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Saturday, December 8, 2007

I don't have low self-worth: Sonam

Sonam Kapoor is basking in glory of her Saawariya performance. The offers like Rakeysh Mehra's film Delhi 6 are pouring in everyday for the doe-eyed beauty.

Talking about her new found fame and life after that she says,"I'm second-time lucky. If I had to choose one filmmaker after Sanjay Sir (Bhansali) I'd have chosen Rakesh Mehra. I haven't seen his Aks. But I fell in love with Rang De Basanti. Loved every performance in it.

I love his courage, integrity and idealism. I went beyond conventional definitions of the heroine in Saawariya. I hope to do the same in Delhi 6. It's a great follow-up.

I couldn't have chosen a better second film. The minute I met Rakeysh Mehra I was completely floored. We connected very well. I sat with him for five hours."

While her performance in Saawariya has been lauded some Mumbai critics have slammed the film. Some people even say she got a raw deal in the plot.

"Three of them. I'll remember their names forever, she says with a laughter and adds, "I don't think I got a raw deal. In the second-half all the meaty dialogues are mine.

When Sanjay Sir offered me the role he said it was complex and not author-backed. But he had faith that I could carry off."

What about a report that some of her crucial scenes have been cut in Saawariya?

"What utter nonsense," she reorts, "No crucial scene of mine has been cut. Just the usual editing that happens in every film. I don't know where this comes from.

People are just creating friction through fiction. If this kind of loose talk gives some people a high, so be it. It doesn't effect my relationship with Sanjay Sir."

Ask her if her low self-worth come from her weight problem, Sonam says," Oh, but I was over-weight only for two years, not as a child.

In school I was cool. I was never a limelight moth. I did like dancing, though. But I never thought of myself as a Madhubala, Madhuri or Sridevi.

It was Sanjay Sir who made me feel beautiful from inside. I'm extremely grateful to God to get me such a complex role. To be a Sanjay Leela Bhansali heroine after Manisha Koirala, Madhuri, Aishwarya Rai and Rani Mukherjee…what more could I ask for?"

So is she flooded with offers after Saaariya?

"Yes, They're all coming to my father. He's so proud of me. He keeps saying he never knew I could be such a capable actor and handle the media with dignity and grace.

He isn't too demonstrative How can I think of anything else right now? I need to focus on my second film. I'm going into a different mood and style here," exults Sonam.


Now no one links me with Shahid : Amrita rao

She got great fame after 'Main Hoon Na' but she was recognized as a ‘real’ actress only after the success of 'Vivah'. Her role of a simple girl was not only appreciated in North India but the audiences in Gujarat and abroad also appreciated her.

After 'Vivah' Amrita will be seen in director E.Niwas’s film ‘My name is Anthony Gonsalves". We catch up with her as she eagerly awaits the release of her next film.

Q. Tell us something about your character in the film ‘My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves’?
A. I am playing a Catholic girl named Riya who works as an assistant director under the biggest woman film maker of the industry.

In this film I am playing a today's girl who decides what’s good and what’s bad for her, herself. In spite of being in film industry she is a simple girl and her clothes are traditional rather than glamorous.

My character is not imaginary but inspired from the assistants whom I see at work. I really hope I won't let them down.

Q. For the homework involved in this role, which assistant director inspired you the most?
A. I studied many assistant directors of this film. Along with their expressions; I also noticed how they take care of all our little needs. I remember an incident which happened during "Main Hoon Na".

I had gone to audition for the role at Shahrukh Khan's office and Farah Khan had given me the scene where I had to say to Shahrukh Khan with tears in my eyes that I hate my father because he wanted a son.

Farah left after giving the scene. I was so excited that before she came I asked the assistant director Jagrit to explain the scene to me.

It was his first experience at explaining a scene to someone and he explained the scene so beautifully and nicely that when Farah came she didn't have to do it and I did the scene in one take.

She asked me to do the scene again and I was immediately selected. I think an assistant director plays an important role in making any scene easy.

Q. What do you have to say about Nikhil as an actor?
A. According to me Nikhil's second name is self confidence. He is very dedicated towards his work. It was his childhood dream to be on the silver screen.I am very happy his dream is coming true. I have done many films but this is Nikhil's first film, so I wish that this film proves to be a perfect launch for him.

Q. This film also has Mithun Chakraborty. How was it working with him?
A. I am very happy that he is back into acting. Our film industry needs actors who can act with maturity and understand the seriousness of acting. After Amitabh ji, Mithun ji has all these qualities. Mithun ji is can be called the life of this film. In this film, Mithun ji is playing the role of a church Father.

Q. This film is a thriller. How much space is there for you as an actress in the film to perform?
A. This film has two plots. In one Anthony wants to be a film star and is in love with Riya which I play and the other plot is about the people related to Anthony. I think this film is best to launch a new actor.

Q. It is being said that the promos of this film matches that of 'Johnny Gaddar'.
A. I have seen the promos of 'Johnny Gaddar' which is about guns and murders and the background is also very dark. On the other hand, our film is about the common dreams of a common man.

Q. What is the reason behind you becoming choosy after ‘Vivah’?
A. I always sign any film with care and a lot of thought because taking a risk in this industry can get quite costly.

Q. Your name was linked with Shahid first and now it’s been done with Nikhil. How do you feel about it?
A. (Laughs) Everybody had forgotten that but you made me remember it. I feel rumours come and go always and I don't bother about them.

For Nikhil it was a new thing, so, at first he got worried thinking what his parents will think about him. I told him that this is the first phase of stardom. Few things will be in your favour and few won't. You will have to make the things which are not, favourable.

Q. Tell us something about your forthcoming films?
A. My next releases will be Anil Kapoor's 'Shortcut' and Shyam Benegal's 'Mahadev'.

Q. We have heard that Shayam Benegal's 'Mahadev' will now be called 'Aur Mahadev'.
A. (Laughs) I don’t have any knowledge regarding this.

Q. Tell us something about David Dhawan's 'Hook Ya Crook' and 'Victory'?
A. As of now the set up of David ji's film 'Hook Ya Crook's is not ready, so this film is on hold. And yes, I had been contacted regarding 'Victory'. Harman Baweja is the hero of the film.

Q. You were recently being given the Dada Sahab Phalke award. How do you feel about that?
A. Yes, I got a letter from Dada Sahab Phalke Academy that they want to felicitate me for my performance in 'Vivah'. In fact people are confused about this award. Dada Sahab Phalke Award is divided into two categories, one for Life time Achievement and the other is the normal Dada Sahab Phalke Award.

This award comes under the category of National Award. I am very happy that I got this award at such an early age. I am indebted towards all of them who chose me for the award.

Q. Are you happy with your simple girl image?
A. According to me simplicity has different meanings for every person. According to some a simple girl means someone who is non glamorous but is the life of every party, special for her neighbors and with a good sense of humor.

If people see me as a simple girl with all these qualities then I will be happy to remain with this image all my life.

Q. What are your future plans?
A. I want to attain my goals slowly. If I say today that I have attained all my goals then I will have nothing to work for and if you have no desire then your growth stops. I really don't want my growth to stop.

Beauty and the best

She’s undoubtedly one of the long-standing screen queens. But Hema Malini just doesn't believe in starry behaviour. Today, she brought in her husband Dharmendra's birthday with the minimum fanfare.

"We're not a filmy family at all. We don't believe in pomp and show. So we didn't have the typical cake-cutting, stuffing one another's mouth with the cake and cameras clicking all the happenings. All four of us, Dharamji, me and our two daughters are spending a quiet day at home. To us, that's a day well spent. And that's how we celebrate our birthdays," said the ethereal Dream Girl.

She also added that her husband is basically a shy person and likes to be with the family.

Karan Johar to judge musical reality show

Director Karan Johar made quite an impressive debut on television as a talk show host with ‘Koffee with Karan’. Now this ace director is all set to judge a musical reality show called ‘Shaava Shaava’ on NDTV Imagine channel.

The show would go on air in January 2008 and will see television actors like Aman Verma, Apoorva Agnihotri, Juhi Parmar, Divyanka Tripathi, Mouni Roy, Narayani Shastri, Pulkit Samrat and Sumeet Raghvan showcasing their singing talent.

In every episode, the participants will sing their favorite songs and Karan, along with viewers from across the country, will select the best singer among these T.V. stars. Needless to say, that the participant with the least scores and votes will be eliminated.
Although there is no dearth of musical reality shows on television today, Sameer Nair, CEO of NDTV Imagine, feels that this show would indeed be fresh and innovative.

The show will be hosted by television actor Ali Asgar and is being produced by Contiloe Films Pvt. Ltd.

Sriram Raghavan's film has no title for a title song!

Director Sriram Raghavan, who gave us one of the best suspense flicks this year, Johnny Gaddar is in a fix. Apparently, Shankar Ehsaan Loy (SEL), the music composers for his next film (an untitled love story), starring John Abraham and Aishwarya Rai, want to create a title song!

Sriram wonders, "Unless I find a title for my film, how can my music composers Shankar- Ehsaan- Loy create a title song which I urgently need?"

Ek Hasina Thi and Johnny Gaddar were anti-romantic films where the director celebrated the romance of crime and revenge. Admits Sriram, “The John-Aishwarya film would be my first actual romantic film. The characters will lip-sync the song and I’m scared! It's the easiest thing in the world to have songs in the background, as I did in my first two films. But to have the characters actually sing on screen is a frightening prospect for me."

SEL have been roped in to do the title song and some other tracks. "But I may have to find another composer to supplement SEL’s input as they don't have adequate time for the full score," says Sriram, who is prepared for the change.

Unlike Johnny Gaddar, which had re-mixes of old songs; the entire score in Sriram's new film will be original.

"But first, the film's title. My producer Rohan Sippy, my writer Sridhar (who happens to be Sriram's brother) and I have zeroed in on a few options." adds Sriram.

SEL are waiting for the title so they can create the song to go with it.

"Why would I say Salman is part of my next" - Atul

“Why would I say that Salman is going to be a part of my next? Sometimes articles are written with shocker headlines to make it interesting,” says Atul Agnihotri about a story published in a Mumbai tabloid today stating that brother-in-law Salman Khan may be a part of his next film based on Chetan Bhagat’s yet to be released novel Three for which Atul has bought the rights. “Yeah, in principle we’ve agreed. I’ve enjoyed working with him on One Night At a Call Centre. I know the story of Three. I know what Chetan is attempting. It’s very interesting,” Atul clarified.

We must add here that Atul Agnihotri’s Hello is based on Chetan Bhagat’s Best Seller novel One Night At a Call Centre and it stars Sohail Khan, Isha Koppikar, Sharman Joshi, Gul Panag, Amrita Arora and Sharat Saxena in main lead while Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif are putting in a special appearance. The talkie portion of the film was completed recently. “We are just left with a song that has to be picturised on Salman and then there’s a promotional music video. We aim to release either by Valentines Day or after the exams as it’s a youth oriented film. We don’t want to come at the wrong time.”

Atul Agnihotri’s debut film as a director Dil Ne Jise Apna Kaha didn’t do wonders at the Box Office but there are high hopes from him with Hello. As for Three, the book is being launched in March. “I plan to start the film at the end of the next year. The preparations would take around 5-6 months. A lot of outdoor shooting will be involved in the film.” Finally, have you thought of a star cast as of now? “No star cast as of now,” Agnihotri says ending all speculation and gossip mongering.

Indian American student sues New York police

New York(IANS) A civil liberties group has sued the New York Police Department (NYPD) on behalf of an Indian student who was detained in July while photographing a subway station here.

The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) filed the suit Thursday in the district court of Manhattan, alleging that police officers unlawfully handcuffed Arun Wiita, 26, a Columbia University graduate student.

Wiita was spotted using a digital camera near 207th Street and Tenth Avenue in Manhattan.

A resident of New Jersey, Wiita is seeking compensatory damages and reimbursement of legal fees.

"I was surprised and upset that I could be handcuffed on the street for taking a photograph," Wiita said. "What was really disheartening was that I knew this has probably happened before and that it could happen again to anyone."

"Wiita's arrest came within hours of his having embarked on a carefully planned 10-day project to photograph all 468 subway stations in New York," the lawsuit read.

"Though he was subsequently released without formal charges, Wiita was humiliated and confused by the arrest, and he believes that he was targeted in part because of his South Asian or Middle Eastern appearance," the lawsuit added. Wiita's mother is from India. He was born in the US.

Earlier this year, the police settled a suit brought by NYCLU on behalf of an award-winning documentary maker Rakesh Sharma, who was detained for filming with a handheld camera on a Manhattan street.

As a result, the mayor's office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting twice revamped its rules regarding the use of cameras on streets, parks or public property, tailoring them to apply only to potentially disruptive movie and television productions.

Police sources said officers question people photographing the city's rail infrastructure on "rare occasions", citing instances in which law enforcement officials have identified Iranian intelligence agents and suspected Pakistani terrorists taking photographs of the Brooklyn and Williamsburg bridges.

Aishwarya at Longiness Event Album

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