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Friday, October 26, 2007

Malllika is no more a sex-bomb

Rahul and Mallika hit it off like a house on fire during Pyar Ke Side Effects. While Pritish Nandy Productions are still planning a sequel, Sanjay Chhel has gone and got the unlikely pair together again for his film.

How did it happen?

We've had many incredible casting makeovers, like Tabu stepping into Rani's space in Mira Nair's The Namesake….and Deepa Mehta's Water which was originally earmarked for Nandita Das finally went to Lisa Ray.

But this one takes the cake…and makes you quake.

In writer-turned-director Sanjay Chhel's Maan Gaye Mughal-e-Azam a role designed for Tabu has now be allocated to Mallika Sherawat. It's easy to see the two are as different from each other as any two actresses can be.

The closest that these two antithetical screen queens came to each other was when Mallika's Murder was released alongside Tabu's Meenaxi on the same Friday.

Director Sanjay Chhel is confident he can slot Mallika in the place vacated by Tabu.

"Tabu was being considered earlier for the role of the theatre actress. But it didn't work out."

Apparently Tabu was remarkably rigid about the money. The producers were unwilling to pay her the price she asked for.

Obviously the role has undergone critical modificiations to suit altered conditions.

Director Sanjay Chhel disagrees. "I'm a writer. So I know exactly how to place an actor into a character. Yes, Tabu was to do the role. But the way I look at it now, the role is perfect for Mallika. If Naseeruddin Shah had done Black wouldn't it have been different from the way Mr Bachchan played the character?"

Chhel asserts that his film isn't a spoof on Mughal-e-Azam. "No one in his right mind would satirize that all-time classic. My film is about a theatrical repertoire. Everyone –Rahul Bose, K.K Menon and Mallika—has a comic role."

It would be interesting to see Mallika do yet another role after Pyar Ke Side Effects where she is cast opposite her sex-bomb image.

Indeed the most interesting part of Sanjay Chhel's Maan Gaye Mughal-e-Azam isn't the title. It's Mallika moving in Tabu's territory.

Priyanka Chopra to endorse J. Hampstead

Priyanka Chopra is the new face of J. Hampstead, an international fabric brand brought in India by Siyaram’s in 1995. Priyanka has endorsed for variety of brands from beauty soap Lux to Kinetic scooty and many more. However, this graceful diva is now all set to endorse the international garment brand.

Priyanka Chopra has come a long way since she was crowned Miss World. With many hit films to her credit such as Mujhse Shaadi Karogi, Aitraaz, Bluffmaster, Krissh and Don, she is counted among some the fantastic actors in the film faternity today. However, being chosen as a new face of J. Hamstead gives a new high to her career.

Priyanka’s upcoming films include Harry Baweja’s Love Story 2050 and Goldie Behl Drona.

SRK served legal notice for smoking in public

Whatever Shah Rukh Khan does is always under the scanner of probing eyes. As King Khan is busy aggressively promoting his next film Om Shanti Om, the television cameras are following him with the zeal of an inquisitive teenager. As is well known SRK had said ‘no’ to No Smoking (we mean the film that is). But maybe K (we mean Khan and not John’s character’s name in the film) should have resisted from his penchant for smoking in public places. Why? Read on….

Well, of late SRK has been getting legal notices for his house. But he has been served a legal notice he wouldn’t have hoped for. Without much ado, let’s spill the beans. According to sources, The National Organisation for Tobacco Eradication has issued a legal notice to Khan for smoking during the recently held HT Leadership Summit in New Delhi and at the T20match in Mumbai.

Shah Rukh Khan has to reply to the notice within 15 days. If one recalls then the anti-tobacco body had earlier served a similar notice on Amitabh Bachchan after he was shown smoking on hoarding and posters of his film Family.

Rani plays an angel in Kunal Kohli's film Click here to add this article to My Clips

It looks like the daag on Rani Mukherjee's chunari will be effectively washed off with her next release.

After giving such a grandly understated performance as the archetypal Fallen Woman in Pradeep Sarkar's Laaga Chunari Mein Daag, Rani rises straight for heaven in the next Yashraj film where she plays an angel descending to earth with a rather sweet and heartwarming mission.

While Mr Bachchan plays God, ghost and djinn in God Tussi Great Ho, Bhootnath and Alladin respectively, Esha Deol has already played a ghost in Darling. But no one has played an angel in Hindi movies before…unless we count Aftab Shivdasani who says his role as the angel in Anupam Sinha's Shukriya was his best ever.

Rani, apparently, took her angel's role very seriously, even going as far as to abstain from her favourite fish dishes to feel the pure and positive energy of an angel. Says a reliable Yashraj source, "It's not easy playing an angel. It's a character absolutely without a reference point. Rani has gone into her inner resources to create the character."

Contrary to some reports, she doesn't wear only one costume throughout the film. The still-untitled film will be completed in February and not in December as reported in the press.

Rahman and UN team up for a cause

A.R Rahman is geared up to be the ideal mascot for a musical show called ‘Mission Ustaad’ to be launched on a new Hindi television channel called 9X in association with the UN and Endemol Productions.

‘Mission Ustaad’ seems to be an apt vehicle in the opinion of the creators of the show, for spreading awareness about the UN’s Millennium Development Goals as music unifies the human race. The show will feature some of the best entertainers from India.

Rahman who has worked earlier with UN by composing an anthem on poverty and the unprivileged through his ‘Pray For Me Brother’ said that he was pretty convinced that the partnership will surely result in the desired awakening among Indian viewers and will definitely touch the chords of Indian viewers.

The show offers a real hope for the marginalized people of India like the Dalits and tribals as far as the education is concerned, emphasized Salil Shetty, the director of United Nations Millenium Campaign.

Open auditions for Singh Is Kinng

Vipul Shah is on a hunt for character artistes for his next production Singh Is Kinng, starring the by-now-bankable pair of Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif. The film is directed by Anees Bazmee and is being extensively shot in Gold Coast, Australia.

In his attempt to cast new actors, an ad has been posted on one of the local Bollywood website in Australia. The ad states the requirement of a 45-60 year old ‘Indian gangster’, a girl aged between 20-30 years for the role of ‘girl friend’, a 5-8 year old girl to play the ‘daughter’, a 45-55 year man to play the ‘father’, a 44-50 year old the ‘mother’ and a 25-28 year old man to play a ‘Punjabi gangster’.

With an open call for auditions to act in one of the biggest Bollywood films, people who wish to be actors can’t really complain of lack of opportunities in Bollywood anymore.

Mira Nair's Shantaram to start in Jan 2008

The Big B returned to India earlier this week from the London Film festival where he was greeted to a standing ovation. He's now shooting for two back-to-back films Bhootnath and Alladdin where he plays a ghost and djinn.

Says the Big B, “I am shooting for Bhootnath now, which completes by the middle of November. I start with Sujoy Ghosh's Alladdin soon after, as also Shoojit Sarkar's tentatively titled Shoebite, a working title just yet, and Leena Das's Teen Patti. All these will be on till December."

Big B then starts work on his first full-fledged international project. "From January 2008 I'll be working with Mira Nair, Warner Bros and Johnny Depp on Shantaram.” For some time now, the rumour mills have been insisting that the Big B is going bald for Mira Nair's film. The Big B richly rubbishes the rumours. "This is completely untrue! I've no knowledge of any such requirement for Mira's film, nor have I spoken to anyone about it. When I heard about this I spoke to Mira, and she rubbished it. She told me she hasn't even envisaged me as bald for Shantaram let alone share it with the media which is so busy imagining me bald through morphed pictures on the net, etc. But sorry I'm not obliging."

After Shantaram the Big B has Pocket Maar with Ravi Chopra. "Ram Gopal Varma, Balki, Prasoon Pandey, Deepa Mehta and a few others are under consideration," he concludes.

Vidhu Chopra's tribute to R D Burman

Vidhu Vinod Chopra on his return to Mumbai after a 3 week stay in the US inaugurated the state-of-the-art sound studio located at his office in Mumbai where he worked with Shantanu Moitra on the music of Rajkumar Hirani's next feature. The studio is fondly named 'PANCHAM' after R.D.Burman with whom Vinod has recorded for his films Parinda and the musical 1942: A Love Story. Shantanu, Vinod and Raju cracked the theme song in just one sitting at the new studio.

Vinod was in the US for 3 weeks where his film Eklavya - The Royal Guard was screened on Oct 4 at New York University. The film was screened as part of the University's Director's Series. Other directors featured in this series include Ang Lee, Spike Lee, David Lynch, Martin Scorcese and Sean Penn. The screening was followed by an hour-long question and answer session, which was moderated by Richard Allen, the Chair of Cinema Studies at the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. On Oct 6, Eklavya was screened at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts. The Peabody Museum is among the oldest museums in the United States and has a renowned collection of modern Indian art.

Gafla selected for Indian Panorama at IFFI

Gafla, a Sameer Hanchate film, which is inspired by the stock market scam of 1992 has been officially selected for the Indian Panorama of the 38th International Film Festival of India, Goa, which is scheduled between Nov 23 – Dec 3, 2007. Of the 21 feature films selected for the festival only two Hindi films made it to the Panorama the other being Bhavna Talwar’s Dharm.

In October 2006 Sameer released Gafla, his debut Hindi feature film, which was the first of its kind from the Indian film industry. The film is a human story about ambition; a journey that goes through an inevitable conflict between human morality and economic logic. The filmmaker Sameer says that he was inspired to do the film because of the enormity of the issue. "Our stock markets are the financial barometer of our country. It is a world that affects the rich and the poor. And these effects stem from greed and panic".

The film stars Vinod Sherawat, Shruti Ulfat, Purva Parag in lead roles and Shakti Singh, Brijendra Kala, Gyan Prakash, Pramathesh Mehta, Saurabh Dubey, Aditya Lakhia, Mangal Kenkre and Sameer Hanchate amongst others with Vikram Gokhle in a special appearance.

Salman beats Abhishek, goes to Madame Tussauds

Salman Khan won the world famous attraction’s public poll by a landslide. He will be soon monumentalized in Madame Tussauds. London is surely delighted about it. Salman beat nine other stars namely, Madhuri Dixit, Hrithik Roshan, Rani Mukherjee, Karan Johar, Kajol, Lata Mangeshkar, Abhishek Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra and John Abraham. Abhishek was the closest contender to Salman.

Salman has agreed to sit for Madame Tussauds sculptors in Mumbai. He will be the attraction’s fourth Bollywood figure, joining fellow Indian A-listers Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. The figure will be officially unveiled early 2008; a final date is yet to be confirmed.

According to Ben Lovett, PR Manager for Madame Tussauds, “Over 10,000 fans and visitors voted in our poll, and we’re over the moon that Salman Khan is the winner. The Asian market is critical to our attraction and our association with Bollywood, particularly the launch of Shah Rukh Khan earlier this year, has seen a dramatic increase in the number of Asians, from both the UK and abroad, visiting and enjoying Madame Tussauds. We hope to build upon this exciting relationship with the unveiling of Salman.”

Salman Khan commented: “I am touched and honored that my fans have chosen me to appear in Madame Tussauds and hope that the figure will bring much enjoyment to Bollywood followers the world over. I very much looking forward to visiting in the future and coming face to face with my likeness.”

Salman Khan next release is Bhansali’s Saawariya starring Rani Mukherjee and debutantes Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor.

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