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Priyanka Chopra and Ranveer Singh to star in Zoya Akhtar film

Plus: John Abraham downplays his success as a producer; Kavitta Vema pleased with song in Policegiri; Nawazuddin Siddiqui¿s family affected by floods; Emraan Hashmi says taking risks has paid off

New stars named for Zoya Akhtar's film

Priyanka Chopra and Ranveer Singh will star in Zoya Akhtar's new film. The yet to be named project has been through numerous ups and downs with Ranbir Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor pulling out of the roles earlier this year. "When Zoya began writing the script, she thought of getting Kareena and Ranbir together," a source said. "Kareena was extremely excited to play Ranbir's sister on screen but with Ranveer stepping in, she is now having second thoughts." Chopra and Singh are presently working together on the romance flick Gunday, which is scheduled to be released on Valentine's Day next year. - The National staff

I am just one film old: John Abraham

John Abraham is not letting the critical acclaim get to his head. The actor-turned-producer earned plaudits and awards for his production debut Vicky Donor. He is now working on the films Hamara Bajaj, Madras Cafe and Banana. "I am just one film old with Vicky Donor, people forget that," he said at the album-launch party for the Indian rockers Joi's new release Pitol Soku. "I need to learn. I am not as established as others are in this market. I'm learning with every step." Directed by Shoojit Sircar, Vicky Donor nabbed the National Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment. Annu Kapoor and Dolly Ahluwaila also won awards for best supporting actors. "I can't guarantee commercial success with every film, but I can guarantee that when you walk out after seeing a film that is produced by us, it will be a sensible film. It will be a beautiful film," Abraham said. - The National staff

Vema pleased with song in Policegiri

Kavitta Vema is happy with her first Bollywood song performance. Starring in the forthcoming film Policegiri, Vema worked with the top choreographer Ganesh Acharya to deliver an energetic performance. "I feel fortunate that I did my first song with Ganesh Acharya, who choreographed the song," she said. "He pulls out the talent within you." A trained kathak dancer, Vema said the song required her to immerse herself in belly dancing. "He blended both these dance forms and has presented it very beautifully," she added. Directed by KS Ravikumar, Policegiri has already created a stir with Vema slammed for her raunchy appearance. - The National staff

Nawazuddin Siddiqui's family affected by floods

Nawazuddin Siddiqui's extended family are caught up in the floods in Uttarakhand. The Indian actor said he has been struggling to establish contact with relatives, although he knows they are presently safe. "I have three brothers and a sister in Dehradun. It's hard to get in touch. But so far they are safe," he said. "My family being there is one thing. So many locals, pilgrims, tourists and travellers being stranded is very disturbing," said the actor, who is thinking of ways to help the people of the state. - IANS

Emraan Hashmi says taking risks has paid off

Emraan Hashmi chalks his career success down to taking risks. The actor received critical acclaim for his appearance in Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai. "I always wanted to play versatile characters, it's just that I got slotted. I was only taking up films that were offered to me," Emraan said while promoting his new film Ghanchakkar. "The turning point in my career was Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai, people started thinking beyond the image, and I can do other films beyond the typical noir cinema of 2009. Things really changed." Ghanchakkar has Hashmi venturing into comedy as he plays a master safe-cracker hoping to retire after one last heist. Directed by Rajkumar Gupta and also starring Vidya Balan and Rajesh Sharma, the film is out on Friday. "In any decision, you have to be slightly cautious but you have to take risks," he said. "Because in my career, risks have already paid off," he added. - IANS

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