Well, I am down to my last few pictures from the gossip magazines. There were none in them of Rani for some reason - she seems to avoid the cameras better than most - so sorry for that.
Priyanka Chopra has pretty much everything going for her - looks, personality, smarts and good timing. She jumped in along with Lara Dutta to fill a void as a number of other actresses either retired or got too old to play college girls - in BW guys can continue playing college students well into their 30's while most of the women have to stop around 30. Sometimes it gets a little silly. Priyanka (a former Miss World) and Lara (a former Miss Universe) duked it out for a while but Priyanka seems to have come out on top. Lara used to live right here in NYC (and dated Derek Jeter) for a while before she went back to give Bollywood a go. A friend used to know her slightly and have lunch with her on occassion - said she ate like a horse - but I just want to know why I wasn't invited! You don't think she would have preferred me to Jeter? Four pictures first from Priyanka and two from Lara.
Here the two of them battle for the love of Akshay Kumar in Andaaz. Poor guy.
Neha Dhupia is another Beauty contestant winner - a worrysome trend that so many of the new actresses come through either that route or through modeling - you get the looks certainly but not necessarily the acting talent. Neha isn't bad really and is very charming - but my favorite film of hers was actually a Japanese one called Natu Odoru Ninja Densetsu that starred the Japanese comedy group UriNari (which included Vivian Hsu) and the film also had Yukari Oshima as well. I didn't see it but apparently she was in the Chris Kattan show called "Bollywood Hero".
Yikes, another Bollywood star kid - Sonam Kapoor - this one being the daughter of Anil Kapoor and the niece of producer Boney Kapoor and actor Sanjay Kapoor - and let's not forget the niece to Sridevi! That is called an In. You just tell us what movie you want to debut in. She has won a bunch of Newcommer type awards already.
And the final entry in the Bollywood Babes Sweepstakes is the lovely and demure Vidya Balan. Though fairly new to the scene - her Hindi Debut was in 2005 - Vidya seems to be an old fashioned type of actress - a throwback to the 60's in that she looks best in a sari and prefers not to reveal a lot of flesh - the good girl of Bollywood.
Here she is with Saif Ali Khan in her Award winning debut Parineeta.
One side note regarding that film Deadlier Than the Male - the penny finally dropped last night - duh - this was an update on good old Bulldog Drummond. Bulldog Drummond was a series of novels written by Herman Cyril McNeile back in the 1920's and 1930's portraying the adventures of Hugh "Bulldog" Drummond, who is independently wealthy enough to spend his time going after criminals. In the first four novels Drummond's main adversary is named Carl Peterson - the name of the bad guy in Deadlier Than the Male and one of the later book titles is The Female of the Species about a female killer looking for revenge against Drummond.
Drummond has been portrayed by various actors since the silent days - Ronald Coleman two times, Ray Milland one time (before he hit it big), Ralph Richardson, Tom Conway (brother of George Sanders and who had his own film series, The Falcon), Walter Pidgeon and finally Richard Johnson who seems to have been the last Drummond thus far. But the most famous Drummond was played by John Howard in seven films from 1937 - 1939. And co-incidentally it turns out that I had three of the old Bulldog films - all cheapies on public domain DVDs - the one with Milland and two of Howards. Watched them last night. All come in at around an hour duration and are not bad at all. Milland is a bit too maniacal in his approach but Howard gets just the right tone. Some fine co-stars show up as well - John Barrymore, Anthony Quinn, J. Carrol Naish and two regulars - Drummond's butler is the wonderful E.E. Clive and his best friend is the dithering Reginald Denny. Enjoyable little treats for $5.