Mumbai: Many film critics and entertainment portals had carried ‘blinds’ — which are are unverified gossips targeting celebrities without mentioning their name — about Sushant Singh Rajput that were really disturbing.
Popular film critic Rajeev Masand, well known for his blinds in Open Magazine, and some other Bollywood gossip portals have been accused of writing ‘blinds’ about Sushant.
Here’s what Masand supposedly wrote about the ‘Dil Bechara’ actor Sushant:
1. Blind titled ‘Consumed by Insecurity’ (September 2017):
“A young male actor, recently reunited with his mentor, is reportedly giving the unit of his new film a hard time during an outdoor shoot. The actor, who is coming off a big dud, likes to give the impression that he’s all calm and Zen-like, but the crew of the new project says he’s consumed by insecurity.
Word from the set is that he is getting on the nerves of his director, who is trying his best not to pop a blood vessel. The actor is also apparently not thrilled that the crew pampers his female co-star more than him. Some have even said the actress’ mother is keeping a close eye on him, mindful of his skirt-chaser reputation.”
It is believed that Masand wrote this about Sushant as his debut movie ‘Kai Po Che!’ was directed by Abhishek Kapoor and the actor had again teamed with the director for ‘Kedarnath’. The ‘pampered’ female co-star has been referred to Sara Ali Khan. Here, Masand disgraced Sushant’s character by calling him a ‘skirt-chaser’.
2. Blind titled ‘The Price of Being Overpriced’ (May 2018):
“A certain young actor — until recently regarded as the most promising ‘outsider’ in Bollywood — managed to land a whopping acting fee for a new film he signed with a former studio head who was setting up his own production shingle. It’s a ‘modest budget’ project helmed by a highly regarded indie director, but the actor nevertheless managed to squeeze out a Rs 7 crore cheque from the producer, who, in his hurry to set up a slate of films, may have grossly overpaid.
The problem is that the actor has one mega-sized dud behind him, and despite a few potentially profitable projects on the anvil, some of his sheen appears to have worn off. An action flick he’s made with a top banner is getting mediocre reports, while another project ran into financial trouble and needed to be ‘rescued’ by the same producer.
Insiders are saying the actor needs a hit to bounce back into reckoning. The ones in his corner are his directors, particularly the one who gave him his debut film and is working with him on his most ambitious project right now. This bullish filmmaker is convinced that his star is only facing a rough patch and has been swearing to anyone willing to listen that his performance in the movie he’s making will bring both revenues and accolades.”
In this blind, Masand hasn’t named anyone, but fans believe that the critic has addressed Sushant as an ‘overpaid actor’.
3. Blind titled ‘On the back burner’ (November 2019):
“When a leading studio recently delayed the release of one of their big-ticket titles by a few months, it became clear to industry insiders that there was a problem. This is a film that the studio has produced in-house and one that has cost them a neat little packet, so it’s very unlikely that they’d postponed the release for no good reason.
The reason, as it turns out, has been staring everyone in the face. The studio has realised that the audience appears to have lost interest in their talented and promising leading man since his name became linked to a scandal. Despite efforts on the part of the studio to deny the rumours, the actor has not been able to revive interest in himself. So much so that he barely benefitted from a big fat hit that he starred in recently. It also doesn’t help that the film’s director was tainted by a similar scandal, whose veracity was also questioned.
Sources say the studio has decided to move the film to next summer in the hope that public memory will be short. They’re counting on the possibility that the audience will look at the film — and their leading man — with fresh eyes closer to the release and might be willing to show more enthusiasm for their film, which, by the way, the studio has faith in.”
Here, Masand is possibly referring to Sushant’s last film ‘Dil Bechara’ as initially the movie was scheduled for a November 2019 release and got delayed by several months. Now, the movie is set to release on July 24 on Disney+ Hotstar.
Masand also talks about the ‘scandal’ which probably refers to the #MeToo allegations against Sushant, which were however, later rubbished by his co-star Sanjana Sanghi.
In his blinds, Masand has projected Sushant as a skirt-chaser, alcoholic, abusive and overpaid outsider.
Not only Masand, but Pinkvilla too had carried some blinds about Sushant.
1. Weeks before Sushant’s demise, Pinkvilla had carried a column titled ‘Guess Who: This actor has been asked to vacate his apartment after neighbours complain of his lifestyle’:
“He delivered a huge hit last year, but couldn’t even capitalise on the success of the film. Why? None of the producers were willing to sign him on for their next – either because of his temper tantrums or his condition of casting his recent ladylove (a struggling actress with no clear filmography of sorts) opposite him.”
Here, Pinkvilla refers to Sushant, who reportedly had lost many films, even after delivering hits, whereas his ladylove is Rhea Chakraborty, with whom he wanted to work in future.
2. Another blind by Pinkvilla during the #MeToo movement read as: “This young lady who will be making her film debut later this year seems to have her head firmly screwed to her shoulders. When her co-star, known for his errant ways, came on too strongly, she politely but firmly put him in his place. As word of this got around, another Bollywood producer, a corporate honcho, who also happens to be working with the said male star, immediately took precautionary action and put a formal anti-sexual harassment policy in his company. Better be safe than sorry. Well done, sir.”
Here, the debutant young lady refers to Sanjana Sanghi and the film is ‘Dil Bechara’.
3. Blind by Pinkvilla titled as “EXCLUSIVE Guess Who: This actor’s girlfriend is creating more trouble for the producers of his next” (July 2019):
“But the actor has been a very difficult nut to crack. While the team of ADs and others working on the film are already frustrated with his behavioural issues and mood swings, his current girlfriend – who’s also an actress but hardly has any hit to her name – is bringing more chaos on the platter. How? Apparently, during one of the poster shoots for the film, the girlfriend was calling the shots and turned up as the actor’s new manager. Her high-handed behaviour left everyone infuriated and now with the trailer and the promotions coming up, the team is already terrified of handling the duo on a regular basis.”
It is a reference to Sushant’s girlfriend Rhea, with whom he wanted to share screen space.
Another blind about Rajput was carried by ‘The Opinionated Indian’ in May 2018.
It read as: “This outsider has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. He has been dating his co-star from his last dud. While she has delivered a hit, his career has been going through a rough patch. There are rumours that he has a drinking problem. He physically abuses his GF & has cheated on her. Despite being a successful actor herself, she chooses to put up with his behaviour rather than dump him. He was known to get drunk at parties & create a scene, post starring in a 100cr+ hit last year. But one hit is all it will take for him to be the toast of town all over again.”
Here, the action film is possibly referred to ‘Drive’ and “ambitious project” is Abhishek Kapoor’s ‘Kedarnath’.
The ‘dud’ is Raabta and rumoured girlfriend is Kriti Sanon, Sushant’s co-star from the film.
While one may think these blinds are mere gossips, these unverified new pieces do have the power to make or break an actor professionally and personally.
On Tuesday, film critic Masand was summoned by Mumbai police for interrogation in the Sushant suicide case.
Sushant was found hanging at his Bandra residence on June 14. He was reportedly suffering from clinical depression and was undergoing treatment for the same.
According to some media reports, the actor had searched for his name on Google and read some new articles before hanging himself.