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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Anupam teams up with Tanuja for the first time

Anupam Kher has had an extraordinarily fulfilling 2007. It looks like 2008 will be another whopper for the versatile actor. He's already shooting for a fascinating new film about the cozy and warm relationship between a man and his granddaughter in Hawai Dada.

"It's directed by another debutant Ajay Kartik. I seem to be working with new very talented directors all the time. In fact, one of my best films this year Wednesday is directed by another debutant Neeraj Pandey. Hawai Dada is another memorable experience," says Anupam. What makes it especially memorable is the fact the veteran actress Tanuja is playing Anupam's wife. "She has always been a favorite. One of our cinema's natural-born actresses. Working with Tanuja in Hawai Dada is such a pleasure. She's totally hassle-free and very entertaining on the sets. I had the privilege of working with her sister the legendary Nutan in Subhash Ghai's Karma."

On January 1, Anupam shot the entire day outside Amitabh Bachchan's residence Jalsa for Vikram Razdan's Bhatti Ki Chutti. "I play this big Bachchan fan who just hangs around the Bachchan’s residence to catch a glimpse of the star." Anupam dismisses a report that AB will make an appearance in Bhatti Ki Chutti as premature. "It's too early to say whether he'll appear in the film or not. Even if he doesn't my character of the Hercule Poirot-like detective will continue to be his fan," adds Anupam.

Perfect Bahu of the Year: Ash

Perfect Bahu Of The Year: Not Tulsi in Kyunkii Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, but Aishwarya Rai at Jalsa. In no time at all Ms Rai Bachchan has enamoured herself to all the four members of the Bachchan household. The vibes are so positive one wonders if there could be a more perfect jodi than this one!

One Wedding & A Funeral: 2007 was a see-saw year for the Bachchans. It started with a wedding and ended with a funeral for the Bachchans. All the through the swing from khushi to gham the new member of the Bachchan family was a pillar of strength to filmdom's pehla parivar.

'Pack It Up': Look at what Shah Rukh Khan started! 'Bare'ly did he take off his shirt in Om Shanti Om when suddenly, everyone started flaunting their 6 packs.

Even chocolate- box hero Ruslaan Mumtaz claimed he had a 6-pack all along. Dino Morea went a step further. He said he had an 8-pack 'all along'. Watch out for the 10-packs and 12-packs in 2008. Dil mein mere hai dud-e-disco.

Ouch! : 2007 had its share of grievous injury. If Nana Patekar injured his foot on the sets of a comedy, Hrithik Roshan's knee injury had him incapacitated at the end of the year. Hrithik's director Ashutosh Gowariker didn't lag behind. He was confined to bed with a bad back.

Jaya Bachchan cracked her ankle while shooting for Drona. Aand Randeep Hooda fell and hurt his face on a table while doing an intricate shot.

Bad Vibes: Shahid's split with Kareena made headlines. So did Sanjay Dutt's fall-out with Sanjay Gupta. But some lesser-known skirmishes in the film industry had us amused.

Bipasha and Randeep Hooda locked horns when he speeded past her at Karjat. Kareena called John Abraham "expression-less" on Koffee With Karan.

Bipasha responded on the same show on her boy-friend's behalf by accusing her of displaying too many expressions. 2007 sure was an expressive year.

God's 'Grand' Plan: Coincidences generally come in 3s. With Abhishek and Sonam Kapoor both shooting for Rakeysh Mehra in Jaipur, it came in a box of 2.

First Abhishek lost his grandmother and had to rush back to Mumbai. Then his leading lady Sonam lost her grandfather and was back in Mumbai.

Coincidentally Abhishek was shooting at just about this time last year in Jaipur (for J.P. Dutta's Umrao Jaan) when he was summoned back for his father's illness.

No Comebacks Please: Madhuri Dixit's comeback vehicle Aaja Nachle proved to be a bit if a letdown. Begum Para returned after a gap of 50 years in Saawariya. Mithun Chakraborty also made a comeback of sorts with a spectacular performance at the beginning of the year in Guru.

Decline & Fall Of The Ramu Empire: The saddest humptydumpty of the year was Ram Gopal Varma. After Sholay turned into Aag Ramu turned into Jai Shri Ramu, bidding a hasty goodbye, changing his cell number and retreating into a shell. Oh hell!

Ironically the producer of the original Sholay G.P Sippy passed away at year-end. So who said life was easy for a self-declared trendsetter?

Ramu will a 100 percent bounce back in 2008 with Sarkar Raaj. Those who've seen the rushes can't stop raving about it.

Role Swapping: 2007 saw a lot of music composers turning to singing. And now in 2008 director Farhan Ahktar is turning into an actor and singer! Yeh ho kya raha hai?!

At this rate there will be no clear demarcation between professions in show-biz.

I want to find Love in 2008: Kangana

Kangana Ranaut: "In 2008 I want to find love…but not the way you'd think. I want to find it within myself. I want to get to love myself so I can be a better person for myself and for others. And I want to learn more stuff…play new instruments,read new books, see the world. I want to fly."

Arshad Warsi : "In 2008 I'm really really going to start looking after myself. And I want to work even harder on my films. No more supporting roles for me. I'll now support myself.

Tusshar Kapoor: "My new-year resolution is to get more fitness-conscious. I want to get as physically fit as I can. And I've promised myself a holiday this year. One more thing. I 've resolved to be me more careful this year in selecting my roles.

Lilette Dubey: "I see time slipping away fast. In 2008 I want to re-forge bonds with my family and friends. And I want to travel more. But most important of all, I'm going to make my first film. Yes, 2008 will be the year of my directorial debut. I love new challenges, always, Wish me luck.

Riteish Deshmukh: "Normally I don't make any resolutions. But this year I'm making an exception. I want to become more energy-conscious his year. I'll make a conscious effort to save on electricity wherever I can.

Ruslaan Mumtaz: "This year I want to spend much less money than I did last year. I recently went on a holiday and came back broke. I had to cancel my year-end holiday plans. In 2008 I want to stop using the credit card.

Dino Morea: "I seriously don't look at the whole year. I take it a day at a time. I see every day as struggle to do the right thing. So I guess in 2008 I'll be struggling even more. The one resolution that will remain with me all through the year is to be good, to myself and to those I love.

Upen Patel: "In 2008 I want to be a good humanbeing. And I want to get love back into my life."

Sonam Kapoor: "The death of my Nanaji at the end of the year made me realize how urgently I need to spend time with my family. My new year resolution is to spend as much time as possible with my Nani.

I realize at the end of the day it 's those whom you love that you need to preserve the most. And since my Nanaji would always joke about my lack of a boyfriend maybe I need to get one of those into my life. Where can I order one?

Sammir Dattani: "I want to stop being the good sweet cute boy nextdoor. I want to get really mean on screen. I want to play the villain in a slasher movie where I get to be ugly in looks and action.

Prashant Raj: "In 2008 I want to get really serious.There'll be a lot of focus on commitment in my life. At the same time I want to enjoy myself to the hilt. Is that a contradictory wish?

Raima Sen: "I really need to get more regular about my work-outs. And I need to get more decisive this year. Too much of giving in just to be polite.

Manoj Bajpai: "After 18 years of smoking I've kicked off the habit. In 2008 I want to stick to staying away from the cancer stick

Neil Mathur: "My new year resolution is to make no resolutions. I make them every year and forget to stick to them

Koena Mitra: "I don't like to restrict myself to rules and resolutions. I'm not a planner. I never planned anyting. So in 2008 I want to be even more spontaneous. I want to follow my heart wherever it takes me. I want to make mistakes, so I can learn from them. I want life to be full of surprises, unpredictable and adventurous. Can I have all of this?

Amrita Arora: "I know being bad is good. But I want to be a better humanbeing in 2008. I want to kick off my habitual impatience and work much harder than I did in 2007."

Bipasha Basu: "In 2008 I want to be fitter and healthier. I also want some more interesting work to come my way. And I want to travel a lot more in my free time."

Preity Zinta: "2007 was professionally stressful. I did some of my most complex characters and at the end of the year I really needed a break. Now in 2008 I will do some fun roles

. My new year resolution is to let my hair down and never let those whom I love down.

Simi Garewal:"My new year resolution…to speak more Hindi as I'm gonna be doing more Hindi shows on tv."

Saif AliKhan: "To never smoke again, to take care of my health, be extremely regular with my workouts, make more time for those whom I love,to stay focused on my work and to make sure I enjoy what I do."

Kunal Kapoor: "My new-year resolution? To shave at least once a week"

Urmila Matondkar: "Why make new year resolutions? I learn from my mistakes throughout the year."

Malaika Arora: "Oh, I make new –year resolutions religiously every year and break them throughout the year. 2008 will be no exception."

I didn't give Vidya glam look: Rajkumar Santoshi

Being rooted in the practical social problems, Rajkumar Santoshi's films truly touch each and every human heart and implore them to think about them. Santoshi himself believes in that.

With his present project, Santoshi has now decided not to touch or show any problem, but go for a revolution in the society that may change the entire societal system. Let us have a look at his agenda in 'Halla Bol' and know about his plans from the man himself.

Q.: You have always made movies keeping the common people in mind. How is "Halla Bol" different from your earlier films?
A.: 'Halla Bol' is different in many ways. The story of this film is absolutely new and no one has ever tried to make a movie on this subject. It's the story of responsibility of one human being towards the other.

These days, people are only interested in their own matters and think they have nothing to do with others’ problems. Once upon a time, I read a few lines that told me "if someone is torturing your neighbor and you are silent, it will be your turn to suffer next".

'Halla Bol' is made on that subject. It says that if anything wrong happens in front of your eyes and you don't ever think that you have anything to do with that, it’s wrong. If you don't support others then no one will come forward in your support also.

Q.: What's the reason behind one super star always standing up against the wrongs in your film?
A.: That's the base of our story. It only says that the superstar also has some responsibilities towards the people who have made him a superstar.

Moreover, his position and status in the society make people take notice of what he does and says. That's why he stands against every odd. Unfortunately, the actual scenario in our practical life is a complete contrast. The bigger the icon is, the more silent he is.

He is always afraid that his words may destroy his image. In the film Pankaj Kapoor’s character delivers an important dialogue which says "when animals are hurt they cry, but it is the human beings who understand others’ pain". You can take as the bottom line of the story.

Q.: While others are trying to give Vidya Balan a glamorous look, you kept her very simple….
A.: It's the demand of the story. She is from a small town and she marries a super star. Though she becomes a star in that way, but her life’s values remain the same. She is an inspiration for Ajay.

Ajay keeps changing all through the movie, but she remains the same and that's why we kept her simple.

Q.: Ajay is working in most of your films. How do you look at that?
A.: He is a good friend of mine. At the same time, he is a versatile actor, too. His personality has a lot of variety and so whatever role I offer him, he not only plays it perfectly, but justifies it too.

Q.: Ajay is also known as a prankster. Has he ever tried any prank on you?
A.: (Smiling) Never. I always used to run away from the scene. I can still remember that day during the shooting of ‘Lajja'. No sooner I came to know that he has planned to play a prank on me, I got away from the set and stayed out for two hours. But these approaches keep the exhaustion of shooting away and make things quite dynamic.

Q.: These days comedies are very popular. What's the reason that you didn't try making a comedy movie after ‘Andaz Apna Apna’?
A.: I have a few comic stories to be made into films, but I'm waiting for better casting. Once I get proper casting I'll start making them. But you have to understand that now people are making just anything in the name of comedy.

Q.: What's the reason that you didn't make any female oriented film after 'Lajja'?
A.: Actually I don't have any such story right now. I'm trying to make such films again. Even in ‘Halla Bol’ Vidya's character is too well depicted. Women will appreciate her character, which is emotional yet very powerful.

Q.: Please tell us about your forthcoming films.
A.: I'm now busy making two films namely ‘Ashoka the Great’ and ‘Ramayan’. Besides, I have recently bought the rights of all characters of a play ‘Jis Laahor Nehi Vyakkhya’ and am now working on them.

Q.: You were making two other films – 'Prithviraj Chauhaan' and 'London Dreams'. What happened to those projects?
A.: No, I'm not working on them now. Actually other people are also thinking of making films on the same subject. So I dropped the idea. I don't want the repetition of issues like 'Legend of Bhagat Singh'. I cannot say anything about 'London Dreams' as I couldn't get dates of any actor for the film.

Q.: We have heard that Salman Khan wants to make that film with Vipul Shah….
A.: Yeah, I have also heard about that. If Salman wants it that way then I have to objection to it. On the other hand, these days I'm very busy, too.

Q.: Shahrukh also made ‘Ashoka’, but that couldn't get success. What will you do with your film to make people like it?
A.: See, the first thing is it's such a huge subject that it needs more research. Even though you are ready to try a hand at that job your mettle must be praised.

No doubt they researched on that subject and we also are researching on it. But there's a hell lot of difference between their and my films. They ended their film with the war of Kalinga and our story will start from that point.

The story of our film and the treatment of the story are quite unique. I think the audience will enjoy a different historical movie mainly women-oriented. It's actually based on Ashoka's last wife Tisya Rakshita portrayed by Bipasha Basu.

Q.: How do you look at your journey in Bollywood?
A.: Well, it has been quite interesting. I have seen both failures and successes. I feel proud of my films because despite being based on social issues they were appreciated by the audience.

I never tried to copy any English movie and have always tried to go for unique subjects. It's an open secret that many well-known directors are simply copying English movies.

And at the same time, stars are acting in them. And the most hilarious part is that they copy films even frame to frame and also never hesitate to say that they have been inspired by those foreign films.

"We need a new face with Hrithik" - Anurag Basu

Wanted: a brand new leading lady for Hrithik Roshan in his father's production which will be directed mid-2008 by the immensely talented Anurag Basu. "I really need to get back behind the camera; it’s been quite a while since Life…In Metro released. I'm glad it worked. But I now need to move on."

Anurag's next film will be produced by Rakesh Roshan's company Filmkraft and will feature Hrithik Roshan in a never-before avatar. The interesting part of this action-romance would be the casting of the leading lady. Hrithik will pair with a completely new girl, his first female debutant since his debut in Kaho Na…Pyar Hai five years.

"The theme is such that we need a fresh girl. We're searching for her. If we don't find the perfect debutante only then we may consider an established face," says Anurag who earlier for his career-making film, Gangster, discovered the stunning Kangana Ranaut. "Yes," laughs Anurag. "But every day isn't a Sunday. And we may not get that lucky this time. However, I'm extremely happy to be working with Hrithik who apparently saw Metro and liked it. Hrithik and his father are very professional non-interfering people. An added bonus for doing this yet-untitled film is that Hrithik's uncle Rajesh Roshan is doing the music. I've always been his big fan."

While he waits to start his film with Hrithik, Anurag is scripting a film that he's committed to do for UTV. For now plans of making a sequel to Metro have been put on the back burner. "I'll do the sequel only when the script is better than the first part. Otherwise there's no point in doing a sequel for any film," says the filmmaker who has survived a terminal illness and is now doing the best work of his life.

I am proud of my body : Padma Lakshmi

'I am proud of my body'

The image “http://specials.rediff.com/movies/2007/dec/12sd1.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.I was the first Indian model to have a career in Paris, Milan and New York,' Padma Lakshmi has said often. 'I am the first one to admit I was a novelty.'

Padma -- better known now as a celebrity television host, bestselling cookbook author and aspiring actor -- may not be interested in any more modelling, but much of what she is doing now, including the cookbooks, is connected to her modelling.

For one, while travelling on modelling assignments, she acquired a taste in the cuisines of many countries, including Morocco and Italy. And she began working on her first cookbook Easy Exotic because she rightly suspected there was a market for a smart cookbook by a model. People would want to know what a well-known model eats, she reasoned.

Padma, who has spent most of her 37 years in America, has modelled for Giorgio Armani, Isaac Mizrahi, Herve Leger, Versace, Sonia Rykiel, Valentino and Ralph Lauren; much of her work was lingerie-centric and, for the celebrated photographer Helmet Newton, she offered semi-nude postures.

"All the pictures that have been taken of me are artistic," she asserts. "Even if they were provocative or revealing, I don't think they were vulgar.

"I was brought to believe that the female form is a beautiful thing," she continues. "I think it's not so much what you do but how you do it that matters. I don't think I've done anything that was exploitative.".

The image “http://specials.rediff.com/movies/2007/dec/12sd2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.She says she has never been embarrassed about her body. "Some of my friends and people in the art world, including women, say they admire my body," she says. "I am proud of my body. Some compare it to the Chola bronzes. And they all wonder how I keep myself so fit."

She will readily say that at times she likes to "eat like a pig," and that she has an enormous weakness for fried food. "I don't care much for sweets," she says. "But I like Karam [Tamil for fried savory snacks]."

She has a glorious figure because she spends hours a week on the treadmill. "In spite of my frequent travels and preoccupation with hundreds of things, I make time to burn off calories," she says.

The image “http://specials.rediff.com/movies/2007/dec/12sd3.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.In Easy Exotic, published eight years ago, she recalled how throughout her adolescence she had been approached by people who wanted to get her to be a model. Her mother Vijaya Lakshmi made one thing clear to her: 'If I was beautiful at 17, I would be beautiful at 21 when I graduated from college.' Vijaya, a single mother, worked as a nurse in America.

Padma was in Spain studying for a semester when she was discovered by a talent agency in a Madrid pub and sent on a modelling assignment. Though she came from a conservative family with roots in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, she had nothing to worry about as far as her mother was concerned. The only advice Vijaya gave her was to think seriously before taking any step.

"Any good parent would tell you that," Padma says. "I have always been able to tell my family about myself; I have never had to lie to them."

The image “http://specials.rediff.com/movies/2007/dec/12sd4.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.A career as an international model gave Padma a flavour of many cultures.

'It also added to my culinary repertoire,' she has written. 'Travelling from city to city has quite a grueling effect on body and spirit. It was during these times that I began to rediscover my skills as a chef. Making recipes from my childhood made me feel less homesick, and controlling my diet through healthier versions of classic recipes kept my waistline in check.'

The image “http://specials.rediff.com/movies/2007/dec/12sd5.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.Soon, she was also discovering her curiosity of food very different from the one in Tamil Nadu or what she had eaten in America. Though she had been introduced to American regional food, including Cajun and Mexican cuisines in New York, it was in Morocco and Spain that she began a serious culinary journey.

She was shooting for the Italian Elle in Morocco, her first big editorial shoot, when she learned about Harissa, the fiery chili sauce, and mild couscous dishes. While shooting French lingerie in Bali, she learned how to make a low-calorie fish dish.

She wonders if she would have become a foodie and a food writer if her fashion career had not made her a globetrotter. Even her acting career took off because of her modelling. While living in Milan, the fashion capital of the world, she starred in several Italian films and television series.

"The best part of modelling was travelling and increasing my knowledge of world cultures," she says.

Wallpaper Of The Day

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Niwas to direct for SRK

E. Niwas is on cloud nine! The talented director, whose new film MY NAME IS ANTHONY GONSALVES will hit the screens next week, seems to have caught the attention of none other than Shah Rukh Khan. Reportedly, King Khan has assigned the directorial reins of his forthcoming film to Niwas.

“That’s true,” Niwas confirms, “He has offered a film to me, which I have gladly accepted. His company Red Chillies will be producing the film, but let me clarify, it wouldn’t be starring him.” What’s he working on? Has any idea germinated in his mind? “Oh yes, I’ve got something in mind, but I’ve yet to work on the screenplay,” he adds.

Meanwhile, the principal cast of MY NAME IS ANTHONY GONSALVES is touring various cities to promote the film. They’ve already visited Ahmedabad and will be visiting Delhi, Lucknow, Jaipur and Hyderabad in the next few days.

Yash Raj signs Shahid?

Speculation is rife that Aditya Chopra has pencilled Shahid Kapur for two major films. In fact, the producer and actor met recently to discuss these projects. Reportedly, the first project will be helmed by Anurag Singh, who has been an associate of Aditya Chopra for a while now.

Shahid doesn’t deny that he did meet Adi, but is tight-lipped about what actually transpired. “We’re still in talks. I won’t deny that he has offered films to me, but it wouldn’t be right to comment on it till everything is finalized. Adi is out of town and a clear picture will only emerge once he’s back,” Shahid tells me.

Incidentally, Shahid is not on a signing spree despite giving a success in JAB WE MET. In fact, the choosy and intelligent actor has just signed one project after JAB WE MET -- to be directed by Ken Ghosh and produced by UTV.

Two songs deleted?

JODHAA AKBAR continues to make news. Last week, it was about its release date, which was shifted from 25th January to 15th February. Now it’s about the length. Reportedly, Ashutosh Gowariker and UTV have decided to trim the film and to get it right, they’ve decided to chop off two songs from the narrative. All this to keep the length in check.

“It’s completely untrue,” Siddharth Roy Kapur of UTV sets the record straight, “There are five songs in the film and we’re retaining each of them. Seriously, we don’t know what the final length of the film will be, but we aren’t deleting any songs for sure. In fact, Ashu is yet to take a call on its length.”

Meanwhile, UTV has signed a 2-film deal with Sohail Khan’s production company. MR. & MRS. KHANNA, starring Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor, as also another film, slightly smaller in budget, will be made by Sohail and UTV jointly. Await the official announcement!

Photo Feature: Ameesha Patel Poses Nude

The image “http://www.greatandhra.com/newsimages/amisha-nude1199160591.JPG” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Hi readers! It's Ameesha Patel when she was just 1 and half years old. You might have expected something different. But it's something that brings you smiles. Start the day with laughs and naughty pranks.

Don't expect bigger things those are beyond your thoughts but accept everything with merry.

May 2008 bring you happiness, prosperity and good health.


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