Posts tagged Amitabh Bachchan
After allegedly tanking up excessively at the success party of his show ‘Being Human’, Salman Khan failed to make it to an early morning special shoot of Bigg Boss 4
Salman and his entourage of Bollywood actresses might have come out of his ‘Being Human’ show, with flying colours but what followed the next day was shocking to say the least. Buzz is that the Bigg Boss 3 team had requested Salman to shoot a special episode on Sunday (October 10), which they could air on Monday (October 11). The intention was to lock horns with Kaun Banega Crorepati 4 (both the shows are aired at 9 pm). The creatives team of Bigg Boss felt that this way they could grab more eyeballs and thereby affect the TRPs of Amitabh Bachchan’s Kaun Banega Crorepati’s opening episode.
Salman is featured only on Fridays and Saturdays and not Mondays. Normally, he shoots every Friday for both the episodes.
After the Bigg Boss team members explained to Sallu as to how important it was for them to beat the opening episode of Bachchan’s Kaun Banega Crorepati 4, he agreed to shoot for it early in the morning on Sunday. But a shock awaited the team in Lonavla, where the shoot was scheduled. Salman never turned up for the shoot.
The Bigg Boss team, which was waiting in the early hours of Sunday, was informed only around noon that Salman would not make it to Lonavla that day. Left with no other alternative, the unit packed up.
You wonder what Sallu’s golden words were. Adds the source, “Salman excused himself by saying that he was indisposed. He was actually celebrating the success of the Being Human show till the wee hours of Sunday morning. Salman was in very high spirits after the Being Human show.”
Ironically, Salman had apparently invited many members of the Bigg Boss team to the Being Human show.”
Another source confirms that it was Sallu’s absence on October 10 that caused the shoot to be cancelled at the last moment. “Salman was in Panvel on Sunday (Panvel isn’t far from Lonavla).”
An insider from Bigg Boss 4 reveals, “Our plan wasn’t exactly to kill Kaun Banega Crorepati’s opening episode (note that he isn’t denying it), but it was also that we wanted to surprise the contestants of Bigg Boss 4.”
When asked what exactly Sallu told the channel people, he adds, “The channel was told that he had an eye infection.”
When contacted, Bigg Boss’s broadcaster’s official spokesperson didn’t comment on the story.
By Subhash K. Jha, October 11, 2010 – 10:14 IST
At a celebration party at the Marriott on Monday evening, the Big B would be cutting a 68-kilo cake, 1 kilo for each year of his life.
While the world sings ‘Happy Birthday‘ to the Big B, Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan sing together for the first time in a song composed by the Big B himself! Find that hard to believe? But it’s the truth.
The Big B is a huge aficionado of music and singing. He in fact intends to learn to play the piano soon. But for now he has turned composer for a song that has been sung by the Big B and Abhishek Bachchan.
The song would be part of a comprehensive bio-documentary showcasing the 68-year life-span of Amitabh Bachchan which will be telecast on his birthday on Monday. The Big B has not only taken active and complete interest in the material going into the audio-visual show reel–going so far as to provide never-before pictures, advising on the footage to be used and making suggestions on chronological data relating to his life story– the mega-star has also taken time off from his cluttered schedule to compose the theme song.
While the Big B himself is characteristically dismissive of what could be seen as his first decisive step into direction and filmmaking, Ajit Thakur CEO of Sony Entertainment, the channel which will be telecasting the historic bio-documentary sheds startling light on the project. “Mr. Bachchan has indeed composed a song for the show reel and also sung for it along with Abhishek and composers Vishal-Shekhar.”
The show reel introducing the new season of Kaun Banega Crorepati has virgin footage and rare pictures of the Big B beginning with his birth in 1942 to present-day.
Informs a source from the channel, “The show reel contains never-before pictures episodes, incidents, scenes and dialogues from Mr. Bachchan’s life and films. For instance he will be reciting a poem by his father poet Harivanshrai Bachchan that he has never recited publicly before. There will be pictures of the Big B and his family that have been brought out into the open for the first time.”
In fact the Big B has personally supervised every aspect of the showreel, lent pictures and footage from his own private library, selected the footage that has grown into the show reel, and zeroed-in on the relevant sequences from his films which he has re-enacted for the first time.
Says the source, “Some of the most famous sequences and dialogues such as the temple scene in Yash Chopra’s Deewaar from Mr. Bachchan’s films have been handpicked by him and re-enacted specially for this show reel on specially erected sets representing the original.”
And in the inaugural episode of Kaun Banega Crorepati, the first contestant from a small village will be told that the optimum prize money is not Rs. 1 crore but 5 crores.
The surprise on the contestant’s face is the Big B’s biggest birthday gift.
Amitabh Bachchan is a busy bee a couple of days ahead of his 68th. He is shooting simultaneously for his new film Power, directed by Raj Kumar Santoshi, and Kaun Banega Crorepati.
A few nights ago he stole the show walking the ramp for Karan Johar. His energy is at an all-time high.
Excerpts from a tête-à-tête.
So, all set for the birthday celebrations at home?
Hold on! There will be no celebrations at home. Of course, if people come over unannounced, they’re most welcome. I’ll be opening KBC this day. I have been working late into the nights recording promos for the show.
Is Rajnikanth coming to Mumbai for your birthday?
There are no such plans. But we’ve great affection for one another. I met Rajni for the first time in Chennai when I was shooting at the AVM Studios. He came across and met me. We’ve been friends ever since. He’s such a humble and simple human being. So down-to-earth… how he remains that way with the kind of fan-following he has is a mystery.
His wife has been a wonderful support. She has brought up their children so well. Every time I am in Chennai, I call and visit him. We call each other whenever the need arises.
What did you think of Robot?
What a massive achievement! Great entertainer. It’s all Rajni and Shankar and their hard work.
On the eve of your birthday you rocked on the ramp.
Thank you… Kya Karen, karna padta hai kissi terah.
How do you it?
Keep crossing new thresholds in your career?
I don’t know about that. I had walked the ramp just once… no twice before, but both times for a cause. This time, I did it because Karan (Johar) asked. I can’t say no to Karan. He is family.
Walking the ramp looks easy enough from the other side. When you look at the models doing it you say, ‘Hey, it’s not a tough job at all.’ But once you go up there you really start admiring them. It’s not just a simple walk. It’s actually a nightmare.
This time you seem very comfortable with your television appearance.
I’m going back to KBC after 10 years. I remember in 2000 when I did the show I was raw to the medium, very hesitant very nervous. That hasn’t changed.
Anytime I go in front of the camera for any medium there will be apprehensions. Creativity is an ongoing process. No matter how professional you are, it can never be enough. One can never be fully comfortable on television. It’s a frightening medium for me.
You seem to enjoy your interaction with the aam aadmi on KBC.
Yes, they all have such an interesting back story… where they came from, how they grew up.
This time on the show we actually follow the lives of the contestants to their roots. I actually get to see where they came from, what their parents and family think, etc.
The human-interest level is high this time. KBC can now be a life-changing moment for the contestant.
There are people coming on the show from places where the show did not reach earlier. For them KBC is an opportunity to make the kind of money in a hour that they’ve never seen before.
Television will occupy a lot of your time this year.
KBC will go on only until November or the first week of December. I have started shooting for Raj Kumar Santoshi’s Power, which will be followed by Prakash Jha’s Aarakshan. Then there’s Balki’s film. We’ve finally zeroed in on a subject. It will be produced by AB Corp Ltd.
Mark Manuel (BOMBAY TIMES; October 10, 2010)
Vipul and Shefali Shah are beaming. The prolific filmmaker has returned to Hindi theatre with Bus Itna Sa Khwab in which his hugely talented and attractive wife holds stage. No, that doesn’t mean that Vipul has given up cinema. Far from it. He’s got the Akshay-Ash starrer Action Replayy coming up in Diwali. But, yes, Vipul has just realised that Shefali is an actress of a rare calibre. And Hindi cinema, which has its own framework, does not offer her enough opportunity to showcase her enormous talent. So, the enterprising Bollywood movie mogul gave his wife Bus Itna Sa Khwab, a Marathi play by Chandrakant Kulkarni and Prashant Dalvi that he updated to suit society’s tastes today. And ever since the play opened, the Shahs have had no rest, Vipul has actually resorted to shows on Saturday as well for theatre enthusiasts… which is rare for the Hindi stage. “But what to do,” he asks, “I never imagined the play would get this kind of response and respect.” He’s got to be present at every show himself, because at the end, the audience expects Vipul to take a curtain call. “Standing ovations, we get for every performance,” he says, “but for one show, I wasn’t there to take the curtain call — and the audience refused to budge!”
All his friends from Bollywood, from Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan to Akshay and Twinkle Kumar, have seen, enjoyed and raved about Bus Itna Sa Khwab. Says Vipul, “Amitji wrote on his blog that it was fantastic and he hadn’t seen anything like this in theatre. Imagine, he has seen it all.” But what is delighting him most is that the question that arises here is not about housefull shows and money, it’s about credibility. Just when theatre was gasping for its last breath, he revived it with this successful play with its Bollywood-like production values. Now he considers it among his biggest achievements. “Profit and loss, success and failure, has not been the formula by which I work,” says Vipul. “I believe the culture of our country is linked to theatre. And that cinema becomes stronger through theatre. I want to work my way back towards it.” Which is a win-win situation all round. Bollywood has the best of Vipul Shah and now theatre is about to get a slice of him as well. Welcome back, and take a bow…
Big B has butterflies in his tummy as he returns with India’s favourite game show on his birthday tomorrow
Meena Iyer | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; October 10, 2010)
Starting 9 pm tomorrow the streets of India are likely to resemble a ghost town. The iconic Amitabh Bachchan, the man who changed the face of Indian television, is returning to the country’s favourite game show Kaun Banega Crorepati on Sony Entertainment Television. Adrenaline rushes will be felt by most, especially when it comes to watching who amongst the audience makes it to the hot seat and gets a shot at becoming a crorepati.
Talking about his favourite show, the Big B says, “Kaun Banega Crorepati is truly a show which is of the people, by the people and for the people. It gives every Indian an equal opportunity to win a life changing amount. In our culture we are taught to value knowledge, that it is rewarding, KBC re-affirms that view as a person can use that knowledge and win 5 crore on the show.” Describing that empty feeling in the pit of his stomach as he gets ready to host KBC, he says, “One is always anxious because it is a creative job. One has to come in front of an audience. And, the audience is going to rate us on how we have done, whether we have lived up to their expectation or not. When you have to present something to the audience, there is always that apprehension. With creativity comes nervousness.’’
The legend also admits that a part of the nervousness comes from the fact that he doesn’t understand this medium too well. Says he, “The channel is more anxious than perhaps people who participate because they design something. And, we (the hosts) just do it according to the design.’’
The opening of KBC will have a rocking performance from Bachchan to a medley of hit songs. He will deliver some memorable dialogues from his vast repertoire. And, India’s most recognised baritone will also recite a special poem written by his father, the legendary poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan. The special tracks have been created by Vishal-Shekhar, performance has been choreographed by the incomparable Shiamak Davar, sets by India’s foremost art director — Nitin Desai, and clothes have been designed by Vikram Phadnis. With the show launching on the same day he turns 68, Amitabh says that he couldn’t have asked for a better birthday gift. With a 5 crore jackpot which can be won in 60 minutes flat, introduction of a timer on the questions and new life-lines, the game is bound to excite. “I will still say lock kiya jaye because certain phrases have been formatted after a lot of thought and they should not be changed,’’ says the KBC boss.
Kaun Banega Crorepati starts from October 11 at 9 pm, Monday to Thursday, on SONY Entertainment Television.
By Joginder Tuteja, October 8, 2010 – 11:26 IST
Has Emraan Hashmi joined the ‘powerful’ cast of Rajkumar Santoshi’s Power which is fast turning out to be the most star studded affairs of 2011? Well, that’s the gossip going around in the industry circles ever since Power first came in news close to a fortnight ago.
Says an industry insider, “Yes, there have been talks of Emraan making an appearance in the film. Though the actor doesn’t do too many multi starrers, he did give the film a close hearing when he was approached for it. Rajkumar Santoshi is a huge name and his ensemble starrers can prove to be a huge draw. Also, Emraan too has opened up more after the smash success of Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai which was a two hero project. He too feels that it isn’t bad after all to bring in that occasional multi starrer in his profile.”
Well, if Power stars Emraan, it would indeed turn out to be a casting coup of sorts with people across all generations being a part of this Firoz Nadiadwala biggie. While Amitabh Bachchan heads the star-cast, veteran actors like Sanjay Dutt and Anil Kapoor bring in over 30 years of working experience each. Ajay Devgn is at the peak of his career after being around for 20 years and Emraan Hashmi being established in his own right completes the picture. Kangna Ranaut, Ameesha Patel and newbie Lekha Washington bring on the glamour quotient hence making Power a powerful experience.
However, the man in the question – Emraan – diffuses the speculation and denies that he is doing the film. “No, I am not a part of it”, is all that he is willing to comment when quizzed around the rumour making the rounds.
Though he isn’t willing to open up on the topic, rightly so because all his concentration is currently on his latest release Crook, he doesn’t deny the fact that he was approached for the role.
“Yes, I was in talks with Firoz bhai. We did have discussions that were taken to some level. However, it eventually didn’t work out. So yes, for the record, I am not doing Power. There is always a next time though”, says Emraan.
One would have thought though after Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai, he won’t mind being a part of big multi starrers.
“Of course I won’t but then it isn’t that suddenly you would start seeing me in many multi starrers”, he says, “Even when I did Once Upon A Time…, it was after much deliberation. The results are there to be seen. It is the subject that ultimately matters and what you bring to the table. The script has to work. I haven’t switched on a green light to do multi starrers or films outside Vishesh Films. There is no such conscious decision. It isn’t about a multi starrer as a solo lead. I have to do a good job in a good film. Period.”
Well, that should set the record once for and all.
Filmmaker Rajkumar Santoshi has taken Lekha Washington under his wings. Lekha is Santoshi’s latest muse. Buzz is that Santoshi has signed Lekha for a three-film deal.
The first film in question is Power. Produced by Firoz Nadiadwala, it has already gone on the floors.
Says a source, “Power is a fabulous opportunity for Lekha. It’s a very big film with top actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Anil Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt and Ajay Devgan, It will be a great learning platform of acting for Lekha.” Mentor ho toh aisa!
The industry is also buzzing that Lekha has been paid a bomb for Power. “Santoshi facilitated a handsome fee for her as well.
|Raj Kumar Santoshi|
So what if she has done only one film till now (Peter Gaya Kaam Se opposite Rajeev Khandelwal) which too hasn’t released yet? He sees a lot of potential in her.”
Both Lekha and Santoshi remained unavailable for comment.
By Bollywood Hungama News Network, October 4, 2010 – 12:40 IST
Madame Tussauds has been a name to reckon with when it comes to preserving life like structures of famous personalities immortalized in wax. The latest addition to the museum in London following Bollywood celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Salman Khan and SRK is none other than the Greek god of Bollywood Hrithik Roshan.
Hrithik was recently measured up for his new wax figure by the sculpting team in Mumbai and London. They captured a catalogue of reference photographs and hundreds of precise measurements for the figure, which will be unveiled in London in January 2011.
To ensure total authenticity, Hrithik will be closely involved in the creation process, collaborating with the team to agree the pose and even donating items of clothing for his figure to wear.
Commenting on the creation of his figure, the star of hit films including Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai, Dhoom, Krrish and Jodhaa Akbar, said: “I don’t really have the words to articulate what it feels like. Being bestowed this honour is overwhelming.” Hrithik, who remembers visiting Madame Tussauds as a child but never imagined he would stand alongside his heroes there, added that his inclusion “re-affirms my belief that nothing is impossible”.
The figure will be created at Madame Tussauds studios in London over the next four months at a cost of £150,000. The first step is to craft a perfect clay sculpture from which the moulds are made to make an amazingly life like wax figure. Then it is over to a team of skilled hair and colour artists to insert the hair by hand and build up life like skin tones using layer upon layer of oil paint; every freckle, mole, dimple and wrinkle are accurately reproduced.
Meena Iyer (MUMBAI MIRROR; October 03, 2010)
If you join the dots from S Shankar’s first film Gentleman (1993) to his latest Robot (2010) you’ll notice a common thread. For one, he has the finger on the pulse of the mainstream cinegoer. Plus, he knows how to embellish his work with gloss and grandeur at a scale still unimaginable by most filmmakers.
Real Indian palaces, heritage sights, Machu-Pichu, seven wonders of the world…he’s exploited them all long before Bollywood found their address.
But to grant the devil his due - his movies are not just special-effects ridden; there is a definite plot with a message. Also, the budgets get more phenomenal each time.
His first blockbuster Gentleman (1993) (with its iconic Chik paku raile number that introduced the world to Prabhu Deva’s dancing skills) brought a new style of filmmaking but his 90s protagonist is just a different avatar of Bollywood 70s phenomenon - Salim-Javed’s ‘angry young man’.
Quite like Amitabh Bachchan, Shankar’s hero has invariably been taking on the system, film after film. But where he leaves his contemporaries way behind is his technical wizardry. A fact just reiterated by his latest Robot (Endhiran, Tamil).
Comparisons to West
Two days after the release of the Rs 150 crore film, Kollywood’s Shankar is drawing comparisons to none other than James Cameron.
Both are August born; both spare no expense when it comes to their budgets and cinematic vision. And quite like Avatar, the highest worldwide grosser, Robot too has opened to a thunderous start.
The filmmaker himself remains remarkably modest about being “India’s Cameron quotient.” “Stop pulling my leg,’’ he says. “I don’t need any more spotlight on me than that is already there,” he laughs.
But with an enviable track record of seven of the biggest hits in Tamil cinema, Shankar is on the verge of rewriting history with his eight one. Trade sources confirm that Endhiran, has broken the record of the highest box office collections for a Tamil film - the film, they say, will cross the Rs 250 crore mark.
Decoding the director
So what’s Shankar all about? Born in a fairly affluent family in Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu, he worked as a quality control supervisor till the movie bug bit him. On a telephone call he still introduces himself as, “Hi I’m Shankar, the director,’’ and when you incredulously ask him why he says that, he replies, “my films and I are twins, joined at the hip.’’
But while his on-screen heroes are the robust Robinhood-rascala amalgamation, Shankar himself is the anti-thesis. He’s more like a quiet mouse on set, rather than like a megalomaniac wielding the megaphone. And he lets his ADs have a field day liaising with Bollywood beauties and the crew.
But quiet demeanor apart, with his baseball cap and huge sun-shades, Shankar is the boss. He has worked with the legends of Tamil cinema - Kamal Haasan (Indian) and Rajnikanth (Sivaji-The Boss, Endhiran-Robot) but is neither in awe of his subject nor does he doesn’t brook any interference.
As he says, “Rajnikanth is the ultimate for any film-maker. His demi-God status aside, he’s the most obedient actor I’ve worked with. He doesn’t leave the set once he reports for work…and he still maintains a child-like curiosity about everything related to a film.’’
What makes him work
One of his assistant directors says the secret of his success lies in his engineering background - he goes about fixing each nut and bolt step by step while filmmaking. Robot was originally planned five years ago with Priety Zinta and Kamal Hasan.
The monies didn’t drop at that point. It was then revived with Shah Rukh Khan. Story goes when Shankar went to Orange County (with his wife, son, daughters Aditi and Aishwarya and team of writers) to give SRK a detailed narration, he had every colour scheme, every frame and other minute details worked out. SRK was visibly impressed but the deal fell through and the Rajni came on board.
He is also a tough cookie to please. A stickler for punctuality, years ago, when Manisha Koirala (Indian, Mudalvan) walked in just a few minutes late on a couple of occasions, he had turned shades of purple. And one has seen him lapse into complete silence after he and the Nepali actress had a slight altercation about a scene.
Of course all this doesn’t compromise his work relations. The next morning, he sorted the matter with Manisha and shooting progressed at a brisk pace.
A simple man
In personal life he’s a plain-dresser. Though he arrives in a high-end automobile (he earlier drove a Merc but after his association with SRK, switched to a BMW) he has no shenanigans attached to his name. He’s the kind of guy who has no hesitation to eat food at roadside joints, goes about his work-home-work routine and shuns parties save for the occasional awards function.
But his budgets are the opposite. Ask him about why his budgets always get more prominence than his reviews, and he says, “I don’t know the intention of the press when it highlights the budgets of movies. In my movies the money has always been well-spent. In Robot, the animatronics used is of the same calibre of The Jurassic Park, Terminator and Avatar. And since it was also done at the Stan Winston Studios in the US, the SFX cost huge money. I only put my money where my mouth is. Robot needed high-end technical effects. If Indian cinema had a wider release, then I would have spent at least half of what Avatar did on SFX. However, I’ve always believed in bringing in something new via technology in every film of mine. And it is because of the novelty element that my films have a repeat value.”
“I think it’s wrong to talk about my movie budgets constantly. There is an equal amount of blood and sweat invested in the effort. The film took two years to make and we had a huge foreign crew involved. Every member of my unit and the foreign crew has worked so hard on this film that the money pales in comparison to the effort put in.’’
The journey ahead
Fair enough, but one wonders whether it is personal angst that is responsible for the Robinhood characters he writes. Says Shankar, “I’m a common man. And I’m fully aware of what is happening around me. As a journalist you have a pen that you use to highlight injustice. As a director, I have another medium to do exactly the same.’’
But the films he patronises are vastly different from the ones he makes. A self-confessed Mani Ratnam admirer, the other three films that have left an indelible mark on him are Ashutosh Gowarikar’s Lagaan, Farhan Akhtar’s Dil Chahta Hai and Raj Kumar Hirani’s 3 Idiots. “When I’m in between scripts the only things I make time for are watching movies,” he says.
And though his movies leave gadget freaks gasping, he’s technologically challenged in real life. “All the technology is reserved for my films. I don’t even know what hidden features my cell-phone has,’’ he laughs.
As he gets into his vehicle to visit the local Chennai theatres for reactions, he adds, “People want to know what I’m making next. I usually have some idea stashed away in my head for my next film even before the earlier one has wrapped.
In 17 years I have directed 10 films. I guess I have been prolific. But, this time around I want to wait for the hangover of Robot to subside. What I really need at this point is to splash some water on my face, clear my head and go for a long drive and feel the breeze blow.’’
|(L) A still from Boys (R) Aparichit|
|(L) Sivaji-The boss (R) Robot|
Hollywood make-up artistes favour Bebo
Prithwish Ganguly | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; October 1, 2010)
Kareena Kapoor might edge past Priyanka Chopra to play Indira Gandhi in the much-awaited international biopic Mother: The Indira Gandhi Story. The Hollywood producers had initially thought of approaching Priyanka but it seems the Oscar-winning make-up artistes Jenny Shircore and Greg Connam, working closely on the project, are divided in their opinion. They now see that Bebo can look closer to Indira than Priyanka, who was initially thought to have the perfect shape of face. The balance, as of now, has definitely tilted towards
A source working on the project reveals. “Veteran Hollywood script-writer Krishna Shah, who has also made films for Bollywood like Shalimar, has gone to solve the mystery of which actress can look like Indira to play her on screen. While Shircore — who won the Academy for her work in Elizabeth, had felt that Priyanka is the only actress, Connam — who has worked on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, has now started to think that Kareena is more perfect. As of now, the two are seriously looking over Kareena’s features for a near match before they approach her.” Krishna told BT, “Casting is 80 per cent of directing. In a biopic, it is 90 per cent of directing. Can you imagine Gandhi without Ben Kingsley or Nixon without Anthony Hopkins or Patton without George C. Scott? Indira’s film provides incredible scope for the make-up artistes.” On what they love about Kareena, who may have to go through three hours of prosthetics like Amitabh Bachchan in Paa and Shah Rukh Khan in Ra.1, Krishna adds, “She has a strong jaw and deep eyes and the time for make-up will not be taxing. Indira at 20 will take about an hour. She at 50, about two hours; and she at 67, three hours because of the advancement in the art of makeup.”