By now, the story of Journey’s Neal Schon discovering Arnel Pineda on YouTube — and subsequently crowning him Journey’s new lead singer in 2008 — has become classic underdog folklore amongst Asian Americans and Filipinos around the world. However, Steve Perry fans might have needed a little bit more convincing. Pineda, a singer/songwriter from the Philippines who was singing Journey cover songs with his band The Zoo, may have been a curious choice to officially headline the popular American rock band.
Five years later, the 30-year-old band Journey has had a resurgence, thanks to Arnel (and his undeniable pipes). Their international tours continue to sell out, and the band is currently performing in Japan with no breaks until September, after they make stops in Singapore, UK, Germany, and the US.
As soon as award-winning documentarian Ramona Diaz (Imelda, The Learning) heard about Arnel, she knew there was a story there. It took some convincing, as the original members of Journey weren’t keen on having a filmmaker follow them around on tour, but soon she was on the road, capturing Arnel Pineda’s first year as the lead singer of Journey.
And Pineda is such a sweetly charismatic subject. A huge Journey fan himself, Pineda cannot believe he’s even included in their band photos. It’s his first time performing in front of such massive crowds. A ball of energy onstage, he needs to learn how to balance making the songs his own, yet not steering too far away from the Steve Perry sound that Journey fans have come to love. On the flip side, the members of Journey treat Arnel as a younger brother, protective over the fact that they’re taking a singer who grew up homeless in the Manila slums and throwing him into a crazy rock ‘n roll circus.
But before they know it, the Filipino fans start showing up in middle-of-nowhere America. And they are there not for Journey. They are there for Arnel.
The documentary Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey opened in limited release on March 9, 2013. For more information, go to their official website: Everymansjourney.com.
2013 marks 100 years of Indian cinema — home of the unique film genre affectionately referred to as Bollywood — and through the century, there have been many memorable leading ladies, from Nargis, Sridevi and Rekha to Madhuri Dixit, Aishwarya Rai, Rani Mukherjee, Preity Zinta and many many more.
For this year’s Women’s History Month, Audrey Magazine highlights some of our favorite Indian actresses ruling contemporary Hindi cinema today. This is the first in our series of Asian Women in Film, where we will be featuring leading ladies from all of Asian cinema.
Here are 10 names to know:
When the former Miss World (2000) began her career in Bollywood, from her 2002 debut in the Tamil film Thamizhan to her damsel-in-distress role to Hrithik Roshan’s superhero in 2006′s Kriish, there was often more talk about her skimpy outfits than her acting skills. Then 2008 happened: Chopra had six films come out that year, and while the first few were unsuccessful, late 2008 brought the release of Fashion, the first role that got critics talking about her talent rather than her looks — especially when she swept all the major Indian Film Awards that year for Best Actress. Since then, even if the film she’s been in haven’t been acclaimed, people tend to point out Priyanka Chopra’s performance as the best part. Case in point: the awards she’d picked up for playing a murderess in 7 Khoon Maaf and an autistic woman in Barfi! in the last two years.
Vidya Balan has been acting in feature films for a decade, but she broke out into stardom recently with her role in The Dirty Picture, the biopic about the adult film actress Silk Smitha who was popular in the 1980s and 90s. The role earned her Filmfare and National Film Awards for Best Actress in 2012, and she followed it up with the crime thriller Kahaani, in which she plays a pregnant woman in search of her missing husband.
Kajol (also pictured at the top of the article) has been a household name since 1995′s Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ), which kickstarted a filmgoing craze (it is the longest running Indian film in history, and as of Jan 2013, the film is still playing in a theater in Mumbai, 17 years later) as well as a timeless romantic pairing (Kajol and Shah Rukh Khan have acted in six films together). But in recent years, Kajol has brought an even greater depth to her performances. Just check her out as the blind woman in Fanaa or the grieving mother in My Name is Khan. You’ll feel like a really beautiful, soulful woman just punched you in the stomach.
Deepika Padukone made her debut in 2007′s Om Shanti Om, playing two characters that looked identical though they’re from different time periods (it can happen, just go with it). But she gave both characters enough nuance to prove to audiences that she was more than a tall, strikingly-beautiful model — even though she was definitely tall and definitely strikingly beautiful. Since then, she’s taken on different types of characters, from the modern-day romantic lead in Love Aaj Kal to the downward-spiraling toxic friend in Cocktail.
Another actress who got her start in a Shah Rukh Khan film (2008′s Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi), Anushka Sharma soon ventured out on her own and found another leading man that she seemed to have good chemistry with, on and off screen. Acting opposite co-star Ranveer Singh (quick tangent: check out his abs in Audrey’s Daily SHAG here) in Band Baaja Baaraat and Ladies Vs. Ricky Bahl, Sharma really showcased her natural charisma and ability to lead a film. In 2012, she reunited with Shah Rukh Khan in Jab Tak Hai Jaan. Whereas in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, she played the mourning, subdued wife whose life and belief in love needed to be re-ignited by Shah Rukh Khan’s charm, in Jab Tak Hai Jaan, she was the mini-Shah Rukh Khan, who “Shah Rukh Khan”-ed Shah Rukh Khan himself. I know it sounds confusing. But just watch the movies.
Born in Hong Kong to a Kashmiri Indian father and an English mother, Katrina Kaif often seems to have a maturity beyond her years onscreen. By 25, she was playing the Chief Minister party leader in the political thriller Raajneeti — and somehow pulling it off. After memorable turns as a civil rights activist circa 9/11 in New York and a diving instructor helping Hrithik Roshan get over his fear of water (and workaholism) in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, she helped jaded modern audiences believe in “old school” true love again in last year’s blockbuster Yash Raj film Jab Tak Hai Jaan.
Farah Khan has been in the industry for what seems like forever: as a choreographer, she is responsible for so many memorable Bollywood dance sequences that it’s almost impossible to count, but some of our favorites include “Chaiya Chiaya,” “Shava Shava,” and “Maahi Ve.” In addition to her choreography, she’s directed memorable films such as Main Hoon Na and Om Shanti Om. In 2012, she won a Stardust Best Actress Award for her on-screen debut Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi. But even when she’s behind the camera, she is an incomparable leading lady.
Sonam Kapoor (daughter of Anil Kapoor, who international audiences know from Slumdog Millionaire and TV’s 24) made her debut in 2007 with Saawariya, opposite Ranbir Kapoor. At the time, Saawariya got a lot of attention, because although the two of them were newcomers to the industry, the film was co-produced by Sony Pictures, and it was the first Bollywood movie to receive a North American release by a Hollywood studio. Since then, Kapoor has landed girl next door roles in romantic comedies, such as Aisha and I Hate Luv Storys.
A descendant of the legendary Kapoor family, Kareena Kapoor is continuing the legacy started by Prithviraj Kapoor and cemented by Raj Kapoor, as Kareena was most recently named the highest ranking female actress in Forbe India’s Celebrity 100 list. A power player in the industry, Kapoor has been one of India’s highest paid actress in years, starring in blockbusters including Aamir Khan’s 3 Idiots, Salman Khan’s Bodyguard, Shah Rukh Khan’s Ra.One, and most recently reuniting with Aamir Khan in Talaash: The Answer Lies Within.
There are many more, but here are 10 to start with. Who are your favorite Indian actresses?
High school: such a pivotal time in young women’s lives for college/career decisions, familial tension, first loves, first rejections, no-holds-barred attitude and unexpected self-discoveries.
And when high school years are depicted on American film and television, extracurricular activities may involve solving murder mysteries (Pretty Little Liars), and unrequited love is sometimes best told through song (T.V. Carpio’s cover of “I Want to Hold Your Hand” in Across the Universe).
One could argue that Tamlyn Tomita’s Kumiko was the ultimate Asian American high school “girl-next-door” crush, even if, back in 1986, the Karate Kid had to travel all the way to Japan to be in the right neighborhood. But in the past 25 years, there have many memorable Asian American girls – as well as British Asians, Asian-Scots and Asian Canadians that we snuck onto the list — that we can look up to (or reminisce with) in these classic tales of high school.
Below are our Top 10 Asian American High School Girls Next Door:
You may know Korean American actor Tim Jo as the sweet, innocent alien teenager Reggie Jackson on the ABC sitcom The Neighbors, but what happens when you switch out his character’s signature polo shirts and khakis… and dress him up like a Korean pop star?
In the meantime, some Audrey Behind-the-Scenes Extras: Tim Jo’s self-described “incredible” story of how he got to Los Angeles.
We’ve all heard of the stories of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as babies — culturally American but legally not. But what happens if you’ve been in the US legally for decades, but still can’t obtain a green card to stay in your home country because of holes in the US immigration system that the government has no plans to fix?
ISSUE: Fall 2012
STORY: Ada Tseng
In 2006, Ana La O’ — at the time an undergraduate at UCLA — wrote a cover story for the alternative weekly newspaper LA Citybeat titled “The Hidden Classes,” about the first wave of undocumented immigrants that could afford to attend California public colleges after 2001’s AB 540 law allowed them to pay in-state tuition rates. The students she interviewed had been brought over to the United States as kids and educated in the American school system, yet they were unable to work legally and in danger of being deported to countries they hadn’t lived in for 15 to 20 years.
“It was the first time that I had spoken to people who had the same kind of psychology that I did,” says La O’, who moved to the U.S. from the Philippines when she was 11 months old. “I totally understood everything about being culturally American, but not having the same rights, feeling in limbo, and working toward this degree without knowing what I could actually do with it when I graduated.”
Except that La O’ was not an undocumented (what some call “illegal”) immigrant. By 2006, La O’ had been living in the United States legally for 21 years. Yet, for the next five years, she would continue to struggle to get a green card, until she was so fed up with the holes in the United States immigration system that she voluntarily self-deported in 2011, leaving her family and friends to move to the Philippines. Being plopped into a country she hadn’t lived in since she was a baby seemed like a better option than the hoops she would have to jump through just to be considered for – let alone acquire – a green card, after 26 years of living in this country.
ISSUE: Winter 2012-13
STORY: Malissa Tem
Spray paint cans and unfinished canvases line the floor of Allison Torneros’ shared art studio. A self-described pop surrealist artist, Torneros uses acrylic, spray paint and other media to bring her vivid imagination to life on canvas. She begins the process by aimlessly splattering paint onto the canvas until a form begins to appear. At times, it is her own face that takes center stage in her paintings.
“When you step back and look at it together, it creates its own story,” says Torneros of her work. Her paintings often reflect her mood or her personal struggles growing up as a Filipina American in the San Francisco Bay Area. While attending Catholic high school, Torneros says she was characterized as the promiscuous bad girl, and later, the innocent schoolgirl, something that Torneros believes arose out of pop culture rather than actual traits that she possessed at that time. One of her showcases features paintings of the two major stereotypes often cast on Asian American women — the Dragon Lady and the Lotus Blossom.
These days, the 27-year-old is often better known by her professional alias, Hueman. “‘I am not a robot, I am a human’ — it was a mantra I said to myself to snap out of a bad funk,” says Torneros. She has ventured out onto a bigger canvas — wall murals. It seems a natural progression for someone whose fine-art-meets-street-art aesthetic grew out of the world of hip-hop, something her late brother introduced her to. “I grew up admiring murals, but the big thing that held me back was that I was a woman,” says Torneros.
“[The mural art scene] seemed so male-dominated and ego driven, and I didn’t want to deal with it.”
But when she moved to L.A. and her work started getting bigger (both literally and figuratively), Torneros realized she had found her calling.
“When I started doing more murals, I was meeting people and I began using my whole body to do my art,” says Torneros. “I felt more human.”
January is National Stalking Awareness Month. It’s a crime that affects more than 6.6 million adults each year, yet stalking is little understood in the media and gravely under-reported by victims. Contributor Janice Jann breaks the silence and shares why it’s important to take this threat seriously.
ISSUE: Winter 2012-13
STORY: Janice Jann
The term “stalker” gets tossed around far too lightly these days.
“Ew, are you stalking me?” you joke when bumping into someone at the same frozen yogurt shop.
“I’m going to Facebook stalk him,” when you find out a friend has a new boyfriend.
But when you find yourself the victim of actual stalking, it’s no laughing matter.
Now in her third season playing the title role in The CW hit series, Nikita, Maggie Q knows what she wants — from the best angle to showcase a gown to how an action scene should be done in Hollywood.
ISSUE: Winter 2012-13
DEPT: Cover Feature
Photographer: Diana King
Stylist: Conor Graham
Makeup: Kayleen McAdams
Hair: Alex Polillo
Photo Assistant: Kevin Burnstein
Stylist Assistant: Morgan Howit
Producer: Olivia Wu
Story: Ada Tseng
At the start of our interview, Maggie Q jokes that she might be in a concussed state.
“I was just fighting this guy, and I smashed my head into the camera,” she says, still stunned. “I paused for a second, I had tears coming out of my eyes, and then I was like, ‘OK, I’m ready. Let’s go.’”
For most people, this sounds like a horrific assault, but it’s just another day at work for the 33-year-old actress and action star. In the past two seasons of her CW television show Nikita, Maggie has fallen down a ladder, broken fingers, and even burned her breasts. The latter happened while filming a scene where she was running down a hill, shooting a gun. She was sprinting so quickly that the hot, empty shells fell straight into her bra.
Bollywood’s Filmfare Awards — often referred to as the Oscars of the Hindi film industry — was filmed back in January in Mumbai, but the show aired on February 17, 2013, courtesy of Sony Entertainment Television Asia.
Co-hosted by Shah Rukh Khan and Saif Ali Khan, the show celebrated the 100th anniversary of Indian film and featured performances by Hrithik Roshan, Ranveer Singh, Anushka Sharma, Usha Uthap, and more.
Top winners included Barfi! (Best Film, Best Actor – Ranbir Kapoor, Best Debut – Ileana D’Cruz, Best Score, Trendsetter of the Year) and Kahaani (Best Director, Best Actress – Vidya Balan, Best Cinematography, Best Editing). The Filmfare Critics Awards went to Gangs of Wasseypur (Best Film and Best Actress – Richa Chaddha) and Paan Singh Tomar (Best Actor – Irrfan Khan).
Audrey’s favorite looks from the red carpet are below:
The 11th annual Stardust Awards honored Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Vidya Balan, and numerous others for their achievements in Hindi film this year. But who were the winners on the red carpet?