Top 10 Showbiz Newsmakers of 2015

Many of 2015’s top entertainment headlines were generated by the trifecta of Khans – but by no means did they hog the attention. From Charlie Sheen’s HIV revelation to a disaster of staggering proportions in the form of Bombay Velvet, 2015 was packed to the brim with action.
1. Salman Khan: The year’s most newsworthy star was Salman, who spent much of the year on both sides of public approval. In May, the actor was convicted of culpable homicide not amounting to murder in the 2002 hit-and-run case. A Sessions Court in Mumbai sentenced him to five years in jail, to applause fromaam janata on and off social media. Days later, the Bombay High Court gave him bail. In December, the High Court found Salman not guilty, ruling that he could not be convicted on the basis of the evidence produced. The public at large was dismayed but Bollywood heaved a sigh of relief – chiefly because this was also the year that Salman put himself at the head of the class as Bollywood’s most profitable star. In July, Salman’s Eid release Bajrangi Bhaijaan became his biggest blockbuster ever, making over Rs 300 crores at home. In November, his second film of 2015 Prem Ratan Dhan Payo made the box office explode like a Diwali firecracker. Between them, both films made over Rs 500 crores in India, placing their star in a league of his own among Bollywood’s top earners.
2. Deepika Padukone: If 2015 really belongs to one celebrity, it is Deepika Padukone. She began the year with a thought-provoking and brutally honest confession about having battled and been medicated for depression. In an interview to NDTV, the 29-year-old actress spoke about feeling ’empty and directionless.’ Later in the year, Deepika launched a mental health foundation called Live Love Laugh. A mid-year campaign video titled ‘My Choice’ starred Deepika but was widely criticized for appearing to equate infidelity with empowerment, something that the actress later said she did not endorse. Deepika was also among 2015’s most prolific actors, starring in three films –Piku, in which her performance was singled out for praise, was one of the year’s first proper hits; Tamasha, a semi-hit, also fetched her good reviews;Bajirao Mastani, ending the year with a bang, is a hit both at the box office and with critics. As of now, Deepika has no films lined up for 2016 but she might just spring a surprise of the best kind on us – weeks ago, she tweeted a picture of herself with Hollywood star Vin Deisel, the backdrop emblazoned with ‘xXx.’
3. Shah Rukh Khan: Salman’s fellow Khan was once again told to ‘go to Pakistan’ after speaking about the importance of keeping the country secular. He told NDTV on his 50th birthday in November, “Religious intolerance is the worst thing and will take India to the dark ages.” For this, he was called a ‘Pakistani agent’ and compared to 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed by BJP and Vishwa Hindu Parishad leaders. Bollywood and Twitter took up cudgels on SRK’s behalf and the hashtag #IStandWithSRK trended on the social networking site. Work-wise, SRK spent the year making three movies, the first of which – Dilwalewith actress Kajol – released mid-December and is on its way to becoming a hit. His other two films – Fan and Raees – will open next year. The actor was also summoned by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the valuation of shares of his co-owned IPL cricket team, Kolkata Knight Riders. SRK also received an honorary doctorate from the United Kingdom’s University of Edinburgh, where he delivered a rousing speech about real life lessons, with examples from the plots of his movies such as Chak De! IndiaMy Name Is Khan and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, sealing the show with a thrilling Lungi Dance.

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