Posts tagged assistant
Meena Iyer | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; August 17, 2010)
Deepika Padukone was seen turning shades of red, blue, purple and then black during the outdoor schedule of Break Ke Baad in Mauritius. And what got this beautiful Bangalore girl to lose her cool? The story says that all of filmmaker Danish Aslam’s young assistants were equipped with walkie talkies. And a couple of them were put in charge of star movements. The extra enthusiastic assistants constantly spoke into their gizmos saying, “Deepika stepped out of van”, “Deepika talking on phone” etc. Now one day, Deepika stepped out of her makeup trailer and before she could enter the set, she excused herself to use the bathroom. And she accidentally overheard the assistant saying “Deepika using toilet”. That did it! The actress flipped and she gave the assistant hell for telling the whole unit that she had taken a few minutes off to use the bathroom. Not only did she reason that it was an intrusion on her privacy, she also thought that the assistants were taking their role of monitoring every moment she made a bit too seriously. After that tantrum, the assistants were more careful about what they said into their walkies! And Deepika had more freedom to talk into her phone or take a leak!
Aditya Chopra has decided to launch his trusted assistant Ali Abbas Zafar as a director with a YRF project tentatively starring Katrina Kaif
While the mystery over Yash Chopra’s next directorial venture continues, it’s business as usual at Yash Raj Films. Lafangey Parindey is ready for release and Shaadi Mubarak is on the sets even as YRF is set to start another film which will be directed by one of Aditya Chopra’s most trusted assistants, Ali Abbas Zafar. It will be a romantic film.
A source said, “Ali has already assisted Shaad Ali on Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, Vijay Krishna Acharya on Tashan, Kabir Khan on New York and Parmeet Sethi on Badmaash Company. Adi has immense trust in him and wanted him to helm a film.
The script is by Adi himself and he has assigned Ali to direct the film for him. There is word that Katrina Kaif has already signed on while talks are on with a top star to play the main lead.”
When contacted, YRF’s official spokesperson confirmed, “Yes, Yash Raj Films is launching Ali Abbas Zafar as a director. However, the artistes for the film have still not been completely locked in. We will be making an announcement soon.”
Katrina did not revert to our queries.
Post the colossal failure of Raavan, Ratnam, who was supposed to collaborate with his assistant Shiva on his debut feature, now wants to focus solely on his next venture
Mani Ratnam suffered a major setback when his film Raavan failed to click at the box office. The unexpected box-office turkey made Ratnam sit up and rethink his other productions.
Among his other films, which were in the planning stages, Mani was also collaborating on his assistant Shiva’s film, which had Vivek Oberoi in the lead role. Now the film has been put on the backburner and will only start after Mani decides his next directorial venture.
Our source said, “Shiva’s film with Vivek was scheduled to start in August. However it has been delayed now. Vivek, on the other hand, was also banking on the film since after Kurbaan his career was on the rise.
Although Prince did not make the megabucks at the box-office, Vivek managed to get a good opening which was another career boost.
With Rakta Charita being his next release, everything seemed gung-ho as he was coming back with Ramu after a long gap. However Shiva’s film being put on the backburner takes Vivek two steps backwards again.”
The source further said, “Mani sir was shaken by the failure of Raavan and now wants to take one film at a time. He has decided that he would finalise his script and the star cast of his next film before starting any other production venture.
Mani sir wants a big star for his next film and once he finishes the final draft of his new film, he will start speaking to a top actor. Once that film is locked and everything is fixed, Mani sir wants to start Shiva’s film. As of now the film has been pushed to at least November.”
Let’s hope that Shiva starts his debut film soon.
Karan Johar fashions the character of a moody director in I Hate Luv Storys on friend Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Whilst rumours hinted that producer Karan Johar has fashioned the character of a temperamental yet sensitive director in I Hate Luv Storys, on himself, they’ve been proven wrong.
Samir Soni plays the role of the moody director, whose character has been fashioned on Karan’s friend Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Karan and Sanjay have been friends for years. In fact, Karan is the only director-colleague who Sanjay meets socially. And the two seem to have a mutual admiration bond as well because Karan has always called Sanjay his favourite director.
Says a source, “A lot of the scenes on the sets of the director’s film in I Hate Luv Storys are taken from the way Sanjay conducts himself on the sets.”
|Karan Johar||Sanjay Leela Bhansali|
Sonam Kapoor and Ranbir Kapoor assisted Sanjay in Black before playing the leads in his film Saawariya. In I Hate Luv Storys, Sonam and Imran Khan play assistants to a moody director (played by Samir Soni).
Says the source, “Imran’s and Sonam’s interaction with the director played by Samir Soni seem to be right out of the sets of Black and Saawariya. In fact, Imran’s character interacts with Samir Soni the way Ranbir Kapoor did while assisting Sanjay in Black.”
While Punit Malhotra, director of I Hate Luv Storys denied any resemblance of the director’s character with Bhansali, Samir Soni smiled mysteriously and said, “I am not saying anything. You see the film for yourself.”
Interview by Indu Mirani
As I wait outside the sound mixing suite in AR Rahman’s studio in Chennai for Mani Ratnam (55), who is busy putting last minute mixing touches to his Hindi-Tamil film Raavan, I get into a conversation with one of his assistants Shalini. She is frenetically busy too, juggling between downloading files and uploading others, all the while co-ordinating with designers and title writers. Later, she tells me that she waited seven years after finishing her mass media degree, rejecting every other job offer, for a chance to assist Mani Ratnam.
Shaad Ali Sehgal, who has himself directed three films, is a close associate of Mani Ratnam, assisting him on all his films since Dil Se. He has not even thought of his next film for over two years because he has been busy with Raavan.
That is the sort of reverence Mani Ratnam inspires in those who work with him and the audience follows suit. They may make his films hits or flops but rarely will anyone say he doesn’t want to watch a Mani Ratnam film, which comes with an in-built guarantee of exquisite cinematography, scintillating screenplay, amazing music, off-beat locations and mainstream actors in challenging roles.
His only son, Nandan (19) though, is not in any way involved with films. He is in Edinburgh, studying philosophy and Mani Ratnam has no problem with that at all. “His interests are in books, politics and philosophy,” he says with a twinkle in his eye. “You should be in films only if you have a passion.”
He has allotted 30 minutes for this interaction and though he emerges from the mixing suite like a man walking to the guillotine; once started, he is animated. He prefers to let his work speak but is also aware of the need to put his thoughts out there. And while he refuses to comment on anything political he is all there as he discusses cinema.
• You could almost be a training school for YRF. Both Shaad and Vijay Acharya (Tashan) work with and learn from you…
(Smiles) Vijay is not an assistant, he writes dialogue for me. He wrote Guru and now Raavan. He is a friend and he is a writer. Shaad has been with me for quite a while, from Dil Se. Now he is a friend, and I don’t know who is assisting whom. We work together.
• In North India, especially, Raavan is the ultimate villain. Doesn’t your title then have negative connotations?
It’s not something peculiar to the north of India, that’s how it is for entire India. There’s no disputing the fact that Raavan is the ultimate villain. So that’s how we are looking at him but you can also look at things from a different perspective. This film is set in contemporary times; it presents different points of views and tries to understand what makes a person positive or negative in your mind.
• And how have you interpreted his 10 heads. Are these 10 facets of villainy?
I think you should see the film. We are not trying to explain each facet; we have taken the spirit of each to see what we get.
We are looking at Raavan as a contemporary character who is called Raavan in the film because of the kind of person that he is. We look at him to see what made him what he is and try to understand him from his point of view too. It is this journey that the film takes.
• What makes the Ramayan and the Mahabharat such enduring inspirations?
They are unbelievably colourful and have an immense range. But more than anything else these are stories we have all grown up with and form the basis for all the stories we tell. And I am really not surprised by that. Where else will you find somebody who says that a man has 10 heads. I mean, just think… who would ever have the imagination to think of 10 heads. It’s very fascinating. We never question it as children but as we grow up we wonder if there is something else that is being said behind this astounding fact and that is what keeps us interested in the character.
• Isn’t Raavan your first film in quite some time that doesn’t have an underlying political hue to it?
While every film I make doesn’t have to have a political hue, when you make a film which is based in contemporary times and reflects the society we share our everyday lives with, whatever the theme, there is bound to be some amount of politics. You really can’t be totally apolitical.
• Do you have very strong political beliefs?
I am a citizen living in India which is emerging strongly with dynamic ups and downs happening. If you don’t have a political view at this point of time, then you are not really rooted. If you exist here you can’t say that you are apolitical.
|The filmmaker on the sets of Raavan with Abhishek Bachchan|
• From what we can see in the promos Raavan has been shot in some gruelling locations. If it is a contemporary film why not shoot it in the city?
Jungles and water are not only akin to period films, they still exist. It’s not as though we shot only in gruelling places. You try to shoot in places which will help you to tell your story better. As a story teller you try to use every tool that you have to tell your story a little better and if the geography is going to help you, if the climate is going to help you, if the ambience is going to help you, if the light is going to help you, then use it. At the end of the film none of this should matter. You can shoot the entire film in your backyard but still the film could be fantastic. The idea is to make a film which works.
• What is it about Aishwarya and Abhishek Bachchan as actors that fascinate you enough to want to work with them again and again?
It’s not that I want to work with them again and again or that they want to work with me again and again. It’s just that you have a script, you try to see whom you can cast best, who will be equally interested in it and who would be willing to travel with you on a journey which is not going to be an easy one, where we will have to discover, we will have to push ourselves, as we try and do something we have not done before and take the risk of treading a little on a new path. That drives your casting. It is pure selfishness. You want what is best for your film and they want what is best for their careers.
• It has been reported that you met Ranbir Kapoor for a film…
We have met once yes, but till the script falls in place I don’t know if we will work together. I have only seen one film of his - Saawariya, and I thought he gave a wonderfully uninhibited performance. Working together is a process and it takes a lot of effort and when you work with an actor you need somebody who will be equally enthusiastic about everything.
• You gave Bollywood AR Rahman with Roja and he went on to fascinate the world. How much would you say you have contributed to his success?
My contribution to his career is very little, almost nothing. A talent like his would have emerged in any case. It just happened to be with Roja. That is one of those good coincidences.
• And what is his contribution to your films?
I depend quite a bit on music for my films. Whether it was Ilayaraja who has done a lot of films for me or Rahman, their contribution to my films is enormous. A lot of my films are underlined by music, sometimes it could be against the content of the scene too but they are able to score something different and add another text to the scene. Without their music as their background my films would not be the same.
• Many mindless entertainers become blockbusters in Bollywood. Do you think you could ever do one of them?
I love mindless entertainers. But if I was to make one I should be able to do so very well. Other people are doing them fantastically, so it’s better for me to sit and enjoy them. Making them is an art. It’s fantastic to do something which just puts a smile on everybody’s face. Maybe one of these days I will make one!
• How do you look back on Dil Se?
I think you make an attempt with every film, some work and if some don’t, well then you’ve made an error. Then it’s up to you to understand what you’ve not got right on that film. We put in more than a year on it. We were sure and we believed in it and we went for it. Maybe we lost it in translation. If you’ve made an error, you have to learn from it. It’s not the concept or approach that were wrong. If you roll back and ask me, I’d still do the same film again.
• The Ramayana could be said to propagate the Aryan superiority over Dravidians. As a South Indian filmmaker, how have you tackled this?
I don’t know whether there is any South Indian angle here. The fact remains that there are characters which are driven to the wrong side of the line. With such a large story, as a viewer or as a narrator, you can take anybody’s point of view, and see what it is like. Old scriptures offer many insights. They also say, ‘Raavana is a learned man, Raavana is a musician, he is a Shiva bhakt.
There are other aspects to him, he has got 10 heads, he is a ruler, he represents a clan.’ Similarly you take anyone else, you take Karana - they give you a story and a character and something which is worth dwelling into. Obviously they have invested in each and every character. You can pick any and make several films.
• So you don’t think it will be a touchy subject for some people?
No, I don’t think so. This is Beera’s story. It is just that there are some parallel lines between him and Raavan. Once you go for the film, what you will see is the character, and that should be able to hold you enough to go with his story. It is a triangle placed totally and squarely in today’s world.
• Have you seen the recently released Rajneeti, based on the Mahabharata?
MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; June 6, 2010)
Mani Ratnam is on the prowl. The reticent filmmaker intends to put several films on the floor in the coming months because he wants now, more than ever, to bank on his personal equity. You may expect announcements from his Chennai camp. Some films will be directed by Mani’s erstwhile assistants, some by his current ones, while the Raavan director himself will call the shots if the project has superstars.
It is wishful thinking on Kareena Kapoor’s part that he will revive the partition drama Lajjo where she teams up with Aamir Khan. However, sources close to the Chennai-based film-maker know that Lajjo is a faraway thought because Mani has to first cross the hurdle of convincing Aamir to rethink the project. And he could be waiting for Godot there.
But what no one knows till today is that Mani was reportedly following Ranbir Kapoor and Imran Khan for a project. No script narration was given to either, says a source. “However, since both young actors hold Mani in high esteem, they had agreed in principle to be a part of the project,” the source adds. The story would have both boys on either side of the border and they would have a common love interest. This film would be directed by Mani himself.
So where’s the hurdle? Ranbir and Imran are not the best of friends. Both boys have studio lunches together and are extremely cordial. But the matter ends there. Imran recently said, “I like Ranbir. We may not hang out together, but we’re very much in touch.” As far as their careers go, both actors know that they are rivals. And neither of them will settle for a film together unless they have equal parts.
So what is the final outcome of Mani wanting these two new sensations in his next project? Says our source, “Right now the project is deferred. If Mani decides to revive it, then it will only happen after he has given a full narration to both the actors. Both must be satisfied that they will not be shortchanged in the final draft.” Meanwhile, another Mani-Ranbir solo project is on.
Nana Patekar refuses to associate himself with his former friend Prakash Jha’s Raajneeti any further after their fall out
Nana Patekar has decided that he has had enough of Prakash Jha and his film Raajneeti. He had walked out of the shooting after a fall out with the director and it doesn’t look like the two are making up in a hurry. Jha’s hurt and rejection has pushed Nana to the limit.
On Sunday night, the cast of the film including Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Arjun Rampal and Manoj Bajpai saw the film for the first time. Nana Patekar was conspicuous by his absence.
When asked about it, Prakash Jha admits that matters between the two have come to a head, “When my assistant rang up to invite Nana for the Raajneeti screening on Sunday, Nana refused pointblank. He said he didn’t want anything to do with the film. He won’t attend any premiere or events. He won’t see the film at all. That’s what he said.”
Prakash has no intention of cajoling Nana into changing his mind. He says, “Why should I ask him? I won’t call him or send him any message. It’s me who has reason to be upset with Nana’s behaviour, and not the other way around.”
Nana is known to be hot-headed and the outspoken liberties come at a price. About the screening of Raajneeti, Prakash says, “Ironically, the youngsters are very happy with their own and each other’s performances. It’s the oldies who are upset.”
They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. And if this recent incident is anything to go by, the adage is absolutely true. One of the film industry’s important friendships, which had gone sour in 2007, has been revived all thanks to some yummy chicken pulao.
Let’s rewind a bit. Filmmakers Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Farah Khan had become best friends in 1993 during the making of 1942: A Love Story and they regularly used to spend time at each other’s homes. Incidentally, the gregarious Farah was one of the few friends that the reclusive Sanjay had.
|Farah Khan and Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Pic: Jitu savlani
However, the Sanjay-Farah friendship went sour when their respective films, Saawariya and Om Shanti Om, clashed at the box office in 2007 on the same Friday, November 9. Consequently, differences cropped up between Sanjay and Farah particularly because the latter passed some unsavory comments against Sanjay’s mother Leela. Sanjay had said then: “Why bring my mother into this unnecessarily, specially since my mother has always shown so much love and affection for Farah? Farah and I go back a long way. We can’t allow one film to sour our relations.”
However, things started looking up lately with Sanjay thinking of getting in touch with his old buddy Farah to finally meet her triplets. Just as the thought of meeting Farah seemed to be gathering momentum in Sanjay’s mind, Farah surprised him with a friendly gesture.
On his 46th birthday on Wednesday, Farah sent Sanjay his favourite home-cooked pulao. As Sanjay relished the delicious, steaming hot pulao, he forgot all his past grievances and the two friends are now back together. Now it’s Sanjay’s turn to reciprocate by paying that long-pending visit to Farah’s residence to meet her triplets, who recently turned two.
Confirming the news, Sanjay says, “It was a sweet gesture. I love Farah and her food as much she loves me and the food at my place. It could have been a disastrous birthday, but everything finally came together.”
Disaster struck when on Sanjay’s birthday, a day before his final schedule for Guzaarish was to start at Yash Raj Studios, the Ukrainian magician, who has been summoned to perform magic tricks with Hrithik Roshan, had a visa problem. All hell broke loose at Sanjay’s office since it was not only impossible to find a replacement at that hour but also because Sanjay was determined to shoot only with the magician handpicked by him.
After much brouhaha, the visa issue for the magician was sorted out. The Ukranian magician is expected to arrive today, a day later than scheduled. Meanwhile, Hrithik has started creating magic with the Ukranian magician’s assistant who came to Mumbai on Wednesday.
Akshay Kumar has been on the receiving end of smses meant for Akshaye Khanna; he is fed up of the mix-up
Having a namesake does have a share of disadvantages, and Bollywood has weathered its fair share of mix-ups. Feroz Abbas Khan, the director of Gandhi My Father, often spoke about how he received messages meant for actor Feroz Khan. Director Sanjay Gupta and his namesake, a cinematographer, also went through that problem. Ditto jewellery designer Farah Khan Ali and director Farah Khan.
The latest to be involved in an identity goof up are actors Akshay Kumar and Akshaye Khanna.
Akshay, who is shooting at Mehboob Studios for Patiala House, has been receiving messages from an assistant called Nikki all through last week. One message reads, ‘Sir it is a 2pm shift at Film City tomorrow.’ Another says, ‘Sir, what would you like to eat for lunch?’
Initially, Akshay was puzzled by the messages until he finally realised that they were meant for Akshaye Khanna, who is shooting at Film City. Incidentally, Akshaye and Akshay are co-stars in Anees Bazmee’s Thank You, as well as Farah Khan’s Tees Maar Khan.
Confirming the news, Akshay Kumar says, “I figured this particular assistant had fed my number against Akshaye Khanna’s name in his cell phone. The messages have been coming religiously, many times. However, I’m now wondering that if I’m getting all of Akshaye’s shooting alerts, how is he managing to reaching his shooting on time? And I don’t know how many of my messages are being delivered to him.”
|Akshay Kumar||Akshaye Khanna|
In Bollywood where relationships are based on one’s successes and failures, Akshay Kumar, despite being a superstar, certainly believes in standing by those who had helped him when he was a struggler. This is precisely why Akshay has agreed to star in Pramod Chakravarthy’s son Pradeep’s film, which will be directed by Pradeep’s son Prateek.
It was Pramod Chakravarthy who had given Akshay his Bollywood break with Deedar in 1992 opposite Karisma Kapoor. Akshay was a struggling actor for a long time till Pramodda gave him his first break in the film industry. Over the years, Akshay has always acknowledged the fact that whatever he is today it is because of Pramodda. Akshay has done two films with him, Deedar and Barood.
A source said, “Last week, Pramodda’s son, Pradeep had come to Mumbai from the US and that’s when he discussed the forthcoming film with Akshay who immediately agreed to star in it. Incidentally Pradeep’s son Prateek is filmmaker Vipul Shah’s assistant. It was Akshay who had introduced Prateek to Vipul after which he has been assisting Vipul for the last two years.”
Another source close to Akshay confirmed the news and said, “Akshay is known to do this for friends and he is definitely part of Pradeep and Prateek Chakravarthy’s film.”
Vipul Shah confirmed the news about Prateek and said, “Yes, Akshay had introduced me to Prateek about two years ago. Akshay told me that I must make Prateek my assistant and I immediately agreed. Prateek has assisted me in London Dreams and Action Replay.”
Despite repeated calls and text messages, Akshay Kumar remained unavailable for comment.