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Saif Ali Khan says he is ‘recession-proof’, admits pandemic didn’t affect his salary demands: ‘I don’t charge too much anyway’

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Actor Saif Ali Khan said that he’s being offered the most interesting material now more than ever before. The actor plays a cop in directors Pushkar and Gayatri’s Hindi remake of their Tamil original Vikram Vedha, opposite Hrithik Roshan. The film was released in theatres on Friday.

In this interview with indianexpress.com, Saif talked about having outgrown the romantic comedy genre and said that he started experimenting with his roles because he faced a setback very early in his career. After featuring in a string of romantic-comedies, one of which — Hum Tum — also won him a National Award, the actor decided that it was time for him to start experimenting as he felt “restrictive” in the mainstream cinema format.

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He said, “I think I made the right choice in choosing interesting work and I found a lot of support, even from the press. When I tried doing a certain kind of movies, people are much more appreciative than if you play it safe. So at one point when I did stuff like Sacred Games, and films like Kaalakaandi, I kind of opened myself up to working with a lot of new and interesting people, whereas mainstream Bollywood was a little limited with the star-cast you’d be working with every day, even supporting, at one point, and I found that a little restrictive. The ideas were restrictive and I wasn’t having any fun. It was important for me to have fun, so I didn’t bother about anything. I just wanted to act. I’m on that path where I want to really immerse in the character and have fun and not worry about what will people say or what will happen, should I do this or that, but really commit to my part as well. It is fun and I always wanted to get there. Acting is difficult in a sense that you want to be absolutely careless and carefree but there are a certain restrictions in life, but now I how I get to do more of that.”

Saif is one of the few mainstream Bollywood heroes (along with Hrithik Roshan, of course) who has already worked with South Indian filmmakers. He said, “I didn’t say let’s work because they’re south Indian filmmakers. I wanted to do it because I loved that movie when I saw it and then when I read the script, it seemed like an international script. It is the kind of story that’d run anywhere and that’s why they also brought it to Mumbai because they knew it could work even it was Hollywood cop drama, so it wasn’t that it was the script and the role.”

“But having worked with them and having understood the various elements that are working, it is clear that there is a certain integrity they have, as writers and makers, that is working for the movie. I don’t know if I’m spelling it out, but that is something that everybody needs to be made aware of, that this film didn’t get made just like that, it was written in a certain way, shot in a certain way, directed in a certain way, and that integrity plays a very big role in that,” Saif added.

Saif is one of the rare Bollywood heroes who has appeared in multiple two-hero films, with actors such Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn. On being asked if this is because he is a secure actor, he said, “I am not secure as an actor and I think it is an achievement that despite my insecurity, I do not shy away from acting in an ensemble cast or sharing screen space with another great actor. I gather my courage to do it and that is the truth. There were moments when I was like ‘Oh no! this is gonna be tough!’ but at the same time I did it.”

“Having said that, I am at a stage in my career where I am willing to experiment. Maybe when there are two superstars exactly at the same phase of their career, the same level of superstardom, then it might be challenging for the makers to bring them together,” he added.

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Many actors, especially in the post-pandemic era, have hit the reset phase as their audiences want to see them reinvent and do better. Many others are also staring at the possibility of a reduction in their salaries. On this, Saif said that the pandemic didn’t really change much for him, personally and professionally.

He said, “I don’t think anything has changed for me post pandemic, even the pandemic wasn’t like an eye-opener for me, but I came across two types of people, some people who are okay with themselves, their lives and homes and books and music and locking down and all, then there where people who weren’t, maybe who lived a more exterior lives. I don’t know, but it wasn’t an eye-opener in a sense that oh this is what life is all about, spending time with family and all, I don’t know it was all the same for me. The first one was lovely, the second one was really scary as then there was an economic crisis. I don’t know if the films have changed, or it is my choice that has. When it comes to fees, my manager says that we’re recession proof because we don’t really charge too much anyway.”

Saif was exposed to an international audience after starring in Netflix’s Sacred Games. Asked if his international appeal informs his professional choices, he said, “Ultimately, it is a job, and you choose the best from what you’re offered or you say no you’ll not do it until you get something that you really like. I observe all the criticism, I like to read reviews, and I think people review quite insightfully and it is nice to read because there might be certain things that I can miss, and I can apply it at some point, I hope. So when I am choosing something to do, I can keep those points in mind, so I’m not taking a step back but forward.”

Saif’s wife, actor Kareena Kapoor Khan, had recently said that her husband has become wiser with age, specially when it comes to choosing films. He said with a laugh, “Especially where I started from. I hope so. I really like the feeling when someone says they wrote something keeping me in mind, I can’t believe it, I never thought people would take me that seriously. It is nice, in recent times I have done some of the best work and I have been offered the most interesting material that I’ve ever been offered, which is always nice. And films have evolved quite a lot, I’m glad I’ve outgrown rom-com little bit, who knows. Vikram Vedha is my kind of a movie, and I loved the role. It is one of the best roles offered to me.”

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Asked why he thinks he has outgrown the romantic-comedy genre, he said, “I shouldn’t have said that, romantic films have changed. In those times there was a certain kind of language in movies, a certain kind of character that one played that I think was stretched, but I have personally outgrown that. I think one has to write it age-appropriately, and in a certain way, but rom-coms are always great, I’ve to take that back…”





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Ashton Kutcher and his twin have brutally honest convo about pasts rifts, jealousy – National | Globalnews.ca

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From jealousy to health struggles, Ashton Kutcher and his twin brother Michael bore it all during their first-ever joint interview.


In an episode of Paramount Plus’ The Checkup with Dr. David Agus, the Kutcher twins, both 44, held hands as they discussed several emotional moments in their past.

Ashton spoke candidly about his relationship with Michael, who has cerebral palsy. He told Agus — who CNN says is Ashton’s doctor — about a moment when Michael nearly died as a 13-year-old after contracting viral myocarditis. The infection caused Michael’s heart to become enlarged and fail.

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Ashton was misty-eyed as he told Agus that Michael flatlined while Ashton was visiting him in the hospital.

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The That ’70s Show actor said at the time he considered jumping off a balcony and ending his own life, since his heart would have been a match for Michael’s life-saving transplant. (Michael was eventually paired with a donor within 24 hours of his heart failure.)

Two years later, when Michael underwent open heart surgery, doctors discovered a blood clot. Amid his brother’s health scare, Ashton’s own career was just starting to take off, something he said caused him to feel guilt.

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“For my brother … to be born with cerebral palsy, then have a heart transplant, then have this random blood clot, these things that you’re just like, ‘Who has to go through that?’” Ashton said during the interview.

Ashton revealed that a heartfelt moment with his brother eventually eliminated any guilt he felt.

“He looked at me and he said, ‘Every time you feel sorry for me, you make me less,’” Ashton said.

“He said, ‘This is the only life I’ve ever known, so stop feeling sorry for the only thing I have.’ And that then created an entire shift back to where I think we are today, which is straight-up equals again,” he continued.

Michael added that he and Ashton had drifted apart for a period of time because of Michael’s “jealousy.”

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Though the brothers have an improved relationship now, Michael explained there was a time when things weren’t as frictionless.

“There was a moment when I viewed him as receiving more attention than I was and that kind of drove me down to a place where I was jealous,” Michael said. “Here we are one and two for so many years and then he goes up the mountain to do immense things and become a household name and it really affected me in terms of my own self-worth.”

After an open and honest conversation with his brother, Ashton said they “had this moment of reckoning and realization where we decided to tear down the walls that we had built.”

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“The world may view him differently, but I know him. He’s still my brother and he hasn’t changed, and he never will change. Once I took all of the fame and everything out of it, I was able to come back to him,” Michael said.

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During the episode of The Checkup, Ashton also opened up about his vasculitis diagnosis, an autoimmune disorder.

Earlier this year, Ashton said he was “lucky to be alive” after the disease impaired his vision, hearing and balance.

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“I woke up one day and was having vision issues, could hardly see,” he said. He claimed the disease also “knocked out my hearing, which threw off my equilibrium, my balance and I couldn’t walk.”

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After a year, Kutcher was able to recover from vasculitis.

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Ashton said his wife Mila Kunis was a massive help during his recovery.

“I will say, your wife was amazing,” Agus said. “Just curled up there by your side. It was a beautiful thing to watch.”

Ashton’s episode of The Checkup With Dr. David Agus premiered on Dec. 6.

Agus, who is a cancer specialist and CBS medical contributor, hosts vulnerable conversations about health with various celebrities on the show. Oprah Winfrey, Howie Mandel, Amy Schumer and Jane Fonda will be among the guests featured.

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‘Harry & Meghan’ documentary trailers accused of using ‘misleading’ footage – National | Globalnews.ca

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle‘s Netflix documentary hasn’t even hit the small screen yet, but its two brief trailers are already causing controversy.


It has nothing to do with what the royal couple is planning to reveal during the much-anticipated docuseries, however. Instead, Netflix, as well as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, are being accused of using “misleading” stock footage and photos in the two teasers.

The trailers each paint a picture of the relentless intrusion the prince and his wife faced at the hands of the press after their 2018 wedding — a factor they say led to their decision to step back as working members of the Royal Family and move to California to pursue a more private life on their own terms.

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According to the BBC, at least three of the images used in the trailers are believed to have been taken from events that had nothing to do with Harry and Meghan. As well, there have been accusations of deceptive cropping of at least one photo and using a video to create an illusion of press intrusion when, if fact, the photographer who captured the footage was invited and known to the couple.

Neither the couple nor Netflix has publicly addressed or commented on these recent accusations.

U.K. newspaper The Sun first reported that an image used in the first trailer, showing a large group of photographers with long camera lenses presumably shooting a royal event, was actually from the movie premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two in 2011, long before Harry and Meghan met.

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This photo, taken at a 2011 movie premiere, is shown in the ‘Harry & Meghan’ trailer, but had nothing to do with the couple.


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Harry delivers a line in the trailer, right before the image flashes on screen: “I had to do everything I could to protect my family,” he says, giving the impression that it was a group of photographers taking photos in a royal context.

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A photographer from The Sun, Doug Seeburg, is seen in the photo and told the publication that no royals were at the event that day.

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“In the Netflix trailer, it’s implied the photographers, including me, were trying to get a shot of the royal couple — but that’s nonsense,” Seeburg said.

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The second trailer also features a dubious image, a royal editor at the Evening Standard said on Twitter.

Robert Jobson tweeted an image featured in the trailer, which shows a photographer taking a picture of the Duke and Duchess from above.

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Jobson said the image was taken by a member of the accredited press pool during Harry and Meghan’s visit to Cape Town in 2019.

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“This photograph used by @Netflix and Harry and Meghan to suggest intrusion by the press is a complete travesty,” he wrote. “H & M agreed the position. I was there.”

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Buzzfeed also points out that a short clip of footage meant to highlight the couple’s contentious relationship with the media is actually stock video of Donald Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, getting into a vehicle to be transported to prison on May 6, 2019.

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As well, the outlet reports that another clip of footage from the second trailer, meant to illustrate paparazzi harassing the couple, was actually taken when former model Katie Price attended a U.K. court to be sentenced for drunk driving in 2021. Over the footage, Harry can be heard in voiceover saying, “I was terrified. I didn’t want history to repeat itself.”

Twitter user @Urban_Pictures also pointed out that the Price footage had been flipped horizontally.

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Finally, a photo that appears to show Harry and Markle relegated to the fringes of the Royal Family has been cropped to support Harry’s accusation of a “hierarchy of the family,” the Telegraph reports.

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The cropped photo, taken during the Trooping the Colour in 2019 where much of the extended Royal Family appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch the RAF flypast, shows Prince William and Kate Middleton in the centre of the photograph.

However, the newspaper noticed, the arrangement of the family that day is not as it appears in the Netflix trailer. Rather, Queen Elizabeth II at was the centre of the original photograph and Harry and Meghan were actually standing closer to her than William and Kate.


The Netflix crop appears above and the actual photograph as it was taken appears below.


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In the aftermath of all of these accusations, it’s certain that royal watchers will be closely dissecting and scrutinizing all of the footage included in the Harry & Meghan documentary when it begins streaming on Netflix Dec. 8.

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Royal biographer Angela Levin told The Scottish Sun the inclusion of deceptive imagery left her “speechless.”

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“It turns your stomach. Why do that? Are they trying to pretend crowds and crowds of people are coming to watch them? What are they saying?” she told the publication, adding it’s very likely Harry and Meghan were given a chance to review the trailers before they were released.


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‘Harry & Meghan’ trailer


“They complain about the press manipulating things and not saying the truth and here they are doing exactly that. It’s very foolish,” Levin added. “They are risking their whole reputation. They must assume that we are all fools and we would not dare check on the pictures they have got because they have put them there.”

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Royal expert Ingrid Seward defended the couple, saying they may not have realized the images were from events that did not include them. She did concede that using misleading imagery “weakens Harry’s comment about protecting his family.”

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Netflix promises “the series explores the clandestine days of their early courtship and the challenges that led to them feeling forced to step back from their full-time roles in the institution.”

“With commentary from friends and family, most of whom have never spoken publicly before about what they witnessed, and historians who discuss the state of the British Commonwealth today and the Royal Family’s relationship with the press, the series does more than illuminate one couple’s love story, it paints a picture of our world and how we treat each other.”

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Anne Heche autopsy results: Actor not intoxicated at the time of death – National | Globalnews.ca

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The final autopsy report of Anne Heche has revealed that she was not impaired — though there were traces of cocaine in her system — at the time of the actor’s fatal California car crash on Aug. 5.


“There was no evidence of impairment by illicit substances at the time of the crash,” said Sarah Ardalani, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Coroner, in a statement.

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Heche, 53, sustained life-threatening injuries after she drove her blue Mini Cooper into a Mar Vista home, resulting in an extensive fire. She later died of a “severe anoxic brain injury” which caused her brain to swell. She was declared legally dead on Aug. 11 and was removed from life support two days later.

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Heche was trapped in her vehicle for approximately 30 minutes before firefighters could pull her from the inferno. The autopsy report, which was released Tuesday, claimed Heche suffered first-degree burns on approximately 40 per cent of her body.

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Coroner officials wrote there was no alcohol in Heche’s system at the time of the crash. The actor did, however, have trace amounts of benzoylecgonine, the main metabolite in cocaine, discovered in her blood.

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This meant Heche had used cocaine in the past, but not at the time of the crash.

A toxicology report revealed the presence of fentanyl in Heche’s system, but the substance was “obtained after she received treatment at the hospital and therefore is consistent with therapeutic use.”

Cannabis was also discovered in a urine sample from Heche, but was “not detected in the admission blood and is consistent with prior use, but not at the time of the injury,” the report claimed.

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Shortly after Heche was removed from life support, the coroner ruled her death an accident.

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The woman who lived in the Mar Vista rental home where Heche crashed her car has since sued the actor’s estate for US$2 million. The woman lost her home and most of her possessions as a result of the crash, though she and her pets were physically unharmed.


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Anne Heche car crash: Woman whose home was destroyed says she’s ‘still recovering’

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