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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Abhishek Bachchan endorses Flying Machine Click here to add this article to My Clips

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Machine or no machine, Abhishek Bachchan's career is really flying high. A series of topnotch endorsements and Abhishek is now endorsing Flying Machine jeans.

Why Flying Machine, I ask him as he heads for the shooting of Goldie Behl's Drona. "I really believe Flying Machine jeans are world class. I find them truly international in quality. And that's where they plan to take the brand. I feel Flying Machine has the potential to go global in a big way. And if I can help in taking just that bit of our country's potential abroad then I feel happy and privileged about it."

So does the denim brand intend to make Abhishek the global face of Flying Machine? "They do. And I feel good about it. Because I'm furthering the cause of a product I truly believe in," says Abhishek, and adds that he won’t endorse products he doesn't believe in.

Brainstorming is now on for the first Flying Machine ad. "I'm of course in the loop. I'm taken into confidence as to who would shoot the ad and other details. It's so gratifying to work with these young ad makers, many of whom finally come into making movies, Pradeep Sarkar (with whom I've done ads and now a film) and Balki being the latest examples of ad makers turned feature-film makers. These guys are really talented."

How different is the experience of doing an ad from a feature film? Abhishek mulls over that one. "I think it's far tougher doing an ad. With two minutes one has to say what one gets to say in nearly three hours in movies. So yes, I enjoy doing ads. Flying Machine is a special challenge. Because here I'm going to be instrumental in taking the product ahead of where it is. Hopefully, far ahead."

No Smoking to premiere in Rome

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Anurag Kashyap’s No Smoking is all set to be premiered at the second Rome Film Festival. "We have got the official invite to the Rome Film Festival" says Anurag who is very excited about the film’s screening in Rome. The Rome Film Festival elaborate opens on October 18.

As far as the promotions go, the much hyped item number by Bipasha Basu will be out this weekend. “The film’s promotional plan includes Bipasha Basu’s item number from the film,” says Anurag. “Rekha Bhardwaj sang the song and it is different from her other item numbers” adds Anurag. Bipasha however does not have any role and will feature only in the item number in No Smoking.

No Smoking stars John Abraham playing the lead. It also stars Ayesha Takia, Ranvir Shorey and Vinay Pathak. The story is ostensibly about a man who is reluctant to give up smoking and the challenge leads him headlong into ghoulish adventures which he never in his cushioned life ever envisaged.

I want Abhishek to become a star: Rakhi Sawant

'Sweat' dreams are made of these ! The huffing and panting rise of Rakhi Sawant from a routine item girl in long-forgotten films like Chura Liya Hai Tumne and Mumbai Express to a bourgeois icon is indeed one of the most favourite rags-to-riches stories in Bollywood today.

Post her much-eyeballed presence in the reality show Big Boss, Rakhi suddenly catapulted to the status of a middleclass icon.The archetypal girl who dared to grab her dreams with both her hands, and with a little help from silicone implants.

How does it feel to be Rakhi Sawant?
Shall I tell you something? I'm doing a dance competition with my boyfriend Abhishek. Today he's not as well-known as I am. Just like John and Bipasha earlier. It's said John got a lot of roles because of Bipasha. I want Abhishek to become a star. I'm working on it.

Which dance competition?
I'm not supposed to tell you. But chalo I can't keep anything inside me. It's Nach Baliye Part 3. Every time I enter the sets, the other contestants say they want their money back and drop out. Jahan pe Rakhi sawant aur usska boyfriend hai, wahan unka koi chance nahin hai….that's how they feel.

Everyone feels I'm going to win for sure. I feel goood about winning. But do I want to win at the cost of offending the others? Am I over-confident or are the other girls around me insecure?

Maybe they grudge you your success?
Do they know how hard I work? I get up at 8 in the morning and work like mad till 10 in the night. I'm rehearsing day and night for the next five days for Nach Baliye…and look at my good fortune.

Do you know I've been signed by Rakesh Roshanji to do an item song in Krazy 4. I had tears my eyes when Rakesh Roshanji called. I wept in front of God wondering what kind of a miracle this is.

But Rakesh Roshan has only given you an item song?
So what?! It's a big banner.

Did you ever dream of being mobbed like a 22-carat star?
Jee maine bilkul socha tha. I always knew there was something very special about me. Imagine a girl who fought with her parents, fought with everyone in her life, struggled for eight years to get where she wanted and finally forced God to smile on her destiny…you have to agree there has to be something special about me. Mujhe pehle se pataa tha kuch na kuch hoga meri zindagi mein.

Your stardom is a freak case.
You can say that again. Lots of strugglers and aspirants get tired and give up the struggle. But I kept at it. I started by doing item songs and bit roles. Even if I earned Rs 25,00 per day I could sustain myself.

I chose to do small roles instead of sitting at home. I wasn't a star-daughter with a producer-father willing to gamble crores away on me. Nobody big came to sign me at the start. Nobody knew me.

Today for the promotional campaign of your new film you get mobbed the most, above stalwarts like Om Puri and Anupam Kher.Do you feel vindicated?
If that's true, then I'm thankful to God. I'm the darling of the media. I'm media-made. They felt I spoke my heart, that I was bindaas. The media shows both my good deeds and bad deeds. Somewhere they feel I've got my act right.

Today your popularity equals any of the big stars.
True. Earlier I didn't get any respect from within the film industry. Now even if I do get respect it is done in a very grudging way. I'm considered a bechari. Please don't feel sorry for me because I'm from a poor home.

So what if I come from a modest background? So what if I didn't have a father or a godfather to support me?

I'm a self-made girl. I wanted to be successful on my own terms, no matter how bindaas and bold I had to be to achieve this. In this industry no one gives you roti for nothing. One has to earn it.

Are the heroines nice to you?
The heroines are specially reluctant to acknowledge my stardom. Yeah, some like Rani, Bipasha and Ayesha Takia have been kind. Shilpa Shetty loves me like anything.

When she came to do a show for television she came to my set and sat there and watched me dance. She told me she was encouraged to go on Bigg Brother after watching me on Big Boss. But on the whole I'm not given the respect I deserve.

Vidya: I don't look older than Shahid

"Who says I look incompatible with Shahid?" Vidya for once protests beyond her mild nature about their pairing in Aziz Mirza's latest which she's currently shooting abroad.

Her co-stars range from Saif and John to Ajay, Akshay Kumar and Shahid.

"But my Prince Charming will have to be away from the industry," the vivacious Vidya warns.

She is now enjoying working with Shahid Kapoor. " I loved working with his father Pankaj Kapoor in Raj Kumar Santoshi's Halla Bol. And I think Shahid is a bundle of talent."

"We're doing Aziz Mirza's film together. Aziz Saab makes such wonderful working-class romances. As for Shahid, people are raising the question of our on-screen compatibility. All I'll say is, wait and see."

Remind her that she resembles Aziz Mirza's favourite heroine Juhi Chawla, and Vidya laughed delightedly. " Juhi and I do have the same business manager (K.S. Sanjay). I love Aziz Saab's Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman and Yes Boss.

The one I'm doing with him is such a sweet and tender film. They're entertaining and socially conscious. I'm blessed to be working with directors like Mani Ratnam, Raj Santoshi and Aziz Mirza."

As for her much-discussed bonding with John, Vidya brushes it off as… "Only a professional relationship. After Salaam-e-Ishq we're doing one more film together. We don't share a social life after working hours. But I guess since we had lots of fun on the sets, people have been talking about our bonding.

I just hope people don't start whispering about me and Shahid. Such loose talk gets awkward when your co-star is attached elsewhere. "

VENUS signs director of Ek Chalis for their next

Writer-director Sanjay Khanduri has been signed by VENUS FILMS for directing their next film. This will be Sanjay's second film to go on floors after his critically acclaimed and fairly successful Ek Chalis Ki Last Local (Abhay Deol, Neha Dhupia).

"This will be a comic thriller. Though Ek Chalis Ki Last Local was also a comedy, but it was more of black humor with a dark-n-edgy feel to it", informs Sanjay, "On the other hand this new film, which is yet to be titled, has universal appeal and has comedy interspersed with thrill elements. The film will be a mix of mass and class and would be oriented more towards family audience than my last film."

Talking more about the film, a relaxed Sanjay says, "The film is concept oriented and I am happy to be working with VENUS. They are one of the best production houses we have on the scene today. Venus has been known to be very supporting and non-interfering producers. We were actually planning a project together far before release of Ek Chalis... . Ratan Jain has made mega films like Baazigar, Josh, Humraaz, Garam Masala on his banner and I feel privileged as a film maker to work with an achiever like him. He was especially very charged after seeing Ek Chalis... and somewhere he always knew I fitted into their new scheme of things."

Has he zeroed in on the film's starcast? "There has been keen interest shown by lot of top actors of the industry after they seeing Ek Chalis … so my issue is solid script; casting will be thought then. That’s the way I followed in my first film as well. Ya, one thing which is sure is that the male lead is going to be a marketable star though the girl could be someone new."

Why new? "For me casting is of utmost importance when it comes to giving shape to a project. People had asked the reason behind signing Neha Dhupia as a leading lady for Ek Chalis Ki Last Local. They were apprehensive if she was the right choice but after watching the film all acknowledged that she was just so right for the role. Same holds here. We feel that we can introduce a new heroine in this film. This helps many ways. Helps a new comer to make a mark, the production house to get an in-house artist and the film industry to get a new talent on showcase," he explains.

With the kind of recognition he got for Ek Chalis Ki Last Local, one would have expected an announcement to be coming a lot earlier. What took him so long?

"Let me be immodest and agree that offers had started trickling in the moment buzz started spreading about Ek Chalis Ki Last Local as a good film before its release", smiles Sanjay, "After release it was an avalanche. I won't deny that it was hard to resist the temptation especially when it had taken 3 long years to bring one film on celluloid. But I strongly felt that it was important for me to work with people who believed in my kind of cinema. Film making is my life not my business. I had to be very careful".

Did someone guide him through the rough weathers? Sanjay smiles nostalgically saying, "With offers trickling in pre-release I was a little restless as all said ‘just take whatever is coming across. There maybe no tomorrow’. I remember consulting my mentor Kundan Shah". He gets emotional, "He educated me about the importance of waiting and advised for holding and watching for the response of the film rather than jumping on whatever coming across.”

He said, if the film didn’t work, these people will disappear again. He had seen Ek Chalis Ki Last Local and was confident about my film. I took his advice and waited. I guess it worked for me in a big way since suddenly I saw some of the best banners in the business with exciting range of projects approaching me. I will be always indebted to him for his advice."

Talking about big and reputed banners, one hears that VENUS is not the only project on the anvil. "You have heard it right", discloses Sanjay, "Another top production house is keen on working with me on my subject in a big way. But I would discuss that after some time."

Would he also jump into the bandwagon and start working on multiple projects? "No, I don't see myself doing that. Since I not just direct but also write my films, there is a limit to what you can do with complete focus. Projects could be back to back but it is not possible to work on them in parallel. As of now I am in the process of finalizing my script for the first film and I along with my team of writers am going ahead with full gusto and confidence."

Though the music of Ek Chalis Ki Last Local was decent, it was neither considered to be film's USP nor was it promoted aggressively. In fact 'Laree Choote' went on to be a hit, courtesy immense love it got from audience. How musical would his next outing be? Laughs Sanjay, "This time around I can promise you that music would have a much more role to play in the film. There would be greater focus on creating what you call as a popular soundtrack."

With his very first film, he had taken an out of the box approach and pushed the envelope. Though Ek Chalis Ki Last Local proved to be a decent commercial success with astounding numbers registered for DVD sales and it's recent satellite premier, it deserved to be a better box office earner. What are his plans for his films in the future? Would he still be going unconventional?

"I can see that audiences are quite adaptive to newer ideas and it is only going to be better as one moves on. Would I be making an unconventional film? Surely yes! But at the end of the day cinema is something for masses and I want to make my films for them. So in the time to come, rocking unconventional commercial-cinema is what you should expect from me," concludes Sanjay with a confident smile.

Sajid Khan goes the family way

Ever since the release of Heyy Babyy, there have been speculations abound about Sajid Khan's next film. Some media reports indicated a sequel in the offering while a section announced Sajid to be coming up with an action thriller.

Contrary to all the stories making the rounds, reality is something else. The fact is that Sajid has already started working on the script of his next film which is going to be yet another family entertainer with comedy as its base. The film will have Sajid and Milap Zaveri writing the script with Sajid Nadiadwala as the producer.

"Deep inside my heart, it was always a thriller that I wanted to make next. But around a week back, Milap came to me with a script idea which I couldn't resist translating on screen. It has a kind of subject to which you cannot say no. Hence, I have kept my action thriller on the backburner for the moment and rather concentrating on developing this script which is going to be light hearted yet again", explains Sajid.

What makes him rope in another writer for his new film? "I have always believed that writing is a team work. Also, you cannot be a sole writer of a film as well as its director. Collaboration is a key word when it comes to getting the ideas flowing," elaborates Sajid about his sense of film making.

Drawing parallels with Hollywood, he further informs, "I am not comparing myself to these great directors but even Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese or Alfred Hitchcock have directed films on the stories written by a different writer. Directing is a focused activity and I better be very good in that. Also, I have to leave the baggage of being a director who has delivered a superhit with his very first film."

Isn't that difficult? "No point basking in your glory. Also, I shouldn't be acting smart or believing in myself to be a different person after a success. If that was the case, I wouldn't have gone back to television and host shows. I am happy to be grounded and be the same old Sajid", he says modestly.

By making yet another family oriented film, isn't he restricting his genres? "That's not something which I am thinking of at the moment. People want to watch a good film and this is what I promise to them. I am not even claiming that I am embarking on making a great film. I would be the most foolhardy person if I say so," concludes Sajid.

"I haven't been credited for my song in Go" - Prasanna Shekhar

Young composer Prasanna Shekhar may not be miffed but he is hurt for sure. Soundtrack of Ram Gopal Varma's next offering Go has arrived on the stands and to his horror, he has realized that he has not been adequately credited for his song 'Kaash' in the film.

"I wasn't aware about this issue at all until my friends had a look at the album and informed me that a girl called Sneha Khanwalkar's name appeared on the credits. I was shocked as I had not even heard about Sneha in the past, let alone meeting her", says an emotionally charged Prasanna.

Did he take up the matter with Ram Gopal Varma? "I did and he did admit that there was a mistake somewhere. He has promised that in the next lot of CDs that hit the stands, correction would be made in the credits", informs Prasanna who has been associated with Ramu in films like Sarkar, Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag and Darling in the past.

Has this episode left a bad taste in his mouth? Says Prasanna after a thoughtful pause, "I won't say so. It is just that I want the world to know that who is the person behind 'Kaash'. I have been told that it has turned out to be one of the most appreciated songs in the album. As a budding composer, the least I want is to be recognized for my efforts."

Did he ever think of joining the bash-Ramu brigade? Ever since the release of his Aag, anyone and everyone is seen taking advantage of the situation?

"What's the point in that", revolts Prasanna, "Whatever I am today is because of Ramu. He may say that he is not in the business of mentoring people and all his associations are purely business drive. I disagree. I feel that he has given this industry dozens of technicians and if you are talking to me today, it is because of Ramu."

"In fact after hearing the soundtrack of Go, Ramu was mighty impressed. He had in fact gone on record to say these were the best songs he had heard in last five years for his home production. I am now looking at audience’s reaction when the film releases", says 29 years old Prasanna hopefully.

Crooned by Farhad Bhiwandiwala and Priyadashani, 'Kaash' comes close to the style of 'Zehreela Zehreela Pyaar' [Daud] in the way it is paced with husky vocals to boast. Appearing in two versions, this Sarim Momin written number has a western classical feel in the way it is orchestrated.

Ram Gopal Varma was unavailable for his comment.

Starring newcomer Gautam along with Nisha Kothari, Go is directed by debutant Manish Srivastav and is releasing all over on 28th September.

Kareena Kapoor to release Jab We Met music

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As opposed to being launched at a stereotyped music release do, the music of Imtiaz Ali's eagerly awaited romantic comedy, "Jab We Met" is reportedly being released by the film's lead star Kareena Kapoor on television. Industry insiders inform that Kareena is all set to shoot for Zee TV's immensely popular programme, "Sa Re Ga Ma Pa" for a dedicated 30-minute "Jab We Met" episode, which will unveil the film's soundtrack, composed by Pritam.

Along with the contestants and the show's anchor Aditya Narayan, Kareena will launch the audio, which officially hits the market later this week and is being tipped to be a chartbuster. The contestants will sing Mika Singh's hit "Mauja Mauja" track from "Jab We Met", Kareena will talk about the film and a brand new promo of the film will be showcased. This special episode is likely to be aired this weekend. Her co-star Shahid Kapoor, who is currently shooting in Canada, was unable to join her for the shoot. "Jab We Met" is being released internationally by Studio 18 on October 26.

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