Posts tagged encourage
…but a gripping show keeps him hooked, says Akshay Kumar, who’s set to judge aspiring cooks on a reality show starting tonight
Roshni K Olivera | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; October 17, 2010)
Akshay Kumar, whose culinary skills were honed alongside his martial arts prowess in Bangkok, is returning to the small screen in a different avatar with MasterChef India on Star Plus, 9 pm tonight. The channel, in keeping with its new brand promise of ‘Rishta wahi, soch nayi’, intends to attract Indian cooking talent from home kitchens and lead them to stardom. The show, that is based on an international format, tests the culinary skills of 12 creative and passionate cooks under immense time pressure. Joining Akshay are Chefs Kunal Kapoor and Ajay Chopra as co-judges, together they will choose the MasterChef from among the participants of the show. “Great cooking not only leads to great food but also great drama… and that’s what is in store for viewers,” says Akshay. Excerpts from the interview…
How tough are you going to be with contestants?
I am only as tough as I need to be. I’m not a bully, but neither am I here to paint rainbows with them. I encourage and inspire these MasterChef aspirants like you wouldn’t believe! To me they are like my children, I nurture and guide them through the tasks set with love and firmness.
How would you rate yourself as a cook?
Hmmm… I hope by cook you don’t mean a chef because I don’t consider myself a chef. Being a chef is a big deal and an even bigger honour. Cooking is an art in itself, and it is not easy to master. We may love to paint, but that doesn’t mean anyone would want to buy it. I consider myself a decent cook, but I am a great eater with a very experienced palate. However, if you ask my family they love my cooking. Personally I would give myself 6 out of 10.
Big B, Salman Khan and you are hosting shows… how do you react to comparisons?
In this field comparisons are inevitable. However, all three of us are doing shows of different genres. Amitabhji and Salman are great people, brilliant actors and fantastic hosts. We all have something very different to give, but really we just want to entertain our audiences. It’s the channels that have the extra pressure and points to prove. We as actors only have good wishes for each other and I know all of us will be giving our best. Let’s just let people enjoy their evening TV time and be happy at how great entertainment is these days.
How anxious are you about public reaction? As much as you would have been before a film release?
It’s different. In my films I always seem to have much more pressure on my shoulders. There’s a difference between someone flicking the channel over and someone walking out of your movie. Both hurt, but it’s not the same. In fact I myself am a complete channel-hopper, but if something grips me then I am hooked for sure, and I know how gripping MasterChef is. You feel for these guys so much, you learn so much, there are emotions flying. There’s something extra special about this show, so right now I’m more excited than anxious.
MM.com speaks to Natha’s mother, Farrukh ‘Ammaji’ Jaffer, only to bring out the intellectual and lighter side of a lady from the rustic lands of Uttar Pradesh
|Farrukh Jaffer, a far cry from Ammaji of Peepli Live|
“I am too busy and too free, depending on my priorities. But if there is someone to listen to me, I can talk 24 hours. Jaise ham abhi aapse baat kar rahe hain,” 72-year-old Farrukh Jaffer bursts out laughing. “Ammaji” is bound to slip out of your mouth when you are talking to her. One of the most memorable characters of Peepli Live, Ammaji, is what she is better known as now.
A graduate and a student of National School of Drama (NSD), Delhi, Farrukh started her career in All India Radio as an announcer in Lucknow. At NSD, she learnt a lot from one of the most influential theatre directors Ebrahim Alkazi. She performed in a few of his plays and thoroughly loved the experience. But somehow, she felt closer to radio and films. It was Muzzaffar Ali, director of Rekha-starrer Umrao Jaan, who gave her her big break in the film where she played Rekha’s mother. Farrukh, who has her base in Lucknow for years now, feels deep gratitude towards Muzzaffar Ali, “I am thankful to Muzzaffar saab from the bottom of my heart. He gave me my first break. And it was his serial Damyanti where Ashutosh Gowariker spotted me and offered me Swades. He always gave me the freedom an artiste like me craves for.”
Farrukh believes an artist is the best creation of God, who should be treated with care and given desired freedom. She received such a treatment from Aamir Khan while working on Peepli Live, she says, “Aamir Khan trusted and gave me this opportunity. I am best known for my voice over and in Peepli that is what worked for me as an actor. He let me extend my dialogue as I wanted. He understood the culture and knew the essence of the language. I got immense respect from him as a person and in terms of work too. I admire him for that.”
Farrukh is, no doubt, a nawab from Lucknow. She loves her comfort and feels uncomfortable when restricted. Her experience while working in Swades with Ashutosh Gowariker was not as pleasant though. She says, “It was a great experience. But I felt slightly restricted with him, creatively. As a radio artist, I have a habit of elongating my dialogue with voice modulation to make it more effective. I wasn’t allowed to do that. But then, Ashutosh did give me one of my best lines of my career.”
Swades also gave Farrukh an opportunity to interact with the superstar of Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan, that too on the same level. She reminicences and laughs aloud at the interaction she had with him, “Shah Rukh ko main bandar bulati thi. He would put his head on my feet and ask me, ’Aap mujhe bandar kyu bulati hai?’ Then I would promptly reply, “Kyuki tum poora din bandar ki tarah uchaltey koodtey rehtey ho.” Admiring the father in King Khan, she says, “Woh apne bacchon ke bagair nahi reh sakta. He is a great father. I have just seen him interact with his kids.”
Despite belonging to a conservative family, she had all the support from her husband Sayyed Mohammed Jaffar, also a renowned journalist. He encouraged her in every step she took towards her passion for cinema. Mother of two grown up daughters says, “What should I say about him? He is the most amazing husband one can have. He supported me and allowed me to aspire big, which is very unlikely of a family with a conservative background like we have. But he trusted me and so did the family.”
In 30 years of her career, Farrukh had to shift base from a small village called Chakesar in Jaunpur district in Uttar Pradesh to Lucknow for a major period in between and then to Delhi. And now when she is doing films more often, she has to come down to Mumbai too. Totally in awe of the city, Farrukh says, “Mumbai sheher jaandaar hai. Yahaan kaam aapko dhoondhta hai. Mujhe behad pasand hai yeh sheher.” On the contrary, recalling her experience of living in another metro like Delhi almost 30 years ago, Farrukh didn’t really enjoy her time in the city. She says, “Dilli rehne wali jagah nahi hai. I felt very insecure while I came back from work. That time I was working with Akashvani. Even the transport facilities weren’t impressive. I used to regret leaving my job in All India Radio, Lucknow.”
Having seen the village life from close quarters, she agrees with how the subject is dealt in Peepli Live. Farrukh is against reservations given by the government to rural people. She believes, “Why can’t government give better facilities like better roads, light and houses to the rural people and inspire them to grow so that they don’t have to leave their house and family behind to go to a metro city to earn better?”
Ammaji she will remain for us until she is next seen in Aanand Rai’s Tanu Weds Manu, playing dadima to Kangna Ranaut who stars opposite R Madhvan in the film.
THE KING ARRIVES TOMORROW!
In less than 24 hours, My Name Is Khan (MNIK), one of the biggest and most awaited Hindi film of 2010 will be running in theatres. The feeling is euphoric as almost all moviegoers are anticipating the release of this flick ever since it was announced way back in 2008. Starring Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol and directed by Karan Johar, MNIK is to be released worldwide by Fox Star Studios.
The film’s promotion, I feel, hasn’t been upto the mark. Music hasn’t managed to excite that much like previous KJo flicks. However, the film has created considerable hype and tremendous curiosity. Everybody is yearning to know what SRK-Kajol-Johar combo has come up with this time. So inspite of its non-entertaining theme, the film is expected to take an earth-shattering opening, on the lines of 3 Idiots.
However, on the flipside, there are some doubts surrounding MNIK too. The film is helmed by Karan Johar whose last production Kurbaan, based on terrorism, was not well handled and had a long list of flaws. There is fear among some sections of audience that KJo might once again create a mockery of sensitive issues that MNIK deals with.
But on the other hand, the privileged few who got a golden chance to attend the exclusive screening of MNIK last weekend can’t stop raving about the film and SRK’s performance. Thus, the positive word of mouth has spread even a week before the film’s release. Hence, the film should turn out to be a commercial success.
The biggest block now is the Shiv Sena which are hell bent on stopping this film’s release in Mumbai and Maharashtra. Last weekend, the issue had died down and it seemed the film would get a peaceful release. But shockingly, the Sena’s goons attacked few theatres of Mumbai where MNIK’s advance booking had commenced on Tuesday. Immediately, the rest of theatres stopped selling MNIK show tickets. Police Commissioner D Sivanandan has assured of complete protection to all theatres screening this film. But with exhibitors scared, the film’s release in Mumbai and Maharashtra might be delayed which will be detrimental to its box office collections. Still 24 hours are left and hopefully, the issue will be resolved. My only advice to the theatre owners-the more you’ll feel scared of such cheap political parties, the more they’ll be encouraged to resort to such gimmicks in future!
AND LET ME YOUR VIEWS ON MY NAME IS KHAN AND ITS CONTROVERSY!
TICKET RATES INCREASED FOR MNIK AS WELL?
1 ½ month back, moviegoers were in for a shock when almost all theatres increased their ticket rates for 3 Idiots. The rates came down in the 2nd or 3rd week of the film. But now many theatres have upped the prices once again, this time for MNIK. Again, knowing that people are very keen to watch MNIK, the rates have inflated. Starcity at Mumbai usually charges 60 and 80 bucks for morning shows. But for 10am show of MNIK, the rates are doubled-120 and 150 bucks! Other theatres have followed suit! I am not sure if the same strategy is applied in other regions as well. But if it is the case or even if it’s not, please do let me know!
The rates will come down to normal 14 days later. But it seems theatre owners are going to adopt this idea for almost all biggies that are releasing in 2010 like Kites, Raajneeti, Tees Maar Khan etc! Start saving!
Bharati Dubey & Ambarish Mishra | TNN (THE TIMES OF INDIA; February 7, 2010)
Mumbai: Both parties in the Shiv Sena-Shah Rukh Khan feud appeared to climb down a little on Saturday without backing off from their ideological positions amid talk that a Bollywood actor and a senior state politician had played mediator between the party and the actor.
The Sena, despite insisting that Khan was a “traitor’’ for taking up the cause of Pakistani players who were not picked by any team for IPL, said on Saturday that it was not interested in disrupting the screening of his next release, My Name Is Khan.
The first Sena official comment—on not wanting to disrupt the film—came, significantly, a day after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi declined the safety of a helicopter and travelled by Mumbai’s lifeline, the local train, through some traditional Sena bastions, sending out an unmistakably strong political rejoinder to the Sena and its agenda.
Khan’s comments, too, after he touched down in Mumbai on Saturday morning, were much more guarded than those he had made abroad. Not once did he say he had said anything wrong—when he commented on Pakistani players not being picked for IPL teams (his own team did not pick any)—but he made the right noises to indicate that he was not interested in taking the war of words forward in the run-up to the release of his film on February 12.
But the Sena’s climbdown, a day after the Gandhi scion took the wind out of its sails, was slightly more spectacular despite the potshots it took at the Congress and Khan.
In an editorial in Saamna, Sena chief Bal Thackeray said: “The Congress is free to rule the country in the manner it thinks is proper. Let Pakistan carry on its terrorist activity in Mumbai and let Shah Rukh Khan release his film with the blessings of the Gandhi Dynasty. The Sena will not do anything.’’
‘Why should Sena alone suffer?’ Mumbai: While the Shiv Sena said on Saturday that it would not hold up the screening of Shah Rukh Khan’s next film, My Name Is Khan, the actor indcated that he was not interested in taking the war of words forward.
Sena CEO Uddhav Thackeray told TOI on Saturday: “Why should the Sena alone stick its neck out on terrorism or regional pride? Pak-sponsored terrorism is a major threat to India and Mumbai’s security. However, the Congress leaders are not willing to take a firm stand on these issues as they believe in taking orders from 10 Janpath. Other political parties too keep mum on this sensitive issues. So why should Shiv Sainiks suffer police excesses and imprisonment. Matoshree, after all, is also on the hit-list of Pak terrorists.’’
On his part, Khan said it was sad that his remarks on Pakistani cricketers in the IPL had been misconstrued. Asked if he would go to Matoshree to explain his position, Khan said Bal Thackeray was a senior leader and he had gone to his residence whenever he was called. “I have been there so often. Yes, I would like to go and have a drink with him,’’ he said. But he also said he did not think the current issue merited any conversation. “If my stand needs to be explained to someone, I have already done it. I don’t think there is an issue on that front,’’ he said.
Khan, however, left a window open for conversation. “If there has been any misunderstanding, let’s be gracious and talk it out,’’ he added. “I think what I said was misconstrued. I am what I am because of Mumbai and I would like everyone in Mumbai to be happy. I think what is happening is very unfortunate. I think all the groups also want Mumbaikars to be happy. Then why create this kind of atmosphere?’’
In New Delhi, chief minister Ashok Chavan weighed in, saying it would act against anyone trying to “bully’’ others. “All movies, be it of Shah Rukh’s or anybody else’s, if they are approved by the censor board, will run and the government will protect them. We will make sure that not only the Shiv Sena, but any person or organisation trying to create disturbance is dealt with strictly as per the law of the land,’’ he said. “Even I will go and watch those movies.’’
Asked why his own team, the Kolkata Knight Riders, had not picked any Pakistani player, the actor said his team was keen on taking Abdul Razzaq. “But my coach informed me later that he had a finger injury. There was a slot available but one should also take into consideration the prevailing atmosphere,’’ he added.
He, however, refused to comment on the reasons for the Sena backing off. “I really don’t know that and cannot comment on a group’s thinking or working pattern. But I am thankful that now the film will be released without any stress. There are 250 people involved in the film. I am really happy to know that me and my film are being taken as two different entities,’’ he said.
He also said arts, sports and culture could help build ties with other countries and should be encouraged. Told that Thackeray had called him a traitor, the actor said, “It feels really awkward for me to explain that I am an Indian and not a bad one and love my country. I don’t need to prove it to anyone.’’
He added: “I really felt like crying when I was being questioned for being a regular Indian. It hurt me even more when my daughter called and asked me, ‘Papa, do we have to leave India?’ I had to send my wife, Gauri, back to be with the children.’’
Sena demands action against Rahul
Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday demanded that the state should take action against Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi for his statements on the role of north Indians in protecting Mumbai during the 26/11 terror attacks. “He has made serious statements about the Indian forces. Such statements can lead to division in Indian army and result in disintegration of nation” said Uddhav in Pune. TNN
Hockey, being the much neglected national game, can do with all the support it can muster – so it was great news when cricketer Virender Sehwag decided to promote the Hockey World Cup, encouraging people to watch it. Now some present and former hockey stars are doing their own bit to help save the game.
On Saturday, a delegation first met up with the Bachchan family, followed by a meeting with Dharmendra, to solicit their support for the game.
|(From left to right) Deepak Thakur, Dharmendra and Prabhjot Singh|
Dharmendra reciprocated heartily, agreeing to render not just his own support to the team, but also of both his sons, Sunny and Bobby. A source present during the meeting says, “Five Indian hockey players including Vikram Pillay, captain Rajpal Singh, Prabhjot Singh, Deepak Thakur and Arjun Halapa, with former player Hardeep Singh Sandhu, who is actively trying to raise fund for the players met Dharamji. He assured them that he would be present personally to cheer for them during the upcoming World Cup.”
Eight months have passed since Hollywood star Gerard Butler reportedly went down on his knees and proposed to Priyanka Chopra at her Yari Road residence. Going by a more recent rendezvous, it is clear that Gerard remains smitten by her.
Earlier this week, he spent a full day with Priyanka in New York. The 300 actor landed up on the sets of Anjaana Anjaani to catch up with Priyanka, who is the lead actress in the film.
|Gerard Butler and Priyanka Chopra|
A friend of Priyanka informed Mumbai Mirror, “Priyanka and Gerard met each other very warmly and spent time together.”
After chatting away to glory, Gerard remained on the sets. He also mingled with the cast and crew of the film. “Gerard took an active interest in all the scenes for which Priyanka was required in the frame,” added our source.
Going back to the bonhomie that Gerard shared with Priyanka during his visit to India, it may be recalled that Gerard had then said good humouredly, “I don’t mind marrying an Indian girl too, but Priyanka already has a boyfriend.”
Those were the days when Priyanka had split with Harman Baweja and was reportedly getting attracted to Shahid Kapoor. Now that she has split with Shahid and is self-admittedly single, we wonder what Gerard has in mind for the pretty singelton.
By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; January 28, 2010)
History sure repeats itself. That explains how the greatest hero of the Chittagong Uprising, Surjya Sen, fondly called Masterda, is the flavour of the season with two forthcoming films being based on his life. Even as Ashutosh Gowariker is making Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey with Abhishek Bachchan playing Sen, Shonali Bose (director of Amu) is simultaneously making Chittagong with Manoj Bajpai playing the revolutionist. Gowariker’s film is currently being shot in Goa and Shonali’s film is being shot in Northern West Bengal.
Shonali, producer of Chittagong, said, “Yes, my husband (Bedabrata) is directing the film and we have been working on the subject since the last four years, from immediately after Amu released.”
When asked if she is aware that Gowariker too is making a film on the same subject, Shonali said, “Yes, but the treatment of both the films is different. We had started our film much before him (Gowariker) but we didn’t get the requisite funding at that time. When I learnt about Gowariker’s film, I called him and he said that he makes different cinema from us. It’s interesting that two banners are making a film on the same person but in a completely different manner. It (Chittagong Uprising) was such a big event and yet no one knows about it.”
|Manoj Bajpai||Abhishek Bachchan|
“I have immense respect for Ashutosh. He loved my film Amu. I welcome his point of view and he has been very encouraging,” she added.
Gowariker said, “Yes, I am aware of the film and I wish them all the very best.” While Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey is already racing towards completion, Chittagong is expected to be complete by February.
It is a well-known fact that Salman Khan believes in encouraging new talent. Dabboo Ratnani’s calendar is proof enough of that. Here, the actor has given a chance to Manisha Ratnani, who is renowned photographer Dabboo’s wife.
The shoot happened at Panchgani. Daboo said, “We started the photo shoot post dinner and Salman was in a jovial mood. I was setting the lights for his shot.Meanwhile, my wife was setting up my camera and doing a check on it. That’s when Salman, out-of-the-blue, told her to click his pictures. Then, he turned to me and said that today Manisha will shoot me… It is a big thing for a star to trust a new photographer. Salman gave a lot of candid shots. In fact, he agreed to go bare body only because my wife was shooting it.”
Although it has been five years since Manisha has assisted Dabboo behind the scenes, this is the first time that she played photographer to a star.
Talking about her first experience as a photographer, Manisha says, “I was zapped. Initially, I thought Salman was kidding and pulling my leg. But once I started shooting, both Salman and Dabboo supported me completely. My heart was beating faster as I was doing my first ever photoshoot with Salman Khan.”
Ask Manisha if Salman has offered her any future assignments, she laughs, “He has offered me magazine and cover shoots. He also mentioned doing a full-fledged shoot again. It was great fun shooting with Salman. It is something that I will never forget all my life.”
… that’s Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision’s mantra for success in Bollywood, says CMD Dhillin Mehta
MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; January 19, 2010)
Maine Pyar Kyun Kiya, Welcome, Bhagam Bhag, Golmaal, Jab We Met, Golmaal Returns are just a few of the biggest hits Bollywood has produced in the recent past. And, what is truly commendable is that all these entertainers have come from the same stable — Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision Ltd. “This company that was launched less than a decade ago by the enterprising Dhillin Mehta has taken giant leaps in Bollywood film production, leaving behind some of the biggest, long-standing banners,’’ says a trade source.
Blessed with the ability to know the pulse of the trade and with quick access to the badshahs of acting, Ashtavinayak continues to be on a roll. Look at their enviable 2010 line-up. They are currently backing Akshay Kumar’s Khatta Meetha directed by Priyadarshan, film-maker Imtiaz Ali’s Rockstar with Ranbir Kapoor and two magnum-opuses with Salman Khan. In the pipeline is yet another movie with Akshay, two movies with Sanjay Dutt, a Saif Ali Khan production and Rohit Shetty’s Golmaal-3. The modest Dhillin, Chairman and Managing Director of Ashtavinayak, says, “Our company has managed a turn-around of fortunes in Bollywood because for us, cinema is a passion. We are open to new subjects and have always encouraged both established and fresh talent to knock on our doors.’’ In the last few years, the production house has not only won the trust of the top-rung in Bollywood, it has also allowed fairly new filmmakers to use their goodwill and resources to make the kind of Bollywood cinema that has found a resonance globally. Bollywood action star Akshay Kumar, who shares a fantastic rapport with this company, says, “Cinema is for the lionhearted guys. Good films must have both gloss and a great storyline. Whenever I’ve worked with Ashtavinayak, I’ve found them to be ideal producers because they are open to new thoughts and ideas.’’ Implicit faith by Bollywood has made the banner the brand it is.
When actors are asked to grace an event, particularly a school function, you expect them to prove to be good role models for the kids, encouraging them to study hard and eat right. However, if the actor happens to be Salman Khan, you can expect the unthinkable.
Salman, who had been invited to judge for an event at Jamnabai Narsee school, Juhu, shared some little known anecdotes about his own school days with the kids present, all between 11-19.
“Salman had said he would come on time (4pm) and stay the whole evening. The school authorities were expecting him to make a brief appearance, but he surprised everyone by taking time off to be there throughout,” says a source.
When called on stage to say a few words, his speech took everybody by surprise. “When Salman was asked to share memories of his school days, the audience braced themselves for a dose of nostalgia. However, he recalled how he would bunk classes constantly and was rusticated from four schools. He also confessed that he was the school bully – he even asked the resident bully of the school to raise his hand. One hand did go up.” By this time, the students were almost falling off their seats while the teachers didn’t know where to look.
It didn’t end there. When he was asked by the children to dance on stage with them, he quipped, “I don’t dance without being paid.” Even before the stunned kids and teachers could recover from that statement, he had already proceeded to dance to one of his own songs on stage.
|Salman at the event|
Salman’s love for kids is unbelievable. At the event, Salman went on stage twice and enjoyed himself with the kids. He danced with the kids and even promoted his forthcoming film Veer saying, ‘there is a veer in all of you’ which has got you to come on the stage and perform like this’. After the dance, he gave out music CDs of the film to the kids. While leaving the venue, some of the kids followed him. Unknowingly, his guard pushed one of them. Despite the crowd, Salman noticed this. When he realised that the kid was hurt, he lost his temper at his guard. He made his guard apologise to the kid. He also hugged the kid and gave him the music CD of Veer with his autograph on it. The child’s day was definitely made as he left with a big smile on his face and memories to last a lifetime.
–Kunal M Shah