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Samantha: I didn't have a luxurious childhood, so success was my focus

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Mumbai, April 26 (IANS) Actress Samantha Ruth Prabhu has opened up about how success has been her focus since childhood, as she did not experience a luxurious upbringing.

Samantha discussed this topic on her podcast ‘Take 20’, where she aims to assist people by sharing her experiences, helping them relate, understand, and seek help when needed.

In one episode, Samantha explored the human body’s fight or flight response in certain situations alongside wellness coach and nutritionist Alkesh Sharotri.

“I used to believe that exhaustion and the need for rest were signs of weakness. I was proud of being a hustler, thriving on only six hours of sleep, and being exceptionally productive throughout the day,” said the actress, who has been diagnosed with an autoimmune condition called myositis.

“Despite feeling exhausted, I refused to acknowledge it, working tirelessly without a break for 13 years.”

The actress added: “Growing up, I didn’t have a luxurious childhood, so success was my focus from an early age. I always felt intense pressure to ‘Make It’ in life. Constantly fed with the notion that I wasn’t good enough, so that became an intense motivation for me to succeed at any cost.”

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Samantha, who captivated the nation with her sizzling performance in the song ‘Oo Antava’ from ‘Pushpa: The Rise’, said that people often perceive “acting as glamorous, which it is, but that’s not the entire reality”.

“It is a lot of hard work and pressure, especially when you’re constantly in the spotlight and being judged. I started in this industry when I was just 22-23 years old, and some girls start even younger. We don’t come into this knowing everything; we let others dictate and define us,” she said.

Reflecting on her own journey, Samantha said: “I’ve been letting others define me since childhood, creating a pattern where I worked tirelessly to please and seek approval from others. Eventually, my own thoughts, feelings, and desires became insignificant.”

Fears emerged once she achieved success.

“When I achieved success, I feared losing it, immediately searching for the next big accomplishment. So, I believe I’ve been in fight or flight mode throughout my career,” she explained.

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Samantha will soon be seen in the lead role opposite Varun Dhawan in the OTT series ‘Citadel: Honey Bunny’.

–IANS

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Anasuya Sengupta scripts history, becomes first Indian to win top acting award at Cannes

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Cannes, May 25 (IANS) Anasuya Sengupta became the first Indian to win a top acting award at the Cannes Film Festival on Friday night.

The little-known actress who has worked mainly as a production designer in Mumbai and lives in Goa, took home the Best Actress award at the Un Certain Regard segment of the festival.

Sengupta won the award for her gritty role in Bulgarian director Constantin Bojanov’s film, ‘The Shameless’, which also features well-known actress Mita Vashist on its star cast. The film was shot over a month and half in India and Nepal.

Bojanov, an award-winning director, incidentally, is Anasuya’s Facebook friend. He caught her by surprise when one day out of the blue he asked her to send an audition tape. That was the start of the Jadavpur University graduate’s acting career.

The previous credits of the Kolkata-born debutante actress include being the production designer of Srijit Mukherjee’s ‘Forget Me Not’ in Netflix’s 2021 Satyajit Ray anthology and ‘Masaba Masaba’. She plays Renuka, a vagabond seeking refuge in a northern Indian community of sex workers after fleeing from Delhi on being charged with murder.

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The film’s story centres around Renuka’s illicit love affair with a teenager named Devika, played by Omara Shetty, who’s initially sheltered from entering sex work because of her physical ailments, but not for long.

Receiving the award, a “shaking” Anasuya dedicated it to “the queer community and other marginalised communities for so bravely fighting a fight they really shouldn’t have to”.

Her voice shaking with emotion, and drawing repeated cheers and applause, she ended her short acceptance speech by saying, “We don’t need to be colonised to know how very, very pathetic colonisers are.”

–IANS

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12-minute Cannes ovation for Iranian film that earned its maker 8-year jail term

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Cannes, May 24 (IANS) ‘The Seed of the Sacred Fig’, Iranian dissident director Mohammad Rasoulof’s latest film, for which he received an eight-year prison sentence back home, got a rapturous 12-minute standing ovation at its Cannes Film Festival premiere on Friday, says ‘Variety’.

Rasoulof risked his life by appearing at the film’s premiere as he fled Iran for Europe on May 13 to avoid going to prison.

The only prominent member of the film’s star cast who was with Rasoulof on the red carpet was Golshifteh Farahani, who was seen with Irrfan Khan in the Swiss-French-Singaporean Rajasthani film, ‘The Song of Scorpions’, premiered at the Locarno Film Festival in 2017.

There was undeniable applause as the credits of Rasoulof’s film began to roll (it is ‘Variety’ policy, though, to begin timing standing ovations once the house lights come up). Rasoulof got teary and waved enthusiastically to the balcony.

Ali Abbasi, director of fellow competition title ‘The Apprentice’, stood next to Rasoulof and encouraged the crowd to keep clapping — not that they needed it, as their cheers just got louder and louder.

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There was even a sign in the audience that read ‘Femme! Vie! Liberté!’ (‘Woman! Life! Freedom!’), the slogan for solidarity with Iranian women who are demanding their fundamental rights.

The ecstatic response to and political weight of ‘The Seed of the Sacred Fig’ has cemented its status as a frontrunner for the festival’s prestigious Palme d’Or, according to ‘Variety’.

On the red carpet, Rasoulof, who has previously served prison time in Iran, held up images of stars Soheila Golestani and Missagh Zareh, who were unable to leave Iran for the premiere.

In addition to his prison sentence, adds ‘Variety’, Iranian authorities had been pressuring him to pull ‘The Seed of the Sacred Fig’ from Cannes and harassing the film’s producers and actors. In an interview with ‘Variety’ on Thursday, Rasoulof said that Golestani has been arrested by Iranian security services.

–IANS

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Effusive praise for 'All We Imagine As Light' raises Payal Kapadia's Palme d'Or hopes

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New Delhi, May 24 (IANS) “Will this ‘magical’ ode to nocturnal Mumbai win the Palme d’Or?”

The question asked by the BBC’s reviewer, Nicholas Barber, after watching Payal Kapadia’s debut feature film, ‘All We Imagine As Light’, must have been uppermost in the minds of an audience that gave the film’s cast and crew an eight-minute standing ovation.

In the Cannes tradition, the longer the applause, the better the chances of the film returning home with a trophy. The longest applause thus far at the festival has been for nine minutes and 30 seconds for the Italian auteur Paolo Sorrentino’s ‘Parthenope’, where Gary Oldman plays the American writer John Cheever.

In a video now circulating of the moment after the film’s screening, in fact, shows one of the cast members, Hridu Haroon, asking, “The applause has been going on for too long. Shouldn’t it stop?”

The video shows the cast members soaking in their eight minutes of fame and hugging each other heartily, unable to contain their joy.

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Kani Kusruti, whom viewers outside Kerala know better for playing the private secretary of Huma Qureshi’s character in the OTT series ‘Maharani’, followed in the footsteps of Cate Blanchett and Leila Bekhri and showed her solidarity for the Palestinian people’s struggle, flaunting her watermelon clutch and flashing a ‘V’ sign.

The colours of the watermelon — deep green and red — are those of the Palestinian flag.

As noted by News Minute, the watermelon became a symbol of Palestinian resistance in 1967 after Israel militarily seized control of the West Bank and Gaza, and annexed East Jerusalem. And to circumvent the Israeli government’s ban on the Palestinian flag being displayed anywhere in Gaza and the West Bank, people started using watermelons.

Chhaya Kadam, another cast member who has become everyone’s favourite railway platform feminist after her stellar performance in ‘Laapataa Ladies’, sported an oversized ‘nath’ on her nose as a tribute to the traditions of her home state Maharashtra.

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The BBC, meanwhile, does not stint on its praise for the film and goes on to note: “Given that the Competition jury is chaired by Greta Gerwig, and this warm, female-led film resembles her own work in certain ways, ‘All We Imagine as Light’ could well be a winner when the Festival’s prizes are announced on Saturday evening.”

And it predicts with a degree of certainty: “Whether Kapadia takes home a trophy or not, ‘All We Imagine As Light’ is bound to be one of those international films that break out of the art-house festival circuit and into cinemas and hearts everywhere.”

Payal Kapadia is no stranger to Cannes glory. In 2021, her documentary feature, ‘A Night of Knowing Nothing’, won the L’Oeil d’Or, an award given every year since 2015 to the best in the category. Now, it’s the Palme d’Or that beckons. Will she come back home with it?

–IANS

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Tejasswi Prakash sizzles in golden shimmery dress, wet hair and glossy makeup

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Mumbai, May 24 (IANS) The winner of ‘Bigg Boss 15’, Tejasswi Prakash, set Instagram on fire on Friday with a video of her photoshoot in a shimmery golden strappy dress, wet hair, and glossy makeup.

The ‘Naagin 6’ actress dropped a Reel on Instagram in which she can be seen posing sensually in a golden dress. The look was accentuated by glam makeup — pink glossy lips, winged eyeliner, and highlighted face.

She opted for a wet hairstyle, keeping her tresses open. The look was rounded off with golden earrings.

“When the days are made of colour, I choose the golden hour,” Tejasswi captioned the post.

Tejasswi is known for her work in ‘Khatron Ke Khiladi 10′, Karn Sangini’, and ‘Pehredaar Piya Ki’, among others.

–IANS

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Sakshi Pradhan found shooting for traumatic scenes in 'Qaatil Haseena' 'mentally exhausting'

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Mumbai, May 24 (IANS) Actress Sakshi Pradhan, who plays Shanaya, a relentless killer, in the upcoming film ‘Qaatil Haseena’, has shared that shooting for the traumatic scenes in the movie was tough and mentally exhausting for her.

Talking about the challenges she faced while portraying Shanaya, Sakshi, who was part of ‘Bigg Boss 4’, said: “Some of the emotional scenes, where my character reflects on the past trauma, were mentally exhausting. Tapping into those deep emotions while maintaining the authenticity of the character was a real challenge.”

“I did my homework before I entered the set, as much as I could in the limited time. I was uncomfortable at the start, but we did every scene with the point of view that the film should look authentic, and every scene has a meaning. The kissing scene in the film was more about expressing love than lust,” she added.

In the film, Sakshi plays a complex and multifaceted individual.

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“On the surface, they might appear calm and composed, but underneath lies a burning desire for revenge. This character has experienced a significant trauma or betrayal, which fuels her quest for justice. It’s a character driven by emotion, and a relentless pursuit of retribution, making her both captivating and unpredictable,” said Sakshi, who also starred in the TV show ‘Naagin 3’.

On how she prepared for the film, the ‘Ragini MMS: Returns’ actress said: “To be honest, I had very little time to prepare. I was cast three days before the shooting started, so for two days, while I was reading the script, I got involved in a deep dive into the character’s psyche and motivations. My experience of being in the acting field for 13 years helped me get into Shanaya’s character and catch the details of her inner wants.”

The murder mystery also starring Sharon Panday and Vikram Sakhalkar is set to release on ALTT on May 31.

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–IANS

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