Monday, March 31, 2008


Aamir Khan has got the makers to change the script of his yet untitled remake of Tamil film, Ghajini. Aamir insisted on changing the remake’s climax as he was unhappy with the last 30 minutes of the original version.

Our source says, “After getting a new look for Ghajini’s remake, Aamir has begun the new schedule of the remake with various changes in the film’s pre-climax and climax portions.

The Tamil version’s climax takes place in a medical college where the hero (actor Surya) takes on the villain played by Aamir’s Lagaan co-star Pradeep Singh Rawat, who is also involved in human trafficking.

There is a double role of the villain and the hero fights both of them in a hand-to-hand combat. But before the fight happens, the villain and his goons chase the second heroine (played by Nayanthara) to her college after which they disrobe and kill a medical student. The goons then announce that they shall continue to kill students until the hero comes out of hiding.

“Aamir knows that his biggest fan base is the family audience. Now, after the respect that he has earned post Taare Zameen Par and his rising popularity with children, Aamir wouldn’t like the remake to have any content which he doesn’t believe in. That’s why he has got the entire climax rewritten. Apart from the changes in the last 30 minutes of the film, the Hindi version remains true to the
original,” adds the source.

Abhijit Mhammunkar, TNN


Is Bebo’s bikini shot in Tashan a publicity gimmick?

Bebo’s new look has been appreciated a lot in tinsel town but more than her slim and super sexy figure, its her bikini scene that is now the biggest conversation starter in Bollywood. Kareena’s fans are looking forward to see her in a bikini, but it seems that this is a most hyped scene and is a Yashraj promotional strategy.

Putting a whole new twist to the tale is this unit hand, who reveals that Kareena who did tone her ultra thin body to give it that additional glam look for the now famed bikini scene, hasn’t shot any scene in a bikini in the first place. “Kareena’s successful film Jab We Met gave a boost to her career. She has managed to get that girl next door image. That role and film has not only given her several best actress’ award but has also made her the highest paid actress in Bollywood. Apparently Kareena is apprehensive about her bikini scene which may kill her new found girl next door image”, declares a confidante of the actress.

At a recent event Kareena denied the buzz about her bikini scene. She agreed that her role is extremely glamorous as it was a requirement of her character. She also added that her look will be a new trend for onscreen glam divas. But when asked about her bikini scene, the actress flatly denied saying there’s any scene as such.

When contacted the Yash Raj’s spokesperson, Monika said, “These are baseless all rumors. Tashan is complete and they will not edit or shoot any scene now.”

Apprently Tashan is cashing big time on Kareena’s bikini scene which may or may not be there in the film. Moreover Yash Raj’s policy to keep things under wrap till the release of their film itself creates a lot of curiosity so there is no other option but to wait till the release of Tashan .

In the scheme of things, it is important that the Yashraj banner strikes early in 2008 after a lackluster performance in 2007. And this time Aditya Chopra is prepared to pput Kareena Kapoor on the block to ensure a good opening for his first release of the year.

Reshma Kelkar, Indiatimes Movies


Meet Mama Kajol

Kajol may have kick-started her career as a spoilt sibling in Baazigar but that never really affected her claim to fame as an actress with a high-level of maternal instincts and sensitivity. Be it movies like DDLJ, Dushman, KKHH or Pyar To Hona Hi Tha, Kajol always came across as a doting ‘didi’ who could almost double up as a mother.

And while these were just some of the roles that allowed Kajol to lend her personal emotions to her on-screen characters, it was Dil Kya Kare that actually set the ball rolling. Though it was the first time that this hazel-eyed actress was playing a mother, her performance was truly heart-touching.

In fact her last two hits – Kabhie Khushie Kabhie Gum and Fanaa saw her playing roles that not just every mother would identify with, but ones that every woman would aspire to be in, as a mother. Independent, confident, at times vulnerable but determined to settle for nothing less than the best when it comes to her kids, has been Kajol’s funda as a on screen mommy.

And so it came as little surprise to her fans when the actress chose to give up an extremely happening career few years back to tie the knot and eventually have a baby with Ajay Devgan.

However, that’s not all for this actress with an insatiable appetite for showering motherly love and attention. Present at a press conference to espouse the cause of educating lesser privileged children in India, Kajol shared a very heart-warming sentiment with us. A very vibrant (thanks to Nysa who makes her look at the lighter side of life) Kajol said, “As a mother, just like millions of urbane moms out there, I assume that schooling and university studies are a way of life for Nysa’s future. But I am waiting for that time when this assumption becomes a part of every Indian mother’s life.”

Kajol does not preach what she cannot practice. To ensure that Nysa gets the best of everything, Kajol quit acting to nurse and mother her daughter. She refused the plum role in Karan Johar’s kabhi Alvida Na Kehna opposite Shah Rukh Khan because it would mean being away from Nysa for three months. Now how many actresses could have sacrificed this offer in today’s times. That’s why we say Kads is special.

Now the actress is on a campaign to spread the uses of education and with a go-getter attitude like this and a little angel like Nysa to keep her spirits high, we are sure Kajol will find herself sharing her maternal aspirations with more women each day.

Ruma Malia, Indiatimes Movies


Bebo’s present and ex will be part of the Bachchans tour

Kareena Kapoor’s present beau Saif Ali Khan and former flame Shahid Kapoor will be together in The Unforgettables tour of the Bachchans (Amitabh, Abhishek and Aishwarya).

The series of concerts by Wizcraft will unfold in July-August across US and Europe.

After Akshay Kumar, who earlier opted out, rejoined the tour (‘Akki nakki’; Hitlist, April 25), the Bachchans roped in the two stars to join in.

Says a source close to the Bachchans, “Saif and Shahid showed no hesitation in joining the Bachchans on tour.

The price being offered was fine and the dates for the venues where they’ll perform were worked out to their convenience. The Kareena Kapoor angle was not part of the discussions.”

The tour has been undergoing one change after another. Earlier, it was scheduled for 2007.

“Abhishek and Aishwarya were busy with their marriage and their careers. We had to take it to 2008,” explains the Big B.

While every show will be different, the Bachchans will be a constant at every concert performing to their own numbers as well the specially-composed songs by Vishal-Shekhar.

But the one item that is inescapable is Kajra Re.“Do you think we can get away from that one?” laughs Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.

Riteish Deshmukh and Bipasha Basu are also part of the tour announced during the IIFA awards in Yorkshire last year.

Subash K. Jha, Mid-Day


Madhuri Dixit will be part of the Bachchans tour

It is reliably learnt that Madhuri Dixit will also be part of The Unforgettables stage shows.

Says a source close to the Bachchans, “For Madhuri, it’d be the easiest thing in the world for her to join the concerts in the US as she is based there.”


Dil da maamla...

At Manish Malhotra’s Lux Temptation Party at Prive, Ranbir Kapoor and ladylove Deepika Padukone walked in hand-in-hand.

The bash on Saturday night was part of the ongoing Lakme Fashion Week in the city.

Earlier, when Ranbir walked the ramp for Arjun Khanna’s fashion show, he blew kisses to Deepika as she sat with his mom Neetu Kapoor in the audience.

Khullam khulla pyar and all that, eh?

A Hitlist Correspondent, Mid-Day


SRK launches Kolkata Knight Riders’ website

Shah Rukh Khan is sparing no efforts to promote his Indian Premier League (IPL) team — the Kolkata Knight Riders.

Says a source, “Shah Rukh is going ahead with his Bengali battle cry — Korbo, Lorbo and Jitbo (we’ll do it, fight it and win the battle) using all his might and wit. He is pulling out all stops to promote his team. SRK recently launched the website (”

It’s got everything

Elaborating on the website the source adds, “It’s got everything on the Knight Riders from news to downloads to their mission, including the names of the players, with the latest update on what their logo and mascot Royal Bengal tiger Hoog Lee of the team has been up to.”

The source further adds, “The website was designed by BCWebwise on March 13. Though it was a hush-hush affair, the website has already more than 8,000 hits.”

Says Shah Rukh, “I have launched my website on the Knight Riders. I want the youth of India to be part of the website and we have already got a huge response from them.”

Earlier, in one of his press conferences, SRK had said, “The idea and ideology behind naming the team Kolkata Knight Riders is because I want to appeal to the youth of the country.”

The Kolkata Knight Riders costumes have been designed by Manish Malhotra and Anaita Shroff Adajania and are a mixture of black and gold, which is the background theme of the website.

Upala KBR, Mid-Day


Bhansali In talks with Hrithik and Ranbir for his next project

Sanjay Leela Bhansali is planning a film with Hrithik Roshan and his Saawariya hero, Ranbir Kapoor. It is reliably learnt that the filmmaker is in talks with both the actors.

Bhansali, who was was in Paris directing the musical Padmavati, returned to Mumbai last week ‘Bhansali’s back’ (HiTLIST, March 31)

Says a source, “Although Sanjay was put off with the response he got post Saawariya, it has not affected the story-teller.y

He was meant to start his Heera Mandi project after Saawariya but now he wants to put that on the backburner.

He has a two-hero, one-heroine script ready and that is the one he wants to start early next year.”

The source adds, “Bhansali has already sent a copy to Hrithik Roshan.

On the other hand, Ranbir has spoken to Sanjay about the project and is going to be a part of this project too.

The film is also said to be backed by Sony Pictures after the two made Saawariya,” the source concludes.

Says Ranbir Kapoor, “I have not been approached.” Rakesh Roshan simply said, “I have no idea about any such development.”

The source further adds, “The concerned parties are not supposed to reveal anthing till it is finalised.”

Amul Sharma, Mid-Day


Hera Pheri cast gang up for another film

The cast of Hera Pheri will have a reunion of sorts as they gang up for yet another film.

Ratan Jain of Venus has signed Akshay Kumar, Sunil Shetty and Paresh Rawal for his next, to be directed by Priyadarshan. The film will also have three actresses who will be finalised soon.

The project roll is September and will be completed in a start-to-finish schedule by the year-end.

An insider reveals, “This is the same project Venus has signed Akshay for, at a whopping Rs 40 crore. The makers have zeroed down on an appropriate script.

Though there was an official sequel to Hera Pheri that repeated the cast, it wasn’t directed by Priyan as he doesn’t believe in doing sequels.” Phir Hera Pheri (2006) was directed by Neeraj Vora.

It’s different

Confirming the development, Jain says, “Yes, it is true that we have signed the actors. However the comparison to Hera Pheri didn’t strike us till now.

My film is totally different from Hera Pheri; the only similarities between the two are the principal cast and the director.”

Characters galore

He adds, “We are still looking for three actresses to be a part of the film. We will cast according to the script requirements.

The film will be shot in and around Mumbai and will have at least 20 character actors who will be zeroed upon soon.”

Amul Sharma, Mid-Day


Lara’s ‘living’ it up

Lara Dutta has left for a 10-day Art Of Living workshop trip to New Zealand, the Fiji islands and Australia.

Says a source close to Lara, “She is an Art Of Living instructor and makes it a point to attend such events. She will attend the special convention called Youphoria Youth Forum in Auckland.

The actress is promoting a form of meditation and breathing exercise that aims to rid one of unnecessary stress.

Youphoria will bring young people together and provide them with a platform to hear the inspirational experiences of celebrity speakers.”

Adds the source, “The workshops in breathing are being conducted by Art Of Living teachers Sangeeta Jani, Lara and Kunal Kapoor.

They will lecture on meditation, yoga and breathing exercises along with leadership development, physical training and communication skills. Lara has taken various advanced courses in Art of Living. She starts her day with meditation.”

About the workshops, the source says, “The Art Of Living Foundation has taken the responsibility of running several service projects for the youth and helping them to live their life in a positive manner.

Lara and Kunal will be interacting with thousands of young people and launching The Art of Living’s Youth Service Projects in New Zealand and Fiji.

Many prominent people and sports stars like Olympic gold medallist Hamish Carter have lent support to the cause.”

Upala KBR, Mid-Day


SRK, Kareena win Apsara awards

Film and Television Producers' Guild of India (FTPGI) honoured veteran Bollywood filmmaker Yash Chopra with its top award for "outstanding contribution to Indian Cinema".

Superstar Shah Rukh Khan received the best actor award for his performance in the Yash Raj Films' superhit film Chak De! India. Kareena Kapoor walked away with the best actress trophy for her comic portrayal of a young Sikh girl in Jab We Met at a glittering presentation ceremony at the MMRDA Grounds in the Bandra-Kurla Complex in northwest Mumbai on Sunday.

FTPGI hosts its own award ceremony to honour Indian artistes as well as creative and technical personalities from the film industry every year. The trophies are known as 'Apsara' awards.

While Chak De! India was chosen the best movie of 2007, its director Shimit Amin bagged the trophy for the best director.

A Pakistani television channel, ARY Gold, also honoured actor Hrithik Roshan as the Best Male Style Icon of the year at the ceremony. The star, however, could not make it to the ceremony. His father, filmmaker Rakesh Roshan, received the trophy on his behalf.

Katrina Kaif bagged the Best Female Style Icon ARY Gold trophy.

Akshay Kumar, who churned out the maximum number of hits last year, was adjudged the Entertainer of the Year by the FTPGI jury.

NDTV Imagine honoured Deepika Padukone and Ranbir Kapoor as the year's best new faces - female and male - respectively.

Salman Khan and Govinda received the hit pair NDTV Imagine trophy for their breezy performances in producer Sohail Khan's hit movie last year, Partner. Salman Khan, Bipasha Basu, Kareena and Ritesh Deshmukh performed on stage and livened up the well-attended awards presentation ceremony put together by Wizcraft.



Priyanka Chopra and her BOO!

The first promos of Harman Baweja's LOVE STORY 2050 have seen an overwhelming response. Even the fan sites of other stars have been talking highly of Harman Baweja's debut venture. The sci-fi film that cost father Harry Baweja over 40 crore to make, is basically a love story that travels back and forth in time, right up to the year 2050. The film has been shot extensively in Adelaide, Australia.

A unique aspect of the film is the character of the leading lady of LOVE STORY 2050, Priyanka Chopra, who essays a double role in the film. But more than that it's her relationship with her personal robot, BOO (Bionic Omni Operator), that will touch the emotional chords of the audience. BOO is a small teddy bear type toy robot, which is very cute and emotional. In the movie, BOO will be seen giving copious kisses and hugs to the beautiful Priyanka Chopra. However that will only be till Priyanka meets QT.........

But more about that and the lead actor, the handsome debutante Harman Baweja later.



Saif's line up for year 2008

Months after the release of Om Shanti Om and Welcome, a film has managed to take a stupendous opening at the box office. Race, the film which Bollywood was looking forward to after a relative lean 2008 (that only had Jodhaa Akbar, has got audience back into the theaters.

The film has worked all over, whether A, B or C centers, and is drawing all segments of audience with family crowds as well as student community thronging the theaters. In addition, Race has turned out to be one of those few films which has broken single screens v/s multiplex audience and taken an exceptional opening all over.

No wonder, Saif Ali Khan is on cloud nine as he, along with Bipasha Basu, has been appreciated most for his performance. With a solid success under his belt, Saif is now turning out to be the most versatile of the top lot after experimenting with Being Cyrus (dark), Omkara (villain) and Ta Ra Rum Pum (candy floss).

Saif has firmly established a quartet of Khans now which was earlier restricted to Shah Rukh, Aamir and Salman. With Akshay Kumar and Hrithik Roshan, we have six most saleable actors in Bollywood now who can afford to have a film run completely on their shoulders even if they have a solo hero release.

With great expectations from him, Saif Ali Khan's four upcoming films in 2008 are being looked at with great interest. Here are the reasons why:


Just one week into its promotion and Tashan is already creating amazing buzz. And why not? After all it has super success written all over with names like Aditya Chopra, Akshay Kumar, Anil Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Vishal and Shekhar involved. With the film's punch line - The ishtyle, the goodluck, the pharmoola - managing to throw quite a punch, the film is said to have an unabashed entertainment quotient with a holds-no-bar approach towards making commercial cinema.

Kunal Kohli's next

Absolutely nothing is known about this project, not even the title. Still, one thing which is clear is that there are fantasy elements in this film, courtesy Rani Mukherjee's fairy act. Director Kunal Kohli and Saif Ali Khan had given a new lease of life to each other when they came together last in Hum Tum. This time around they also have Amisha Patel for company. Arriving this summer, this film is set as a mandatory candy floss entertainer from the house of Yash Raj Films.

Roadside Romeo

So what if the only thing we get to see (or rather hear) of Saif in Roadside Romeo is his voice! He still has Kareena for company and as a dog and bitch (in Saif's own words), it is going to be quite some pairing at work. Though one wonders if actor turned director Jugal Hansraj would indeed be able to come up with an animation film which would be able to match international standards, Yash Raj Films' backing makes one confident of the project. Arriving this Diwali, the film is being pitched as a festive family entertainer.

Imtiaz Ali's next

Jab Imtiaz Met Saif and also roped in Deepika Padukone, magic to hona hi hai! Yet untitled, this is one of the most exciting projects of the year and already announced as a Christmas release. It is said to be yet another 'different' yet entertaining piece of cinema from Imtiaz Ali who has defied stereotype twice in Jab We Met and Socha Na Tha. With Saif also producing the film and looking at pushing the envelope, audiences won't settle down for anything less than extraordinary. Expect a grand finale to 2008 with the film's release!

Bollywood Hungama


Ranbir makes his ramp debut

Bollywood's latest teen heartthrob and the face of 'Youngistan' Ranbir Kapoor had yet another debut of sorts, last Saturday (March 29). The handsome actor, who impressed one and all with his acting prowess in Saawariya, took the ramp for the first time at the ongoing Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai.

Ranbir, looking dapper in an ethnic 'sherwani', walked the ramp for his good friend -designer Arjun Khanna. The suave actor had family support too on his special day. Mom Neetu Singh and his lady love, Deepika Padukone cheered him loudly as he appeared on stage. But the moment of the show was when Ranbir gave an impromptu flying kiss towards his mom and Deepika.

Whether that flying kiss was for mommy dearest or his dream gal we'll keep mum and leave it to your imagination!!!

Bollywood Hungama


Noida Police summons Ram Gopal Varma

The Noida Police has summoned the noted filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma in a case filed against him by T-Series for violating the MoU /Assignment on June 11, 2007. The MoU / Assignment deed was executed between RGV and T-Series for an Assignment of Audio & Home Video Rights of 14 cinematograph films and for promoting his films amongst the general public to serve their common purpose. T-Series had also paid towards the promotion of the films, which released under the said MoU /Assignment, namely, Nishabd, Shiva, Darwaza Bandh Rakho and RGV Ki Aag.

Talking about the current status of the case, Narendra Sharma, Senior Inspector of Police (Noida) said, “We have issued a legal notice to Ram Gopal Varma asking him to submit all the legal documents pertaining to the case, before April 5. If for any reason/s, RGV fails to turn up in the allotted time-span, then, he will have to undergo a rigorous trial.”

When Bollywood Hungama enquired Sharma, about the section/s, under which RGV would he be held, in case he is proven guilty, he said, “It will depend to what extent he is proven guilty, which will be clarified after he submits the legal documents.”

The court case is expected to commence as soon as the documents are filed with the Noida police by RGV.

Bollywood Hungama


Remembering Meena Kumari

Does the name Mahajabeen Bano ring a bell? It's quite unlikely that many would remember who Mahajabeen Bano was, but if we tell you that she was one of Bollywood's finest actresses in the 50's and 60's, chances are you may start recollecting the various actresses who shone in the golden era and take a guess.

Well we won't test your patience; the actress we are talking about is none other than the incredibly talented late Meena Kumari. Meena (whose original name is Mahajabeen Bano) began her acting career at the tender age of 7. However, she came into the limelight through her role in the popular film Baiju Bawra for which she won the Filmfare Best Actress Award. She later followed up her act of playing a woman in pain in films like Parineeta, Ek Hi Raasta and Dil Apna Aur Preet Parayi.

Her career reached the pinnacle of success with the film Saheb, Bibi Aur Ghulam where she played the role of Choti Bahu (an alcoholic wife) alongside stalwarts like Guru Dutt and Waheeda Rehman. Unfortunately for Meena, alcohol became an inseparable part of even her real life which took a toll on her health.

In between all this, she married filmmaker, Kamal Amrohi. It was for Kamal that she went out of the way to complete the cult classic Pakeezah despite her ill-health . Pakeezah finally saw the light of the day in Feb 1972, however a month after its release, the beautiful Meena Kumari left for eternal abode.

On this very day (March 31st), 36 years ago, Indian cinema lost one of its most talented actresses and her sudden departure left a void which was hard to fill. We at Bollywood Buzz pay our respects to the legendary Meena Kumari on her death anniversary.


Sunday, March 30, 2008

For Devdas, I’ll have to do a Duggu

Lara Dutta on life as a singleton and ‘digging deep’ into herself to play Paro

How does life look to you?
I’m single, happy…I love my life.

How single are you?
I’m completely, blissfully single. Every hero I work with, I’m linked with. They’ve also been trying to link me with some Italian businessman. They found some half-baked picture on the internet. Rubbish! There’s no Italian or Indian boyfriend. I’m very happy to be alone.

Is it embarrassing to be linked with married men?
No! Not when they treat you like a chum. I never let it affect me. I do enjoy the company of men. And I’m not going to get inhibited at the thought of being linked with one of them the next morning.

How’s your equation with Kelly Dorji?
Wonderful. We’ve spent so many good years together. No one can take away those from us. Kelly and I know each other too well to drift apart. There’s a lot of mutual respect. And that will always remain.
It’s very natural for the hurt to remain between a couple when a relationship as intense as ours ends. For a while, it was natural for both of us to withdraw. But that doesn’t stop us from looking out for each other. A relationship as long-lasting as ours goes way beyond a romantic notion.

Are you looking out for another relationship?
No, I’m not. There’s no one whom I’m even remotely interested in. And I’m in no hurry. After nine years, I’m alone. And I’m enjoying it. Right now, I’m so crazy busy. I’m running around like a headless chicken.
I’ve just been trying to keep sane (laughs). I’ve been training vigorously for a film that I’m doing with Akshay and Sanju. I’m finally doing an action film. Akshay has asked me to be part of this film. This is a super-actioner. It’s called Blue because the producers wanted to keep it simple.

Bhagam Bhag also had Govinda in it.
Yes and I did Partner with him, though I wasn’t paired with him. Now we’re together in Ravi Chopra’s Banda Yeh Bindaas Hai. This is one of those rare films where the girl actually has something substantial to do. I’m actually there with Govinda throughout the film. It’s a completely different role, an authorised adaptation of My Cousin Vinny. And I play Marisa Tomei’s role. But I’ve got a lot more to do than Marisa Tomei had.

Tomei got an Oscar for her performance.
I’m getting there. It may happen one day.

Good things are happening to you now.
I guess everything happens in its own time. Now I’m a little more worldly wise. I don’t want to do films where I’m just a glam girl.

So are you trying to scale down your glamour quotient?
Sometimes it’s nice to go on the other side. I want to do films that give me a chance to grow. Like Sudhir Mishra’s Devdas which is a drama; again, unlike anything I’ve done before.

You play Paro in Sudhir’s film. He has finally got his Chandramukhi.
Yes! I’m so happy Chitrangada is playing Chandramukhi. Sudhir Mishra’s Devdas isn’t really a period film. It’s very literate and layered. I’d have to dig really deep into myself to play Paro. So far, I didn’t have to cross over to a darker side. Paro is a dark, ambitious, self-destructive character. I’m not that person at all. I’m going to have to do a Duggu (Hrithik Roshan) on everyday.

Are you in a good place?
Yes, I’ve learnt to focus on my own work. Your greatest competition should be yourself. The minute you look anxiously at others, you’re finished. I’m a mazdoor in a factory. I keep my nose to the grind.

Subash K. Jha


Saturday, March 29, 2008

Salman’s the real Yuvraaj

It is believed that Subhash Ghai was shooting for Yuvraaj on a 10 day schedule in Panvel. While Salman who is also known for his hospitality invited everyone for a lavish dinner party on the last day of the shoot.

A close friend of Salman says “Yuvraaj is 75% complete but Salman doesn’t need any reason to celebrate. He keeps such celebrations with his friends at his farmhouse. Last week he invited Anil Kapoor, Zayed Khan, Subhash Ghai and others at his farm house where Katrina played a perfect host. This puts this rumor to the rest that Salman and Katrina are no more a couple.”

Speaking about the bash Subhash Ghai said “It was great fun at Panvel shooting with these actors, who were full of excitement. Salman was also a perfect host by inviting us to his Panvel farmhouse.”

It seems Salman who plays title role in Yuvraaj , has same qualities in real life too!

Reshma Kelkar, India times Movies


Kareena is a busy bee

Although she is eager to shift as soon as possible, her hectic work schedule stops her from moving out of her current residence.

In fact, Kareena’s mother Babita is so concerned about the actress’ packed schedule that she has asked badi beti Karisma to look after the shifting and the new house’s interiors while chhoti beti is busy shooting.

A source close to the family says, “Bebo has been planning to shift to her new house for quite some time now. As Babita aunty is very upset because Kareena doesn’t have the time to shift, she has told Lolo to help them move as Bebo is too busy.”

Didi Karisma, however, finds this very amusing. “Lolo, keeps joking about it, calls the day when little sister can shift as ‘Bebo’s day out’. Lolo also said that she too was the busiest actress earlier but something like this never happened with her. Lolo told Bebo ‘You’ve become a bigger star!’” says the source.



More buzz about Aamir’s buzz look

However, very few people know that apart from designer Arjun Bhasin and hair stylist Avan Contractor there was another man who was instrumental in designing his look.

Ravi K Chandran, the ace cinematographer, who has been known to shoot films in the most aesthetic and beautiful manner, was not only present for all discussions, he was the one who took the final decision about the various visible scars on Aamir’s scalp, and how it should be presented during the course of the film.

How the scars would look on screen was also very important as it was Ravi who will eventually shoot Aamir, and also decide how he would like to shoot them.



Harry Baweja makes Mumbai world class

Harry Baweja’s Love Story 2050, which depicts a futuristic Mumbai, has attracted the attention of the Remaking of Mumbai Federation

Glass-facade highrises, skywalks, hovercrafts, monorail flyovers, freeways and flying cars criss-crossing the city... these are the images of Mumbai that filmmaker Harry Baweja depicts in Love Story 2050.

Though the producer-director is taking recourse to special effects from an Australian company to recreate the city 42 years from now the Remaking of Mumbai Federation hopes to translate this celluloid image of the city into reality.

Developers fancy it

Love Story 2050, which is slated for a July release, is Baweja’s son Harman’s launch pad. The movie’s trailers were released last week and the film’s publicity posters and trailers have caught the fancy of the city’s developers.

Says Baweja, “I was approached by the Remaking of Mumbai Federation. They have evinced keen
interest in how we have portrayed the metropolis and I have offered to help in whatever way I can.”

In dialogue

Lalit Gandhi, chairman of the Federation, adds, “When we saw the film’s images, we were interested in knowing how the city had been depicted. We got in touch with the film’s makers to have a dialogue with them.”

Love Story 2050 has recreated the future through technology around Mumbai’s prominent landmarks. “There was no point showing any futuristic city and saying this is what Mumbai would look five decades on. To make it believable, we have taken places like Flora Fountain, Marine Drive, Gateway of India and changed the landscapes,” explains Baweja.


He adds, “The Flora Fountain statue and heritage buildings remain. That cannot be touched as it is quintessentially Mumbai. So also with the Gateway of India and the Taj Mahal hotel; but around it, structural changes unfold.”

The director offers Dubai and Hong Kong as examples. These cities have changed their skylines over the years. “If all us make concerted efforts, we can make Mumbai better.”

Adds Mayank Gandhi, secretary of the Federation, “Love Story 2050 is a fantasy, we hope to make it a reality.”

Shaheen Parkar, Mid-Day


Ajay's growing a moustache

As his directorial debut U, Me Aur Hum (UMAH) nears release (April 11) Ajay Devgan is growing more and more superstitious.

Says a source close to Ajay, “Ajay was never this superstitious but with UMAH nearing release, he’s willing to do what’s best for the film. A few days ago, a friend of his told him that whenever he sported a moustache for a film, the film had garnered commercial and critical success.

The examples the friend gave were Ram Gopal Varma’s Company, Harry Baweja’s Qayamat, Prakash Jha’s Gangaajal and recently Vishal Bhardwaj’s Omkara.”

Though Ajay is not superstitious by nature, he was willing to try out the friend’s suggestion that he grow a moustache before the release of UMAH to better the film’s prospects.

The friend adds, “Ajay is very keen that people from all sections of society watch his directorial debut as he’s poured his heart out in the film.”

When we quizzed him about it, Ajay preferred to shrug it off. “I’m growing a moustache because I felt like it.” Is it for the look of a film? “No.”

Devgan will be seen sporting his new fuzz in today’s episode of Zee TV’s Rock 'N' Roll Family.

Upala KBR, Mid-Day


Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena 2.0 is ready to hit the big screen, here’s the first look!

Pritish Nandy Communications’ (PNC) Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena (2005) did respectable business and the makers decided not to give up on the project. Audiences will not be treated to the slick stylish thriller but this time in an new avatar: EKEH 2.0, an adult animation flick, the brainchild of Pritish Nandy.

The director of the original Suparn Verma has also scripted and directed the animated flick. Says Verma, “Making an animated film is a rush, it’s like making a movie without a budget. It’s all about the power of thought and how much one can incorporate in a scene visually.

The effects and the grandeur you will see in EKEH 2.0 will be out of this world. It looks like a $100 million Hollywood production”

“When we set out to make this film, I knew that I didn’t want to make a sequel to the original. This movie has the same characters and a few new ones but they all are doing things differently and are in a bigger game than the previous time.

Think of this flick as an upgraded version of any software you use. It has the same features but the look and feel is distinctive.”

Fardeen Khan
His character has the same inner traits. In the last movie, he was merely a conman but in the new version, he has more motives then before. All the cons he pulls in this film are going to be totally different and original.

Koena Mitra
Koena’s role from the original has been changed a lot. She is going to be the surprise package of the film. All I say is that she is not playing the role of a psychiatrist.

Feroz Khan
He’s back in the film and is bigger and badder than ever before. We are planning to get the animated film dubbed by the original cast members.

Amul Sharma, Mid-Day


Dino runs for money

Morea is the brand ambassador for Bangalore Marathon the actor is trying to get his share of the cash-rich bounty

Actor Dino Morea has signed up as the brand ambassador of the Bangalore Marathon.

Says Dino, “Being a Bangalore boy, I am the brand ambassador for the Bangalore Marathon. It’s on May 25 and is the richest marathon in the world with the prize money for a 10 km race being $150,000.”
Why is there so much money involved? “The sponsors are trying to make it one of the biggest events in the world.

This is happening for the first time in Bangalore and they are looking at a participation of 35,000 people with both long distance runners and sprinters in contention, all for charity and causes. For every 5 km, there is a Majaa run and for every kilometre, I run a certain NGO will be sponsored by a corporate,” says Dino.

Dino is aiming to win the prize money. He says “If I win, I will double it within a year, keep it aside, let it double again and then travel the world with the other. There are many countries I’d love to explore like Argentina, Brazil, Alaska, Vietnam and Japan. I have never been to these countries before. That’s my dream.”

Recently, there was a buzz that Dino would co-produce Imtiaz Ali’s film starring Saif Ali Khan and Deepika along with Saif and Dinesh Vijan. Dino laughs and says, “I have to meet Saif and ask him about it. It would be an honour for me to co-produce Saif’s film as he’s a good friend but as of now there has been no talk on the subject at all.”

Dino is planning to get a foothood in the ad world with his production company. “I am trying to get the Raymonds and Kingfisher account.

For my first film, I have zeroed in on a fabulous script written and directed by London-based Pravesh Kumar (There’s Something About Simi, The Deranged Marriage). He’s done many plays which have been super hits. This subject deals with the making of a movie and will have a couple of big stars in it. I want my first film to make an impact.”

Dino, who features in Brahm, a romantic thriller which releases next week, is all praise for the film’s producer Nari Hira. Says Dino, “He doesn’t care about the film’s fate but is making a huge effort to market the film and doing his best. I admire his cool attitude.”

Upala KBR, Mid-Day


Kajol: I work at my own speed

The actress chats about family, fans and of course, her film

She is one of the most talented actresses in Bollywood, but Kajol, who graces the screen after a gap of two years in her home production U, Me Aur Hum, says her priority is her family.

"I am not going to do four films a year. I will work, but at my own speed," Kajol told IANS on phone from Mumbai.

After marriage with Ajay Devgan in 1999, the actress cut down her film roles and was occasionally seen in hits like Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham and Fanaa.

For U, Me Aur Hum, she teams up with hubby Ajay Devgan. The film, which releases April 11, marks Ajay's directorial debut and he has written the script too.

Asked how different this film is from her other movies, the ebullient actress says, "Well, I hope it is not so different that it becomes a bad film (laughs). I won't say it is different, but it is a very special film for me."

"While working in the film I never felt constrained. In fact, it was the other way round. I felt very comfortable and at home."

Her debut film, Bekhudi, in 1992 did fairly well, but it was Baazigar with Shah Rukh Khan a year later that was her first blockbuster. She later went on to deliver some of the biggest Bollywood hits like Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham opposite Shah Rukh.

Juggling multiple roles of a wife, mother, actress and judge of a TV show, Kajol is neck deep in work. "Time management is a huge issue. I'm doing it with difficulty. Even a 15-minute delay makes a lot of difference. But I think it is not impossible to manage all this, you can do it."

Commenting on the changes in the film industry in the last one decade, Kajol says this evolution is vital.

"It is very important that things should change. We should change. You will die if you don't change. In the last few years viewers have changed, their demands have changed, the business of cinema has changed, and with so many changes the parameters of Indian cinema has changed."

On rumours that she has signed Karan Johar's next venture, Kajol said, "I have not signed the film, but I am discussing it with him. When I sign, I will certainly let everybody know about it."

She is having a ball as judge on Zee TV's new reality show Rock n Roll Family along with her husband and mother, actress Tanuja. "I'm really enjoying the reality show. There is so much positive energy," she said.

She has a high opinion of her fans. "I think we underestimate our fans. They are so level-headed and know where to draw the line. Only a very small percentage of fans go overboard."



RACE - Next only to OM SHANTI OM

After OM SHANTI OM, RACE has turned out to be the biggest money spinner ever in its opening week. In the process, it is has broken records of WELCOME and DHOOM:2.

Though this Abbas Mustan film also benefited from the fact that it saw the biggest release ever (900+ cinemas), what matters in the end is that the gamble paid off as patrons filled up the auditoriums in spite of the film arriving at so many screens.

With 35.6 crores coming from week one, the film has surpassed the first week collections of WELCOME (35.3 crores) and DHOOM:2 (34.9 crores). However, OM SHANTI OM still stands tall at 40 crores plus, though with the way big films are being pitched in the market today, it should be a matter of weeks before this record is quashed too. TASHAN looks the closest contender with its release less than a month away.

Coming back to RACE, the film has done fantastic business all over with each of the territories spelling big money for the distributors. With the film super strong in week two as well, the film is all set to be SUPER HIT at the box office. Now one waits to see till what distance the race continues in weeks to come!

Joginder Tuteja


Is Saif apprehensive about Kunal Kohli's next?

Basking in the big initial success of RACE, actor Saif Ali Khan is not unduly worried about the lackadaisical promotion of his next film, TASHAN. Saif explains that he does not experience the same kind of anxiety for TASHAN, as he felt for RACE because TASHAN is associated with a top banner like Yash Raj, who are the best in the field of entertainment.

Interesting as it may sound, but there is another project which Saif is a bit apprehensive about and that is Kunal Kohli's next with Rani Mukherjee. Yes, it's the same film where Rani plays a fairy. Saif says that he is very anxious to see how the audience would like him in that role, which according to Saif is very close to his heart. He adds that he loves his cool role, 'not MARY POPPINS kind, but very it'!

Very tongue-in-cheek Saif quips that Kunal Kohli is not finalizing the title of his film on purpose. The reason is that Kunal wants the film to be known as a Kunal Kohli production (his first), for as long as possible! The film is being presented by Yash Raj Films.



No differences between John and Aditya!

John Abraham was lucky enough to taste success with his debut vehicle, JISM. Though he acted in a number of films but real stardom came his way with Yash Raj's Sanjay Gadhvi directed, DHOOM, which made John a youth icon. The film also marked the first major success for Aby's baby, Abhishek Bachchan. After DHOOM, John was once again seen in Yash Raj's critically acclaimed KABUL EXPRESS, directed by Kabir Khan.

However, John turned down the same banner's JHOOM BARABAR JHOOM because he did not want to play second fiddle to his DHOOM co-star, Abhishek Bachchan. The role ultimately went to Bobby Deol and was so well executed that some of the critics went to the extent of calling it the saving grace of the film. It was also instrumental in giving a new lease of life to the junior Jatt's sliding career.

Post DHOOM the scenario was bleak for John with most of his movies like SALAAM-E-ISHQ, BAABUL, WATER and NO SMOKING to name a few, sinking at the ticket window. The only successful movie that John could boast of was Priyadarshan's GARAM MASALA, way back in 2005 and even the credit for the success went to the Akki-Priyan team.

Things became worse with rumours that Aditya Chopra was miffed with John for having turned down JBJ, but as they say, Bombay's rain and Bollywood's equations are highly unpredictable, and things are really looking up for the handsome hunk.

As we all know that John is back once again with the Yash Raj banner, putting to rest all talks of differences with Aditya Chopra. Yes, John will be seen in Kabir Khan's next project, along with another rising star in Bollywood, Neil Nitin Mukesh and the audience's number one actress, Katrina Kaif. Moreover, there is a buzz that Yash Raj films is planning another multistarrer and we hear that John will play one of the lead roles in that project. So that should shut up the gossip mongers once and for all.

Here is wishing the heartthrob of countless female fans, John Abraham a highly successful comeback in 2008!



Sushmita Sen speaks exclusively on her production plans

Right now, Sushmita Sen lives, eats, drinks and sleeps with Rani Laxmibai. "Being the first product of my production house, Tantra Productions, Rani Laxmibai is something that I'm very ambitious about," she says with electric excitement.

"While Tantra Productions is the parent company, 'Sushmita Sen Productions' will be producing feature films. Tantra will be going into every sphere of entertainment, from television software to events management….all kinds of things to do with the creative process. There'll be different divisions of Tantra."

At the moment, her swanky new production is focusing only on the historical project. "Sushmita Sen Productions is what we're focusing on right now. I'm working very hard to put the company's logistics in place. Going into direction wasn't something I had planned. Unfortunately or fortunately I can't think of anyone else who feels as strongly about Laxmibai. If that's the seat I'm being persuaded to take, it's in the best interest of my film that the creative people I've on board must have a trustworthy name in the market."

Sushmita is restless. “I get only 4-6 hours of sleep these days. Fortunately, I am not facing the camera these days. So I don't care how I look." Dulha Mil Gaya is Sushmita's only acting assignment at the moment. "It's my genre of a film, and I'm very excited about it. By God's grace the film will be a decent precursor to Rani Laxmibai."

Subhash K. Jha


Friday, March 28, 2008

Amitabh Bachchan at the press conference of IIFA Awards 2008


Mother-Daughter pair of Tanuja and Kajol at the Press Conference of P & G's 'Shiksha' programme


Rani the nanny!

In town a couple of days ago, Rani looked cool in a spaghetti-strapped kurta-pyjami ensemble.

She has cut her long locks, styled to fall just so about her shoulders. Ask her about this image change, and she says, “This is a change, yes.”

But the change is more to suit the look of the Kunal Kohli movie that she is currently shooting for, than for making a personal style statement. She’s playing the role of a nanny with magical powers (read angel), she says, and has had to prepare herself to do a number of stunts that the movie requires.

Apart from that, life at large, says Rani, has been good for her. “Life is good! It always is. I like things and people with positivism, and that keeps me happy too,” says the lady who turned 30 just a few days ago, even as she gets ready to pose for a picture. One click, and she moves away from the frame. Wouldn’t she like to give a different pose, we ask her. “I am not the type who loves giving pictures all the time, and keeps smiling at the camera,” she insists. Ok, point taken!

But then, Rani has been putting her foot down more often these days. Some days ago, when someone asked her about the rumours of her marriage with Aditya Chopra, this is what she had said, “Why does a woman need to get married to be complete? She can fullfill her life on her own and she does not need to get married. A man does not have to complete her, she can complete herself on her own.” Chapter succintly closed, what say?

Mandvi Sharma, TNN


'I’m lucky to work with Ranbir & Rishi'

It may take yesteryear lover boy Rishi Kapoor and his son Ranbir some time to showcase their talent together.

But, the young actor’s girlfriend Deepika Padukone already has that privilege. She will be sharing screen space with Rishi in Saif Ali Khan’s first production to be directed by Imtiaz Ali of Jab We Met fame. “I did a reading with Rishi uncle for the film, and I was simply stunned. He’s that good. Imtiaz’s film will be a departure for me,” informed Deepika. “I’m lucky enough to work with both Ranbir and Rishi uncle. Now, all I need is a film with Neetu aunty to complete the picture,” she added.

The actress, who debuted with Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan in Om Shanti Om , will play Saif’s leading lady in the yet untitled film. “I’m definitely looking forward to working with Saif. He’s one of the best actors we’ve ever had,” she said. But, before that, Deepika is currently shooting for Nikhil Advani’s action flick Chandni Chowk To China with Akshay Kumar. “I’ve trained in martial arts for the film and I enjoyed myself thoroughly because I’m athletic. People see me as very ladylike and proper. But, there’s another, very tomboyish side of me that you’ll see in Chandni Chowk To China ,” she said.

However, her first release after Om Shanti Om would be Yash Raj Films’ Bachna Ae Haseenon . In the film, Deepika has to share her boyfriend Ranbir with two other leading ladies. “Yes, but that’s only for the screen, no?” she quipped. “It is Ranbir’s film all the way. In my very first narration, I was sure I wanted to do it...Siddharth Anand was honest enough to tell me there were three other girls with Ranbir in the film — now, of course, there’re only two other girls!”



Tanushree’s shocking revelations

The actress talks about what transpired on Wednesday on the sets of Horn Ok Pleassss
Tanushree Dutta and her parents aren’t going to forget March 26 in a hurry. “We’ve been through hell and back. My car has been smashed to pieces due to mob fury. But what has happened to my dignity, self-respect and my identity as a woman are irreparable,” the shaken actress said on Thursday afternoon.

‘I rehearsed’

It all started when Tanushree was approached to do an item song for Rakesh Sarang’s Horn Ok Pleassss. “I made it clear to the producer, director and choreographer Ganesh Acharya that I’m not a run-of-the-mill item girl. I was very particular about my clothes and movements. We rehearsed nearly a week. And now they’re saying I was uncooperative and was not ready to rehearse.”


What awaited Tanushree on the set was four days of horror. “From the start, I wasn’t comfortable with Nana Patekar’s presence.

Nana had just three words O yara re in the song. Still he insisted on being around throughout. That was fine. He’s the film’s hero and it’s his prerogative. But then, instead of the choreographer, Nana started showing me the steps.”

Tanushree made her displeasure at this very clear. “A couple of times, I pushed his hands away when he got too close. But it didn’t seem to make a difference. He continued to direct my steps roughly and aggressively. Things got really out of hand when Ganesh incorporated steps where Nana could get physically close to me.”

That’s when the actress chose to walk off the set and lock herself up in her van. “Not for three hours, as they reported on the TV channels but for 90 minutes. They called up Pehlaj Nihalani to intervene and he told them to change the steps if they made me uncomfortable. I finally came out of my van only to be told they won’t change the steps.

Why? Was it Valmiki’s Ramayan that nothing could be changed? I think the producer, director and choreographer decided to teach me a lesson. They threatened to call the media on the sets and proclaim I was un-cooperative. I didn’t know how serious they were.”


Nana apparently had left by then. Tanushree decided to leave too. “But my car was surrounded by hordes of TV journalists. When they couldn’t get a sound byte they pushed themselves into the front seat of my car.

When that didn’t work they began banging on the windshield with their cameras. My parents and I were trapped inside my car. Anything could’ve happened. We frantically tried to call the producer and director. They had both switched off their mobiles.”

What security?

The Duttas have lodged an FIR against those who allegedly attacked them. “What I want to know is, where was the security at Filmistan studio when I was attacked? Where were the producer and director? They’ve wasted no time in replacing me with Rakhi Sawant for the song and labelling me uncooperative. But why did they realise how unprofessional I was only on the fourth day?

Can they get others in the film industry to accuse me of undisciplined behaviour? Or did they think they could mess with me and manhandle me just because I’m a girl?”

Subash K. Jha, Mid-Day


Amitabh Bachchan inaugurates IIFA Voting Weekend by casting the first vote

Industry voting begins for the IDEA IIFA Awards nominations

The International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) raised the curtain on the IDEA IIFA Awards 2008 with Brand Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan starting the voting process by casting the first vote. The Industry Voting for the IDEA IIFA Awards Nominations would be open from March 28th to 30th 2008. During the IIFA voting weekend, industry stalwarts, actors, directors, producers, technicians, composers and behind the scenes communities are expected to cast their votes, which would decide the nominations for the main awards. This year the star-studded glamorous IIFA weekend is being held from June 6th - 8th in Bangkok, the shopping paradise of Amazing Thailand.

Speaking on the occasion, IIFA Brand Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan said, Casting my vote is important as it gives me a chance to participate in the decision making process with my peers in the Indian film industry. It is very heartening to see IIFA grow in scale and prominence over the years. IIFA entering its 9th year is a testament to its endurance and importance in the industry. The credible and distinct place that IIFA enjoys in the Indian film industry is due to the professional and confidential election process that ultimately decides the nominations and awards. IIFAs adherence to international guidelines is critical to the results, which are only revealed on the IDEA IIFA Awards night.

The IIFA Weekend and the IDEA IIFA Awards, spearheaded by Wizcraft International Entertainment is a movement dedicated to promoting Indian cinema and business across the world, providing a global pedestal to encourage international interaction and further business opportunities between India and the host countries.

The IIFA Voting process is a stringent and methodical procedure that is closely monitored by PriceWaterHouse Coopers, the official auditors for the event. To begin with, the Industry is invited to cast their votes and shortlist nominations in the category of the Popular Awards. The Technical Award winners and the Popular Award nominations are derived from this voting weekend. The popular category nominations are put up on for the global audience to participate in the voting process. The final winners of the IDEA IIFA Awards are revealed by PriceWaterHouse Coopers only on the night of the Awards ceremony when the envelope is opened on stage, in front of the live audience. The results are kept secret and the credibility of the voting process is one of the key parameters of this prestigious award.

Also present at the occasion were IIFA Weekend 2008 associates and supporters, CMO of IDEA Cellular Pradeep Shrivastava, Star TV CEO Uday Shankar, Head of the Tourism Authority of Thailand in India Mr.Chattan Ayudhya, Gitanjali Group GM Commercial Anuj Rakyn, Wizcraft Directors, Andre Timmins, Sabbas Joseph and Viraf Sarkari amongst others.

Sharing his views on the long-standing association with IIFA, Managing Director of IDEA Cellular, Sanjeev Aga said, We are proud to be associated with the IIFA movement in recognising the worthy talent in the Indian film industry. We are keenly looking forward to the celebrations at the IDEA IIFA Awards in Bangkok this year. In this day and age of convergence, the IDEA IIFA Awards signal the coming together of two powerful mediums Television and Mobile. The day is not far when the power of television will be available on the IDEA mobile platform.

This year, the IIFA Weekend will be held from June 6-8, 2008 in the amazing city of Bangkok, Thailand which is South East Asia's premier location drawing over 12 million visitors a year. Thailand is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, ancient temples and hospitable people. Bangkok is a modern city that retains its historical traits. It is an economic and financial centre with a wealth of cultural sites, making it one of the world's most popular tourist destinations. The people of Thailand believe in honesty, enterprise, delivering on promises, striving to achieve success and creating opportunities for all. The IIFA Weekend is the perfect platform for people and businesses to come together and collaborate to create economic opportunities for the region.

IIFA has travelled to six countries across the world and has left a mark in the minds and hearts of the people. The IIFA Weekend in Bangkok will install yet another milestone in our endeavors to continue to take Indian Cinema to the Global platform. With the IDEA IIFA Awards 2008, we will continue to provide the impetus for the crossover of Indian cinema to global audiences and delight the Indian diaspora with the grandest celebration of Indian cinema, said Wiz Sabbas Joseph, Director, Wizcraft International Ent. Pvt Ltd.

The IDEA IIFA Awards is broadcast on the Star Television network and the final presentation night with exciting star-studded performance will reach global viewers this June. Star TV is India's most-watched satellite channel. Along with terrestrial broadcasters from across more than 50 countries, IIFA programming reaches an audience of over 500 million people, making it one of the most-watched events in the world.

International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) is a movement pioneered by Wizcraft International and brings together the worlds of Indian and International Cinema and business on one common global platform. It strives to build bridges through cinema to create one people, one world.

India Infoline News Service


Kamal Haasan’s in a tearing hurry

Kamal Haasan whizzed through Mumbai yesterday to promote his next project Dasavatharam (made in Tamil, Hindi and Telugu) in which he features in 10 different looks, each of which requires hours of painstaking make-up to make it to the record books.

Directed by K S Ravikumar, the film is slated for a May-end release. Penned by Haasan as well, it stars South actress Asin and Mallika Sherawat.

Despite back-to-back interviews and a flight to catch to Chennai, Haasan is as earnest about his answers as his approach to his roles…

You’ve spent more time in the make-up room
than facing the camera for the film?

It would take me at least four to five hours to get the make-up on for the various characters. Once the look was complete, I would have to can the scenes non-stop before the make-up would start wearing off. As a result, there was not a single moment to waste for anyone in the unit. In fact, if I had spent as many hours in the cockpit as I did applying the make-up, I would have learnt to fly!

The film has created enough buzz during its filming about the changes in cast (Vidya Balan, Shriya Saran), music (A R Rahman) as well as the logistics involved.
As the film’s dimensions are huge, it involves a lot of people over a period of time. There are so many aspects to it as we have shot the film in US, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand besides Chennai. In a huge project, there are many things at work before it takes final shape. The film is a full-on commercial fantasy moving back and forth in time from the 12th century to 2008.

How was it working with a temperamental actress like Mallika Sherawat?
Is she? I didn’t see this shade of her at all as there was no time for any such stuff we would be shooting continuously thanks to my elaborate get-ups.

Your elder daughter Shruti is following in your footsteps?
I only gave my daughters a name, and if they could have their way at that time they would have chosen them too. I did not even tell them what religion to follow. I have lived on my own terms, so I can’t impose anything on them. What careers they pursue are entirely their calling. The only thing I tell them is to take care of their health. I tell them to exercise and keep fit it is very important for everyone. And it is difficult for me to get Shruti even on her toes!

Are there any plans to make a film with her?
Why not, I’d love to do a film with her. My younger daughter Akshara is young; she is still in school. But at the moment, there are no such plans. My daughters live with me and when we are together, they talk about cinema. They make fun of me after seeing my old films; they really wonder about some of the stuff I’ve done. I have an extensive library with books on all subjects so we also read a lot. As Shruti is into music in a big way, we also talk about music.

Are you in touch with your ex-wife Sarika?
No, there is no contact between us.

Have you seen her much-acclaimed performance in Rahul Dholakia’s Parzania?
I have just seen bits of the film.

She’s doing Shoojit Sarkar’s film with Amitabh Bachchan?
I have heard about it.

There has been a lot of speculation on your relationship with Telugu actress Gautami?
I won’t say anything on this front; people can continue to say what they want.

Why aren’t you seen more often in B-Town?
There are offers but producers here tell me the project rolls in three months at such short notice I can’t do them as I have other commitments. At the moment, there is a film with Walt Disney Productions and Bharat Bala. I am also in the pre-production of my next venture that I will write, direct and act in.

Shaheen Parkar, Mid-Day


Riteish goes North

Riteish Deshmukh will soon be shifting to a spacious 3BHK apartment in Juhu.

Says Riteish, “We are just trying to finish the renovation of my new home. It’s an apartment in JVPD (Juhu Scheme).” When asked if it was a 3BHK, he sidesteps the query with, “It’s a modest apartment and a nice space,” he smiles.

Less is more

Even thought the actor is a qualified architect himself, he’s not designing his pad. “I have tied up with another architectural firm, 4 By 4, to do the interior designing because everyone needs new ideas and better architects. There are lots of brainstorming sessions happening about what I want and what they think etc.”

No clutter, please

Ritiesh doesn’t believe in clutter or glass-and-chrome finishes. According to him, chrome fittings are for offices. “I love space, contemporariness, openness and minimalist designs. Homes should be warm and spacious and not cluttered with antiques and candles.”

However, he points out, “I love living with my parents. I bought this place because all the film shootings are in the suburbs and travelling takes a lot of time. I end up travelling for about four hours a day. If I am shooting this side, I will stay over at my apartment. Otherwise, I will be at my parents’ home.”

Perfect wedding

Riteish then talks about his older brother Amit who got married to Aditi last month, “It was perfect. It was the first wedding in the family and we were involved in everything from sending the invites to getting the venue and the food ready and the food. I wanted to be part of it so I took time off from work.”

Ab meri baari!

He wore a green Varun Bahl outfit at the reception and at the wedding ceremony, he donned an ensemble by Narendra Kumar.

Riteish too received his fair share of attention at the wedding. “At the reception, everyone would wish Amit and Aditi and then come and tell me, ‘Abhi aap ke baari hai.’ After the fifth guest, I started telling them ‘Haan, pataa hai, ab meri baari hai.’ Fortunately, my parents are not pressurising me to get married now,” he laughs.

You’re welcome

There were also apparently 8000 gatecrashers who turned up uninvited at the reception. Ritiesh says, “Dad is the CM and there are lots of followers and well-wishers who came for the wedding. Everyone who were present at the wedding were most welcome to be a part of the reception. We were more than happy to see everyone there.”

Upala KBR, Mid-Day


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