Wednesday, May 29, 2024

GQ India’s Men of the Year special covers feature the powerhouses –
Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, Allu Arjun and Kartik Aaryan

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Actor of the Year – Ranveer Singh

India’s victory at the 1983 Cricket World Cup was a watershed moment for the nation. At the centre of that historic win was team captain Kapil Dev. Singh’s performance in 83 was pitch perfect—a facsimile of Dev’s distinctive verbal style, body language, and on-field energy, down to the imperious “Natraj” shot. It’s daunting to play a living legend, but Singh’s transformation into the cricketer was immersive and absolute.

The result: breathtaking. From depicting Dev running backwards to catch a skyer to dismiss danger man Viv Richards in the final, to his 175 not out against Zimbabwe—a match never recorded on camera—one of the greatest knocks of all time, Singh played the Haryana Hurricane like a force of nature. Back in 1983, there was no money in the game and players struggled with the basics, just about making do.

Forty years later, Indian cricket is a multibillion-dollar enterprise and the cash cow for the global game. In the retelling of this powerful story through the vantage point of a charismatic, fearless leader, Ranveer Singh took us back to the point where all the magic began.

Global Fashion Personality – Deepika Padukone

The South Asian community—whether at home or spread out as the diaspora overseas—accounts for nearly 25 percent of the planet. With 100 million followers across social media platforms and a career that has placed her at the zenith of the Hindi film industry, Deepika Padukone serves not only as a face of a nation but also as a conduit to this vast audience for some of the world’s leading brands. In May, Padukone was announced as Louis Vuitton’s “House Ambassador”, and in October another iconic French maison, Cartier, announced her as its newest face. This is just another step for Padukone, who has been rapidly growing in global recognition and appeal.

Leading Man – Allu Arjun

Arjun’s blockbuster Pushpa: The Rise – Part 1 resuscitated the Indian film industry after its driest, pandemic-induced spell. As a member of one of Telugu cinema’s most powerful clans, Arjun has a host of accolades peppering his 20 years in the industry. Yet it was his powerhouse performance as Pushpa Raj, a roguish character he perfected over the course of two years, that has placed him at the centre of global film culture—whose destiny is increasingly being controlled by streaming platforms. With his dramatic performances and breakthrough dance moves, the actor is now successfully transcending borders—with the whole world watching.

Entertainer of the Year – Kartik Aaryan

Aaryan achieved what many others could not this year: get audiences back into cinemas post the pandemic. At a time when Hindi cinema’s biggest stars were unable to lure audiences, Aaryan’s signature goofy turn in the comedy-horror film Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 resulted in box office gold, providing a much-needed boost to the industry. The film also proved that Aaryan’s success is not dependent on big banners or formulaic plots or even co-stars, making him one of those few “outsiders” who could make their mark in this competitive field. Forthcoming projects like Rohit Dhawan’s Shehzada and Hansal Mehta’s Captain India, and Shashanka Ghosh’s latest, Freddy, will further catalyse the rise of this unconventional star whose claim to fame is that he does not fit in any mould.

Back with a difference

GQ India, the country’s leading authority in men’s fashion, hosted its annual Men of the Year 2022 (MOTY) event in association with Chivas Glassware. Supported by Audi, this year, MOTY moved away from a traditional awards ceremony, to the “coolest party of the year” and was attended by the country’s movers and shakers from fashion, to entertainment and sports. Back in an on-ground format for the first time since 2019, and held at JW Marriott Mumbai Juhu, the glamour-filled party saw the presence of many notable guests, including Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, Rajkummar Rao, Kartik Aaryan, Bhumi Pednekar, Ayan Mukerji, Sobhita Dhulipala and many more!

This year, for the first time ever, GQ is bringing its legendary Men of the Year franchise into global alignment. Kicking off in Mumbai followed by London, Tokyo, Los Angeles and beyond, this new, high-impact season of Men of the Year programming will put GQ’s worldwide cultural impact on display. All 20 editions of GQ across 6 continents will release Men of the Year issues and throw high-profile local events, toasting honorees with unforgettable celebrations.

On the refreshed MOTY 2022, Che Kurrien, Editor, said, “GQ India is on the cutting edge of culture and innovation. This new format recognizes a new guard of winners in a setting that feels modern, thoughtful and progressive.”

The event was brought alive by three celebrity DJs, each specialising in a distinct musical genre. Ranveer Singh enthralled the audiences with a special 20-minute rap performance! As a surprise, Che Kurrien gave away the ‘Best Fit of the Night’ medal to Ishaan Khatter. GQ India who has always led the conversation around sustainability, incorporated sustainable operations for the entire event via Skrap, a specialist agency.This included a waste segregation unit, glass water bottles, a waste audit report and donated leftover food to Aasra Welfare Association, a not-for-profit organisation working for the welfare of waste pickers towards their holistic development through health, education and economic development.

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