Shahid swaps Bollywood for Holyrood

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HE'S one of Bollywood's biggest stars, his face familiar to millions of fans around the world.

Like all celebrities, his every action is pored over, from who he is dating to the scandal of his recent beard growth.

And now a little bit of this mania has hit the Capital, after it emerged that superstar Shahid Kapoor is in town to start work on his latest movie.

The 29-year-old actor flew in this week, and already his many fans have been trying to find out anything they can about his movements so they can catch a glimpse of their hero.

He is starring in father Pankaj Kapoor's directorial debut Mausam, parts of which are to be shot around the Capital.

And he is clearly delighted about the role, telling fans on Twitter: "My mausam journey begins at Heathrow. Will be in Scotland in 2 hours . . . Wish me luck people this is a big one."

It is understood this trip is to carry out pre-production and planning, with filming set to start later in the year in Edinburgh, London and India.

Members of the cast and crew were meant to travel to the Capital last month, but were repeatedly delayed by the air-space closures caused by the volcanic ash cloud.

Sources said the trip was being kept very low-key, with producers keen to avoid the actor being mobbed by fans intent on tracking him down.

However, the actor did let slip a vital clue to his whereabouts, tweeting: "Checked into my room in Edinburgh, dinner with family in an Indian restaurant right here opposite my hotel."

Mirdul Wadhwa, information and education officer with Shakti Women's Aid, which helps ethnic minority women struggling in abusive relationships, was hoping the actor would agree to appear at a fundraising event at the Assembly Rooms this evening.

She said Shahid was a "huge" celebrity and admitted friends had already been scouring the city in a bid to find him.

"He is one of the biggest stars in Bollywood right now, so it's really amazing that he's come to Edinburgh and there will certainly be a lot of hysteria among his fans, and a lot of people trying to track him down," she said.

"He's very popular, and of course, he is making this movie with his father, who is a very revered actor, but less commercially successful. Shahid's films are very popular, and I hear he has even grown a beard to keep himself in disguise.

"Some friends have been trying to find Indian staff at the city's five-star hotels as they will definitely recognise him."

Shakti Women's Aid will be holding its fundraising event – with or without a star guest – at the Assembly Rooms in George Street from 7pm.

CURRYING FAVOUR WITH FILMMAKERS

THIS is the first time in almost ten years that a major Bollywood production has been earmarked for the local area.

It had been hoped at one time that the Lothians would become the Bollywood of Scotland, after several major productions were filmed here.

Since then, however, there have been almost no Bollywood companies looking to use the area for their films.

The trend of using the area as a setting for Bollywood films took off in 1998 when KuchKuch Hota Hai, used Tantallon Castle in East Lothian.

In 2000 the city played host to four Bollywood film crews, with the castle, Princes Street, Arthur's Seat and the Forth Road Bridge all featuring as backdrops.

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