Diva diaries

Following Bipasha's public fallout with an event manager over an alleged no-show, we look at other instances when B-townies played truant.

Bipasha Basu’s recent showdown with an international event organiser over her alleged disappearing act at a fashion show in London is but a small glimpse of the drama that ensues backstage before the arc lights come on. An event organiser has accused the actress of a no-show in the English capital. This, after allegedly taking the signing amount and arranging for tickets and a hotel suite in London for her and her husband Karan Singh Grover. The actress’ spokesperson chose not to comment on it when we contacted her a few days ago, but Bipasha rubbished the incident on her Twitter account a day later. “15 years you don’t last any business being unprofessional. You last because you are clear and particular and have self-respect. Hearing about a con woman talking utter rubbish about my work ethics (sic),” she wrote.

Bollywood’s managers and event organisers are no strangers to either Bollywood’s amnesia or its temper tantrums. From insisting on a chartered flight to picking up designer dresses on a whim, there’s much that actors are known to drive their teams up the wall for.

A talent manager on the condition of anonymity, while recounting her experience with a particularly painful A-list client shares, “Most of the public appearances or red carpet events that she is invited to, are thanks to her association with a popular cosmetic brand. But during media interactions, she only promotes her films and fashion, relegating the reason for her appearance to the sidelines. Dealing with upset brand executives isn’t exactly a breeze,” she rues.

Speaking of promotions, a young cherubic actress who signed up as a brand ambassador for a tourism campaign recently, received much flak from the organisers after she didn’t do her bit to promote the destination. “It basically served as a fully paid holiday with a lot of extra cash thrown in,” says a source associated with the brand promotion.

A common complaint that mars most talent agencies however, is actors’ mood swings. An A-list actress has a reputation for locking herself up in her vanity van while the crew waits outside. There are however, ways in which she makes up for the spurt of emotions. Informs a source from a film set, “The actress was at an outdoor shoot recently and requested for a spa session. When it was arranged, she also treated her managers to it. This is much in contrast to her regal co-star who insisted on bearing the personal expenses himself.”

A long list of demands isn’t new to managers at all. From ensuring that the food comes from a certain restaurant to booking a room with a particular view, they’ve done it all. But the demands made by a certain actress and star wife were too much for the production house of a popular reality show, who politely withdrew their offer and promptly replaced her with another actor. “She had a different set of demands for each day. We couldn’t possibly accommodate so many customisations to a schedule and inconvenience the rest,” says a source associated with the show.

Managers are prepared for a lot of a stress from their high maintenance clients, but this particular leggy lass, with a distinct foreign accent left her producers stunned when she declared that she wouldn’t continue the shoot after spending three days on the sets. “One didn’t know what to say. She said she can’t shoot anymore and took off from the sets on day four of the shoot,” rues a team member.

“It’s the kind of stress that comes with the territory. There are times when you encounter a very professional artiste. But having spent a few years in the industry, I can tell you that it’s not as often as we’d like it to be,” shares a PR manager.

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