Join BBC Asian Network's Haroon Rashid for your fix of Bollywood movie chat, big star interviews and all things Desi entertainment.
Lagaan, Gadar, Dil Chahta Hai and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara
The final episode of this season's Beyond Bollywood Podcast puts the spotlight on four big hits that are celebrating big anniversaries this summer. Lagaan, Gadar and Dil Chahta Hai turn 20 years old, and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (ZNMD) was released a decade ago. What are the legacies of each film? Was 2001 a career-changing year for Aamir Khan? Could you relate to Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar or Abhay Deol's characters in ZNMD? Have these films stood the test of time or are they problematic for a 2021 audience? Join Haroon with podcaster Raj Pander and Akanksha Bhatia, who is the sub-editor of Scoop Woop, as they dissect each film without a tinted lens.
31/07/2021 • 57 minutes 23 seconds
This can't go on!
From colourism, to fat shaming and how minority communities are represented - this episode explores prejudices portrayed in Bollywood and questions whether things are changing. Are characters like Bhumi Pednekar in Dum Laga Ke Haisha progressive or should they have used a 'bigger' actress rather than making her gain weight for the role? Is Vidya Balan the only actress flying the flag for women with 'real' bodies? Are Punjabis always portrayed as loud and drunk and Muslims depicted as terrorists? And is fair still considered more beautiful in songs and storylines? From Priyanka Chopra-Jonas' rock-bottom moment in the film Fashion to Hrithik Roshan blacking up in Super 30 - is colourism an issue in Bollywood?
Haroon Rashid chats to student Jasmine Rai who based her dissertation on minority representation in films, Tik-Tokker Shabaz Ali and former film/TV critic, Imaan Zia
24/07/2021 • 50 minutes 58 seconds
What's happened to Bollywood music?!
Haroon chats to Tik-Tok couple Ahmed and Nimrah Zaman about Bollywood soundtracks – what on earth has happened to the music? From 90s albums you could listen to on repeat like AR Rahman's Rangeela or Jatin-Lalit's Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge; to one-hit wonders and remixed tracks like "Deedar De" or "Cheez Badi" – this episode takes you through a time tunnel of the highs and lows of filmi music over the last few decades.
17/07/2021 • 45 minutes 27 seconds
Ageism and sexism in Bollywood
With stars like Salman Khan in his 50s romancing Disha Patani who's in her 20s in the film Radhe; why is it so common for actors to star opposite heroines half their age? Does Akshay Kumar have a strategy when it comes his leading ladies? Have actors with star kids like Anil Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan switched their acting game because their daughters are now heroines? Superstars of the 90s and 00s Madhuri Dixit-Nene, Juhi Chawla and even Kajol are struggling to make an impactful comeback - why is that?
There are so many questions to answer in this week's episode where Haroon Rashid is joined by film critic Rahul Desai from Film Companion in Mumbai and film buff Sanaa from London. They explore why the Hindi film industry discriminates against actresses once they turn a certain age or get hitched.
10/07/2021 • 47 minutes 47 seconds
Nepotism: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Nepotism has been the buzz word in B-town over the last few years, especially after the sudden death of rising star, Sushant Singh Rajput. Since then, film fans have started to question whether Bollywood is for those who know the right people rather than for those who can act. Would you rate Sara Ali Khan, Ananya Pandey, Abhishek Bachchan, Ranbir Kapoor or Alia Bhatt as talented actors if they weren’t born in to star families?
In this podcast, Haroon Rashid is joined by Nayandeep Rakshit from Bollywood Bubble and Amrita Tanna from BizAsia who dissect whether nepotism does really give a ‘star kid’ or ‘celeb mate’ the platform they need to shine; or does their fate ultimately depend on how talented an actor they are.
03/07/2021 • 38 minutes 40 seconds
Cancel culture – productive or toxic?
Would you boycott a star if they do something you just can’t forgive? How easy is it to watch their movies when you disagree with what they do or say in real life? The Khandaan Podcast’s presenters; Asim, Sujoy and Amrita join Haroon to dissect Bollywood. From Salman Khan’s many controversies, Kangana’s politics. Ranbir Kapoor’s love life and Vidya Balan’s lack of opinion on BLM – find out if they would cancel stars who don’t align with their beliefs.
26/06/2021 • 45 minutes 14 seconds
The real Feroze Khan behind the bad-boy image
Pakistani star Feroze Khan speaks exclusively to Haroon Rashid about the success of his drama Khuda Aur Mohabbat, his controversial choice of roles and why he can’t escape his “bad-boy” image. Feroze tells Haroon he doesn’t care what people think of him, shares his biggest fan moment and responds to claims that his characters promote toxic behaviour.
29/05/2021 • 38 minutes 41 seconds
Sardar Ka Grandson Special
Stars of Sardar Ka Grandson; Arjun Kapoor, Neena Gupta and Rakul Preet Singh, alongside director Kaashvi Nair share anecdotes of making the latest Bollywood release on Netflix.
Arjun says he thought the story idea sounded "stupid" until he heard the script and was captivated. Neena said she instantly refused to play a 90-year-old woman until the screenplay won her over. And Rakul could relate to the film because her grandfather always dreamt of returning to his home in Pakistan. The team behind the film reminisce about how their grandparents spoilt them and find out what they think of how Pakistanis are portrayed in Bollywood films.
22/05/2021 • 31 minutes 28 seconds
Salman Khan and Huma Qureshi
Bollywood's beloved bhai, Salman Khan says filmmaking is what gets him up in the morning and he wouldn't want a break because he finds holidays boring. He's looking forward to Radhe releasing worldwide - including the UK, as cinemas reopen after another lockdown. Find out if he finds action roles too physically challenging and how he snapped the Eid film release spot.
And in the second part of the podcast Haroon chats to Huma Qureshi who is celebrating a decade in Bollywood. She reveals how she bagged a Zack Snyder film to make her Hollywood debut with Army of the Dead, which releases on Netflix.
15/05/2021 • 32 minutes 3 seconds
Rohit Saraf: Rising star and teen heartthrob
He's only 24 and already Rohit Saraf has shared the screen with A-listers like Alia Bhatt in Dear Zindagi, Priyanka Chopra-Jonas in The Sky is Pink and Abhishek Bachchan in Ludo. But he says he never dreamt of being an actor, in fact he wanted to be a dancer - and that dream came true with the music video "Shola" by singer Akasa. The rising star says he has more fun at work than partying with mates and feels he's "one of the luckiest people in the world" because of the adoration from his fans. Find out how he takes criticism and what he makes of his new pin-up status following the success of Netflix's teen rom-com, Mismatched.
08/05/2021 • 42 minutes 9 seconds
AR Rahman: Musical maestro turns filmmaker
The Oscar-winning composer says he wanted a new challenge so set himself the task of writing and producing a musical romantic film - 99 Songs - with a new director, new actor AND it will be in three languages. AR believes times are changing and if you don't keep up with the ever-changing demands of music videos and churning out films within months then composers won't be relevant anymore. In this candid conversation with Haroon Rashid, find out what he thinks about remix culture and what he hums along to while chilling out at home.
01/05/2021 • 36 minutes 28 seconds
Abhishek Bachchan and Aditi Rao Hydari
Junior Bachchan takes a look back on his two decades in Bollywood - from the roles that made him uncomfortable to his new experimental phase. He's never seen a film as risky - whether it was pretending to be gay in Dostana, or playing the husband who loses his wife to another man in Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna. Abhishek thinks the audiences are now demanding more realistic films but he can't resist a "full-on masala film" with all the pomp and melodrama. Haroon also catches up with actress Aditi Rao Hydari as well as writer, director Neeraj on the anthology Ajeeb Daastaans, which is the latest Bollywood release on Netflix. Aditi says she doesn't mind being typecast - even if its for her forever glazed eyes!
24/04/2021 • 35 minutes 43 seconds
Sanya Malhotra and Aadar Jain
From Dangal to Pagglait; Sanya Malhotra is trying to pick up roles that empower women. Her latest is a Netflix slice of life comedy where she plays a young widow. The actress says she’s been inundated with women saying how they relate to her character not previously seen in Bollywood films. Also, Haroon chats with Aadar Jain – hailing from the Kapoor family with hugely successful cousins like Kareena and Ranbir; Aadar hopes his second film, Hello Charlie will prove his talent. From attending film school in in the USA, being an assistant director on films like Happy New Year, to performing in front of the camera – he wants to find success through hard work and not because of his family’s legacy.
17/04/2021 • 33 minutes 29 seconds
Ramsha Khan: Drama that changed the actress
‘Ghisi Piti Mohabbat’ wasn’t a blockbuster but got a lot of critical acclaim and was praised for its positive portrayal of women. The drama dealt with taboos around divorce, women being breadwinners of the family to girls taking up self-defence. Ramsha Khan says playing Samia has changed her as a person. She just hopes she can bag another role that gets her as excited to get out of bed! Also Haroon gives his top five Pakistani drama recommendations that have strong female characters playing the lead.
03/04/2021 • 33 minutes 10 seconds
Manoj Bajpayee: Acceptance, art and accolades
Three-time National Award-winner Manoj Bajpayee gets candid with Haroon Rashid about his struggles, success and his latest Zee5 global release, Silence. He’s mastered mainstream Bollywood with films like Satya and Baaghi 3, marvelled critics with non-commercial films like Aligarh and even adapted to OTT platforms with dramas like The Family Man. Find out what he has in common with Shah Rukh Khan as they started their acting careers together. Manoj also talks about the pressure of box office and streaming platforms. Despite being in the business for over twenty years there is still hunger to learn from other actors – his current acting homework is binge-watching The Crown on Netflix!
27/03/2021 • 31 minutes 14 seconds
Adnan Siddiqui: Collaborating with the makers of Ertugrul
Actor Adnan Siddiqui tells Haroon how he landed the role of executive producer to a big-budget period Pakistani drama with the makers of the Turkish phenomena, Ertugrul. He says his success in Meray Paas Tum Ho and Yeh Mera Dil is hard to match because no other scripts are anywhere near as good. He reckons he hasn't been typecast because he's willing to take on roles that his contemporaries would shy away from. And Adnan says he has a lot to learn from young stars like Sajal Aly and Ahad Raza Mir.
13/03/2021 • 35 minutes 23 seconds
Don’t mess with the ladies
Pooja Bhatt can finally play her age, Ekta Kapoor is done with being asked about marriage and Tahira Kashyup is more than just Ayushmann’s wife. Haroon Rashid speaks to these powerful ladies to celebrate their achievements and mark International Women’s Day. Pooja and Alankrita Shrivastava tell Haroon about their new Netflix series, Bombay Begums. Ekta, Tahira and producer Guneet Monga talk about their new initiative; ‘India Women Rising’ and their goal of bagging an Oscar nomination.
06/03/2021 • 42 minutes 47 seconds
Welcome Back to Beyond Bollywood!
Haroon is back with the biggest Bollywood interviews and entertainment chat! This series he will be joined by the biggest Bollywood stars and all the entertainment and gossip from the big screen and the small screen. It's your number one fix for South Asian entertainment chat.
19/02/2021 • 3 minutes 3 seconds
Bollywood Uncovered: Looking Like A Star
Every year, thousands upon thousands of struggling actors from all over the world move to the movie capital of India with dreams of becoming the next Salman Khan or Priyanka Chopra. But in an industry obsessed with star-kids, the chances of making it are slim at best. Haroon speaks to two ‘outsiders’ who have managed to crack that glass ceiling – actress Katrina Kaif and actor Sidharth Malhotra. They tell Haroon how they deal with the pressure of always having to look like a Bollywood star; why Katrina was her own make-up artists for years and how Sidharth is choosing roles which push against his ‘pretty-boy’ looks.
06/07/2020 • 41 minutes 13 seconds
Bollywood Uncovered: Power Games
It takes a village to create a Hindi-film star. Behind-the-scenes, there are teams of managers and publicists working hard to create and maintain the image of the star who employs them. Working long before the star wakes and long after the star goes to bed, these people are invisible to most of us but are well-known power-players inside the industry. Haroon sits-down with Shah Rukh Khan’s former publicist Mandvi Sharma and pap-king Viral Bhayani to find out how the two sides actually work together to help create a star; Mandvi talks about why most star-managers in Mumbai are women and Viral talks about why photographers like him are still important in helping an actor jump from the B to the A-List.
15/06/2020 • 39 minutes 37 seconds
Bollywood Uncovered: The Body Doctor
Haroon sits down with one of Bollywood’s best-kept secrets – nutritionist, Dr Siddhant Bhargava. Co-founder of company Food Darzee, Dr Siddhant supplies ready-made healthy meals and eating plans to A-List stars including Alia Bhatt and Sara Ali-Khan. Haroon finds out about the extraordinary levels of discipline required to follow Dr Siddhant’s bespoke programme; how he helps actors slim-down after an indulgent holiday and also reveals some of the secretive (and unhealthy) ways stars get their bodies camera-ready.
15/06/2020 • 48 minutes 27 seconds
Bollywood Uncovered: Spilling The Tea
With streaming sites taking business from cinemas, the Hindi film industry is desperately trying to reach Gen Z who prefer to stay home and watch YouTube instead. Haroon talks to Pinkvilla’s Nayandeep Rakshit, YouTuber Prajakta Koli and PTI journalist Justin Rao about the power-shift from the star talent to content-creators. Nayandeep names the actor who gave him his worst ever interview-experience; Justin talks about what happened when footage of actress Kangna Ranaut ‘confronting’ him at a press conference went viral and Prajakta talks about how stars now treat her given she’s a massive online-star compared to the radio intern at first meeting.
08/06/2020 • 30 minutes 58 seconds
Bollywood Uncovered: Do Reviews Matter?
While many Hindi film fans will watch any movie starring their favourite actors, others will check what the critics say before they part with their cash. Haroon meets some of India’s most celebrated reviewers – renowned critic Rajeev Masand, Film Companion’s Sucharita Tyagi and Huffington Post’s Ankur Pathak - and finds out if stars and critics can ever be friends; how they judge good from bad and hears just how disheartening they find under-whelming films regularly breaking box-office records.
01/06/2020 • 42 minutes 25 seconds
Bollywood Uncovered: Kareena Kapoor Khan - 20 Years at The Top!
Hailing from Bollywood’s leading star family, Kareena Kapoor Khan or Bebo as she’s affectionately known, is both a superstar and inspiration for many of her fans. She’s successfully navigated the ever-changing industry for more than two decades and managed to do what many considered impossible for a Bollywood actress – stay consistently in demand with box-office hit after hit. In the first episode of this no-holds barred podcast, Bebo looks back on her Bollywood hits like K3G and Jab We Met; reflects on the movie choices that didn’t fit her glamorous image and has advice on what young actors need to do, to make it big in Mumbai.
25/05/2020 • 49 minutes 51 seconds
Welcome to Bollywood Uncovered!
Asian Network’s Entertainment Reporter Haroon Rashid visits Mumbai to find out what it takes to make it as a Bollywood film star in 2020; how the industry is responding to the challenges posed by online-platforms; meets those behind-the-scenes power-players who can make and break stars and finds out what it takes to sustain a long and successful career in a place obsessed with ‘the next-big-thing.’
20/05/2020 • 2 minutes 36 seconds
The Biggest B: Haroon goes to Mumbai!
Leaving Amn and Shehzaad behind, Haroon flies to Mumbai hoping to come face to face with the legend that is the Big B.
27/04/2020 • 33 minutes 15 seconds
The Biggest B: The Experimental Years
Haroon, Shehzaad and Amn discuss Amitabh Bachchan’s genre defining films, share their personal favourites and contemplate what Hindi cinema might look like had he chosen a different path.
20/04/2020 • 38 minutes 22 seconds
The Biggest B: Ultimate Dad
It’s the millennium and Amitabh Bachchan is broke – but his good mate and director Yash Chopra gives him a role in upcoming movie Mohabbattein and in a one fell swoop, AB is back at the top - this time not as the leading man but the leading man’s father. More iconic dad-roles follow that introduce the magnificence of the Big B to a whole new generation. This on-screen rebirth also sees Mr Bachchan spreading his wings and doing roles which have changed the course of mainstream cinema.
13/04/2020 • 46 minutes 49 seconds
The Biggest B: The Lost Years
The 90’s weren’t kind to the Big B. After a short but unsuccessful stint in politics, he found himself competing with a new generation of actors playing college kids and mimicking versions of his earlier ‘angry young man’ years. Haroon, Amn and Shehzaad relive some films his fans believe are best forgotten and ponder what other actor could return so spectacularly with a career that appeared to be firmly in the ashes.
06/04/2020 • 45 minutes 17 seconds
The Biggest B: Romantic Bachchan
In the 80’s, Amitabh left his Angry Young Man phase behind to take on some romantic roles in movies like Silsila and Kabhie Kabhie. The team discuss his romantic roles as well as talking about some of their favourite pairings with actresses like Rekha, Parveen Babi and Zeenat Aman.
30/03/2020 • 39 minutes 28 seconds
The Biggest B: A Star is Born
The son of a poet, Allahabad-born Amitabh Bachchan landed in Mumbai with just two things – a driving license and a dream. His first part in film Saat Hindustani went unnoticed. Thirteen flops later, it took Zanjeer for Bollywood wake up to his appeal, winning him the Angry Young Man tag.
With passion a plenty, Bollywood buffs Haroon, Amn and Shehzaad go right back to the beginning and talk Rajesh Khanna, that ‘scene’ in Dewaar and if Sholay would have become the world wide classic without the Big B in it.
24/03/2020 • 39 minutes 40 seconds
Welcome To The Biggest B
Known as the Shahenshah of Bollywood, actor Amitabh Bachchan is without a doubt, Indian cinema’s biggest ever star. 200 films later over 50 incredible years including genre defining Deewar, Sholay and Coolie, Amitabh Bachchan is without doubt The Biggest B.
In this podcast, two Bachchan fans (Haroon & Amn) and one fanatic (Shehzaad!) trace his prolific career by starting at the very beginning and explain why the living legend is such a hero to twentysomething year olds.
23/03/2020 • 3 minutes 8 seconds
Kiara Advani: Living The A List Life
Kiara Advani stars in two of 2019’s biggest films but tells Haroon Rashid it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. She admits having easy access to the great and the good at the beginning but it ultimately comes down to talent. They also discuss controversial film Kabir Singh, how she’s living her dream and her exciting slate for 2020.
12/03/2020 • 40 minutes 32 seconds
Kriti Sanon: Riding the Roller-Coaster of Success
Kriti Sanon tells Haroon Rashid she’s playing a surrogate mum in her next film but challenging scripts haven’t always come easily - despite starring in big films such as Heropanti and Diwale. She also reveals what she does when she knows a film is rubbish but still has to promote it!
12/03/2020 • 33 minutes 38 seconds
Kartik Aaryan: Social Media Struggler to Bona Fide Superstar
Kartik Aaryan is a heart throb today but it wasn’t always the case. He tells Haroon Rashid his story to stardom, how used social media to get the gigs and what it feels like to be part of Bollywood’s ‘cool gang’ today. Kartik is a self-confessed workaholic and a control freak but says it’s all part of the plan.
11/03/2020 • 24 minutes 31 seconds
Bhumi Pednekar: The New-Age Bollywood Heroine
Bhumi Pednekar talks to Haroon Rashid about how she’s redefining the Bollywood heroine. Since making her debut as a rejected overweight wife in 2015’s Dum Laga Ke Haisha, Bhumi has developed a reputation for choosing unconventional and boundary pushing films.
10/03/2020 • 40 minutes 48 seconds
Janhvi Kapoor: More Than Just A 'Star Kid'
Janhvi Kapoor knows what expectation is. The daughter of legend Sridevi and producer Boney Kapoor tells Haroon Rashid that she wants to earn the love for who she is. They chat about the pressures that come with life under the spotlight and how Janhvi navigates her rising star on her own terms.
09/03/2020 • 38 minutes 21 seconds
Welcome to Beyond Bollywood!
Join BBC Asian Network’s Haroon Rashid for your fix of Bollywood movie chat, big star interviews and all things Desi entertainment. From new movies to love of the classics – this is the only place to be!