Posts tagged actor
The actress wants to cut down work in 2011 to dedicate time to her international fashion line
Prithwish Ganguly | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; September 7, 2010)
Kareena Kapoor’s fans may not like the sound of this but after a decade of being in the industry, the actress is looking to cut down work. Bebo, who has around four releases this year and more in 2011, confirmed that she has consciously started choosing only those films that have excited her enough to take the plunge.
“I have been doing back-to-back films. I will continue to experiment as an actor but, yes, I will look to do only quality films that excite me. The number of films that I do is expected to go down,” Kareena told BT from Latvia where she is shooting with her Saif Ali Khan for Agent Vinod. The actress wants to concentrate on her global business ventures next year. “I need to focus on the business plans that I have which includes launching my international fashion line in a big way. Again, I love to travel and that will keep on happening. With Saif I have learned that one needs to cut off from work and enjoy the pleasures of life to unwind oneself and come back to work with renewed passion and vigour. That will be my mantra for the coming years,” she said.
Like Vidya Balan and Rani Mukerji, Kangna Ranaut too is no longer a part of Deepa Mehta’s Midnight’s Children
Casting for the screen adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s novel Midnight’s Children, is getting tough for Deepa Mehta. On August 10, a jubilant Deepa Mehta had told Mumbai Mirror, “Yes, Kangna Ranaut has agreed to be part of Midnight’s Children. I think she’s a wonderful actress, not quite like anyone else that I’ve worked with.” This period of bliss however, was a short-lived one for Deepa. Kangna, who was to play Emerald’s character in the film, has quit the project.
A source says, “Kangna did not have dates. She is very busy with Dhamaal 2, which goes on floors very soon.
Then she will do Salman Khan’s film, which will be directed by Mahesh Manjrekar. Besides these two, she has David Dhawan’s Rascals, Priyadarshan’s Bullet Train, Pritish Nandy’s Actor with Amitabh Bachchan, No Problem, Tanu Weds Manu and Knockout. The main clash on dates was happening with Rascals.”
Not so long ago, Rani Mukerji had walked out from the same film since she didn’t want to play the role of a mother to a 14-year old (Mumbai Mirror, January 29). Vidya Balan, who was also offered a role in the film, did not take it up.
But Deepa is very disappointed about Kangna not doing her film. Deepa apparently told a friend, “There were second and third choices for other characters. For Emerald I only wanted Kangna.”
Aw! Any second thoughts Kangna?
By Bollywood Hungama News Network, September 1, 2010 – 14:33 IST
Portrayal of animals in poor form or display of any form of harm towards them in movies has surely become an issue of major concern globally. And now it seems like Zoya Akhtar is also pulling some attention from animal lovers for the same reason.
Zoya, who is busy filming the multi starrer Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (starring Hrithik Roshan, Katrina Kaif, Farhan Akhtar and Abhay Deol), seems to be in the eye of a controversy now. Reason? Well, she shot the bull-running matches in Spain alongwith the starcast, as a requisite of the script.
After learning from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India that the upcoming motion picture Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara is set to include a scene showing the running of the bulls, the talented Spanish-American singer, actor, comedian and guitarist Charo sent a letter to the film’s director, Zoya Akhtar. The letter urges Akhtar to open her heart and cut out any scenes glorifying the running of the bulls. For the uninitiated, Charo, who is beloved in the US and Spain, is also a vocal opponent of bullfighting and recently starred in a video public service announcement for PETA US to speak out against it.
Here’s a sneak peek at the letter that Charo wrote to Zoya:
|Dear Ms Akhtar,
I have spent my career entertaining people, but there is nothing remotely entertaining about sending panicked bulls into a stampede and then stabbing them to death in the bullfighting arena, which is what happens at the end of the Running of the Bulls. As a proud Spaniard and member of PETA, I am writing to ask that any scenes that glamorise the Running of the Bulls be cut from your upcoming film Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.
The Running of the Bulls cannot be dismissed as a harmless tradition. These animals run because they are terrified. During the run, the bulls are taunted, and many lose their footing, fall and break their bones. In the end, the exhausted bulls are released into the arena and stabbed to death. The growing movement in Spain against the Running of the Bulls and the bullfights that follow exemplify the good hearts of so many Spaniards who rightfully condemn this sadistic blood sport. You may be aware that the Spanish region of Catalonia recently banned bullfights.
Spain is known for everything I hold dear: flamenco dancing, fabulous guitar work and a rich cultural diversity. But deriving any pleasure from abusing bulls is something we should all be ashamed of and certainly nothing that should be promoted in a feature film.
His next production is the only film in Bollywood to have gone on floors in the month of August. Is the recession truly over?
Vipul Shah’s untitled next, a remake of the Tamil hit Kakha Kakha directed by Nishikant Kamath and starring John Abraham and Genelia, is the only film that went on floors in the month of August. For an industry that is known to churn out films like machines, this comes as a surprise. Is recession really over? Is this lull in Bollywood just a passing phrase or indicative of something serious?
Vipul Shah, whose film went on floors on August 24, sounds surprised and yet relieved too. ‘It’s a kind of a record. I’m shocked that only my film went on floors in the month of August. But I am glad that at least mine went on the floor.”
Commenting on the current scenario in Bollywood Vipul adds, “I feel everybody is a bit cautious right now. Though all actors and directors are busy doing films, they have slowed themselves down to carefully select the projects. Everyone has a cautioned approach now after what we saw in the past one year.
We hit crazy numbers, then the economy fell and now, it is the correction time. The whole industry is now trying to gauge what the right budget should be for films to be made.”
Trade Analyst Amod Mehra dismisses the scare and says, “Frankly it is not a scary situation. Firoz Nadiadwala and Yash Raj Films are launching some movies. It’s just a matter of time. You will hear big announcements in next few months. There is no recession. Coincidently, some films have been delayed with big stars. And small star films are not working, so there is a lull.”
Mehra feels the issue is more to do with what stars are prices at now. He adds, “Shah Rukh, Aamir and other big stars are not signing new films at present. The price has not yet set in properly and that’s why people are shy of launching films.”
Another trade analyst, Taran Adarsh says, “I think films are being made but are not being announced. There are various factors. Earlier, producers used to announce movies just to attract distributors but that has changed. Secondly, all actors have turned producers. So the question of having star-driven films is more scarce.”
Taran is convinced that the bad days are over. “The industry is back on its feet. Today satellite rights have come as a saviour for the film industry.”
Bollywood Badshah being wooed by Producers’ Association
Prithwish Ganguly | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; August 31, 2010)
Shah Rukh Khan is set to become the first actor who is being considered to be in the core committee of the film industry’s Producers’ Association. BT learned from reliable sources, that the producers will be suggesting that SRK be made part of a heavyweight, decision-making body that will look at keeping them unified and address issues that filmmakers across India face. The Bollywood Badshah’s inclusion will be brought up when the producers meet soon to conduct their annual general meeting (AGM). “Shah Rukh’s contribution in the last two decades is being kept in mind. He has been a successful actor and a producer. He is seen as a marketing whiz and the producers want him to give his inputs on taking the industry to the next level,” says a top producer.
“He will be consulted for strategies on how to keep the producers united. The last time they put up a brave front against the multiplex owners over profit sharing and screen timings, some of them broke off the alliance and released their films thereby damaging the unity. The producers do not want a repeat of that and want someone like SRK who could guide them in moments of crisis,” the highly placed informer says. We have heard from sources that Aamir Khan was also being considered to be part of the body alongside SRK. However, since he is quite peeved with the competition commission dragging him to court on charges of forming a cartel during the filmmakers and multiplex owners’ strike, Aamir is not too keen to have an authoritative post. Mukesh Bhatt, the senior vice-president of the Producers’ Association, confirms, “All actors who have turned producers are members of the association but have never really held a big office-bearer post. This time, I have indeed heard that Shah Rukh Khan’s name is being strongly considered by many producers who will nominate him to hold a key post in the association. We will get a clearer picture during our annual general meeting.”
…over her love-making scene in her recent film
Prithwish Ganguly | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; August 27, 2010)
Prachi Desai, who wore nothing but ethnic outfits during her TV serial days and played a character that was virginal pure, suddenly decided to go bold with Ekta Kapoor’s Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai. She pulled off a steamy love-making scene with Emraan Hashmi sporting Dimple Kapadia’s Bobby look with ease. But it looks like her sudden transition has shocked people, who had a set image of the actress in mind, including her family members. On the internet, some of her fans too have not been welcoming about her move. “Prachi hails from a slightly conservative family and her relatives have called her up saying that they aren’t happy with her decision to go bold on screen. They told her she should have stuck to her image that gave her the big break in Bollywood — Rock On,” says a source.
When contacted, Prachi however put up a brave front. “There are some who might have not have liked to see me in my new avatar, but I don’t think it was too bold. My only request to those having a problem with my decision to experiment is to look at me from an actor’s point of view and not stereotype me on the basis of what they have seen me do on TV. As an actor I needed to break the set image to grow. It’s not that I’m going nude or doing something cheap. I need to experiment and mature,” she said.
By Bollywood Hungama News Network, August 5, 2010 – 14:29 IST
He is distinctly known for his good looks and slowly and steadily he’s made a name for himself in the league of performing actors. Why not we say, after all, his choice of films is extraordinary and it’s more than apparent that stardom isn’t what he is vying for. Neil Nitin Mukesh, the son of legendary singer Mukesh, has gone ahead and did a cover for Hi Blitz that is far from conventional. Neither retro, nor high fashion, it is, hold your breath, a la anti-fashion.
Yes! A complete geeky photo shoot with glasses, printed button down shirt and the jazz. Neil makes no bones about the fact that he is here to perform, as he says, “I have come here as an actor, only the audience can make star out of me.” He started his career with a small budget film unlike his contemporaries Ranbir Kapoor and Imran Khan who made a smashing entry but like the industrywallas say he might just be the dark horse of Hindi cinema and that certainly shows in his attitude. Says Neil, “I am one of those guys who don’t leave anything midway. When Johnny Gaddar got stuck, many people told me to move on but I didn’t. I don’t discuss how much money any movie makes. I am happy as a creative person.”
Vivek Oberoi finally breaks his silence about wife-to-be Priyanka Alva
• You have really surprised people by deciding to go for an arranged marriage…
Yes, I know (laughs). But trust me, I was always open to the concept of an arranged match. We will get married in Bangalore on October 29.
• Had you decided that you would get married in 2010?
There were no such plans. It was all my parents’ choice and it happened very suddenly. I saw her picture and learnt that she comes from a very good, educated family. Besides, being the Education minister of Karnataka, her father did a lot of humanitarian work. I met Priyanka and realised she is exactly the girl I was waiting and praying for. We connected instantly.
• Tell us more about Priyanka
She is very similar to my mom. She is a very private person, she is very real, she loves me for what I am and not what I do. Right from the word go, she looked at me as a person and not a Bollywood actor. She is a beautiful mix of traditional values and modern, independent thinking.
• What does she do?
She has completed a course in Financial Management from New York University. She does fundraising for non-profit organisations. She wants to help me in my work for the Cancer Patients Aid Association and our school in Vrindavan. She is even interested in our Project Devi. We are on the same page.
• Now that you are about to be married, how does it feel?
I’m loving it. I don’t see marriage as being a loss of bachelorhood and getting tied down. I have always been a responsible guy and I am still learning. Life has taught me many lessons.
• Any plans to set up a new house with Priyanka?
Fortunately, we have a spacious house. And I am definitely not moving out. I would always like to stay with my parents. I always want their support and blessings in my life.
• Has she seen your films?
Of course she has. But honestly, we hardly talk about films.
• Have you warned Priyanka that she might read articles linking you with your female colleagues?
I hope there won’t be anymore, especially if I am a happily married man.
• Would you like to start a family right away?
(Laughs) That’s a very personal question.
It is hard to decipher Lucky Ali. Simply because the man has so many layers to him. By the time you unravel and demystify one, a newer, more fascinating aspect emerges
Singer, part-time actor, part-time environmentalist and full-time philosopher…call him what you may, but his beliefs and comments, laced with his typically reflective observations, make for a fascinating study.
Be it his neatly balanced relationships with his two wives, his music, his caustic views on the media or his deep concern for the environment, Lucky dances to his own tunes.
|Lucky says he had a premonition that he would be married twice. (Below left) With second wife Inaya|
We are in his farm, a one-hour drive from Bangalore city, surrounded by acres of green when he walks in dressed in pyjamas and an orange sweat shirt over a grey tee, those famous curls, now all salt and pepper. His hazel eyes are hidden behind dark aviators. “I have puffy eyes,” he says. He reluctantly removes the aviators and settles down on a stone bench.
Over some kadak chai and toast, his “comfort food”, he ponders on a life less ordinary.
Once again, it’s music that has brought Lucky out of near seclusion. After a five-year hiatus, he’s released ‘Xsuie’. “It means ‘at your own pace’,” he explains. He is excited about the online distribution of his album. “I wanted to do away with physical distribution. Imagine the plastic that you will be using, the paper that you will waste for making CDs. Moreover, an online release frees me up from numerous hassles associated with tying up with music companies. Also, it helps me interact with my fans directly,” he tells us.
A quick glance at his career reveals that the album couldn’t have been more aptly named. “My brother once said, ‘In life you should paddle slowly.’ I didn’t understand it at that time. But it stuck with me. And I have been living life at my own pace. The point is you should paddle slowly but never miss the bus,” he smiles.
It’s not hard to see why. He’s been an actor (debuted at 44), a singer, a carpet-cleaner, oil-rigger, horse-breeder, organic farmer, playback singer and a father of four children and the husband of two women… the many identities which bring us then to the point of his relationships.
Lucky says he met Meaghan Jane McCleary, a native of New Zealand and a pastor’s daughter, when he went to YMCA in Delhi along with his brother “Macky.” He was helping him with the door when he saw a pretty girl smile at him. “My brother says `hi’ to everyone. Soon he got talking to Meaghan. Then I joined them.
We began meeting regularly and became friends. She went back to New Zealand. That’s when my brother said, ‘She is a good girl.
You should marry her.’ When Meaghan returned to India I felt she liked me too. She came to India on a Wednesday, I proposed on a Thursday and we married on a Friday,” he narrates the love story. Today they have two children, Ta’awwuz, 14, and Tasmia, 13.
Lucky says he did have a strange intuition about his marital life. “I always knew I’d have more than one wife. In fact I did tell Meaghan about it when we got married. She thought I was joking.” But he was not. Four years after his first marriage, he married again.
This time to a Parsi girl called Anahita. Today, known as Inaya, a filmmaker and photographer, she’s lives in Mumbai with Lucky’s other two children Sara and Raiyan.
An SMS interrupts the conversation. He checks it stealthily, but can’t hide his smile. “Inaya is such a funny girl,” he says. The SMS is from her.
The conversation continues, only to be interrupted by a long-distance phone call. It’s Meaghan. Lucky is making travel plans. He will be flying out to New Zealand to bring his wife and two children back to India. “We have decided to home-school our children,” he says.
Duality of love
What does love mean to him? “Oh, love…it’s everything. The Creator loved us so much, he made this world for us…plants, animals….” Okay, let’s get specific.
What about love between man and woman (or women)? Without missing a beat he says, “Marriage.” Huh? “Marriage, that’s it,” he reiterates. “Nothing beyond that.
In my space, in the faith I follow, I have the permission to marry four times. But Allah also says if you feel you cannot deal with them equitably then marry one.”
Does that mean you can love more than one woman at the same time?
“Yes. I think I can love more than two people with the same intensity. My strength comes from the women I am married to. They are a part of my spiritual make-up.” Does his wives understand that? “I think they do.
A woman does not really have a problem if her husband marries again as long as she knows that he loves her.
And I love my wives.” He explains further, “It is not physical. It is something spiritual. It’s about children, growth, making a world, a life, something about…..” he grapples for the right words.
Then he cuts it short with a.. “It’s not about what you irresponsible journalists think it is. I’m sorry,” he apologises. “Would you like your husband to come back home and lie to you?” he asks.
No. But few women would want their husbands to come back and say they’re marrying again.
He ignores and continues, “What would be harder? Your trust would break and you would do something wrong. For what? Some men are built a particular way.
Some are suited for one marriage. I don’t think I am suited for one marriage. I move around a lot. I am a free spirit. I get lonely. I cannot cheat. What happens when you are faced with temptations? It’s better to marry. Be honest to your wife and love your wives.”
But how did Meaghan take it when she was told about his second marriage? “Like a martyr. It’s such a hard hit for a woman,” he says.
“I never knew I was going to get married to Inaya. I was spending a lot of time in India. I was lonely and needed to be with someone. It happened over a period of time.
Inaya spoke to Meaghan. And she said, ‘Go with Allah’s steps’. I have learnt so many things about life from my wives,” he says. How does he manage the balancing act? “They taught me about love and relationships. I am such a Jahil. And I have all these beautiful people in my life.”
Does your entire family live under the same roof? “The children connect with each other. But for women…it is sensitive na? Yes, we celebrate festivals together.
Earlier we all lived in the farm. Inaya and the children lived with my dad in his house, while Meghan and the children lived here with me. This is Meghan’s house,” he points out to a squat structure in front. The farm has many individual houses occupied by members of the Ali family.
Apparently, Mehmood had warned Inaya about him. “He said to her, be careful. He might just take a third wife.”
Life on the straight lane
Lucky Ali’s life, in his own words is “Out-of-the-box”. He just wants to live his life - truthfully. Truth as he knows it. “All my life I have lived in a family where two marriages was the norm. My father had two wives and so did my uncles. There was my mom and Tracy mom.
There was badi chachi and chotti chachi. And there was love. All the children grew up together with lots of love.” Then he asks pointedly, “Why do you journalists have to write about all this? There are more important issues you need to write instead of a jerk singing O Sanam and marrying twice.”
|With wife Inaya and kids Sara and Raiyan|
Agreed, but this facet of his life is intriguing to say the least. “I am not going to apologize for who I am,” he says. “Talk about the issues that worry the world. You are not thinking about deforestation; our ground water is depleting; I am worried about how this Earth is going to be for our children.”
He is not kite-flying. Lucky has spent time with farmers as part of a project with OXFAM. He is also passionate about education of children and works towards educating the underprivileged.
Currently, what is consuming him is M-Spot, a 24/7 music room that will be streamed live, online. The studio is being set up in his house. “Here those who are interested in music, can jam.
There will be artists from our own Lucky Ali Enterprise, and artists from abroad who will come and jam here.
Fans can see what we are up to and interact with us live. There’s going to be a radio station, on line space and live music room. The future is exciting,” he says.
As we mentioned, for Lucky Ali life is just a journey that paddles slowly and surely.
Debutante Sheena Nayyar is pleased with her effort in forthcoming action-packed horror film
Sharin Wader Butani | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; July 22, 2010)
Horror has a new face. And it’s the sexy one of Sheena Nayyar who is all set to debut in Bollywood with the scary movie Mallika produced by PPC Horrotainment in association with Glorious Entertainment. As the hot protagonist of this romantic thriller, Sheena says that the audience will definitely get the creeps because while shooting for the film, she herself got pretty spooked out.
“There were certain scenes that blew the daylights out of me. The film’s turned out to be damn scary. And it’s definitely more spookier than any of Ram Gopal Varma’s films,” said the debutante, who is not nervous but excited that her film’s releasing on September 3.
“I’m confident that the audience will like it because this one’s an action-packed horror film that has good music and great special effects from the specialist, director Wilson Louis. The movie starts with a bang and ends with a bang,” said Sheena, who couldn’t have asked for a better launch pad.
As a debutante, she’s not apprehensive of being cast in a horror film instead of a romantic flick. “I’m an actor and I believe in method acting, so whatever the genre — romantic or horror — as long as I have the right role to showcase my capabilities, I’m game for it,” said the red hot seductress.