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Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Spicy Stills 08-08-07 Album

Gauri Khan steps into acting shoes

Om Shanti Om directed by Farah Khan under Shah Rukh’s banner, Red Chillies Entertainment, is the most awaited film of the year. And what adds on to the excitement is that SRK’s wife Gauri Khan will also be seen in the film.

Gauri has shot for the traditional end-credit song where she would be making her presence as an official producer of the film. Shah Rukh himself accompanied her to Film City on Monday. It was in Farah Khan’s Main Hoon Na that Gauri actually was supposed to make her first onscreen appearance but she backed out at the last moment as she was very shy.

Gauri Khan is not new to bollywood as far as the talent display is concerned. She managed the costume and wardrobe department of Shah Rukh's in his early films including Baazigar (1993), Darr (1993), Anjaam (1994) and Ram Jaane (1995). Later, she turned producer. Interestingly, Gauri had once modeled for the diamond jewellery designed by Maheep Sanjay Kapoor for Notandas jewellery.

Anurag Kashyap stars in Shagird

Writer-Director Anurag Kashyap is all set to give another shot to his acting career with his appearance in Tigmanshu Dhulia’s Shagird, starring Nana Patekar and Mohit Ahlawat. He plays a role of a gangster in the film and is already done with three-day shoot in Mumbai.

Anurag says he couldn’t say no to Tigmanshu as he is a good friend and wanted someone like Kashyap to play the role of gangster. Kashyap explains that Shagird would be his last film as far as acting is concerned and he would concentrate on direction which he always wanted to do.

Anurag Kashyap has certainly made an indelible mark in his career so far. And if he turns out to be a winner this time, then he will be Jack of all trades and master of all as well.

"There was no scuffle for Kareena" - Saif

Saif has just completed a grueling schedule of Yashraj Films' Tashan in Ladakh. He returns to stories in Mumbai about getting into a 'scuffle' over Kareena with rowdy fans in Ladakh.

Says Saif, "That's not quite correct. Yes, there was an unpleasant incident. But it didn't end with me getting physical with anyone."

So what happened? "Some guy wanted to shake hands with Kareena. The lady didn't want to. We requested the 'fan' to respect her feelings. The guy chose to get offended and called five of his friends."

Ever since Saif and Kareena came together for J.P. Dutta's LOC they've shared a very special bonding. So it comes as no surprise if Saif stepped in to rescue Kareena from aggressive fan attention.

However before anything untoward could happen in Ladakh, Saif and the Tashan team called security. Laughs Saif, "If they were 5, we called 11 persons from security. For a while there was a loud and heated argument in Marathi, and that was that. However let me repeat, I didn't have to resort to physical violence to protect the lady. The security intervened quickly."

Incidentally Saif has grown a moustache for his role in Tashan. "It's part of that discipline I've acquired during Omkara. There, I was so apprehensive about shaving off my head. Once I got over the typical star-vanity of looking glamorous I realized a physical makeover makes a helluva difference to the characterization.

Watch out for more of Saif’s altered physicality in his coming films

National Awards, delayed but not denied

The National awards seem extraordinarily Alzheimer-friendly this year. Two portrayals of that terrible disease of memory loss by Amitabh Bachchan in Black and Anupam Kher in Maine Gandhi No Nahin Mara got lavish recognition.

Ironically the honour came a year late when people had almost forgotten the judicially -challenged 53rd National awards for the year 2005. It almost feels like sweet revenge. In the same week that Anil Kapoor released his Gandhi film, Anupam Kher won the special Jury's award for his performance as the demented Gandhian in Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara.

It was Kher's decision to do his own Gandhi film which ousted him from the Mahatma’s role in his best buddy Anil Kapoor's Gandhi My Father. Speaking from his parents' home in Simla, Anupam said, "It feels good to be awarded for a film that I produced and which is so close to my heart. This project caused so many heartburns…if you know what I mean. I'm sure there're people out there who are not very happy with my victory in a Gandhian film. All I can say to them is, Gandhiji Ki Jai Ho."

Victorious on a far less aggressive note is Amitabh Bachchan who has waited patiently for the delayed verdict on this year's National awards. Says the Big B, "This is my third National award. I had won my first National award for my very first film K A. Abbas' Saat Hindustani. The second was for Agneepath. I feel honoured humbled and happy that the third National award is for Black a film which I hold very close to my heart." However there's some puzzlement over Black getting the National award for best Hindi film since a large portion of the dialogues are in Hindi.

Says Sanjay Leela Bhansali, "Since I'm a near-stranger to the National awards. I'm very very happy to get whatever the jury decided to give me. Black was a very special film. And the fact Amitji has got the National award for best actor makes it all the more special. I only wish Rani Mukherjee had also won. Though I'm sure Sareekaji is stupendous in Parzania, Rani, I feel, is extraordinary in Black. Such a performance cannot be encored."

The lead actor in this year's National award winner for best film is over the moon. "I can't believe my lucky streak. First the retrospective in Toronto. Now Kaal Purush wins the National award for best film. It’s a great honour because it was my most challenging work to date. I had to learn a special strain of Bengali for the part and get into role that required severe acclimatization," says Rahul Bose who seems to have suddenly found superstardom in Bengal.

Rahul's new Bengali film Anuranon with Raima Sen is running to packed houses in Kolkata.

"Can you believe it?" laughs Rahul. "Now that I've found fame in Bangla maybe Buddhadeb Dasgupta's Kaal Purush will finally release. Though the Bengali spoken in the two films is very different."

Esha Deol to endorse Garnier

Esha Deol has been chosen as the new brand ambassador for a fairness cream launched by Garnier. Before Esha many pretty faces like Kareena Kapoor, Simone Singh and Isha Koppikar have endorsed Garnier brand.

According to the executives at Garnier India, Esha is a perfect fit for the brand as this brand is aimed at the youth and Esha Deol is an appropriate match for the same. Garnier has always been introduced as new, different and better product for their consumers.

Esha is a style icon as she endorses clothing brand Provogue and has been flaunting her new sexy self in most of her recent films which include Cash and her upcoming film Darling.

Anjana gets ready for Golmaal Returns

Casting of Golmaal Returns continues to get interesting with every passing week. After Kareena Kapoor, the second lady to be signed for the laughaton is none other than Anjana Sukhani. A popular face in the advertisement world, she has been making steady progress in Bollywood with her small but significant part in Salaam E Ishq garnering good appreciation.

"My debut film Hum Dumwould always remain close to my heart and so will Jaana - Let's Fall In Love, Sun Zarra and Salaam E Ishq. Now with a lead role in an A class film like Golmaal Returns, I can't help but feel truly elated", says Anjana while beaming with excitement.

She continues in the same breath, "It feels great to be a part of winning team. Ajay Devgan, Arshad Warsi, Tusshar Kapoor and director Rohit Shetty were such a great team in Golmaal Returns. I am sure that sequel would be only bigger and better. With Kareena Kapoor and Shreyas Talpade added to the cast, I am happy to be in great company."

Anjana has already worked with Rohit Shetty in Kumar Mangat's Sunday. Is it a good professional association in the making? Laughs Anjana, "You can say that. It was during the shooting of Sunday that Rohit asked me if I was interested in being a part of Golmaal Returns. My jaws just dropped and I couldn't react for a few seconds. Poor Rohit, he got worried and asked me if I wasn't interested in the film. The fact was I just waiting for the feeling to sink in."

Is there any particular image that she is looking at setting for herself? "First and foremost I want the world to know that I have no intentions of playing a sensuous character for some time to come at least. I am happy to be a girl next door. Whoever I meet tells me that they are better off seeing me as a cute girl they can hang out or take home to parents rather than visualize as an object of desire."

What is she looking at instead? "I don't have any intentions of wearing tiny-miny costumes or play a hot babe scorching the town. Instead, I would be happy making people laugh through a series of comedy films I am doing. Sunday and Golmaal Returns may just be the beginning."

What else is she doing apart from facing the camera? One learnt that she was also concentrating hard on her dancing skills. Says a chirpy Anjana, "You heard it right. I have just enrolled myself to a 7 year Kathak course. To think of it, I will be back to my exam days again. The course requires an yearly exam. Nevertheless I am happy about it. Moreover, I am looking for a 7-10 days break when I could learn some hip/hop too. I also love to play guitar; let's see when do I get time to explore it further."

So many things happening at such a young age for Anjana? Isn't she stressing herself out? "You must have heard this saying that if you enjoy your work, it is not work anymore. All that I am doing is just to polish my personality further. These things only help your character, your personality to develop further. Ultimately, they only help in improving your overall performance and imbibe confidence in you as a complete actress", she reveals.

On a parting note, one can't help but ask her if she is still writing poems. One of her poems was up for view at Bollywood News early this year when Salaam E Ishq released. Anjana gets sentimental here, "Yes, I had written that poem with my heart in. It talked about each of the six tracks in the film. I am quite emotionally attached to it. Though I haven't written much about it, let me try giving it a shot for my subsequent films."

Sure Anjana, do that. You never know, you may get a Guinness entry for the only mainstream actress in the world to be dedicating a poem for each of your film releases! Amen.

Rakhi's hot number in Krazy 4

After her appearance on Koffee with Karan, Rakhi is fast shedding her image of a crass silicone propped item girl and emerging as a main stream Bollywood actress.

The 29 year old daughter of a Mumbai policeman, whose real name is Neeru Sawant has bagged an item number in Rakesh Roshan's comedy thriller Krazy 4.

Rakhi may lack sophistication but not humility. She knew whom to thank when she bagged the role. "The first person I informed was Karan Johar. I thanked him for inviting me on his show. My career has taken an upward swing after featuring on Koffee with Karan."

Rakesh Roshan confirmed he had signed up Rakhi saying, "Rakhi is performing a song in my film."

Rakhi is excited about her item number to be choreographed by Ganesh Acharya. She will undergo a major makeover for the number and has shed six kilos to look svelte.

"Everything, from head to toe, will look brand new!" she says.

"I have lost around six kilos in the past few weeks. I want to look my best, and the song is so hot it will blow you away."

Hansika played a prank on us

The posers thrown at Hannsikkaa Motwani in the talk show Santa and Banta Unlimited on channel Zoom were stinging enough. Did you take hormonal injections to grow up suddenly?

Did you call Mallika Sherawat 'aunty' on the sets? Did you deliberately try to hide the fact that you were a child actor? Do you love being in the midst of controversies?

And then…. Much to the horror of hosts Siddharth Kannan and Baba Sehgal, Hannsikkaa broke down. It was only later when the teenage actress revealed that she had pulled a fast one on them, did the prank masters feel relieved.

We guess the show is bringing out the wild side in all its celeb guests. So don't miss its forthcoming episode.

SRK won't sign to 'Save Sanju'

Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan on Tuesday said he was not part of any signature campaign to "save" jailed actor Sanjay Dutt, saying "we understand that the law will take its own course."

"We are not illiterate nor are we stupid. We understand that the law will take its own course and I am sure his (Dutt's) family also realises that. I don't know where this news has come from," Shah Rukh said here on the sidelines of a promotional event here this evening.

"Of course, as a friend I do wish him all the best. But we do realise that we cannot change the way the law functions. Nor would I want that the courts change their decisions just because some say so. That is not how it works at all," the superstar added.

Shah Rukh's name had figured in a section of the media as one of the Bollywood personalities who were thinking of starting a signature campaign in support of Dutt who has been sentenced to six years in prison for illegal possession of arms by a special TADA court which tried accused in 1993 Mumbai serial blasts.

Special Public Prosecutor in the case Ujjwal Nikam had lashed out at such campaigns, saying they amounted to contempt of court.

The 48-year-old actor is lodged in Pune's Yerwada Jail and his lawyers on Tuesday approached the Supreme Court against his conviction and also applied for bail.

Mallika to play Sexy Sheela!

Mallika Sherawat is all set to replace Zeenat Aman in Feroz Khan’s Qurbani remake.

Feroz has apparently been searching for a heroine for a long time. Priyanka Chopra was reportedly considered for the role but was not finalized. Now, reports allege that Mallika has bagged the part.

In the film, Mallika will be paired with Fardeen Khan who plays the role enacted by his father in the original film.

Hunt is still on for another hero to play the role enacted by Vinod Khanna. Saif Ali Khan was initially finalized for the part, but the actor opted out of the project due to date problems.

However, this time Feroze Khan will not play the lead role of the suave thief Rajesh. Instead he will step into the shoes of the eccentric inspector Amjad Khan, played by late Amjad Khan.

Fans almost beat Saif-Bebo!

Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor had the worst experience of their life in Ladakh where the two are whooting for Yash Raj Films' Tashan. The duo had to face the frenzy of their fans but both the stars were unhurt however their bodyguards ended up bruised.

Reports have it that the two stars were quietly enjoying their lunch when a huge crowd gathered outside to have a sneak peek at them.

Things heated up when Saif and Kareena’s bodyguards prevented some fans from coming inside the restaurant. Angry words were exchanged and one of the bodyguards allegedly roughed up a fan.

Things began to get out of hand when the angry crowd began roughing up the two bodyguards. Saif tried to pacify the situation but the mob was not willing to listen to him. In fact, some hooligans in the crowd hurled abuses at Saif. The actor, in turn, got angry and gave a befitting reply.

The staff and the manager of the restaurant intervened and got the situation under control. However, Saif and Kareena’s bodyguards had to be given medical aid for minor injuries.

I'd never make a move on a guy: Deepika Padukone

Qualities you look for in your man?
Honesty, good natured, helpfulness and a nice sense of humour are the ‘must haves’.

Do ‘good looks’ also find place in your list! And how high in the order?
‘Good looks’ is obviously there in my list, but it does not figure that high in the pecking order.

If you like a guy would you make the first move?
No, I am too traditional in that the sense. If he likes me, he will have to make the first move.

Would you ‘dress to kill’ on the first date?
No, I would rather wear something I will be comfortable in, rather then something which might attract him, but make me look like a complete fool.

Would you offer to foot half the bill on your first date?
Yes I would definitely do, but it would be up to him to accept.

How would your reaction be, if other girls made a pass at your guy?
I would not loose my cool for sure because if we are together, then the trust factor has to be there.

Would you like him dictating you what you should wear and what not?
If he likes me, he will have to accept me as I am. So definitely, he would have no right to dictate any terms on me.

If you and your guy had to go away from the busy life, where would you be heading out to?
We would go to Rishikesh for some serious mountaineering and river rafting. I love adventure sports.

One general trait of men you dislike?
That it's not manly enough to cry.

Among the current Bollywood hunks, who comes nearest to your man?
That a tough question, I think I better give it a pass.

Vidya Balan: Up, Close & Personal

‘Parineeta’ some two years back catapulted her to fame and comparisons were instantaneously drawn with the likes of Waheeda Rehman and Meena Kumari. After that, there was no looking back for Vidya Balan.

Critics and audiences alike were floored by her simplicity and girl next door looks and importantly, oodles of old world charm. Films thereafter like ‘Lage Raho Munnabhai’, ‘Eklavya’, ‘Guru’ and ‘Salaam-E- Ishq’ further consolidated her position.

Now she has a bevy of interesting films in her kitty. Most interestingly she will be seen in a true blue glam avatar in Sajid Khan’s upcoming ‘Heyy Babyy’.

‘Heyy Babyy’ will be a complete image make over for the beauty. “This film will see a new me. The image that ‘Parineeta’ created was so strong, that in spite of the fact that I have done other films, wherein I didn’t play only very Indian characters, people spoke about ‘Parineeta’.

I think there has never been as much of a departure in my image as it has been in ‘Heyy Babyy’. Not because I have worn Western clothes but because I play a well-to-do girl from a business family in Sydney, who shows comfort in these kinds of clothes.

I am even wearing my hair differently. I want my character to come through and not Vidya Balan.” Here she doesn’t forget to single out Manish Malhotra, the man behind this cool and contemporary look. “Well, I can’t really thank him enough,” she says.

The role she plays is no less interesting. “I am playing the unwed mother of the baby who is being three timed by these three guys –Fardeen, Akshay and Reitesh and to teach them a lesson she dumps the baby on them.

The situation for them gets complicated as the three bachelors are made to look after the baby as well as look for the mother. This was one lovely team with which I had great fun shooting with. The baby too was a real bundle of joy and an absolute delight.”

Not that, she is not kicked up about her upcoming projects. “There is ‘Bhool Bhulaiya’ with Priyadarshan which was another joyride. At the moment I am also working on Aziz Mirza’s film alongside Shahid Kapoor. And Raji ji (Raj Kumar Santoshi)’s ‘Halla Bol’ which I hold close to my heart.”

This Raj Kumar Santoshi film might belong to Ajay Devgan but Vidya is very proud of this unique brush with what she calls ‘serious cinema’. Reveals the actress, “I am playing Ajay Devgan’s wife who is a hero in Bollywood.

She is someone who despite being a star’s wife is pretty much the same person as she was before her marriage. It’s a very strong and interesting character which has got a lot of shades and emotions.

The title sounds such that many people have come and inquired if this one is a comedy flick. Only once they see the promos, they will get a whiff of what the film is all about.”

Another unique factor, according to Vidya is the fact that, just like any other Santoshi films, ‘Halla Bol’ conveys a strong message. “There are a whole lot of problems in the society. But people instead of rectifying them choose to avoid them and like playing the blame game.

While doing the film, I really felt enlightened towards many prospects of life. This film would definitely make its viewers more responsible towards the society as it has done with me.”

So impressed was she by the veteran director’s caliber and work, she didn’t even need prior preparations as such. “You don’t have to really prepare if you are working under Raj ji. The way he narrates a scene, it is enough for one to understand its true emotions.

Raj ji has already proved his mettle while I have a long way to go. For me it has only been two years in the industry and getting a chance to work under him so early in my career is a treat for me. He acts as a teacher for every newcomer,” she claims.

And surprisingly Vidya experienced that he was the complete antithesis of his serious image off screen. “He and Ajay are masters at playing pranks. Once he kept on taking re-takes of mine without rolling the camera. He has got a great sense of humour, must say.”

There are also talks about another South Indian beauty, the timeless Sridevi making an appearance in the film. “She is doing a special appearance. But I didn’t have the chance to interact with her as she didn’t have any scene along with me. To have her in the film is nothing short of a big honour,” says the actress.

After her debut in a woman oriented film like ‘Parineeta’, the general feeling was that Vidya is here to fill the void created by Madhuri Dixit’s departure. So what was it that made Vidya play second fiddle yet again after ‘Guru’ and ‘Eklavya’?

“Every other film cannot be a ‘Parineeta’. Yes ‘Halla Bol’ belongs to Ajay (Devgan), but at the same time my character is also very strong. It maybe small but Raj ji has the reputation of doing justice to every character. I am hoping that this small role will lead to a much bigger and stronger one.

Hopefully, after seeing my performance, Raj ji may make a ‘Lajja’ someday with me,” exclaims Vidya.

And there is much more to look forward to from the lass. “There are talks going on with other producers, though it would be too early for me to say anything about them right away. But hopefully a lot of nice things will come my way in the days to come, ”she informs as she signs off.

Sony may sue Partner producers

sanjay dutt
Every other film releasing in Bollywood today is a direct lift of a Hollywood film. The recently released Partner is also a direct lift of the Hollywood blockbuster 'Hitch'. Sony Entertainment and Overbrook entertainment (Will Smith's production house) are contemplating on suing the Partner producers with a 30 million dollar lawsuit. They are likely to approach UK court as Partner's co-producers K Sera Sera and Ero International are registered entities in UK.

Sony Pictures is aggressively planning to enter Bollywood and make Hindi films. It is also likely to remake it's Hollywood blockbusters with changing the storyline and treatment to suit the Indian sensibilities. Partner film stood as one of the top 10 grossers in UK in it's first week of release. With Hindi film market getting such a wide reach and vast collections, the Hollywood production houses are eyeing for a share in the pie of all blockbusters that are inspired by their films.

So far no international company sued any Indian film production house of plagiarizing. Partner film could be the first. The other international production houses like Walt Disney and Viacom are also seriously looking at entering into Indian markets.

In the Indian scenario, it is the director who comes up with storyline. And if it turns out to be a plagiarized story, it is the producer who is going to face the music as the Hollywood companies are going to sue the producer, but not the director.

This Hollywood film producers suing Indian filmmakers may extend to Telugu films as well in the future. On a cautionary note, it will be better to buy copyright of Hollywood films for all big budgeted Telugu films if they are inspired from Hollywood films.

Hey Baby its Party time

Hey Baby its Party time
Early to bed and early to rise is what Akshay Kumar follows religiously in order to take time out to practice his martial arts before heading for the sets. But in Sydney, all that changed in the company of producer Sajid Nadiadwala.
Sajid loves the good life, and during the shoot of Heyy Babyy in Sydney, he ganged up with Fardeen to take Akshay partying in some of the city's best nightclubs. They partied till wee hours of the morning. And the fun didn't stop at that. Such was the male bonding that the three hit the fun hangouts day after day for an entire week.

Sources reveal the trio had such a blast that the action hero still swears that the Sydney trip was one of the best outdoor shoots he had ever done.

So now, if you ever spot Akshay skipping a martial art practice session or an early morning shoot, you will know that Sajid Nadiadwala is to blame for turning the actor into a party animal.

Yes I can play Vidya's dad?

There's a rumour that Boman is saying no to more roles per week than one can keep track of. He admits it's time for him to slow down. "I don't like saying no. It's very tough. But there're very special people whom I've said no to because I don't want to be away from home for months on-end."

But acting has never been more fun. Though Boman isn't playing the baby in Hey Baby, he feels like a child once again. "Everything I ever wanted to do as a child I am doing now. I got to do stunt driving in Don. And for Goal I not only got to see football matches but also got to play the game. I feel I'm living a dream."

To play Lucky Singh in Lage Raho…Munnabhai Boman spent months with the Sadar community. "I used to spend a lot of time in the auto spare-parts shops on Grant Road. It was great fun…and I got lovely insights into Sikh sensitivites.

There was this guy who said, 'Let me tell you, Sardar are not only jokey. Sardar are also sensitive.' I made my Sardar character weep in Lage Raho…Munnabhai … Now Goal was also great fun. I learnt so much about football. And that was possible only because I played this guy at one stretch.

And to do that, I need to cut down my assignments. If you put on a false beard, you might succeed. But nothing like real facial hair. For Goal I was in London from start to finish. Likewise Don."

After a long battle with his conscience Boman Irani has decided to say no to assignments.

For instance Shashi Ranjan's Dhoom Dhadaka which Anupam Kher is doing.

"It's hard to say no to good people offering interesting roles and decent money. But I really need time to spend with my family. And I won't cut down on that at any cost. It's very simple, really. I get tired working the whole day. And I can't come home tired every day. I love being on sets.

But I love that time with my family in the evening when we all sit on the bed and I tell them everything. I miss that when I'm away for long stretches. I was in Australia for Hey Baby, then London for Goal and finally Yorkshire for IIFA. I'm back now. And feeling very relieved"

In Goal Boman plays a tired football coach. "I tried to play as little as a clichéd as possible. I play a guy who has the guts to stare at the mirror and not flinch. And I make the others on the team do the same. Though I don't play football in the film I did play to prepare for my role. Unless you play the game you can't be teaching it."

In Hey Baby Boman plays Vidya Balan's dad. "One little moustache and a mole did the trick. And working with the two Sajids (director Sajid Khan and producer Sajid Nadiadwala) was so much fun. Too much fun on that set, I tell you. Sajid Khan had us choking with laughter. I don't know how the movie got made. We just sailed through it."

At home Boman has a loving wife and two sons. "And a daughter….my dog Laila. My elder son Danesh is 21… Now are you convinced that I can play Vidya Balan's dad? I was 25 when I got married. When I decided on the girl I wanted to marry, I immediately married her."

Boman's elder son isn't keen on films. "I don't think Danesh is interested in movies. In fact he leaves for his Masters to New Jersey. The younger one Kayur is 18.He's into editing, making short films. They're both big shams at home. They take their mother for a big royal ride.

What has gone into Yashraj?

With Chak De India, Yashraj Films has decided to do what the banner has been seriously contemplating for a long while.

The most illustrious and productive production house in the country has finally gone experimental with their commercial entertainment.

No no. Don't get them wrong. They aren't going into the offbeat mode. If they wanted to, they would've done so with Feroz Abbas Khan's Gandhi My Father which Yashraj took on, and then decided against it after burning their fingers distributing the other Gandhian film Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara.

What Chak De India signals is a bolder braver and more audacious phase in Yashraj's distinguished existence.

It's simple, really. With Shah Rukh Khan in his only Yashraj outing so far not directed by either father or son Chopra but by the US-returned one-experimental-film old Shimit Amin, the banner could have played up SRK's Rohit-Rahul-Raj image.

Instead they have cast SRK in his most unorthodox image-defying role ever. As the red-eyed burnt-out coach of an all-girls' team in Chak De India SRK has neither songs nor a leading lady to reckon with.

Whenever the superstar has tried something unexpected, for example Ashutosh Gowariker's Swades he has been greeted by a far-from-overhwhelming audience response.

But is the banner daunted by the possibility of the masses staying away from a film about an out-of-favour game (albeit featured a furiously favoured lead star)?

Not the least. Chak De India is being released with the same fanfare that we associate traditionally with the banner.

And that isn't all. Their two other big releases this year would again push the envelope…but oh so glamorously.

Pradeep Sarkar's Laga Chunri Mein Daag moves ahead of the expected ambit by showing the eldest daughter of a respectable Brahmin family bending the rules of morality for the family's sake.

The last film that showed the daughter of the house taking to an unconventional profession to keep the kitchen fires burning was K Balachander's Aaina in 1974.

The film despite its powerful plot and treatment, bombed.

Says a source close to Yashraj, "The banner is hoping that audiences today have matured beyond watching Shah Rukh as a lover-boy, or cringing if Rani does something unthinkable."

Keeping this in mind the banner has also got Aaja Nachle on release. The film casts 40-year old Madhuri Dixit in the lead and has the theatre at its background.

Again,an offbeat gambit….and one that shows the way Bollywood's most illustrious banner is heading.

And contrary to rumours not one frame is being re-shot in any of the above films.

In fact the seeds of change are to be seen in Yashraj's earlier releases this year, Tara Rum Pum Pum dragged the Indian middleclass' poverty line to the US and Jhoom Baraabar Jhoom was so wacky it was indecipherable to the average viewer.

Hopefully with Chak De India Yashraj will find a more meaningful métier in its 30 year existence.

Himesh: Desi Michael Jackson

It's not very clearly known at what point Satish Kaushik decided to pay a homage to one of his favourite colleagues and associates Subhash Ghai. But when Himesh invited Satosh to hear his tunes for the neo-Karz, Satish was won over.

But homage it was,when Satish decided to remake Ghai's Karz.

"But in a totally modern idiom. The story will be transposed from Oooty to a foreign location. We're looking at various possibilities in Europe," says Satish excitedly. "Karz is a dream come true. Himesh Reshammiya is like the Michael Jackson of India.

So we've four brand equities coming together for the Karz re-make—Subhash Ghai, Himesh, Bhooshan Kumar's T Series,and me and Anupam Kher's Karol Bagh Films who will be the online producers on behalf of T Series."

What changes will Satish bring into the new Karz? "The locations, of course. This will be a 25-30 crore budgeted film. And Himesh's tracks have to be heard to be believed! When I heard them I was stunned.

Himesh and I go back a long way. He has done the music for four of my films including Tere Naam which was a turning point in Himesh's career."

Speaking about Himesh The Actor, Satish says, "I'm capable of extracting performances from my actors. Tusshar Kapoor is yet to equal his success in my Mujhe Kuch Kehna Hai. Himesh has already proved himself a success as an actor. Now we've to build on that."

The crucial question on the Karz casting. Who will play the other key role played by Simi Garewal in the original?

"It has to be lady with a great grace, poise, mystique and seductive quality living alone in this secluded mansion. I've to find someone who fits the bill fast."

Satish discounts the rumour that the roles of the two protagonists before and after the reincarnation will be turned into a double role for Reshammiya.

"No. we'll have another actor for the first role, while Himesh will play the character reborn as a rock star. I'll try to stick to the spirit of Subhash Ghai's film as much as possible. What a film that was! Will I be able to do justice to it?"

What qualified him for the job? "I think it was the way I filmed those lavish songs and dances in Roop Ki Rani Choron Ki Raja. Karz requires a lot of on-stage direction."

Katrina is lonely despite Sallu

Several times while shooting for her next two releases, Katrina was on the verge of tears.

During the shooting of Anil Sharma's Apne and David Dhawan's Partner Katrina invariably witnessed the warmth shared in a closely-knit famlily.

"The Deols in Apne and the Khans, Salman and Sohail (who've produced during the film) during Partner bonded so beautifully on the sets, I'd invariably miss my own family."

Shooting with The Deols for Apne was a very emotional experience.

Says the actress, "It was such a pleasure to just do a film with the Deols Dharamji, Sunny and Bobby. I'd look at them together on the sets and miss my sisters and mom so much…I come from a large family. But I'm in Mumbai alone.

And when I saw how beautifully the Deols bonded I felt….sad and happy…they were having so much fun. Made me wish I had my sisters around. It's unfortunate that my work has taken me away from my family."

Katrina's mother and sisters are in Chennai. "My mom keeps saying, do a Tamil film. So you can come home. I've done Telugu films. But never Tamil."

Katrina shares a very chummy relationship with Bobby Deol. "During Apne me and Bobby would inevitably be doing something or the other to annoy each other. He was constantly poking fun at me. That in turn annoyed me. Dharamji would sweetly act a referee between us. It was like being on a family picnic rather than working."

I love Salman Khan: Trishala

With Sanjay Dutt in prison, another Dutt has stepped forward to carry on the family's legacy in Bollywood.

Sanjay's daughter Trishala, now studying criminal psychology in New York, is planning to shift to Mumbai and join films as soon as she finishes her degree. The 19-year-old has reportedly expressed her desire to take up an acting career in order to be "closer to dad".

Born and raised in New York, the plump and chubby-faced girl has already transformed into a successful model and has received quite a few acting offers already.

However, Sanjay is said to be against his daughter joining tinsel town because he feels actresses have nowadays been reduced to just adorning the big screen. But Trishala is sure he will eventually give in to her wish.

And once she lands in Mumbai, the wannabe actress wants to be cast opposite none other than Salman Khan, who is Sanjay's good friend. "I am in love with him. I told Salman this when I was younger," smiled Trishala.


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