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Thursday, August 9, 2007

Dino's production house takes off with Kareena-Karan Ad

Dino who's about to be seen in a clutch of movies including Ananth Mahadevan's Anamika, Pavan Kaul's Brahm and Apoorva Lakhia's short-film Sex On The Beach, is now finally entering a new phase in his career.

Says the excited actor turned producer, "My new production house Clockwork Films got delayed for various internal reasons."

Dino's earlier partnership for his production plans came to nought. "Now I'm in partnership for Clockwork with my younger brother Santino. On 25 and 26 August we're shooting our first film. It's actually a multi-starrer featuring Karan Johar and Kareena Kapoor. Can't start any higher than that can I?"

Jokes apart, Dino's first production is an ad for a paint brand featuring Kareena and Karan. "Hopefully it's only the beginning of more exciting things to come," Dino has his fingers crossed.

'I had to wait alot for Preity...'

During the last one month Rituparno Ghosh has been in and out of Mumbai dubbing for his first English-language film The Last Lear.

It's been a grueling month of travel for the prolific director, as he had to fly down separately for each of the actors.

Says Ritu, "I first got Divya and then Shefali to do their dubbing. They've very important roles in the film and Divya specially had a tough dubbing schedule as she has assumed an accent for her character."

Then it was Preity's turn.

Says Ritu, "She was busy with several things. I had to wait patiently for her. But now that she has done her dubbing she has added so much to her performance in the dialogue. As for Amitda he's the last to dub because he was shooting in Hyderbad.

It's a first for all of them since they've never done an English-language film before. They've all surprised and delighted me," says the director who's flown between Kolkata-Mumbai so many times during the last one month that the airline has decided to allot him two frequent-flyer passes.

Laughs Ritu, "But it has been worth it. People tell me I should've shot in sync sound for The Last Lear. But actors like Arjun and Divya add so much to the performance through their voice. As for Amit-da his dialogue delivery as he does long Shakespearean passages in the dubbing provide a textbook on aural emoting."

'Negar Khan episode hurt me'

Although not box-office hits, "Excuse Me" and "Style" left most in the audience and in Bollywood impressed with Sahil Khan's physique. After staying away from tinsel town for almost two years, the actor is finally ready to make a fresh start.

When asked about the reason for the break from acting, Sahil replied with modesty: "I don't want to say that I was away because I wasn't getting proper offers. I know there are other actors who are better than me in acting skills. I was away because of my much-hyped personal problems. I was out of the country for almost two years, so I have lost all contacts in the industry. Actually, I wasn't around at the right place at the right time."

The only venture Sahil is looking forward to right now is "Fauj Main Mauj", starring biggies like Mallika Sherawat, Paresh Rawal and Rajpal Yadav. Inspired by "Private Benjamin", almost 50 per cent of the scenes in the two films are the same.

The movie got delayed for almost a year due to weather and date problems. Yet, such is the timing of the film's release that Sahil calls it a "perfect comeback vehicle".

Then there are other reasons too for which the actor holds the film very dear. Most of the shooting was done in Cochin, and since the director and the production team are associated with Priyadarshan, Sahil got to gorge on authentic Southie food on the sets.

Coming back to work, sharing screen space with veterans was also a learning experience. "There was a bit of pressure as well, because Mallika and the rest used to give their shots in a single take. So I had to put in my best also."

Sahil is also scheduled to do a third movie with N.Chandra, as part of a three-film contract that he and Sharman Joshi, his costar in "Excuse Me" and "Style", had signed.

"I am proud that I will be working with Mr. Chandra again, though he is busy currently shooting "BreakingNews"," Sahil said excitedly. But at the same time, he was doubtful whether the lead pair will remain the same as in the previous two films.

"Sharman is quite busy these days with his projects. He has done remarkably well, and has established himself as a fine actor. Today, Sharman Joshi is a big name is Bollywood and I am proud of his growth."

Sahil attributed Sharman's success to his association with theatre for a long time. "When we were shooting for "Style", my legs used to shiver as I was just picking up the ABCs of acting.

On the other hand, Sharman already had the experience of working in "God Mother" almost two years back." The actor dismissed rumours that he was envious of Sharman's success.

"He has immense potential and he deserves it. Why would I be jealous? I don't want to be compared with him. I know he has worked hard and is a better actor today than me. Getting into this profession was a fluke for me, not for him."

Though lagging behind Sharman in acting, the latter is no match for Sahil's physique. "When I would have put in the same dedication towards acting as I have in developing my physique and yet don't achieve success, I will have reason to be unhappy. But not right now," Sahil reasoned.

The only grudge he has is against the media. "I was disheartened with the way media had made news about my ex-wife (Negar Khan). But now when I see media treating others the same way, sometimes even worse, I feel it's all part of the game. Today, every newcomer gets noticed, it's all because of the media."

The actor has already started approaching directors and producers and building his contacts once again. "Hard labour never goes in vain," he chips in optimistically.

Bond girl in a Bollywood flick!

Although it's still doubtful whether one of our Bollywood beauties will land a role in a Bond film, a Bond girl has already been roped in for a Hindi film. Caterina Murino, who played the sexy seductress Solange in Casino Royale will star in director Anubhav Sinha's next venture Chase.

Anubhav had reportedly approached the Italian actress for doing an item number in his latest movie Cash. But he changed his mind and decided to cast Caterina in a lead role in his forthcoming action flick to be shot in Italy. Along with Caterina, Anubhav will be introducing three newcomers in the film whom he is grooming himself.

Caterina's took part in beauty pageants in 1996, before studying drama and acting in theater. Her television career took off in 2002, which was followed by a number of Italian films. But it was Casino Royale that finally brought her into the limelight in 2006. And now, it's Bollywood calling.

I was scared of Sush not Big B

Prashant Raj who plays the role that Amitabh Bachchan did in Sholay had a tough time getting used to the idea of having THE Sushmita Sen as his co-star in Ram Gopal Varma's Sholay.

"But that was only until she came on the set, and we met. In two minutes she had me completely relaxed. Till the end of the shooting not for a minute did I feel I was shooting with someone with such an aura around her.

But yes, initially I was more intimidated by Sushmita than Mr Bachchan and all the other seasoned troupers I worked with."

Now that Sholay is over, Raj feels blessed. "Imagine, I got to play Mr Bachchan's role from Sholay. But nowhere have I tried to impersonate his Jai. Me and Ajay Devgan have played Jai and Veeru in our own way. You won't find any traces of the earlier actors in our performances."

The young actor is incensed by the comparisons that have already started. "The news channels are putting my picture next to Mr Bachchans from the two Sholays. I find that very unfair. He's like this God way way above.

To even mention my name in the same breath is ridiculous. But I guess such comparisons are bound to happen. And each one of us will be compared with all those unforgettable performers in Mr Ramesh Sippy's Sholay."

Raj has no choice but to lie back and enjoy it. "Fortunately I'm not sitting at home waiting for Sholay to release in July. I'd have gone crazy sitting quietly waiting for things to happen.

I'm already almost done with my second film Toss directed by Ramesh Katkar where I've Arati Chabria for a co-star. I play this ordinary guy called Samay caught in an extraordinary situation. A far cry from Sholay."

Er…..from Sushmita to Arati Chabria?…..

Raj is pragmatic about the climb-downs that await him. "I know I couldn't have started any higher than Sholay. But should I have not done it just because it was such a dizzying place to start? Every director won't be Ram Gopal Varma and every co-star won't be Sushmita. And every film can never be Sholay."

Abhi-Ash going to Parents?

They call her 'Pari' in the Bachchan household - a nickname given to Ash by mom-in-law Jaya. And now we hear that our beloved Pari and Bachchan junior are on their way to becoming parents.

According to the hush-hush news the new baby Bachchan is on the way and grand pa Big B is very ecstatic about it.

In an interview with a leading daily, Abhishek, who shares his initials AB with dad Amitabh and wife Aishwarya was asked if he would name his child with the alphabet A?

"I haven't thought about it, but it's a cool idea. And I think kids shouldn't be planned. Such things should just happen," he responded.

The couple tied the knot on April 20 this year.

I don't follow fashion blindly: Mandira Bedi

Q: Where do you mostly shop from?

A: I shop both in India and abroad…. it depends on what I want. I think India is a nice place to shop in. You have great dealers, nice shops, and most importantly, the variety of colours and fabric you get in this country is beyond comparison.

Q: Anything else?
A: The price is very much affordable in India even with designer products.

Q: Any specific brands you prefer?
A: Not really, but I like Guess jeans and Miss Sixty, it's an European brand that has amazing style and fit.

Q: Do you adorn yourself with accessories?
A: Yes, very much. I buy a lot of accessories. I bought loads of semi-precious stones from Rajasthan recently. But I wear them occasionally. At times I go for a clean look, as I don't think I can put on my accessories with everything I wear. It needs to gel well with the complete look.

Q: Which brands do you favour for footwear?
A: Nothing specific. In fact, for my sports wear I have Nike, Addidas and even Reebok. Mainly, it should fit well and be comfortable. The brand doesn't matter actually.

Q: What is Mandira Bedi's style mantra?
A: I don't have any style mantra, all I believe in is wearing something that goes well with my personality and makes me feel comfortable. I think one should not become a victim of fashion trends. There are many things that are in vogue but may not look good on me. So I don't follow fashion blindly. One should wear clothes that sync with the person's personality.

Q: Which perfume do you like the most?
A: I have been using Pleasure by Estee Lauder for a long time now.

Q: How do you keep yourself in vogue during the monsoons?
A: I opt for convenience rather than fashion. I wear a lot of capris, three-quarters, and I have a few pairs of flotters. They are safe, as well as trendy.

Q: Brand you prefer for lingerie?
A: I don't restrict to just one. I have Triumph, La Senza and Victoria's Secrets as well. Nothing in particular.

Q: What according to you are essentials in any woman's wardrobe?
A: A pair of good-fit blue jeans, a nice fitting white, collared shirt and a couple of jackets, as they go well with everything.

Anupam Kher to film his life

Anupam Kher will soon be making a film based on events in his own life. The actor-producer's new protégée Neeraj Pandey who's also scripting Anupam's second directorial venture Dosti Badi Cheez Hai is working out the modalities of making the actor's eventful journey from Simla to Bollywood into a movie featuring Anupam in lead. This would be a rare Indian film where the protagonist would star in his own story.

"It won't be so difficult for Neeraj to direct a film on my life," says Anupam who's getting ready to be seen as a dead man in Rahul Rawail's comedy Buddha Mar Gaya. "Neeraj has a ready reference point in me. Not too many directors get to make autobiographical films starring the subject of the autobiography. Neeraj also has my long-running play Kuch Bhi Ho Sakta Hai to refer back to."

There's just one hitch. The title Kuch Bhi Ho Sakta Hai has been registered by playwright Feroz Abbas Khan as his legal property. Shrugs Anupam. "That's sad. Because a film based on my play without the title Kuch Bhi Ho Sakta is unimaginable to me or to the thousands who have watched the play. However it doesn't matter. We'll give our film another title."

Interestingly, Anupam won’t be the first actor to make a one-character film on his life. In 1964 Sunil Dutt made the ultra-experimental Yaadein based on his own marriage to Nargis.

Would Anupam's autobiographical film have other characters, or would it be a one-character vehicle like the play?

"It will be as true to my life as the play, even if we change the title," says Anupam tongue firmly in cheek.

Vishal Bhardwaj to compose for Mira Nair's next

Vishal Bhardwaj is all set to compose music for Mira Nair’s much talked about film Shantaram. On his 42nd birthday Mira Nair offered him to compose for Shantaram.

Interestingly, Vishal’s forthcoming short film on AIDS named Blood Brothers is produced by Mira Nair. Busy in shooting Blood Brothers Vishal confirmed that Mira Nair has offered to compose for her forthcoming film Shantaram and talks are going on. Shantaram is an international venture based on the book by Gregory David Roberts. The film will star Johnny Depp in lead role and may also star Amitabh Bachchan.

Vishal’s next release is Blue Umbrella which stars Pankaj Kapur and Shreya Sharma. The film is releasing this week.

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.

Bhatt protégé Rehan Khan takes to horror

Rehan Khan, who owes the upswing in his career to the Bhatts, is looking at good times ahead. After an unsung debut in Jaana - Let's Fall In Love followed by a miniscule but important role in Emran Hashmi starrer Awarapan, he is playing a parallel lead in Sangeeth Sivan's next film Click.

"It would be an understatement to say that I am feeling over the top", says an ever chirpy Rehan, "For a 24 year old boy whose career has just kick started, it feels great to be recognized by some of the best film makers in business."

What is Click all about? "It is a young horror film where Shreyas and I play the main leads. The film has an urban youth flavor throughout and promises to be like Sangeeth's last Apna Sapna Money Money though with a horror flavor", reveals Rehan who confesses that his young age and chocolate boy looks restrict the kind of roles he can enact.

"I cannot be playing a police officer for some more years at least", laughs Rehan, "Nevertheless, it works in my favor since for a few more years to come I am happy to be slotted as a romantic hero."

Sangeeth Sivan had a big role to play in establishing Ritiesh Deshmukh's popularity. The actor was at his comic best in both Kya Kool Hai Hum and Apna Sapna Money Money. What expectations does Rehan have from the film maker here? "Obviously to get similar results and turn lucky like Ritiesh", says Rehan with dreamy eyes, "Ritiesh hasn't looked back since Kya Kool Hain Hum and I am sure that after I am through with the three films that I have signed with Sangeeth, I should be in the reckoning as well."

Adds Rehan, "One thing I like about Sangeeth is his ultra friendly nature. He is such a cool man in real life. I like his sense of humor and the way he gets you involved in a friendly conversation. I have always liked South Indian people and Sangeeth now sits very highly in the list of people with whom I share a jovial relationship. I am looking at having a whale of time while working with him over the next few months."

Isn't he disappointed by the fact that Awarapan didn't quite use his full potential? "On the contrary I am tremendously elated by the fact that Bhatts gave me a new lease of life with Awarapan", he shoots back, "I could have been completely out of circulation had Mahesh Bhatt not shown trust in him. He kept his hand on my shoulders and said - 'Rehan, you have to die to be reborn'. It was such a meaningful statement to be made."

Talking about his association with the Bhatts, he added, "Today, I can proudly say that I am a part of Bhatts family. They treat me as their own child and have a career plan chalked out for me. I share such a relationship with them that there is no question of remuneration or length of role in their films. I am always available for them"

Other than Click, Sangeeth Sivan has roped in Rehan for two more films which are expected to be completed next year. In addition, film maker Nikhil Panchammiya, the man behind Dil Maange More and Anthony Kaun Hai, has also signed Rehan for his upcoming production to be directed by Kabir.

Shifting the topic, one moves on to talk about his home production that his father was planning with Amitabh Bachchan in a central role. Whatever happened to that? "Dad is still in the process of writing that script. It is happening for sure though the veteran actor we are looking as a central protagonist is still not finalized", reveals Rehan, "Though let me be honest that we haven't approached Mr. Bachchan yet. Dad had written his Kasme Vaade and our ties go decades back. We are sure that he will give our script a good hearing before taking a decision."

Sunil Shetty turns entrepreneur

Actor Sunil Shetty is all set to give life to his new interest and that is, retail business. Taking some time out of his busy schedule, he will be introducing Brand Bollywood to the stores. Actor turned entrepreneur will be opening a chain of stores having salon, run by hairdressers in Bollywood, coffee shop, artefacts and some cloth brands like 109F as well.
It will be a joint venture of Sunil Shetty with textile retailers Creative Garments and will be called Creative Crossover. The agreement will be finalized on Sunil Shetty’s birthday, August 11. And the large and the small stores would be called ‘Crossover’ and ‘Bollywood se’ respectively. Also, sharing this interest of his are stars Jackie Shroff and Bipasha Basu, who will show case their labels at the stores.
The first store will be opened in Mumbai in November.

Bridal look for Aishwarya's new wax statue

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan will unveil her new wax statue at Madame Tussauds in Times Square, New York. She already has a wax statue at Madame Tussauds in London which was created before her marriage, while her new statue will have her post marriage bridal look.
Aishwarya has been briefed about the wax statue. Her statue will be dressed in bridal wear and will also wear a Mangalsutra. She is however caught with her film commitments and is yet to take some time out work on the detail of her wax replica.
Currently, Ash is busy with the dubbing of Jodhaa Akbar. Besides, she is also shooting for RGV’s Sarkar Raj starring herself with Big B and Abhishek Bachchan in Hyderabad.
Ash’s wax statue is likely to be unveiled early next month.

Benegal bestowed with Dadasaheb Phalke Award

Renowned filmmaker Shyam Benegal, who created his niche in film faternity, with some wonderful films to his name, has been honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award. This award didn’t come as a surprise to Benegal as he had been expecting it since a year now. But nevertheless, the award has been a tribute to all his hard work all these years.

His first feature film Ankur in 1971, came as refreshing treat for movie lovers who expected some sensible cinema. Benegal does not seem to stop his directorial journey here. He feels that these awards give one an encouragement that the show must go on.

Bose: The Forgotten Hero was the last film Benegal directed in 2005.

Shyam Benegal wins Dada Phalke award

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Veteran art filmmaker Shyam Benegal won the most prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke award for the year 2005. The announcement of this award for 2005 got delayed by an year because the jury could not come to the conclusion about whom should they give award to. The names of Sulochana (Marathi) and Suchitra Sen (Bengali) were also considered. Shyam Benegal directed over 69 films. His first film was Ghar Betha Ganga (1962) and the latest film was Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero (2005). He made many award winning films and won four national awards for Zubeidaa, Trikal, Bhumika: The Role and Ankur.

Reel Buzz: Ash and Abhi may soon be parents!

Baby B to be more precise. Yes, the most beautiful woman in the world, Aishwarya Bachchan, is reportedly expecting and Abhishek is gonna be a dad. Amitabh Bachchan, meanwhile, is going to be the grand-daddy of them all!
There are already three ABs in this power family — Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Bachchan, and when media had asked Abhishek in an earlier interview whether he would name his child with the alphabet A, he had said, “That’s actually a cool thought. I haven’t thought about it, though.” And on plans of starting a family, he had said, “Kids shouldn’t be planned.
They should just happen.” So, if the couple is indeed expecting their first child, all we can say is ‘Here’s to Baby B!’ The couple tied the knot on April 20 this year.

Screen Talk: Salman Khan’s Prem kahaani

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Salman Khan’s name in the soon-to-be-released film Marigold, is Prem.
While he is Sooraj Barjatya’s Prem (his character was called Prem in Maine Pyar Kiya , remember?) he is also Willard Carol’s Prem.
Salman Khan’s name in the soon-to-be-released film Marigold , is Prem. So when we asked him if he considers the name to be lucky, he laughed and said, “Actually my character is very close to the character I played in Maine Pyaar Kiya.
It has the same innocence and vulnerability. Now, I play the same guy after 17 years.” Director Willard Carroll thought that the name Prem suited Sallu best. Some prem kahani, this!


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