event in New Delhi in April, sparking an outcry among conservative hardline Hindus, who claimed the pair had violated the country’s strict anti-obscenity laws.A regional court issued arrest warrants against Gere and barred Shetty from leaving the country. The order was soon overturned by the Supreme Court.But the Supreme Court ruling didn’t show up in the immigration department computer system, Bhagwagar said.Immigration officials at Mumbai’s international airport couldn’t be reached for comment, but Bhagwagar said Shetty’s lawyers would take up the matter with authorities.Shortly after the April brouhaha erupted, Gere apologized for any offense he may have caused. But the actor also said the controversy had been manufactured by a small hard-line political party.Gere, 58, is a frequent visitor to India, promoting health issues and the cause of Tibetan exiles, tens of thousands of whom live in India.Shetty, a well-known actress in India, became an international star after her appearance on the British reality show “Celebrity Big Brother.”

Rohatgi Going through an Image Makeover
Payal Rohatgi of Corporate and Dhol fame is working hard to get an image makeover.Also, Payal has no qualms in accepting that things did go wrong in the past as her earlier films Tauba Tauba and Fun: Can Be Dangerous were branded as sleaze flicks.”Yes, I was typecasted. But I am going through an image transformation now. It has taken about three years to get out of my previous image,” avers Payal adding that she is moving ahead in her career.Payal maintains that the process of transition hasn’t been easy. “But, it’s my struggle and I am fine with it,” she says adding that she had an inkling that something was going wrong in her career.”I had to face the consequences as nobody forced me into it. It was my decision. But I am happy I made those mistakes so early in her career. What if I had worked with Shah Rukh Khan and then goofed up!” quips the computer engineer-turned-actress adding that the mistakes have made her a mature person.”I do not come from the industry. But I have realised that it’s very important to work with senior directors and good production houses. It makes a lot of difference. Like in ‘Dhol’, I have a glamorous introduction, but it’s not cheap but beautiful,” Payal shares.In the Priyadarshan directed film, she plays a club singer opposite Arbaaz Khan . “It’s a good role and has added to my growth as an actress,” Payal avers.How was the experience of working with the much acclaimed director? “It was great. He’s one director I worship right now,” exclaims the model who featured with cricketer Virender Sehwag in an ad campaign.”The role has turned out exactly what he had told me. I am thankful to him for that,” adds Payal. Some of her earlier films including Subhash Ghai ‘s 36 China Town which was directed by Abbas-Mastan and Madhur Bhandarkar ‘s ‘Corporate’ were reasonably successful at the box-office. But she hasn’t signed any more films as of now.”Talks are on some films, but I’ll finalise only after seeing the results of ‘Dhol’,” Payal says adding that she has great expectation from the film.So what’s Payal’s ambition as an actress? “‘Dhol’ has me in the second lead. But I wish to upgrade to playing lead roles and want to be in the league of respected actresses of the industry.”At one point of time, I would like to shoulder a film on myself. I am putting my best efforts towards it,” says Payal.”I won’t say that I dream of playing etched characters like Meena Kumari’s in ‘Pakeezah’. Though I have seen the film 20 times but you can’t compete with something as classic as that. So my focus is on doing some good work with good directors where I can grow as an actress,” Payal concludes.

Knightley Hates Red Carpet Events
Actress Keira Knightley went on a rant against having to appear on the red carpet and being thin in Hollywood. reports that speaking to a US magazine Knightley said: ‘I absolutely hate red carpet events. I don’t like the fact that people write ‘Oh you look like crap’ in print. I’m not Wonder Woman!”You know, skinny people are allowed to feel s**t about themselves,’ she added. She then went on to slam people who are not too thin saying, ‘I have noticed I create an anger in people who are not skinny. People like to blame their insecurities on others.’Knightley who has starred in such hits as ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ and ‘Bend it Like Beckham’ now appears in the new movie ‘Atonement’.

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