Posts tagged endorse
Parents name their children with sky-high expectations. You will find an absolute buffoon named Birbal, and a pip-squeak called Shamsher Bahadur.
Very few are able to live up to their names. But then, Shah Rukh Khan is living a life beyond even his own imagination. The two Persian words, Shah Rukh, meaning ‘face of a king’, symbolises royalty in Bollywood. Now, it’s time to extend Kingdom Khan’s territory to the cricket field.
Rs 13 crore profit
To all those who mocked at and slammed SRK’s Kolkata Knight Riders — in the eight-team Indian Premier League, Kolkata finished sixth in 2008 and eighth last year — Shah Rukh could have shown the middle finger. After all, financially, the Knight Riders were easily the most successful franchise in the IPL, making a profit of Rs 13 crore in the first edition itself.
But the man has reached a stage where pride becomes more important than money. To remain the king, the king has to win. Kolkata may make Rs 30 crore in 2010, but if the team doesn’t win, Shah Rukh loses. In his own words, SRK says he doesn’t need money any more because he can make it with ridiculous ease.
Talking about the passion that is driving him to run a high-profile cricket team, he said recently in Kolkata, “I didn’t buy a cricket team to make money. I dance at weddings and make much more money there. I endorse so many products, from a phone company to cola, I don’t have to worry about money. Some things run on passion; I am a sportsperson myself, so I bought a cricket team. I want to pass it on to my children. Movies, I don’t do them for money. If I like a subject, I will put money on it and make a film.”
I was in Kolkata for Knight Riders’ matches against Bangalore and Chennai, and as luck would have it, I saw Shah Rukh from close quarters taking rough with the smooth. Kolkata thrashed Bangalore, and got thrashed by Chennai.
But something has changed over the last two years. I did not see Shah Rukh breaking into a wild celebration when the going was good (in IPL I, he broke a dozen-odd chairs jumping on them at a fall of mere one opposition wicket), nor did he go all gloom-and-doom in defeat.
Shah Rukh in victory blew a few kisses to the crowds, showed a thumbs-up to Sourav Ganguly, and later, shook hands with the entire team and the opposition. Shah Rukh in defeat blew a few kisses to the crowds, showed a thumbs-up to Sourav Ganguly, and later, shook hands with the entire team and the opposition.
What an entry
And then, there is something that has not changed. Thank God. We don’t like our superstars to lose their sheen. I made it a point to see the star’s entry into the Eden Gardens and I was not at all disappointed.
A few minutes into the match, cop’s walkie-talkies began cracking. Frenzied voices were trying to communicate something in Bengali, “Shah Rukh Khan, Shah Rukh Khan” the only words I was able to decipher. Cops mounted on 7-feet tall horses began clearing the road, they looked so threatening, it was clear they would not spare anyone the whip.
And then, a fleet of cars… one, two, three, wait, that’s the police escort, OK, one, two, three… one of them only for King Khan, the second one has his entourage, his friends from Bollywood, and the third one, more entourage, more friends from Bollywood.
It’s around 8.30 pm and Shah Rukh has just arrived from Mumbai. He’s dressed in a black shirt, and is looking supremely fit.
Eden Gardens, filled to the brim with almost 70,000 people (it can hold 1.10 lakh, but two stands are being renovated), comes to a standstill as Shah Rukh takes his seat in the open galleria. Front row, first seat, but before that, he has an obligation to fulfil.
A single ticket to that galleria costs Rs 32,000, but it’s packed. They all want to meet Shah Rukh. The superstar shakes hands with all the ticket-holders, even as his bodyguards ensure nobody gets too close for comfort.
Just then, an attractive blonde appears… Shah Rukh has to slip into Kolkata Knight Riders jersey. She helps him put it on, it’s his shoulder again. Despite a surgery, it’s throbbing with pain. She hands him his drink as he blows kisses to the crowds, the women are going wild, the jealous men are smirking.
The prince of Kolkata is in the field, marshalling his men, but Kolkata has chosen its king. He is in the court now, clapping when his army does well, nodding when the opposition gives it back, and now, dignified in victory and defeat.
Post-match, it’s time to party at fashion shows put together by Shah Rukh’s friend Arjun Rampal. The movers and shakers of India are there, legends like Brian Lara have come all the way from the Caribbean, IPL big boss Lalit Modi is in attendance, power and influence can be smelt miles away from the party hall… but then, that’s the life of a superstar, someone who has more than lived up to his name.
SARRAH KHILAWALA Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; March 18, 2010)
If Bollywood hottie Shahid Kapoor’s candid confession is to be believed, then every man (like a woman) likes to look good and aims for clear skin. He himself has no problems in this regard. And his cute dimples on rosy cheeks are as big a hit with girls as are Shahid’s groovy moves on the dance floor with guys. Eat your heart out, Hrithik Roshan.
But now the Dhan Te Na star is ready to share the secret that has women going weak in the knees over him. It’s the ‘Vaseline Men Antispot Whitening Face Cream’ which he now proudly endorses as its brand ambassador. “It’s an honour to be chosen by Vaseline as the face of their newly launched men’s fairness cream,” said Shahid. “This cream’s that one-stop solution that gives you the liberty to ‘be prepared’ whenever and wherever required. I would advise all men to experience this amazing change in their skin by adding one minute to their daily care regime,” added the actor who is happy that the Indian male’s approach towards skincare has changed recently.
“Men are shy to experiment with female fairness products available in the market. Understanding their urge for fairer and good looking skin, we decided to come up with a range specially designed for the Indian male skin which takes care of the most neglected part of their personality — their face,” said Govind Rajan, General Manager, Skincare, Hindustan Unilever Limited, about Vaseline’s unique range of skin whitening products that reduce sun spots, acne scars, freckles and dark patches from the face. “It makes the skin visibly fairer in two weeks. With the increase in the number of men opting for personal care products, there is a definite scope for this specially designed product range to be a big success,” he added.
The singer is in the city for three days, will sing in Hindi for Shah Rukh’s Ra.One
Rap star Akon arrives in Mumbai today on a whirlwind tour and will be Shah Rukh Khan’s special guest during his stay. The singer is here to record songs for SRK’s film Ra. One, including one in Hindi.
Says Shah Rukh, “Yes, Akon arrives on Monday for a rushed three-day visit. He will perform at the launch of a new product of a company whose energy drink I endorse, and then on Tuesday and Wednesday, he will record a song with Vishal Shekhar for Ra.One.
There are two versions of the song, one in English and the other in Hindi, and Akon wants to sing in Hindi. Though he’s Senegalese by birth, he sings in different languages. I don’t see why he can’t manage Hindi. Akon will be adding his own bit to Vishal Shekhar’s composition. He is very participative – I love his songs.”
Shah Rukh hums one of Akon’s recent chartbusters and you wonder why he doesn’t sing for himself. SRK laughs, “No, I can’t sing. I did some lines for myself in Josh, but that was not real singing. If Akon can sing for me, why should I?”
Recalling his meeting with Akon, the actor says, “When I met him recently in New York for the first time, I was floored by his niceness. Such a big international star but so down-to-earth. I asked him if he would sing for me and he said, ‘anytime’. Everyone including Kareena Kapoor who has heard the song has loved it.”
Apart from the recording, there’s enough to keep Akon busy. “I will have him home for dinner and also arrange a quick press meet. I don’t want to put too much pressure on his time. After all, the man’s got to sleep too. However, it is just a three-day visit and I guess he will have a lot to do.”
The actor also wants to show My Name Is Khan to him. “Akon was in Cairo when MNIK released there. He saw the hoardings and has shown interest in watching it. Insha Allah, I’ll screen my film for him.”
|Shah Rukh Khan|
Katrina Kaif diverts brand funds towards mother’s charity
SHARIN WADER BUTANI Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; February 11, 2010)
Here’s one good and important lesson that Katrina Kaif has learned from boyfriend Salman Khan. To do charity without making a noise. Taking a tip from how Salman gets friends and sponsors to contribute to his ‘Being Human’ foundation, Katz has started asking the brands she endorses to give something towards her mother Sussanna’s charitable trust that looks after abandoned babies. She got a major jeweller to contribute Rs. 50 lakh as a start and is already working on the other brands she acts as ambassadress for.
This is a smart move, say Bollywood insiders, and now all eyes will be on Kareena Kapoor to see what she does to ‘up’ her appeal in the Popularity Stakes. Comparisons are odious, but then with Katrina Kaif and Kareena Kapoor, what else would you do? The two KK divas are seen as being neck-to-neck at the finish line of the Bollywood No. 1 title and being made out to be arch rivals in the bargain. But on the sets of Farah Khan’s Tees Maar Khan, Katrina said convincingly, “I don’t fear competition. I see every actress whose films are a hit as a competitor. And I think it’s healthy to think that way ‘coz then I try to do much better.” She can talk, she’s got a serious film like Prakash Jha’s Rajneeti readying for release in which she plays a politician. And then TMZ. “Rajneeti belongs to another level, I’ve not done a film like this before, and in TMZ I play a wannabe item girl,” said Katrina, who’s happy to be cast opposite Akshay again in Farah’s film. “He’s my comfort zone,” she added of the Khiladi, “working with the same actor time and again doesn’t provide any challenges, but with Akshay in the same frame, I am more at ease with my performance.” Isn’t this the same actress who when she signed films with Ranbir Kapoor, Neil Nitin Mukesh and Imran Khan, went around gleefully saying that finally she was working with actors of her age with whom she could be herself ? Then! What do we believe, Katz?
John Abraham might be an avid biker but careless he isn’t. And it’s exactly this message that he wants the youth to follow by making them aware of road safety while riding a two-wheeler. He is now joining hands with Italian racing icon Valentino Rossi to endorse road safety.
There was much more to John Abraham’s historic meeting with the motorcycle racer and multiple MotoGP World Champion Valentino than meets the eye. Last month the two not only met as bike enthusiasts in Delhi at an event organised by a motorbike company but also discussed how youngsters are getting influenced by iconic bike-riders to drive rashly.
|John Abraham and Valentino Rossi|
Their concern for safety of youngsters resulted in John and the biking legend coming together to endorse road safety through an awareness campaign.
John is also most excited about the autograph he got from Valentino Rossi when they met in Delhi last month. John said, “We discussed motorcycles and racing like two intelligent bike experts. At the end of our chat Rossi signed in my bike book. He wrote, ‘To the professor of bikes’. Coming from the God of motorcycle racing that was a very proud moment for me.”
“It’s very important to let youngsters know that while it’s cool to ride motorbikes, it’s not cool to ride without helmets. I feel we high-profile bike riders project the fun aspect of the sport but not the danger,” added John.
Rossi too shares John’s concern and is more than happy to promote road safety.
Abhishek Bachchan, who turns 34 today, is on a roll this year…
MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; February 5, 2010)
When you’re Abhishek Bachchan, the scion of the most prestigious film family, then there is very little you can ask for on your birthday. With Mani Ratnam’s Guru, the actor came into his own, getting even Bollywood’s biggest legend Amitabh Bachchan to endorse his talent. And though some films in between put him on a see-saw, R Balki’s Paa once again brought to light the fact that despite sharing screen space with his father, in what is an award-winning performance for the Big B, AB Junior can very well hold his own.
This year could be the culmination of all these years of ups and downs for the actor. He gets into the most eventful phase of his career. Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar’s Crooked, Karan Johar’s Dostana-2, Abbas Mustan’s The Italian Job (Hindi remake), Anurag Basu’s next, and, Rohan Sippy’s untitled venture are five of the films that go on the floor this year with Abhishek in the lead. And on June 18, Raavana — Mani Ratnam’s most ambitious venture so far, with AB Jr as the protagonist, will open to a global audience.
When asked how he had suddenly become so prolific, Abhishek who has a great sense of humour says, “I haven’t mastered the art of doing one film at a time.’’ The actor feels he is blessed (yes he couldn’t ask for a more rocking birthday gift) because suddenly his life and career are zooming. His television debut was better received than many other superstar smallscreen acts; and what is more, even in Bollywood, he has found a definite spot for himself. “I’m truly fortunate that I can mix and match my genre of cinema,’’ says the actor. “If Crooked is a thriller, Raavan a sociodrama and Dostana-2 a comedy, then it only means that I can fit into cross-genre cinema with ease. I’m truly happy that I’ll be working round the clock for the next couple of years. And more importantly, I will be doing cinema that I believe in.”
At 34, Abhishek is a decade younger than the ruling Khans, that also means he has the advantage of age on his side. Whether in his acting style or his positioning in the Bollywood hierarchy, the actor sees himself “competing only with himself’’ and the endeavour is to constantly strive to do better work. “Good box office is gratifying of course, but good work is equally gratifying,’’ he says.
And asked if there is anything in particular he may still want on this birthday, the actor says, “I’d like to do more work with my wife Aishwarya. The advantage of working with Ash is that the two of us get to make a good film together (Guru, Sarkar Raj, Raavan) and on the personal front, I also get time to spend with my wife.’’ Well, with one of the world’s most beautiful women more than willing to comply with Abhishek’s wishes, there is very little anyone else can offer him. He is truly blessed.
SUBHASH K JHA Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; January 31, 2010)
Akshay Kumar has chosen not to do the desi remake of Hangover. Not because he’s got no dates, but because he no longer does films that endorse drunken and disorderly behaviour. Apparently after doing the foulmouthed Kambakkht Ishq and seeing how audiences received it, Akshay has decided to do only clean comedies.
After his pal, producer Feroz Nadiadwala, purchased the rights of Tod Philips’s 2009 blockbuster, Akshay was reportedly keen on doing the remake. But his date diary was clogged in 2009. And he had to choose between Nadiadwala’s Hera Pheri 4 and Hangover, both to be directed by Anees Bazmi. He opted out of the latter because of his principles.
But Akshay’s loss is Sanjay Dutt and Abhishek Bachchan’s gain. They are happy to do do this raunchy boys’ film. Anees intends to make many changes in the script. And his Hangover is guaranteed to be radically different from the original. Poor Akki, he does not even drink, so he can’t drown the sorrow or missing out on this one.
Shah Rukh Khan got married again yesterday at a five-star hotel in Ahmedabad to 20-year-old Tillana Desai. Wait, don’t jump to conclusions, it was a mock wedding that SRK impulsively thought up to pacify the girl who is in love with him. SRK was promoting his film My Name is Khan and didn’t think he’d run into a girl, dressed up as a bride, who also wanted her name to be Khan!
Our source said, “At his film’s event, SRK had to meet people with unusual love stories. Among the crowd, was 20-year-old Tillana Desai, who had come dressed in full bridal finery. When SRK asked her about her love story, she said she had been in love with a guy since she was seven but can’t marry him as he is already married.
When SRK asked her who the guy was, he was surprised to know that he was the man in question. She also said that she only uses the products that he endorses and refuses to buy anything else. The girl insisted that SRK should marry her. SRK used his million-dollar charm to overcome the awkwardness. The girl had even brought a ring with her. He went down on his knees and slipped the ring on her finger, saying that this is their rehearsal for the wedding.”
The lucky girl is on cloud nine. To have SRK down on his knees is many a girl’s dream, but she was the one who ended up with the special attention. We spoke to Tillana Desai, who gushed, “SRK was really cute. Usne mujhe yeh wedding ring pehnai. I told him that I’ve been crazy about him for years. Unfortunately, he is married. I guess he thought that my love story was very unusual and that’s why he said that we should get married and gave me this ring.
I will never remove the ring and I am glad that he accepted my love and admiration for him. He even asked me about my family and I told him that they could not make it. However, I invited him to my house for dinner, but I guess he was busy.”
|Tillana Desai and Shah Rukh Khan|
‘All is well’ between him and the Bachchans… or isn’t it?
MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; January 10, 2010)
It’s still the season for acceptance. And 2010 has begun on a very auspicious note for this Prince (his screen character, not a title) of Bollywood after 2009 ended hopefully. Vivek Oberoi, who went on every channel and newspaper saying he has mended his ways, has apparently been accepted (no evidence to say that it is unconditional) by the Bachchans.
At another Bollywood function on Friday, Vivek was again strategically seated right behind Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan. (Somebody up there seems to like him… last time it happened was at the annual Police Mela in December when he was next to Ash!) And, the pictures seem to suggest that he was in a very animated conversation with the Big B and Mrs B, though Abhiash and Vivek ignored each other.
A few months ago this bharat-milap would seem implausible. The rumour mills even alleged that though the Big B and Vivek had been signed to endorse the same brand, they wouldn’t share the same frame even for a commercial. Now to think that all this bitterness is a thing of the past. One of these days Vivek may find himself forgiven by Salman Khan also. Or is that being too hopeful?