Attention, latecomers!


By Hindustan Times

As Christina Aguilera is slapped with a heavy fine for coming late on a TV show, Bollywood spills the beans about desi defaulters Singer Christina Aguilera has reportedly been fined for being a habitual latecomer on the sets of the TV show, The Voice on NBC. The makers of the show apparently took this step so that the singer, who always reported two hours late, becomes punctual for the next season.

Closer home, Bollywood may just want to take a cue from the show’s bosses, considering the industry’s queue of latecomers. When we asked industry insiders about the late lateefs, the one name that they took unanimously, albeit off the record, was Salman Khan, known to report as late as six hours after the agreed time. Next up was actor Sanjay Dutt. Producers, however, put up with the latecoming because of the actors’ star status.

“They (producers) are prepared to do other scenes if the actor doesn’t turn up. These guys come late but are such pros that they finish the shoot in a few hours. These days, stars don’t get too late because they are doing multiple films and want to wrap up soon,” says an industry source, who has seen Govinda come seven hours late and Salman six hours late on set.

Other sources say that lack of punctuality is a problem with the senior actors while the younger crop always reports on time. “Salman, Sanjay and Govinda are well-known late-comers. Coming late is in the DNA of Salman and Sanjay,” says a leading producer, wishing not to be named.

Among female actors, Mallika Sherawat takes the cake. “Mallika always turns up late. She was never on time and everyone had to wait for her,” says a source from a channel on which she did a show. Actor Kangna Ranaut has a similar reputation. “Many decide their timings depending on who the producer is. Nobody would be late for Karan Johar or Ekta Kapoor,” says a source from an event management firm. “Shah Rukh Khan and Saif Ali Khan are also known to come late,” says another source. Most actors refused to comment on the subject.

Actors who always report on time
Akshay Kumar
Vidya Balan
Ajay Devgn
Amitabh Bachchan

They’re never on time
Salman Khan
Sanjay Dutt

Should we fine, too? Should bollywood producers, too, fine stars who habitually come late on film sets?
“I think imposing such a fine on celebrities who are late-comers is a great idea. A lot of money is wasted when others have to wait for one celeb for hours, so, why not?” says adman Prahlad Kakkar. Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt says, “Sounds great but who will have the courage to implement and execute this?”