Sunday, May 11, 2008

Aur kya karoon, darling ?

Aur kya karoon, darlings? If I hear one more tidbit about Kareena Kapoorand Saif Ali Khan, I'm gonna scream my lungs out. Aieeeeeeeeee. Sainnf is now being called Mary's little lamb, as he follows the gorgeous Kareena Kapoor all over town and countryside. He scooted off with her to Goa where she's shooting for GolmaalReturns and now he's accompanying her to Australia for the shoot of Mr and Mrs Khanna in which she teams up with Salman Khan. So, why should I be concerned, no? Simply because Sainnf 's launching his own home production on June 1... so er... shouldn't he be ensuring that all goes well etc and more etc.

Chopke Chopke

Funniest confirmed rumour of the day Seems Saif Ali Khan is very upset that as many as 25 of his scenes were edited out from the final print of Tashan. Even Akshay Kumar is believed to be upset that quite a few of his scenes were also chopped out. Really now, both Saif and Akshoo should thank their stars, shouldn't they? Imagine, what if the public had seen any more of Tashan! Anil Kapoor is the only one who isn't complaining. But I am. What Uncle AK said by way of dialogue needed subtitles... Unfazed by the Tashan debacle, AK is believed to have hiked his fee to Rs 8 crore...


Its about Upen Patel whom I may have erased from rny memory files.
Yeah, naturally but it seem this Patel boy can't get Tabu out of his mind and yaks, and yaks, and yaks about how wonderful it has been... What wonderful? What is this it? What's he talking about? Mottu just rolled her eyes and has gone off cackling fiendishly But then, such is life dearies.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Deepika replacing Katrina?

Anees Bazmee’s Welcome released at the end of last year was a super hit at the box-office and therefore it came as no surprise when the director declared plans for the sequel Welcome Back. The film will star Akshay Kumar, Nana Patekar, Anil Kapoor but leading lady Katrina won’t be a part of it.

Deepika Padukone is expected to replace Kat while Mallika Sherawat is expected to get a much important role in the sequel. A close source to Deepika told us about her involvement in Welcome Back.

“Firoz Nadiawala had approached Deepika for this film while shooting for Chandni Chowk to China. She has not yet made up her mind about whether she might do a role in sequel of Welcome.”

“She is very busy with Chandni Chowk to China which is about to finish in few weeks. Deepika had seen Welcome and she had liked the movie so she hasn't said yet no to them,” says the source.

Speaking more about Chandni Chowk to China, the source tells us that for the first time “Deepika will be doing some great stunts matching with Akshay Kumar.”

It seems none of Akki’s leading ladies can get enough of him. First Katrina couldn’t stop being paired with the khiladi and now Deepika is the next. After Chandni Chowk to China she will be also seen in Sajid Khan's Houseful with him and Welcome Back if she is to give it her nod.

Females only for Akshay Kumar’s 'Fear Factor'
Akshay Kumar is becoming a ladies’ man for his first TV show, ‘Fear Factor’.

Yes, all the participants short-listed for the show are females. Not even a single male is part of the show. Talk about male chauvinism!
The ladies who will be participating on the show are: Yana Gupta , Anjana Sukhani , Sonali Kulkarni , Payal Rohatgi , Meghna Naidu , Pooja Bedi , Sayali Bhagat , Aditi Govitrikar , Tapur Chatterjee, Nethra Raghuraman and Dipannita Sharma .

Akshay will be the host of the show ‘Fear Factor – Khatron Ke Khiladi’ that will be telecast on a brand new channel Colours that was launched in Bangkok on Monday.

The launch had Akshay showing his machismo as he made a spectacular entry on a mobike, shattering a huge glass. And on stage when Akshay was asked about his fear factor, the actor silently walked to one of the tables and held a python in his hands. For the rest of the show, Akki kept the python on his shoulders.

When asked about the 13 ladies, Akshay gave a gummy smile and said: “I feel when it comes to facing one’s fears, women can be no less than men. I take pride in training these ladies.”

By the way, in an entirely unexpected development, Akshay will be conferred an honorary doctorate on May 9 by the University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

Well, shall we call him Dr. Akshay Kumar from now on!

Chak De India Now, Yashraj Films plan a movie on cricket?

Their sole hit last year, Chak De India , flanked by a series of flops before and after, Yashraj Films is now rumoured to be returning to sports-based theme.

With their latest film Tashan being thrashed by critics and rejected by audience, Yashraj Films has added to the list of their unsuccessful films since last one-and-half years. Now, the production house is apparently planning to play it safe by making a sports-based movie.

If rumours are to be believed, YRF plans to make a film on women’s cricket team. Though it seems the idea is to cash in on the ‘Chak De’ formula, grapevine has it that the film’s story will be completely different.

Reports say the production house (read Aditya Chopra ) has zeroed down on Rani Mukherjee to play the captain of women’s test cricket team.

Rumour also has it that Aditya Chopra will not direct the film but will rope in someone whom he trusts and deems fit for the job.

Aditya is presently focused on his next directorial venture Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi with Shah Rukh Khan in lead role.

Meanwhile, Rani will be seen in the next YRF release Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic opposite Saif Ali Khan .

Aishwarya Rai looking forward to 'Pink Panther 2'

The gorgeous Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, who recently completed Sarkar Raj with her legendary father-in-law Amitabh Bachchan and husband Abhishek Bachchan , is now looking forward to her Hollywood release Pink Panther 2 .

Ash is quoted as saying in a news report that what was nice about her role in the movie was that it was not culture-specific.
“What makes my role special is that they haven’t specified my nationality. Nor have I been made to put on any accent. In fact, every other character is culture-specific. Except mine. That was really nice. We all have done our best. And when we started shooting in Paris, Abhishek was with me, so it was very nice,” Ash said.

Ash also praised Hollywood actor Steve Martin saying, “He’s fantastic. An institution. He has unbelievable comic timing and such energy. It’s incredible how hard he works at his age on the physical comedy. Just like Pa! Pink Panther 2 is completely Steve Martin’s film.”

However, Ash refused to admit that ‘Pink Panther 2’ being an international project was extra special to her.

“I’m not one to compare assignments. For me Chokher Bali in Kolkata was as precious as ‘Pink Panther 2’ in Boston. But, yes, Gurinder Chadha ’s Bride and Prejudice and her husband’s Mistress Of Spices had a lot of Indians in the crew, so I felt at home.”

And to set the record straight, Ash said, “ The Last Legion with Sir Ben Kingsley was my first fully-fledged international project. It was such a fantastic experience.”

‘The Pink Panther Deux’ is a sequel to the 2006 film, ‘The Pink Panther’. The film was first titled ‘The Pink Panther 2’, later renamed The Next Pink Panther and now the official title is ‘The Pink Panther Deux’.

Ash signed for the female lead as criminal expert, Sophie Solandres.

Kajol not impressed by new movie offers
Kajol has still not found the script that will make her say yes to a new film immediately.

Ever since she made her comeback in Fanaa , Kajol has made no secret of the fact that her baby is her first priority and films come later. Even though she worked in hubby Ajay Devgan ’s directorial debut U Me Aur Hum , the actress has been turning down offers from many big banners, including a film by Rajkumar Hirani. She also hasn’t yet given her final nod to good friend Karan Johar who plans to cast her opposite Shah Rukh Khan in his Khan .
The reason why Kajol hasn’t signed any new film is because nothing has interested her so far.

“The roles that are offered to me are not so great. I won’t accept an offer just because it comes from a big banner or has big stars. For me, the story in its entirety must make sense,” Kajol is quoted as saying.

So what’s her new project?

Kajol says she is working with Ajay again in the animation film ‘Toonpur Ka Superhero’. In the film Kajol will be dubbing for an animated character based on herself.

Neil Nitin Mukesh does his first Ad
Neil Nitin Mukesh is going places. Apart from the handpicked films that he is doing he's also done his first ad. "It's for a sports brand called Sparks . And boy, did the sparks fly during the shoot! We shot almost non-stop for three days. At the end of it, I was completely exhausted. Since it was an ad for sports shoes, we wanted to make it as outdoor and sporty as possible. So we shot with me doing the most serious hi-jinks possible. To be sure it was my first brush with big-time stunts. And I enjoyed myself."

There was just one hitch. "Those three days were really taxing on my energy. So at the end of each day the last thing I wanted to hear was my trainer telling me to do my cardio exercises. I begged and pleaded to be let off. But there was no respite. I think I must've lost quite a bit of weight during that ad."

Bangalore model opposite Shahrukh in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi

Bangalore model, 19-year-old Anushka Sharma has been identified to play the female lead opposite Shah Rukh Khan in Aditya Chopra’s third film as director RAB NE BANA DI JODI. Said Yash Chopra, "We were looking first and foremost for someone who could truly embody the spirit of small-town Punjab and we know we have found her in Anushka. And while she has no previous acting experience, we have seen that unique spark in her that makes us confident that she will be a standout even opposite Shah Rukh."

RAB NE BANA DI JODI will go on floors on 16th May and will hit theatres worldwide on 12th December.

Disastrous phase continues!


The dull, disturbing and disastrous phase at the domestic box-office continues! Almost every film is getting the royal ignore from the audiences, but it's foolhardy to blame the IPL [cricket matches] solely for the chaotic situation we are in. The quality of films is equally pathetic.
The traders are yet to recover from a debacle called TASHAN. Even though the issue with multiplexes has been settled, it hasn't helped the film at all. The word of mouth has been outright negative and the occupancy, therefore, is equally disheartening. Equally sad has been the outcome of the three new releases -- MR. WHITE MR. BLACK, ANAMIKA and PRANALI - THE TRADITION.

Of late, comedies have had a dream run at the turnstiles, but not all comedies have worked. Although aggressively promoted prior to its release, MR. WHITE MR. BLACK found very few takers on Day 1 itself. The teaming of Suniel and Arshad for the first time [no casting coup this!] didn't help. As for the content, the less said the better. My friends often chide me for sitting wide-eyed through the worst of films. But it really got unbearable during the second hour of MR. WHITE MR. BLACK. The ticket sales reflected the audience's apathy towards the film. And I am not surprised!

ANAMIKA is the new addition to the long list of also-ran films. I genuinely feel that Ananth Mahadevan knows the grammar of thrillers right, he knows how to treat a mystery well, how to create the eerie atmosphere, but his movies run out of steam while reaching their culmination. ANAMIKA suffered for this reason as well. It went awry during the post-interval portions. Its box-office fate was at par with Ananth's previous outing, VICTORIA NO. 203. The plexes bore an empty look, you could actually count the people inside an audi.

The cast plays a vital role in prompting you to dig into your pockets and shelling out Rs. 200 on a ticket. However, even if the face-value isn't interesting, the word of mouth as also the reviews are the deciding factors. ANAMIKA suffered on all three counts.

As for PRANALI - THE TRADITION, I am genuinely impressed with the enthusiasm displayed by its debutante producer [Nikhil Mathur], who left no stone unturned to promote the film. Unfortunately, despite the best efforts, the paying public wasn't enthusiastic about this film. Its fate was also evident on the day of its release!

But let's not lose sleep over the failures. Let's hope that the tide changes for better with BHOOTHNATH and JANNAT. Let's hope for the best!

Priyanka Chopra colours her hair Red for Love Story 2050

Many of us must have by-hearted the idioms and phrases that were taught to us in our school days. But Priyanka Chopra is one such Bollywoodian who did not by heart the phrase 'Dedication is not what others expect of you, it is what you can give to others', but has lived up to it and with great élan and style.

The dedication level of this chic is so very extraordinarily high, that it can actually give many others a huge complex. The recent example of the Chopra girl's commitment came in the forefront while she shooting for the 'futuristic' blockbuster Love Story 2050. The shot required her to sport red coloured hair. And guess what! Priyanka actually went ahead and dyed her hair red in colour, instead of opting for the easy way out - sporting a wig, like many others.

The 'hands and brains' at work included the ace make-up artist Mickey Contractor, Director Harry Baweja and celebrated hairstylist Thea, who spent a whopping six months finalizing on the right look. Harry Baweja said that the call of the situation was such that it required Priyanka to look like someone from the future, at the same time not look like an alien. And Baweja was so very touched with Priyanka's dedication towards her role because it was not once, but thrice that she changed the colour of her hair. The first time it was red, then, black and then back to red as she is playing two roles in this film.

With so much dedication flowing from Priyanka Chopra, we just feel that Harry Baweja is simply sitting on a 'futuristic' goldmine.

Kareena admits enjoying Saif's love

Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor's reel life romance failed terribly with Tashan going down the drains. But this hot couple still manages to stay in the news. Now, Kareena has revealed that Saif makes her happy.

Saif showed his love for Kareena by tattooing her name on his arm. It is also rumoured that he cut his wrist to show that his love for her is real. Bebo is aware of all his acts. She said that she enjoys his style of expressing love for her but at the same time scared, as it could hurt himself.

Well, Saif surely knows how to make his girl happy!

Priyanka Chopra gets pregnant

After a bountiful 2006 (Krrish and Don), last year was quite downbeat for top Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra with films like Salaam-E-Ishq and Big Brother failing at the ticket window. To add to that, she was away from the limelight or as they say, out of circulation! But that had more to do with her personal and legal problems related to the differences with her ex-secretary, Prakash Jaju.

However, there is good news for the fans of Priyanka Chopra as the current year is sure to set the record straight. With projects like Goldie Behl's Drona, Harry Baweja's Love Story 2050 and Madhur Bhandarkar's Fashion, the future appears bright and it seems that Priyanka is all set to regain her top position. Coming to Bhandarkar's (famous for cashing in on topical subjects) Fashion, the film is already hogging the headlines. The reason for the above is Priyanka's controversial pregnancy scene in the climax. The said scene is deliberately being publicized as being inspired from the real life of a top model, but that is only a publicity stunt. One has to commend Priyanka for going public with the fact that the said scene is of utmost importance to Fashion's climax and is not based on anyone's personal life.

The girl indeed has guts. Kudos and all the best to you Priyanka!

Bollywood hunks Akshay, John together!

Akshay Kumar and John Abraham -- the combo that featured in the Priyadarshan hit Garam Masala -- are expected to share the screen space yet again. This time, the project will be produced by Studio 18 and directed by Anees Bazmee. Although the production house hasn't signed the stars yet, there's a strong possibility that the two actors might feature in the film.

"Right now, we've signed Anees Bazmee for the project in question. We've also locked the concept. But we haven't confirmed the star cast yet," Preeti Shahani of Studio 18 sets the record straight, "Once the script is okayed, we will we move on to the next level -- of finalizing the cast. Things should be crystal clear once Singh Is Kinng is released."

Well, there's a strong possibility that Anees and Akshay, the winning combination of Welcome and the soon-to-be-released Singh Is Kinng, will team up for the third time. Watch this space for more updates!

I’ll enjoy failure also - Shah Rukh Khan

Shah Rukh and success have become quite synonymous with time proving the winning mettle of the King Khan in Bollywood. The star has now become an ideal for youth struggling for winning a place not only in the film industry but also in other sectors. Let us know about the recipe of success from the King Khan himself. Is it ‘luck’ or ‘hard work’ that is required for attaining success?

“See, success, with me, looks easy as I always prefer to stay smiling. Actually, while pursuing success, one always has to keep in mind the negative outcome of his effort. Now, take for example a bad guy. While he does something for his business, does he think of it as executing bad things? Not at all. Actually, he looks out for his justification and then never feels bad for anything he does. In the same way we also can do anything keeping in mind the positive aspects of the matter but at the same time we cannot forget the disarraying aspects the project can lead us to. You must witness the increment in your confidence while you convince yourself for something positive. Being so positive, you do perform better, too. We always try to make things better in our lives despite knowing the fact that we all are going to die one day. Every morning we get up from the bed thinking about getting better things, then, can’t we follow the same process in our job also? If we can do something with this intensity success will never be a far cry. As far as the role of luck is involved, I would like to say that hard work is needed to satisfy luck, also” explains Shah Rukh.

In addition to incorporating hard work and luck for getting success, Shah Rukh knows very well that Bollywood is the place where combination of beauty and talent produces the best result. But while Shah Rukh entered this industry the most industry guys found it hard to see beauty in him. That’s the reason behind his success being known as that of real ‘Baadshah’! How does Shah Rukh accept the fact?

Shah Rukh takes few moments and then replies, “People say that my luck plays a big role in getting me success. But I feel that I am not at all an important person. Yeah, seven or eight years back, I felt like a real special. But whatever I have achieved after that period were only due to the love of my audience.”

Still embracing the ‘Kindergarten’ award, he got at the age of two and half, Shah Rukh always dreamt about winning in life. Along with winning millions of hearts, Shah Rukh won the Filmfare award as the best newcomer for his character in “Diwana”. Since then Shah Rukh has proved example in winning at every step of his life. Now the question arises as what is his inspiration of having so much faith in winning!

He looks little serious and says, “truly speaking, it’s very easy to play blasphemous after winning in life. There are examples of many people who cannot win despite working very hard and the sole responsible behind their losing remain circumstances. Every human being leaves his bed in the morning thinking of winning only. Many amongst them get the chance to win and I am just one of them. There’s nothing extra-ordinary about it. I would tell you only that as I am enjoying my success, I’ll enjoy the moments of my failure also.”

We will talk about your failure later but, for the time being; let us talk about your success mantra only. Shah Rukh concludes saying, “I am pretty scared of these things. Recently I have gone through the Economy Times describing that Shah Rukh is an excellent businessman. But I never felt like that. I am still the same person as I was years ago. Still, my family is my only priority.”

"Why target Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan" - Anubhav Sinha

Anubhav Sinha is amused that Health Ministry may actually be looking at banning on-screen drinking. He is particularly flustered that Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan are being targeted as they are supposedly contributing to the 'bad habits' like drinking and smoking.
"First of all, we must remember that cinema and society borrow from each other. It must have been the society not the movies that started smoking and drinking first. Cinema and society reflect each other. So both must take the onus. If no nation in the world can 'afford to' ban smoking or drinking, we must accept that we need to learn to co exist with both", argues Anubhav Sinha.

He further questions, "Does the government have the authority, reason or control or courage if I may to tell 'the nation' to stop drinking or smoking? Then what gives them the authority to tell Shah Rukh to stop smoking or Amitji to not drink in the movies?"

Reflecting on the political scenario in the country, Anubhav goes on to add, "We know our health minister mostly for the digs at the film industry while we know Mr. Lalu Prasad Yadav for the complete and continuous changeover in the Indian Railways. I recommend him to actually contribute to the average and basic health of an average Indian than getting published for mediocre reasons."

So where he does he feel that celebrities could come in handy to spread the message? "I might as well request and mobilize celebrities to adopt X number of patients every year and mobilize treatment and education for them. At least it will serve a purpose and generate respectable news", suggests Anubhav.

Going back to Amitabh Bachchan, Anubhav says, "While we over-hype the bad effects of smoking and drinking in the movies, we must remember that the nation is fully aware that Amitabh Bachchan himself quit smoking forty years back. That should be inspiring enough."

How about Shah Rukh Khan, "Come on, Shah Rukh Khan repeatedly mentions that smoking is a terrible habit and he is trying his best everyday to quit. The audience knows this as much as it knows that he smokes. Let's stop cracking jokes man and get on with work. There are far bigger things to actually worry about."

"In Karna, my character has feminine side yet she also kicks butts" - Koena Mitra

She is one of the hottest Bong beauties we have in Bollywood. While her moves and grooves in the sizzling item number in Musafir had everyone asking for more, her con-girl act in Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena did surprise quite a few. Her last film release Apna Sapna Money Money did make quite a lot of money at the Box-Office but since then we haven't seen much of her. Yes, we are talking about the sizzling hot Koena Mitra who is back with a bang with a line-up of exciting releases this year. In this no-hold barred interview with Bollywood Hungama, Koena discusses her plans for 2008 and much more.
It's been a while since one has heard from you… How has been the New Year so far?
New Year has been good. It started out well. On New Year's Eve I was performing in Sahara Star. Every New Year a lot of people prefer partying and getting drunk, I don't say that's wrong but I don't really have to find a particular day to party. Moreover, if I'm at work and making money out of it and doing something that I love what better way to start the New Year. In fact, Tanushree and I were performing together and after the show got over we went to Mount Mary Church and it was really a beautiful experience. So, the year took off really well and this year, I have couple of exciting projects that I am looking forward to.

You last film release Apna Sapna Money Money released way back in Nov 06? They say out of sight is out of mind…Don't you think you have been missing for a long time now?
I don't really think so because to do good things you need to have patience. Things happen overnight for few lucky people but for others like me, there is a lot of hard work to be done and I don't see anything wrong in that, because at the end of the day it gives you immense satisfaction when your work is appreciated after all the effort you have put in. A lot of people ask me that why you always take time to decide on projects? I always feel that it's better to learn from other's mistakes rather than your own mistakes. Hence, I would prefer working with good banners and good directors even if it takes time, as long as it benefits me at the end of the day.

I would prefer working with good banners and good directors even if it takes time, as long as it benefits me at the end of the day.
Have you made a conscious decision to distance yourself from the media?
Not really. I have never done that. I have always been nice to the media when they have come to me. At times they write without knowing the fact. They do write certain stories which are not true but you cant jump and answer them every time, you can't be doing that all your life. So I take myself, far away from them and I give them the liberty to write what they want. Because I believe good story or bad story, nothing is going to affect your career. It cannot make you a star and cannot destroy you. So I think they are doing their job and I'm doing my job. It's a part and parcel of every celebrity's life. One has to learn to accept it and live with it.

This year is also special considering you have your first international project Karna coming up. Could you tell us a little about the film?
Yes, Karna is one of the most exciting projects that I have been a part of. I have done months of rigorous training and preparation and I'm sure its going to pay off. The best thing about the role is you see a feminine side and yet she is doing action, martial art, kick boxing etc. So this mix of my character having a real feminine side, yet kicking some butt makes her look really sexy and interesting.

In Karna my character has a real feminine side, yet kicking some butt makes her look really sexy and interesting
What is your character in the film and how did you bag this film?
I play a village girl who is born with superpowers, so the director basically wanted an Indian face who would look equally sexy as a village girl and even when she later on becomes a superwoman. So as a village girl you will see me in a look that is very earthy with really beautiful jewellery etc and at the same time she is completely in shape as the superwoman.

How was it working with an international cast and crew?
It has indeed been a great opportunity for someone like me. The people who trained me on this film are the ones who have worked with Uma Thurman in the Kill Bill series. The special effects team has done some really big Hollywood films like Ghost Rider and Matrix etc. The camera person who shot my portfolio on location of the film has worked with one of the biggest fashion magazines called Vanity Fair. So its indeed been a great learning experience for me and I am lucky to have grabbed this movie which if I may say in true Bollywood style is a solo lead film(for me)

The people who trained me on Karna are the ones who have worked with Uma Thurman in the Kill Bill series.
Who all form rest of the cast in the film?
As of now, they are in talks with some big names in Hollywood like Orlando Bloom. There are a team of 3 directors working on this film. One of them looks at the drama and dialogues, the other team which looks at the special effects is from Hong Kong and the action team has worked on some big Hollywood films. There are also 3 producers and PNC is one of the producers who have taken the charge of releasing the film in India. However, it's going to release only in English and not in Hindi.

So when is Karna going to release?
I think its going to take some time. We recently shot 4 promos and to shoot 4 promos it took us a lot of time with the special effects and the post production etc. There is a lot of detailing in the film. We have shot in very big croma studios in Hong Kong, China. Over here we at times finish 4 scenes in one day but for one scene in this film we had to travel to three different countries. That's the difference and that's why it's taking a lot of time. Even their post production will also take a lot of time. I feel either this year end or probably early next year they would release. It's almost a 130 crore project so it's huge.

One of your films which brought you into the reckoning Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena is now being released in its animated version EKEH 2.0? You played a con-girl posing as a shrink in that one….so would your role be the same?
EKEH 2.0 is going to be really cool. My character of a con-girl who poses as a psychiatrist will be much better this time around. I don't know many details yet but the director told me that my character (Natasha) would be the biggest surprise of the film. As of now they are busy with the sketches of the animated characters and they look so very cool

The director told me that my character (Natasha) would be the biggest surprise of the film EKEH 2.0.
So what would be your input this time around apart from giving the Voice-over for the character?
Yeah apart from giving the VO, what they would be looking at is promotion. I am not sure as to how they are going to plan the promotion of the film but I would do my bit in promoting EKEH 2.0.

Will the animated movie also have songs and music which featured in the original film, considering the music of Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena was quite a rage.
I don't know if they are planning to have songs in EKEH 2.0. However, I wish they have the boxing song ('Saara Jahan'). That is my favorite song in the film and I am sure it will look all the more cute now (laughs)

You recently were seen sizzling on the cover of Gladrags magazine in its January issue this year…You sure seemed at ease even wearing the bikini…So what is your fashion mantra like and are you a fussy dresser?
I am not a fussy dresser. I experiment a lot with my dresses. At times, I'm in a mood to wear track pants, a cap, torn jeans , sneakers, so I wear that and at times I prefer wearing a simple kurti with denims. For special occasions like award functions, I would love to wear a Saree. In dresses, my favorite colors are Black, Red and White. I don't really follow any fashion trends. I am fond of cool and comfortable clothes which suit my style.

In this day and age when stars really need to be fit as a fiddle, you are among the trendsetters…. So what is the secret to your fab figure?
Its sheer hard work and people can call it crash dieting and starving or whatever but I would want them to go and try out if those methods work. If you want to make your body look good, nothing can work better than hard work. You have to be in the Gym and you need to understand what form of work-out your body likes. It could be plain cardio or it could be kick-boxing or it could be even a dance form like Salsa. As long as you are putting in the effort and enjoying what you are doing, the results will show. I personally prefer weight-training and I like it when people compliment me for my body. It gives me that push to work out harder.

I personally prefer weight-training and I like it when people compliment me for my body. It gives me that push to work out even harder.
In B-town, the popular saying goes that two actresses can never be friends; Yet your friendship with Tanushree Dutta is quite the talk of the town….How did the two of you connect?
I think at times when we lose something, we gain something. Tanushree and Riya were best friends. I didn't know Tanu at that time. I was good friends with Riya during Apna Sapna Money Money. However, Tanu and Riya had a fall out and then for some stupid reason Riya and me had a fall out. It was then that I started to know Tanushree. I found her to be a very strong girl. We were traveling for quite a few shows together and since we are both Bongs, we kinda connected.

So do you girls have the same likes and dislikes?
No (laughs) as a matter of fact we realized that we are two completely different people. We don't think alike, we don't do similar things; we are absolutely two opposites which makes it all the more interesting. Even if the two of us are put in a situation and asked to react, we would have totally different point of view.

Do you discuss work with each other?
We hardly discuss work. There are lots of interesting things to talk about. She is somebody who is very well read and has a lot of knowledge and even I like to pick up and learn interesting new things. Moreover, we both are single, so we can sit and discuss a lot about men. Again her choice of men and her take on relationships is completely different from mine. So it's a lot of fun

Apart from Tanu who are you other friends in the industry?
I do have a very good relation with all the producers, directors and actors whom I have worked with. From Sanju to Ritesh, all of them have been really nice whenever we bump into each other.

Tanushree's choice of men and her take on relationships is completely different from mine. So it's a lot of fun
Bong babes continue to rule Bollywood…How does it feel?
It feels great. I think there are 14 of us now (laughs) and people always have so many expectations from us, so living up to that is a real challenge. But I love it.

What surprises are in store for all Koena fans?
There will be many. Sometimes surprises come all of a sudden in the middle of the night and it is really exciting. You have to take life as it comes. For me, each and every thing that I am doing is exciting but I hope that my fans will like the work that I do this year.

Any message to your fans at Bollywood Hungama.
Till date I have got great support from my fans. They have shown a lot of warmth whenever I have interacted with them or met them. At times, they have even surprised me with the smallest of things. Every year you grow and your fans grow, so I hope I continue getting the same love and support from my fans.

Together for the third time

Actor-director Kabir Sadanand is ready to strike back! His directorial debut, POPCORN KHAO MAST HO JAO, went unnoticed at the box-office, but Kabir didn't lose hope. “I didn't want to repeat the same mistakes. I wanted to be doubly sure of my new script before I announced my next film,” Kabir states.
The actor/director has teamed Nana Patekar and Dimple Kapadia for his next project. “It's a slice of life film,” he states, “It's a love story essentially. We plan to begin shooting by the end of this month.” Nikhil Panchamiya, who had produced DIL MAANGE MORE and ANTHONY KAUN HAI, will produce this project. The makers have also signed Rehan Khan and Shifaali Shah for pivotal roles.

This is the third time Nana and Dimple have been teamed in a film, after PRAHAAR and KRANTIVEER.

August is crucial

August is a crucial month and those who've films confirmed this month are hoping that their great run continues. The Akshay Kumar starrer SINGH IS KINNG, slated for release on 8 August, is carrying excellent reports and has been sold for a record price to Studio 18, who, in turn, have sold various territories for astronomical prices. Akshay is expecting SINGH IS KINNG to cement his status as a superstar.

Abhishek Bachchan is keeping his fingers crossed for DRONA, which arrives on 15 August. Reportedly, Sunil Lulla of Eros, who holds the global rights, saw the rushes of the film recently and couldn't stop raving about the film as also Abhishek's performance in it. '”DRONA will be a huge hit. Abhishek is simply outstanding,” Sunil informs me. Such glowing words from a seasoned player like Sunil Lulla means a lot.

It's an acid test for Ranbir Kapoor, whose BACHNA AE HASEENO also arrives on 15 August. After the disaster called SAAWARIYA, Ranbir is hoping that he finally sees a hit. The question on everyone's lips is, will Ranbir deliver? Or will he be a one-film wonder?

Aamir Khan's nephew Imran is also keeping his fingers crossed, what with KIDNAP releasing on 22 August. Incidentally, KIDNAP also happens to be Sanjay Gadhvi's first film outside Yash Raj. Farhan Akhtar too is hoping that his acting debut, ROCK ON, rocks the box-office. The film is confirmed for release on 29 August.

Kareena Kapoor takes some 'Time Out'

An Englishman once said to his beloved that "I love you not because you are beautiful, you are beautiful because I Love you." We are sure of the fact that if the same man must have seen the sizzling Kareena Kapoor on the cover of the latest edition of the leading magazine Time Out Mumbai, his mind would have simply stop functioning before even coming up with such words. Because of the only reason the name Kareena is good enough for someone to fall in love with instantly!

Well, we are indeed talking about the ever-so-sizzling diva of good looks and romance Kareena Kapoor, in (one of her vivacious best) gracing the magazine cover. Needless to say that the cover itself is so inviting that you will curse yourself for having not got a copy of the same!

What's so special about this interview is that Kareena speaking about her childhood days with sister Karisma, how they used to travel by school bus and local trains. Their mother Babita's single handed upbringing, and even about Saif that he has to come to meet her as she is too shoestring tied about time. We do not blame you for that, Kareena. Everyone wants to have a little of your Tashan in their lives.

One last piece of advice to the Englishman to please rephrase his words as the following: "Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for Beauty is God's Handwriting."

Aishwarya enters the good book of Ramu

Ram Gopal Varma doesn't know who Rebecca Mark is or what Enron is. Rebbeca had resigned from Enron in 2000 after a series of failed infrastructure investments that eventually cost the company more than $2 billion.

Enron's Dabhol project in Maharashtra was the centre of a major controversy and grabbed headlines.

In a chat with Ramu we catch up on what Rebecca Mark means to Ramu and why Ash stunned the filmmaker:

The buzz is that Aishwarya's character in Sarkar Raj is based on Rebecca Mark of Enron.

I have no idea what Enron is. I thought it made pens, because my knowledge of such things is limited. I have no idea what Rebbeca was doing.

Just because Rebecca is a woman in some project it's simpler to put her as some character in Sarkar Raj. In the film we are dealing with a family that deals with politics and rules the state.

Obviously there are going to be strong references to issues that the government deals with like industries, projects, slums - so whatever it is there is bond to be some reference there.

The story is fictional and has nothing to do with anything happening now or what has happened before.

Among the three Bachchans who is the best in the film?
I take both Amitabh and Abhishek for granted so for me, Aishwarya came as a complete shock. I never thought she was a good or bad actress. Her beauty comes so much in the forefront that you don't tend to see beyond it.

I needed someone with her looks for the role and I was sure I could make her act. But I was completely taken aback when I saw her on the sets. She completely fit into the rugged, raw realism of the character, almost like a fish takes to water. I am personally most impressed with her.

Sarkar was based on Godfather. Is SR based on Godfather 2?
No. Sarkar Raj has got nothing to do with Godfather 2. The original Sarkar was definitely influenced by Godfather. Sarkar Raj is about how a man like that, over a period of time, becomes part of so many complex situations.

It's also about incidents that happen and how he deals with them. I would call it the further adventures of the Nagre family. It's like watching an Ekta Kapoor serial where you don't compare episodes - once you get hooked on to the characters you flow with them. The scale of SR is much larger and not so simplistic as the first plot.

Are you nervous about Sarkar Raj?
I never get nervous or excited about any film that I make. My job as a filmmaker is to do it the best way I can. If you keep being sensitive to what all everyone's saying, then it's very difficult to survive or exist. The moment the mixing of the film is over, I don't think about that film - no matter what!

Deadly trio of Bollywood return for good

Priyadarshan, Akshaye Khanna and Paresh Rawal had quite some fun working together in Hungama and Hulchul. And though Paresh Rawal continued to be in the scheme of things for Priyadarshan (Bhagam Bhag, Bhool Bhulaiyaa), there was a little gap before Akshaye returned to have some more 'masti' to his name. Come June and the trio would be setting the house on fire with Mere Baap Pehle Aap which is already creating some curiosity, courtesy with it's catchy title.

Why a title like Mere Baap Pehle Aap?

Says our source connected to the film, "The film is about this bachelor boy, played by Akshaye Khanna, who loves his widower father (Paresh Rawal) to such an extent that he wants him to get married again. Such is the relationship he shares with his father that he wants the latter to get married even before he himself finds his lady love. Hence the call of 'mere baap pehle aap'."

She adds, "In spite of an age difference between the two, they had an amazing comfort level working with each other. Complimenting each other on their scenes together, they ensured that Mere Baap Pehle Aap was an experience worth remembering. You would agree after watching the film that the camaraderie they share is simply phenomenal."

There are also talks about Om Puri doing an item song in the film. How much of that is true? "Yes, Om ji has donned gone all out in making sure that his item number stands out. In any case, whenever he has come together with Priyan, there is an extra zing in his performance. Remember Hera Pheri and Malamaal weekly? Even though it is not the first time that Om ji has done an item number (he had put his dancing shoes on for King of bollywood), the one that he has done for Mere Baap Pehle Aap would be remembered for quite some time."

Coming back to the lead protagonists of the film, audience is expecting nothing but the best considering Priyadarshan, Akshaye and Paresh are coming together after a hiatus. Giving a vote of approval, the source says, "Audience can be rest assured that they would have all the fun the moment film's screening begins. The camaraderie shared by Akshaye Khanna and Paresh Rawal is phenomenal. Their relationship is so real and yet it brings on so much laughs."

Exclusive: Sarkar Raj Movie Preview

“Power cannot be given…it has to be taken,” says the punchline of Ram Gopal Varma’s film ‘Sarkar Raj’.

The movie stars Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai in leading roles.
Don’t miss the film’s slideshow (story in pictures) at Sarkar Raj .

While Sarkar was inspired from Francis Ford Coppola’s ‘The Godfather’, ‘Sarkar Raj’ has nothing to do with ‘Godfather 2’. It also does not take off from where ‘Sarkar’ ended. In Ram Gopal Varma ’s words, ‘Sarkar Raj’ is about a new episode, full of political adventure, in the life of the Nagre family.


Amitabh Bachchan as Sarkar
Big B plays Sarkar or Subhash Nagre, whom the people regard as their messiah. Having come up the hard way, he knows the pulse of his people and does what he thinks is best for them…law and system be damned.

Abhishek Bachchan as Shankar Nagre

Shankar is a management graduate from the US. He has been helping his father (Sarkar) in his services to the people. He is shown in the film as a sophisticated individual with leadership skills in politics. He desires to bring business and prosperity to his land and the common people.

Aishwarya Rai as Anita Rajan
Anita is an aggressive and highly ambitious business woman from London. She will stop at nothing to achieve her goals. She unwittingly unleashes a vicious war between the forces of tradition and progress.


The film is an intense political drama and is essentially a study of power. It explores the politics of development and takes a fresh look at the tradition versus modernity debate.

When Anita Rajan (Aishwarya Rai), CEO of Sheppard Power Plant, an international company, brings a power plant proposal to set up in rural Maharashtra before the Nagres, an insightful Shankar (Abhishek Bachchan) is quick to realize the benefits the power plant can bring to the people.

After convincing Sarkar (Amitabh Bachchan), who is against it for various reasons, Shankar undertakes a journey along with Anita to the villages of Maharashtra to mobilize support from the masses.

However, things are not what they seem to be and Shankar’s dream project gradually becomes a political minefield.

It is against this backdrop, evil forces mightier than ever, gang up together to bring down the regime of Sarkar and obliterate Sarkar’s name from political horizon.

‘Sarkar Raj’ is Ash and Abhi’s first film together after their marriage last year. Incidentally, the film’s first look was unveiled on April 20, 2008, which was also their first wedding anniversary.

Interestingly, Ash and Abhi are ideologically pitted against each other in the film. He believes in making money for the people. While Aishwarya’s character believes in making money from the people.

‘Sarkar Raj’ is produced by Praveen Nishcol and Ram Gopal Varma. The film’s story is written by Prashant Pandey and its music is by Bappi-Tutul. The background music is by Amar Mohile.

‘Sarkar Raj’ is set to release in June, 2008.