x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Plus: Meg Ryan getting a TV show; Duchovny and Anderson want more X-Files; Cumberbatch says Assange letter affected portrayal; Douglas reveals tongue, not throat, cancer.

The rapper Honey Singh. Courtesy Honey Singh
The rapper Honey Singh. Courtesy Honey Singh

Honey Singh talks touring with SRK

The Indian rapper Honey Singh says that he’s grateful to Shah Rukh Khan for inviting him to be part of a recently concluded tour of Australia and New Zealand. “We performed on stage in Sydney, Perth and Auckland. Each venue was sold out. At all the concerts Shah Rukh bhai introduced me on stage as his friend,” Singh told DNA India, adding that the concerts have given him “a renewed confidence”. The two performed the hit track Lungi Dance from Khan’s latest film, Chennai Express. The actresses Madhuri Dixit, Rani Mukerji and Jacqueline Fernandez were also part of the tour. — The National staff

Meg Ryan getting a TV show

Meg Ryan will soon star in her own half-hour comedy series for the US network NBC. Written by Marc Lawrence (Miss Congeniality, Family Ties), Ryan will play “a sunny, devoted and desperately non-confrontational single mom who decides to return to her New York publishing house where she was once a brilliant editor”, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The announcement comes after an October People magazine cover story that revealed that Ryan has preferred to remain out of the Hollywood limelight to focus on her family. – The National staff

Duchovny and Anderson want more X-Files

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, who first premiered their roles as FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully on The X-Files two decades ago, said that they’re open to making a third X-Files movie. The actors got together at a fan event in New York on Saturday to mark the 20th anniversary of the series. “All the principals are on board,” including The X-Files creator, Chris Carter, Duchovny said. “Gillian and I want to do it, so it’s really up to 20th Century Fox at this point.” Anderson added: “If it takes fan encouragement to get Fox interested in that then I guess that’s what it would be.” – AP

Cumberbatch: Assange letter affected portrayal

Benedict Cumberbatch says a letter from Julian Assange asking him not to do a movie about WikiLeaks affected his portrayal of him in the forthcoming film The Fifth Estate. Cumberbatch, 37, told fans on Reddit on Friday that he was concerned with playing the part after Assange sent him a letter in January. “To have the man you are about to portray ask you intelligently and politely not to do it gave me real cause for concern, however, it galvanised me into addressing why I was doing this movie,” Cumberbatch said. Assange’s letter, published on WikiLeaks last week, called the actor a “hired gun”. Cumberbatch said: “He accuses me of being a ‘hired gun’ as if I am an easily bought cipher for right-wing propaganda. Not only do I not operate in a moral vacuum but this was not a payday for me at all.” – Reuters

Douglas: it was tongue, not throat, cancer

Michael Douglas says that he successfully battled tongue cancer, not throat cancer as he revealed in 2010. In an interview with Samuel L Jackson on the UK talk show This Morning, Douglas explained that his doctor found the tumour at the base of his tongue on the eve of 2010’s Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps press tour. The doctor apparently suggested that Douglas say that he had throat cancer so that the actor could avoid discussing “possible facial disfigurement with scores of reporters”. Douglas, who’s currently separated from wife Catherine Zeta-Jones, was declared tumour-free in January 2011.­ The National staff

Grandfather of Korean cinema sees life through lens

The acclaimed Korean director Im Kwon-Taek has a simple explanation as to why he is embarking on his 102nd film, at an age when others might consider taking things easy.

“Film is my passion,” the 77-year-old said. “And you must follow your passion.”

Affectionately known as the “grandfather of Korean cinema”, a large number of Im’s acclaimed productions have focused on what he sees as the erosion of Korean culture in a society that has seen rapid change in recent decades.

With giant posters of him displayed all over the city, Im was an omnipresent force at last week’s 18th Busan International Film Festival, which screened 71 of his movies and honoured him for his outstanding contribution to the history of world cinema.

The first Korean to be named Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival for 2002’s Chihwaseon (Painted Fire), Im marked the occasion by announcing his 102nd film in a career that dates back to his 1962 debut Dumanganga Jal Itgeola (Farewell to the Duman River).

“Films reflect the accumulated experiences of the life you have lived,” said Im. “The life I have lived is within me and I have to translate that into film.”

Shooting will start in December on an adaptation of Korean author Kim Hoon’s novel Hwajang.

The film focuses on an ageing man who desires after a younger woman while caring for his dying wife. – AFP