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Rakul lines up five movies this year!

Last year, Rakul Preet Singh was not seen in Tollywood in a single film. Post the debacle of Syyder, she didn't get a chance to act as lead actress in any Telugu film. Though she did a cameo in NTR Biopic in the role of Sridevi, that is hardly counted as her movie.

Despite the low phase, Rakul denies the reports that she is not getting work now. "I will be seen in nearly five films this year starting from Dev that is releasing this weekend," she asserts. After the release of Dev, she will appear in Suriya starrer bilingual NGK, directed by Sri Raghava.

She will start shooting for Venky Mama with Naga Chaitanya next month. She also has two Bollywood movies lined up for this year!

When actors deglamorized themselves for their characters

Right from the inception of Tamil cinema, actors have deglamorized themselves for their characters. While heroes have done it several times, rarely do we have seen heroines took up the challenge and opted for deglamorization. Suhasini did it in Gopurangal Saivathillai, Vedhika appeared dark in Paradesi and now, after a long time, Nayanthara. In this special gallery, we take a look at the list of actors who reduced their ever shining look to justify the characters given to them…

Anushka stuns everyone with her new slim look!

Actress Anushka Shetty who gained weight for her obese girl look in Size Zero struggled a lot to get back to her normal weight. The actress was even body shamed by a section of her fans due to her weight! With strong determination and a healthy diet regime, the actress has stunned everyone with her new slim look.

Famous award winning lifestyle expert Luke Coutinho trained Anushka and provided the right diet to help her reduce weight. Posting a pic with Anushka, Luke wrote "With the stunning, beautiful, down to earth, humble and sweet #AnushkaShetty we plan and have a vision to make lifestyle the new religion and change the health of the nation one person at a time ..we need everyone's support , blessings and love ...do we have it ??".

Anushka's next film is Silence with Madhavan which will be simultaneously released across the country as it is a silent film.

Sai Pallavi's 'Rowdy Baby' beats 'Vachinde' on YouTube!

Sai Pallavi's Vachinde? song from Fidaa was a rage. The song went on to become most-viewed South Indian film video song on YouTube with a whopping 182 million views. The record stayed there till the other day.

Another song broke this record now. This time a Tamil song named Rowdy Baby set the new record. Rowdy Baby that also features Sai Pallavi has garnered 183 million views and that too in a month's time. Rowdy Baby is from Dhanush and Sai Pallavi starrer Maari 2. Music composed by Yuvan Shankar Raja, the song was choreographed by Prabhudeva.

Rowdy Baby is trending on the YouTube.

Sai Pallavi's dancing skills are liked by the youth and kids and this is why her songs are setting such record views. The talented actress will next be seen in Suriya starrer NGK.

Soundarya Rajinikanth marries Vishagan in grand ceremony

Superstar Rajinikanth's daughter Soundarya married Vishagan Vanangamudi on Monday in a grand ceremony. The wedding took place in the presence of the who's who of Tamil film fraternity and several bigwigs of Tamil Nadu.

From Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E. Palaniswami to actor-filmmaker Kamal Haasan, it rained VIP guests at the wedding.

The list of guests included actors Mohan Babu, Vishnu Manchu, Prabhu, Vikram Prabhu, Aditi Rao Hydari, Andrea Jeremiah and Manjima Mohan among others.

Filmmakers P. Vasu, K.S. Ravikumar, Selvaraghavan and Kasthuri Raja also attended the nuptial.

On Sunday, a sangeet ceremony was organised which was a close-knit family affair.

Also, videos from the functions have gone viral on social media in which Rajinikanth can be seen dancing to some of his popular songs.

Last week, the couple had a pre-wedding reception for family and close friends.

This is Soundarya's second marriage. In 2010, she had married industrialist Ashwin Ramkumar and the couple even have a son named Ved.

In 2016, Soundarya applied for divorce with Ashwin and got separated subsequently.

Having started her career as a graphic designer, Soundarya has worked in films like "Baba", "Majaa", "Sandakozhi" and "Sivaji". She made her directorial debut with "Kochadaiiyaan", in which her father starred, apart from founding Ocher Picture Productions.

Vishagan, on the other hand, made his acting debut last year with Tamil thriller Vanjagar Ulagam.

Was encouraged to develop own identity: Akshara Haasan

Akshara Haasan, the younger daughter of veteran actor-filmmaker Kamal Haasan and National award-winning actress Sarika, says that though as a child she was highly influenced by her parents, she was always encouraged to have her own identity and become the best version of herself.

Talking about the influence of parents, Akshara told IANS here: "Both my parents have quite a strong and influential personality. It is then obvious to get impacted by their thoughts and of course as children, me and my sister (actress Shruti Haasan) were so influenced by our parents.

"But we were always encouraged to develop our own identities. We were given the freedom to become the best version of ourselves instead of taking their legacy as a liability.

"I always loved dancing and I am doing that... I like the process of filmmaking as well as acting. So, I am doing that as well... Nothing is forced on me," added the actress, who recently appeared in a short film titled Joyride.

Meanwhile, Akshara is exploring different film industries in the country. She has acted in Tamil films like Vivegam and Kadaram Kondan. In Bollywood, she shared screen space with Amitabh Bachchan and Dhanush in the film Shamitabh. She also acted in Laali Ki Shaadi Mein Laaddoo Deewana.

"After Shamitabh, I did another film which did not work well at the box office... Failure is a part of building my career and I think it is good that such things are happening at the beginning of my journey. I got a chance to reassess my craft and I also took a professional acting course that taught me some important things," she said.

"Growing up with two powerhouses of talent - my mom and dad - I have seen how they worked on good stories. My father not only made interesting films, he always picked quirky characters. My mind and thought process have developed in a certain way which are different from others. So my understanding of cinema is different," added Akshara.

Asked what kind opportunities she is looking forward to, she said: "I think the best change that has happened is well-written nuanced characters. The kind of roles that are written these days for women are more to emphasise on the humane side of an individual that goes beyond gender. It should be encouraged so that we as performers can bring new things to the table."

"I am physically very strong and I am interested in action films. I want to explore that genre and make my mark there," she said.

'Breathe' offers me large canvas to exhibit my talent: Nithya Menen

Actress Nithya Menen is excited about the second part of Breathe, and says the series will offer her a large canvas to exhibit her talent.

"Breathe is the first Original digital series I'm doing. I look forward to this a lot, because this medium is a perfect space for me and I've been enjoying myself with this," Nithya said in a statement.

"Breathe offers me such a large canvas to exhibit myself and my work, and it's immensely satisfying for the artiste in me. The show is being made with high standards and I am absolutely enjoying that," she added.

Following the announcement of Abhishek Bachchan's digital on-screen debut with the second season of the Prime Original Series Breathe, it has been announced that Nithya will play a key role in the sequel that also sees Amit Sadh returning in his role as Inspector Kabir Sawant.

The second season of the show is already under production and will be released on Amazon Prime Video across 200 countries and territories.

Director Mayank Sharma is thrilled that Nithya has joined the cast of Breathe season two.

"I have always been a great admirer of her work, especially since I watched Ok Kanmani. I had always imagined her to portray this part," Sharma added.

Breathe is a psychological thriller series that follows the lives of ordinary people faced with extraordinary circumstances.

In Pics: Soundarya Rajinikanth's pre-wedding bash

Superstar Rajinikanth's daughter Soundarya married Vishagan Vanangamudi on Monday in a grand ceremony. The wedding took place in the presence of the who's who of Tamil film fraternity and several bigwigs of Tamil Nadu.

From Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E. Palaniswami to actor-filmmaker Kamal Haasan, it rained VIP guests at the wedding.

The list of guests included actors Mohan Babu, Vishnu Manchu, Prabhu, Vikram Prabhu, Aditi Rao Hydari, Andrea Jeremiah and Manjima Mohan among others.

Filmmakers P. Vasu, K.S. Ravikumar, Selvaraghavan and Kasthuri Raja also attended the nuptial.

On Sunday, a sangeet ceremony was organised which was a close-knit family affair.

Also, videos from the functions have gone viral on social media in which Rajinikanth can be seen dancing to some of his popular songs.

Last week, the couple had a pre-wedding reception for family and close friends.

This is Soundarya's second marriage. In 2010, she had married industrialist Ashwin Ramkumar and the couple even have a son named Ved.

In 2016, Soundarya applied for divorce with Ashwin and got separated subsequently.

Having started her career as a graphic designer, Soundarya has worked in films like "Baba", "Majaa", "Sandakozhi" and "Sivaji". She made her directorial debut with "Kochadaiiyaan", in which her father starred, apart from founding Ocher Picture Productions.

Vishagan, on the other hand, made his acting debut last year with Tamil thriller Vanjagar Ulagam...

Varalakshmi and three other heroines fight with a giant crocodile

Varalakshmi and three other heroines fight with a giant crocodile

Janhvi slams reports of her south debut

Tamil superstar Ajith is acting in the remake of national award-winning Bollywood flick Pink starring Amitabh Bachchan. The Tamil remake is to be directed by H Vinoth of Karthi's Khakee fame and the film is produced by Boney Kapoor. Since it is Boney Kapoor's production, speculations were rife that late legendary actress Sridevi's daughter Janhvi Kapoor will be playing a role in the movie.

But Janhvi's team has slammed the reports. She is not making debut in South Indian films at the moment, the team clarified.

It is not the first time that reports of her south debut appearing in the media. It was earlier said that she would be making debut opposite Ram Charan in the sequel of Jagadeka Veerudu Atiloka Sundari.

Vikram, Akshara in 'Kadaram Kondan'

Check out some exclusive stills from Chiyaan Vikram's upcoming action thriller film Kadaram Kondan. Produced by Kamal Haasan's Raaj Kamal Films and Trident Arts, Rajesh M Selva of Thoongaa Vanam fame is directing the film.

Akshara Haasan and Abi Hassan are playing pivotal roles for the film and Ghibran is composing the music. The makers are planning to release the film for the summer holidays.

Thadam audio launched

Talking about his upcoming film Thadam, actor Arun Vijay said: "When Magizh Thirumeni narrated me the script of Thadam, he told me that this will be a milestone film in my career. I play a dual role but look wise, the two characters will not have much difference. The script has so much detail."

Magizh Thirumeni said that the film will be a milestone in Arun Vijay's career because it has the potential to explore the nuances and talent of the actor and also he will get more girl fans after the film.

"Initially Arun was skeptical about performing romantic scenes but for a lip-lock scene, we okayed the shot only after twelve takes. Unfortunately, the scene was chopped off in the censor," added Magizh Thirumeni.

Thadam is all set to release on March 1.

Oviya - The cool cat

'Bigg Boss' sensation Oviya is getting ready with back to back releases - 90 ML and Kanchana 3 in Tamil. Talking about 90 ML, Oviya had previously said that the content of the film might get accepted or opposed but the team has tried to present a unique movie to the Tamil audiences. Oviya also revealed that she has a lot of stunt scenes in 90 ML.

Talking about Kanchana 3, the actress said that she felt very difficult to perform comedy scenes with ace comedy actress Kovai Sarala. Produced and directed by Raghava Lawrence, Sun Pictures is taking care of the Tamil Nadu theatrical release of the film.

Oviya will also be seen dancing a special number in her Bigg Boss contestant Arav's heroic film Raja Bheema.

96 team celebrates 100 days of successful run

The team of 96 celebrated 100 days of the film at a star hotel in Chennai. Vijay Sethupathi thanked social activist and politician Thirumurugan Gandhi for attending the event. The actor also announced his new film Thuglak for 96's Tamil Nadu distributor Lalith of 7 Screen Studio. Vijay Sethupathi thanked Cheran for acknowledging that Autograph and 96 are two different films on the stage.

Trisha who has been getting a lot of awards for her performance in '96' said: "Despite getting a lot of awards, I always wanted to share my happiness with team '96'. It's good to see all of them in one place. In my career, I never felt overwhelmed by my own film but '96' gave me that experience. '96' is all about teamwork, I thank everyone for their contribution, this is a very special day".

Directors Cheran and Parthiepan presented the 100 days shields to the entire cast and crew of '96'.

Karthi: The depth of characters in 'Dev' impressed me

Talking about his February 14 release Dev, actor Karthi said: "A lot of new age romantic films lack depth in characters. But surprisingly, newcomer Rajath's characters in Dev had the depth and it impressed me. The film is all about Dev who is brought up by his dad. For Dev, money is not important and he is inclined more to get new experiences and maintain strong relationships. On the other hand, we have Meghna (Rakul), an independent entrepreneur who is brought up by her single mother. Meghna feels that money and career are the two most important things in life. Most of our films end when the hero and heroine say, ‘I Love You' but here, the story begins only after they express their love".

Karthi also raved about his director Rajath Ravishankar. "Being a sportsman, he handled a lot of pressure on the shooting spot. Each location cost us four lakhs and we have to shoot swiftly but Rajath pulled it off in style. He also came up with a detailed script. As actors, every one of us sat together and had a script reading session for the film", added Karthi.

"Everyone is praising the visuals, and I should thank cameraman Velraj for it. Harris Jayaraj's music is another biggest strength of the film", said the actor.

Produced by Karthi's close friend Lakshman of Prince Pictures, Dev also has Prakash Raj, Ramya Krishnan, Vigneshkanth, and Amrutha in pivotal roles

STR celebrates his birthday in style

Actor STR celebrated his birthday on February 2 night in style with close friends from the industry. The celebs spotted were Dhanush, Jayam Ravi, Yuvan, Thaman, Mahat, Robo Shankar, Manjima, Megha Akash, Mano Bala, Arun Vijay and Arya among others

'Ilaiyaraaja 75' turns out to be a historic event!

Tamil Film Producers Council’s grand felicitation event for Isaignani Ilaiyaraaja has become a historic event. Vishal and his team pulled off the impossible, they reunited Mani Ratnam and Ilaiyaraaja. Yes, they were seen together on the same stage on Sunday. Ilaiyaaraja jovially asked: “What Mani Ratnam, you seem to have become older now?” and Mani Ratnam jovially replied, “You are maintaining the same look for years now”. Later, Karthik Raja expressed his wish that both Mani Ratnam and Ilaiyaraaja should work together again!

After singing three songs on the stage, Kamal Haasan said that he was present in the 10% among the 1000 films of Ilaiyaraaja. “Despite busy shooting schedule, I made sure to sit with Ilaiyaraaja sir during the re-recording of my films. In another 25 years, Ilaiyaraaja would complete 75 years in the film industry and I should attend the event”, said Kamal Haasan who fell on the feet of music composer and also kissed him. Ilaiyaraaja on a lighter note said: “What is this, you are doing stuffs which you usually do with heroines in films” and Kamal quickly replied: “This is the proof of 45 years love. Adhayum Thaandi Punidhanamathu”.

Superstar Rajinikanth raved about Ilaiyaraaja’s achievements in the industry. The Petta actor said: “In those days, Raja sir used to compose ten out of fifteen festival releases. In one day, he completed rerecording for three films. These days, music composers are taking one month to complete re-recording for one film. If the story is not good, Ilaiyaraaja would suggest changes, create situations for songs and made it as super hits. He even composed music for films without getting any remuneration and that’s why producers are falling at his feet”.

However, Rajinikanth said that more than his films, Ilaiyaraaja has given better songs to Kamal Haasan. Ilaiyaraaja replied saying “I have even composed good songs to Ramarajan and Mohan. My music remains the same for everyone”.

On Saturday, Rahman shared the stage with Ilaiyaraaja. Rahman said: “When music composers and musicians had so many habits, Ilaiyaraaja was the first composer who proved that despite being disciplined one can achieve great heights in the industry”. Rahman also recalled that it was during Moondram Pirai, he first met Raja sir and during Punnagai Mannan time, he used to feed Raja’s music on the computer.

“Rahman spent more time with me than his father. He has worked with me in more than five hundred films”, said Ilaiyaraaja. Later, Rahman played the Punnagai Mannan theme music. After the host Kasthuri’s request, Raja sang the ‘Mandram Vantha’ number from Mounaragam and Rahman played the music in the piano. When Raja corrected Rahman’s music, the crowd burst into laughter.

Hats off to Vishal, his team and the Tamil Film Producers Council for the fitting tribute to the great Ilaiyaraaja.

#Kollywood trends in February

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Amy Jackson fixes date for wedding!

Destination wedding is in vogue for film celebrities. Actress Amy Jackson too has decided a venue for her wedding. She will marry her boyfriend George Panayioto in Greece in early 2020. A resort in Mykonos Island in Greece has been fixed as the venue for their wedding.

She got engaged to George Panayiotou on January 1st this year in an African country while they were touring. The preparations for the destination wedding have already begun, say the reports. She herself went to Greece to fix the venue.

Amy Jackson got popularity by acting in South Indian films like Rajinikanth's 2.0 Ram Charan's Yevadu and Vikram's I.

Sai Pallavi will have to wait for Rana!

We have witnessed the craze of Sai Pallavi post the release of Sekhar Kammula's Fidaa. Her popularity was also one of the key reasons for the success of Nani starrer MCA, an average film that went on to become the biggest hit in Nani's career. But she herself killed all the hype around her with a bad choice of movies (Kanam was a heavy movie for her age and Padi Padi Leche Manasu bombed like anything). Now, the pretty actress is searching for offers. Earlier, producers were looking for her dates and now she has to look for the new movies.

Luckily for her, she has already signed a movie opposite Rana which will be directed by Venu Udugula of Needi Naadi Oke Katha fame. However, the film will not be rolling soon since Rana is busy wrapping up his commitments in Hindi and Malayalam. The film will begin only after Rana adjusts his dates.

Although Sai Pallavi has got an author-backed role in this period romantic story set in Warangal, she will have to wait for Rana. The latest reports say the film will only hit the floors post-summer.

Meanwhile, she will be mesmerizing us with Suriya starrer Sri Raghava directed bilingual movie NGK that is slated for summer release. She will share screen space with Rakul Preet Singh in the film.