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Thursday, January 3, 2008

Amrita Rao in Hot new avatar!

Amrita Rao is back with a bang in a hot and new avatar for her forthcoming release ''My Name is Anthony Gonsalves”.

Riding high on the super success of 'Vivaah' Amrita seems quite pleased with her makeover in “My Name is Anthony Gonsalves” produced by Sahara One Motion Pictures

An elated Amrita says, "It surely is a new look for me. As an actress one cannot restrict oneself to a particular image and needs to constantly keep on experimenting with different kinds of looks, costumes and characters.

Though I love being called ‘the girl next door’, I want to change the definition of the phrase a bit. The girl next door can have a great sense of humor, be attractive and also 'hot'.

She adds, "Tum Miley' is one of the most romantic songs that I have ever done. I was just sporting the attitude of the song. Additionally it was shot in idyllic Goa and I share a certain karmic connection with the place.

Besides, I share a great comfort level with Nikhil. Mark my words, he is one of the most confident newcomers in Bollywood. Nikhil’s second name should have been 'confidence' “

Incidentally, whilst shooting in Goa, Amrita surprised the locals with her command over 'Konkani'. During the shooting for the song, she even learnt to cook authentic Goan delicacies at Britto's in Baga in Goa.

So, it is little surprising that while every third person is packing his bags to herald the New Year in Goa, Amrita will be seen in a new avatar in the first mega release of 2008!!

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"It's too early to get into Benazir's project" - Mahesh Bhatt

Mahesh Bhatt has no plans of directing the Benazir Bhutto project, which will be made in collaboration with Pakistan. "I'm through with direction. My last film as director was Zakhm. Then I hung up my boots. The page in my life has turned."

So what is the truth about the proposed Benazir project? "I was approached by a lady from Pakistan who wants us (Vishesh Films) to collaborate with them. In principal we're on." However, Mahesh thinks it's too early to get into the project. "The news of the project came from Pakistan. We didn't announce it. We've to get a go-ahead from Benazir's family and her party. The blood is still fresh on the streets. It isn't right to talk about a movie on the slain leader's life at this stage."

Regarding the crucial question as to who will direct the Benazir project, Mahesh says, "It would most probably be a Pakistani director. He may bring into the protagonist's character and her surroundings an understanding, which we may lack. We at Vishesh Films will back them with our team."

Sanjeeda Sheikh steps in Bollywood

After winning the millions of hearts with her perfect moves on the dance floor of ‘Nach Baliye 3’, with her better half, Sanjeeda Sheikh now, will be seen in Pankh, a film directed by Shudipto Chatupadhya. The film which has been made under the banner of White feather Films also has, Mahesh Manjrekar and Bipasha Basu, Maradona Rebello in the lead roles. The film is a drama and has music composed by Raju Singh.

Not divulging many details about the film, the CEO of White Feather Films, Hansal Mehta says, “Pankh is not the regular commercial film. It revolves around the confused identity played by Maradona Rebello. Pankh is hard-hitting art house film which has been beautifully made.”

On asking why he zeroed on Sanjeeda Sheikh for she was signed much before ‘Nach Baliye 3’ happened to her, he says, “Sanjeeda plays a principle role, fitted in the vision of director’s as far the character is concerned which demanded someone of less than 17 years of age.”

Pankh, in its post-production stage, will be doing the rounds of festival before releasing world wide.

Taare Zameen Par goes tax-free in Mumbai

Aamir Khan’s directorial debut Taare Zameen Par has been appreciated by one and all and no wonder Aamir is on top of the world.

The good times continue for this wonderful actor – director as news comes that his film has now been declared tax-free in Mumbai for a period of six months.

The film, currently running in its second week, had earlier got a tax- exemption in the capital and now this surely comes as even more good news for all those associated with the film.

Here’s wishing that the film continues its victory march, even in the weeks to come.

The Kareena and Deepika War is on

It's not official yet. But Saif Ali Khan's first production to be directed by Jab We Met director Imtiaz Ali will start shooting in May 2008.

But it won't star Saif's lady-love Kareena Kapoor. It pairs Saif with Deepika Padukone.

The matter in fact became a big bone of contention between producer Saif and director Imtiaz.

Says a source very close to Saif, "If Saif had his way he'd want Kareena in every production starting with his first. In fact he was quite sure that his production house would take off with a film starring Kareena along with Saif.

And since Imtiaz had just delivered a big hit with Kareena Saif saw no problems on that front. Little did he know that Imtiaz had other plans.

The director was sure that Kareena wouldn't suit the female lead this time. He insisted it had to be Deepika Padukone."

Saif and Imtiaz had several heated and prolonged arguments over the matter. But Imtiaz was adamant.

"Saif had no choice but to give in, although Kareena who thought she was a natural choice for Imtiaz after Jab We Met was very hurt about being kept out of a project that's rightfully hers."

When contacted Imtiaz Ali known to speak his mind (he has confessed he signed Kareena for Jab We Met without liking her work in her any of her earlier films) is as usual forthright.

"It's very simple. Deepika suits the role. Kareena who is my absolute favourite, does not. Fortunately or unfortunately my fondness for an actor is not the criteria for casting.

I cannot cast Kareena wrongly, not after casting her so perfectly as Geet in Jab We Met. I respect her talent too much for that.

No one knows her worth better than me. I'm sure I'll write a role for her in my next film and happily queue up outside her door for her dates."

Kareena who's known to fight fiercely for her rights was obviously upset about the exclusion from her boyfriend's first production.

"But she has mellowed considerably. All her insecurities seem to have vanished. Proof of this lies in what transpired when Kareena was in Bangkok to spend time with Saif before Christmas.

Not once did she visit Saif's location in Bangkok while he was shooting with Rani Mukherjee for Kunal Kohli," says a source that knows Kareena only too well.

Koena's unpleasant New Year party

While New Years brought in joy and happiness everywhere, the seductive and steamy Koena Mitra was very disturbed. On New Year’s Eve, at a 5-Star Hotel in Mumbai, an unknown person made advances at Mitra.

“The man misbehaved with me hence the hotel authorities asked him to leave the premises,” says Mitra. A male guest was pestering Koena not once but thrice. Since Koena did not respond to his repetitive efforts, he made things worse for the actress. Initially, he wanted to show her the features on his cell phone, then enquired her email id and then finally he clutched her by the waist and pulled her closer. She struck back by pushing him and punching his neck. “I certainly do not want to make it an issue and I am not comfortable discussing this,” adds Koena.

Issue or not, New Years need to be carefully monitored and security needs to be tighter for celebs and for the layman. What say junta?

Nisha Kothari involved in a car accident

Nisha Kothari was involved in an accident of a pregnant woman near Santacruz Airport in Mumbai, on Tuesday morning.

The woman was hit by Nisha’s car while crossing the road; she was with her husband and they were headed to Vaishnodevi. Kothari however claims that she was not driving the car as she does not know how to, but it was her driver who was behind the wheels. Besides, it was the victim who suddenly came in front of the car.

Nonetheless, Kothari made it a point to take the injured woman to Nanavati Hospital and get her treated. After which she left her number to be contacted in case they needed any help. No case was filed against the actress.

Farah & I earned Rs 5000 crores: Sajid Khan

Sajid Khan began his career as a television host and soon took up the director’s mantle on the small screen. Next he moved on to direct films.

He is now again back on Television for Sony TV's new show "Champion Chaalbaz No. 1". But this time he is going to a judge along with MTV VJ Cyrus Bharucha. The duo will now search for one best prankster through this show.

Q.: You are going to appear as a judge in "Champion Chaalbaaz No. 1". What is your comment on this?
A.: There will be no pressure on me as I'll just judge the participants in the show and not play the host here. Mona Singh will host it. There's an opportunity of meeting many people and that's a better part of the show.

Here I can witness many pranks and most of them are good ones. The good pranksters are getting better marks, while the bad pranksters are not making that much of a mark. I'm telling them to improve.

And I am also very happy because this is for the first time that I'm working with Cyrus.

Q.: The tagline of the show begins as "Jisme hai masti ki maha khujli………." How do you relate yourself to this?
A.: (Smiling) I feel very much related and connected to that. The show says that you have to show all your pranks on the show to win.

Q.: There are 33 contestants in the show. Can you think of anyone amongst who is really very good?
A.: Yeah. There's a girl in the show who I do believe will be the winner. She made a better opening and her first prank was about asking a typist to type a suicide note.

Its content was like this:’ I am leaving you forever and by the time you will get the letter I would be leaving the world’. And then she gets pills in front of the typist who gets nervous. That was the best prank on the show till the date.

Q.: It's a new show of its kind on Indian television. Before that there had done similar shows on MTV, Channel V as well as on Bindaas Channel. Do you think that Indian audiences will appreciate that?
A.: Before replying your question, I would like to ask you how do you like the poster. Don't you think that it’s quite a funny show? I believe that the Indian audience will also love that.

Q.: You have always been entertaining people. Have you ever thought of doing any serious character?
A.: Look, I'm a chain smoker, so I'll live for a maximum of 55 years. I have spent 37 years of that and I have just 18 years in hand. I would better spend that time only in entertaining people.

As far as playing serious a character is concerned, there are a few people who know that I am quite a serious person. I made "Heyy Baby", but I neither drink alcohol nor try to get any woman.

Q.: When was the first time you realized you have the talent to make people laugh?
A.: I was then just seven when I was forced to perform on the stage in school. There I danced and did mimicry of some actors and made all my teachers and other students laugh.

Usually I don't do films, but I know that scripts are needed only for films. There are many directors who say that they make scenes at the time they are needed. But it's foolish.

There's a proverb that says, "If it's not in the script then it's not on the stage". But I say the same for films as films require lot of money and we can't waste time on that. But as far as television is concerned, we have time for that. I feel proud to say that I never followed scripts for television programs.

Q.: You said that you don't believe in things happening in reality shows. What would you look for in this reality show?
A.: Laughter, laughter and only laughter. He, who will make audience, me and Cyrus laugh, will win the show. "MTV Bakra" by Cyrus and my "Bajao" were great successes because they made people laugh. We will search the same in the program.

Q.: Your image has always been that of a prankster. Are you really a prankster or that's an image that people have forced you in?
A.: These are two different things. I never make fun of others, but I love to play pranks on them. Whether it's for a show or in real life, I'm always the same.

Even during the shooting of "Heyy Babyy" I played pranks on my unit members. In that way people never get bored of their job and on the contrary, feel fresh. I really love to entertain others.

Q.: Do you feel any change in your personal life after becoming a director?
A.: See, people have started looking at me from a different point of view, but I'm still the same. I'm still the same Saajid, the same friend, the same son and the same brother. Even then I was single and still I'm single. I'll never change.

Q.: Your father Kamran Khan was a filmmaker. Don't you think that if he was alive he would have felt very happy seeing Farah and you as successful directors?
A.: I really miss my father very much. He tried, but couldn't succeed in filmmaking. He made a good movie, but unfortunately it flopped and all the money got wasted.

My mother told me a few days back 'I really feel like a proud mother because my children have earned a total of Rs 5000 crore for the (film) industry'. I have earned Rs 2000 crore and Farha has earned the rest. I think my father would have said something like my mother.

Q.: When will you become double from single?
A.: When I'll meet someone really interesting. But one thing is fixed that the girl will be from a non-film background.

Q.: Please tell us about your forthcoming films.
A.: I can only say that my forthcoming film will be a bigger hit than "Heyy Baby". I have taken Vidya Balan, Akshay Kumar, Riteish Deshmukh again and a new heroine. I can't say anything else at this moment.

Gallery: Bipasha New Year's eve at JW Marriott

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"Renzel wanted Anurag onboard" - Karan Johar

Post the flash -patch up between Karan Johar and Anurag Kashyap, it has been widely reported that Karan Johar has offered Anurag a job in his production house as the dialogue writer of a film to be produced by Karan. This, as an olive branch?

"What olive branch?" counters Karan . "It was he who said things about me. Yes, Anurag is writing the dialogues for a film to be directed by Renzel d'Silva, that extremely talented writer who scripted Rang De Basanti. Renzel is directing an emotional thriller for my Dharma Productions. It was Renzel's idea to get Anurag on board for the dialogues. It had nothing to with my patchup with Anurag," says Karan who had just returned to Mumbai after short New Years holiday in Goa.

"I took the opportunity in Goa of doing some more reading for my next directorial project which I want to call Khan. The film requires extensive research."

Screen Buzz: Historical postponed!

Ashutosh Gowarikar’s much-awaited film “Jodhaa Akbar” continues to make news. It is the untold love story of the Mughal Emperor Akbar (played by Hrithik Roshan) and a fiery, young Rajput princess, Jodhaa (Aishwarya Rai), with some great music by A.R. Rahman. The film, produced by UTV, is to be dubbed into Tamil and Telugu. It was originally scheduled for release during Diwali but, later, postponed to January 25. Last week, it was again postponed to Valentine’s Day weekend on February 15. Now it is learnt that one of the five songs, a ‘qawwali’, is to be deleted due to the film’s long duration — 3 hours and 50 minutes!

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