Humphrey Bogart

Embed from Getty Images

There isn’t a lot of actors in the world who can be as first-rate as the Hollywood legend that is Humphrey Bogart

Humphrey Bogart is a Hollywood icon – a box-office star, an Academy Award winner, and an actor whose personality is a stark contrast to the roles that made him a memorable presence on-screen. Bogart’s performances in movies such as The Maltese Falcon (1941) and Casablanca (1942) earned him widespread recognition but this wasn’t before his numerous struggles with acting.

Humphrey’s initial days as an actor involved being a part of the cast in drawing-room comedies (on Broadway), which most probably thankfully, in part fueled by good reviews, acted as a springboard to starring in Hollywood films. This is despite the fact that the Wall Street Crash of 1929 had managed to all of a sudden cut up the concept of stage production.

Humphrey was originally from New York and born into an affluent family – his mother was a suffragette and his father was a heart surgeon, who died in debt. Humphrey was (shockingly) brought up with this point of view that acting wasn’t what gentlemen do but nevertheless still decided to pursue it.

After obtaining a contract with a major production house of the time – Fox Film Corporation, Bogart went on to star in a very small range of films, such as Up the River (1930) and The Petrified Forest (1936). One of the primary contributors to Bogart’s tremendous breakthrough in Hollywood came with a movie which had, at first, almost cast George Raft (Scarface and Some Like It Hot) because he was a bigger actor than Bogart – The Maltese Falcon, a thrilling film about a private detective, Sam Spade, went to Bogart only after he declined the offer to star in it; almost instantly, the movie turned fortunes around for Bogart.

Bogart’s life was also peppered with various marriages, out of which the most famous was undoubtedly with Lauren Bacall. But it’s not his private life that managed to put him at the forefront of public consciousness on Hollywood – it’s his movies.

The African Queen (1951) had even given Bogart his first (and only) Academy Award: the movie followed a British missionary, Rose (Katharine Hepburn) and a Canadian boat captain, Charlie Allnut (Humphrey Bogart) in an East African village, mostly after the First World War has broken out – this is when the three African states Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda were united as German colonies, especially established to battle the ongoing slave trade.

Advertisements

The Ever-changing Romantic Perspective for Heartthrobs

The thought of chasing the news story about who heartthrobs are dating in the latest is like trying to keep up with the scores of your favourite game in the midst of a long drive, with the help of radio forecasts – you know it’s practically impossible because it changes so fast, and so soon, and you’ve got a car to drive. But, I’ll admit it, just like my favourite game, their love lives are still entertaining enough to catch, even during the busiest of days. In the latest of ‘who are the women that have managed to capture the hearts and minds of young hearthrobs’, there is Chris Evans, Justin Bieber, Leonardo DiCaprio and Chris Pine – well, stories that, I feel, are worth my time at least.

Chris Pine finds his perfect match in a far away land

There is so much more to Chris than just the amazing ‘Wonder Woman’ – there is also his latest romantic escapades. Having previously dated a string of famous women, his current romantic partner is a French actress, who was actually born in the African country, Algeria. They were first spotted rocking the music festival Coachella, where Chris was being, what would probably be looked upon by so many women, as the perfect guy, to his latest romantic squeeze (from France): he was being very understanding of her need to soak in the limelight but still maintained that typical romantic avatar of checking out his latest romantic interest, every now and then. So many hearts must have broken around the world at that new young romance, alone…

Justin Bieber’s still single…

Since Bieber and Selena Gomez, broke up the past year, the Canadian music artist has been cruising along, without a girlfriend just fine, save for the usual hookup stories in the rumour mills, which so far really highlight his probable affection for a dark-haired Brazilian model in her early twenties.

Leonardo DiCaprio is rumoured to be dating a brunette model (for a change)

Leonardo DiCaprio’s latest romantic interest seems to be another young model, yet again – she’s in her early twenties, she’s German and the two were spotted getting cozy over lunch in New York. This isn’t the first time DiCaprio has been linked to the young model but sadly, it all still seems to be in the rumours stage. DiCaprio was previously dating another blonde model, who he thought was “a very cool girl” – that’s hardly surprising! DiCaprio’s most recent ex-girlfriend was Danish and she was picked up from the streets to become a model despite lacking modelling experience – sounds very similar to how Rosie Huntington-Whiteley became a model. That episode soon acted as DiCaprio’s ex-girlfriend’s launchpad to Hollywood stardom, which brought her closer to DiCaprio and the infamous year-long relationship that reportedly only ended (as Leo’s friends were expecting it to) because Leo just wasn’t really ready to take it to another (higher) romantic level from their constant (and might I add, overbearing) display of PDAs.

Chris Evans: a different man in love?

Chris Evans recently broke up with his girlfriend and fellow star from the movie, Gifted but Chris continues to speak very fondly about his ex, even going so far as to describe her as a truthful lady, with a display of vulnerability and a woman who is disinterested in herself, in comparison to her level of interest in other people; Chris also mentioned that she was his favourite person in the whole world – figures! Given how much Chris unabashedly gushes over his ex-girlfriend, that’s hardly surprising.

It really all sounds like a very typical Hollywood romance that just turned into total dust, except for this: the young heartthrob recently decided to throw around a very odd compliment about his ex-girlfriend – that, in his personal life, there is nobody who “speaks English so greatly” as his actress-girlfriend does. Wow! I guess that’s what young love does to a man sometimes and I think that’s just what happened to Chris – it transformed Chris from the superhero image normally associated with him (thanks to Captain America) and into a very romantic young man; how perfect for his female fans!

The Challenges Of An Aspiring Actor

Embed from Getty Images

Becoming a professional actor, like becoming a professional blogger is not an easy task. For both, it takes years and years of training to be good at what you do. But how does an actor start off? One good way is to participate in local auditions for an entertainment project – these get advertised in newspapers and websites regularly. But opportunities exist more in a metropolitan, with an established entertainment industry, than elsewhere. Before taking the leap in the great big world, an aspiring actor can also participate in plays (these could be those you have done in school, as well) and demonstrate their acting skills, or acting talents. Agents are often invited to plays, and a good play, even if it didn’t pay you a lot, could act as a means to acquire an agent, for starters.

An actor often has to get an agent. Growing your contacts through social media is a good way but a reference is almost a must to get an agent, so if you don’t have a friend, or colleague who knows of an agent, joining a local community of actors is a good way to grow your social circle – they can help you find an agent, to whom you can submit headshots, audition tapes and film reels demonstrating your potential as an actor (or actress).

When an aspiring actor has a meeting with an agent, it’s important for him or her to have a pleasant appearance, and be rightfully confident regarding it. Before an agent, actors should talk about what they like, what their experiences are, and be confidently obvious that an agent is not wasting his or her precious time with you.

There is obviously a great challenge involved in becoming an actor.

When you have hired an agent, getting your foot through the door in the entertainment industry becomes a lot easier. An agent will get a portion of your earnings from your work in the entertainment industry, and also do the job of recommending you to a director, and locate which movie would be suitable for you, and which not really.

Another very good way to grab auditions and casting calls is Backstage. Backstage is a digital casting avenue and it has introduced Robert De Niro, Chris Evans and Sandra Bullock to Hollywood. The website lists thousands of United States-based projects regularly, so it’s a brilliant place for aspiring actors to hunt for auditions in good projects. A good entertainment project can act as a springboard to many more good, or even great, projects for an actor, if they, much like Hollywood bloggers, have it in them to make it big in Hollywood.

I like to think that an actor should have an open mind about auditions: it’s a part of the game with their job. Big budget productions, such as Beauty and the Beast, more often than not, have a line of actresses in mind for a part (even if they all have agents) so it’s important to work on always demonstrating a brilliant work portfolio and impress, to secure the role of a lifetime.

Indie Music

Indie music is a pretty significant music market. I find it so even though the list of indie artists I listen to is very slim. I like to listen to music put forward by prominent commercial record labels instead, so imagine artists like Oasis, Britney Spears, Boyzone and Santana – these are music artists I have grown up listening to. Indie music, like anything ‘indie’ or independent, be it art, literature or design, is an independent venture and these music artists (and their music) is independent from big music labels, such as Sony Music and Universal Music Group. Artists, such as Adele started off by signing with an independent record label.

What I liked about independent record labels is that they basically help with combing through talent worth listening to for music lovers, like me, from vibrant indie music quarters. They do not have the financial means to distribute or promote their music artists as much as major music labels do but this mini-industry of sorts still exists today. Despite the obvious drawback, which music artists signed with independent record labels experience in getting their music heard, indie music offers artists more freedom to craft music as they would like. Because indie music is independent from that kind of music direction offered by big record labels, the music may arguably be termed as more authentic, although I wouldn’t classify indie music as anything of that sorts, myself, having been a fan of mainstream and popular music, my whole life.

Two indie music artists I really like to listen to often include Mumford and Sons and Goldfrapp.

Whenever I see music artists I do not recognize, unlike Whitney Houston, perhaps on gig lists, in the media, etc. I tend to think of them as part of the indie music crowd because the fact that they aren’t instantly recognizable would probably mean they aren’t really part of the whole mainstream/popular music culture. One thing that does concern me over indie music though is how if too many people choose to create records from scratch and contribute to the indie music market, it might make the industry appear largely valueless from the outside. But I would still comb through indie music to find songs more suitable to my taste because despite my burgeoning digital music collection, I feel that great music is always rare and precious.

India’s Page 3 Culture

Embed from Getty Images

Recently, the televised chat show Koffee with Karan concluded its fifth season, and the show had included some stars whose work I tend to like, such as Shahid Kapoor and Abhishek Bachchan, in what seems like a growing sea of ‘Page 3’ random faces. But what is this ‘Page 3’? Page 3 culture in India is associated with tabloid coverage of parties and high society/high class activities. On the surface, it looks pretty normal (and even a tad bit mundane) – Page 3 is just India’s answer to tabloid journalism and all the stars who appear in it. But Page 3 has sensationalism attached to it and is regarded as something of a phenomenon, which is tough to grasp really – it’s just a colourful spread of gossip and stars in tabloid newspapers, and nothing else.

Page 3 is filled with celebrities, whose work or societal contribution has managed to grab attention, they need that recognition, and they also need to be entertaining enough for aristocrats, or for middle-class families, who deserve to be entertained every morning when they open their newspapers and turn to Page 3.

I think in India sensationalism is attached to what should simply be regarded as gossip journalism and nothing else, no matter how scandalous a star’s latest life story is. Sometimes it’s an eyesore: I don’t think it’s very interesting to learn about people I normally don’t like to work with on a regular basis. Another facet to the whole ‘Page 3’ story is that people aren’t always very candid and upfront about a large part of their lives that everyone may be able to see on Page 3.

I don’t like to go round and round with the same sets of confusion as lovers of that ridiculous aspect of Page 3 culture might: I think actresses, for example, really should be more open when their careers haven’t really gone anywhere, even though they began with a bang (somewhat). Is that really so hard to do – not pretend to be something they are not? I would guess not but some people really take fakeness to another level. In my world itself, composed of actresses I find interesting, not every actress in town has had the same lengthy (and legendary) career trajectory as industry veterans, such as Hema Malini and Jaya Bachchan, and it’s so obvious.

There isn’t always a lot of clarity on every aspect of this Page 3 culture, however, which begs the question of what kind of a role model these celebrities really roll themselves out to be for people who like to tune into their glittering lives, round the clock. Stars, or successful people in the public eye, have the good life, they are well-known and they know how to balance a lot of work, with a healthy dose of fun – people want to incorporate all of that into their own lives, as well, which is why they are good role models. I doubt Page 3 appeals to readers for those exact reasons because it is really for people who want to appear on it to be heard, to be seen and to be famous; aside from that celebrity bandwagon, Page 3 is really truly meant for faithful followers of Bollywood gossip.

Curating Music

Embed from Getty Images

Finding a good song to listen to is always such a challenge: growing up, it was pretty straightforward because curating my music collection involved turning on MTV and picking what I love. Given the glamour associated with the music channel, there would be a lot for me to choose from this big ocean of music videos, and even till today they are what I like to call ‘the classics’. Nowadays, I like to do something I have always wanted to but watching MTV kept getting in the way: listen to the Billboard charts. It’s where I like to usually get my music from because the hottest singles and the hottest albums chart there every week.

I have to admit there is always a whole lot of deep ***t on Billboard that I have to regularly wade through to find music I like, and my music collection, even though enormous, is really completely peppered with my personal taste. I think that the music industry is so huge, it’s tough to even know where to begin to look for music I would like on some days: music magazines, such as NME are no good because it is littered with the ugliest kind of music you can think of – it’s all such an eyesore; except for NME’s very rare curations here and there like the best albums of the year, it’s not even worth looking at.

In the middle of all these bad sounds being flung all around, there is me and my love for music and my hunger for more of it, more of new sounds. I am still not really sure what genre of music I would like to call my favourite though but I like to keep my interests diverse: pop, rap, r&b, rock, OSTs, and classical songs – I love it all, so long as the sounds of the songs are good. Speaking of diversity, I don’t remember which ones were my firsts but I remember finding Latin music (sometimes in Spanish) quite addictive. I also went and broadened my horizons in music and began listening to Swedish music, K-pop and music from anime I love. Because of all that diversity in my music tastes, sometimes, even though it’s such a rare occurrence, I listen to Hindi music, from India, as well.

I know, I mostly like Hindi songs, which has some English in the lyrics, or really melodic tunes, or contemporary Indian pop songs – I think it is good to throw in a little bit of exoticism to all that diversity in my predominantly Western music tastes. In India, contemporary Indian pop is a rare thing so I think it would be safe to call it a ‘developing area’ because the best and largest music really come from Bollywood soundtracks, which is a shame because pop music is so good. As a music lover, I feel that the most important thing to do when curating a personal music selection is to plaster my music tastes all over it – no matter what, always be true to yourself and what you love.

Almost Married: Liam and Miley

Embed from Getty Images

When I first read the ‘Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth story’, that the two got back together I thought that Liam had hit a brick wall in his life and that he is now at a phase where he feels like he wants to ruin his career with some bad decisions in life. I have never been a big fan of Miley Cyrus – I mean, I think she sings awful, and looks-wise I try to avoid looking at Miley Cyrus on the cover of every magazine as much as I can because with age, she seems to be getting worse in the beauty department, rather than aging gracefully.

I think Miley is maybe trying to milk her Hannah Montana days for all its worth because conventionally she isn’t pretty at all anymore, even though she is only twenty four. Miley also sings really, really bad these days and her performances on stage is very unpretty. I don’t feel that it is the right thing to do but that’s just my opinion regarding all of that – not every celeb sings well or looks that great or performs glamorously on stage, but still cruise along in Hollywood like that.

I think that one can say the same thing over and over again, or one can simply zen out from totally mental tinseltown celebs sometimes propping up on the cover of every magazine and gossip sheets – I always want to, and like to zen out because what are you gonna do? Celebs are going to act a little bit mad, I think it’s a part of the game sometimes with all of them, just because they are in the public eye.

Sometimes I think that some people have a thorough misunderstanding of hairstyles and which one looks good in the flesh and Miley Cyrus is a very good celebrity example of that. And it’s not just that: I mean Miley is known for her “wild” ways and they are more often than not, a total sight for sore eyes. I really don’t know what got into Liam actually that he decided to “romance” the American music artist once more. Miley is actually engaged to him again, despite Liam’s family disapproving of his romantic equation with her. That is just pure shocking that Liam doesn’t even listen to his family over “the subject of dating Miley Cyrus”!

Liam and Miley are instead talking about having a baby, already and adoption might be in the cards and you-won’t-believe-it, it may even be from Haiti, given Miley’s past track record of caring for children in the Caribbean state. Apparently, the couple have been on and off again for years but I seem to have missed it all. It had happened around 2010-2011 because the two began dating in March 2010 and Miley Cyrus reportedly even proclaimed in June 2010 that her Can’t Be Tamed music album was mostly scripted about her relationship with Liam. Liam never spoke about Miley actually once the two broke up in 2013 and now the two are dating again – I personally liked the romantic rumours circulating around Liam Hemsworth and Jennifer Lawrence more. I think it was a little bit along the lines of the Katy Perry and Orland Bloom romantic equation – it was inspiring, to say the least.