Posts tagged host
The much-awaited MAMI festival got off to a bit of a false start, with an opening ceremony that left a lot to be desired
One cannot dispute the exemplary lineup of films at the Mumbai Film Festival (MAMI) this year, which holds much promise. The opening ceremony held on Thursday (October 21) at Chandan cinema, Juhu, was quite memorable, albeit in a different fashion from what was intended.
Starting late, as we all know, is a pardonable offence in India. What is not, are goof-ups. At the ceremony, these were aplenty: some bad, few outright unacceptable.
The acoustics of Chandan cinema were disgusting. Those sitting in the balcony where left stretching the human limit of their hearing. Two huge speakers in the two corners were silent, and the two below were good enough to carry sound only to those sitting below.
All this, however, did not deafen the audience enough for them to ignore some embarrassing bloopers.
Starlets Minissha Lamba and Prachi Desai proved themselves unworthy to host the event as they made an unpardonable mistake. After calling out the names of four members of the all-woman jury, they forgot the fifth: our very own Suhasini Maniratnam.
A barrage of apologies followed, but only after Academy Award winning president of the jury, Jane Campion, called out for Suhasini correcting the mistake made by the two hostesses. The smiling Mrs. Maniratnam not only forgave the oversight, but graciously made Yoon Jeong-Hee feel at home telling audiences how she and husband Mani Ratnam enjoyed her film Poetry at the Pusan film festival. Atithi Devo Bhava, as we say in India.
The only performance in the event, a loose dance-drama by a Mumbai-based dance troupe, proved to be an eyesore for the viewers with a cacophony of loud sounds and faltering steps. After their performance, Minishaa asked Prachi rhetorically, “Wasn’t it the most mesmerising show we have seen?” The crowd, especially the hard-of-hearing ones in the balcony comprising mostly cinema writers and critics, shouted out a loud ‘No’ unanimously. This had to be one of those rare occasions that the Indian critic was brutally honest.
Thankfully the opening film, the much-awaited The Social Network, began soon. Although for a few minutes a mysterious light shone on the screen and blurred the view amidst hooting from the disgruntled viewers, everything was soon forgotten under the spell of Aaron Sorkin’s masterful screenplay and David Fincher’s adept direction.
Despite a not-so-desirable opening, the festival would prove itself if the shows of the exemplary films selected are not ruined by such mishaps. Bloopers provide temporary comic relief but a festival is, after all, remembered by the films that were screened.
|(From left) Academy Award winning filmmaker Jane Campion and fellow MAMI jury member Suhasini Maniratnam at the press conference for the 12th Mumbai Film Festival|
Prithwish Ganguly | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; October 12, 2010)
Soccer crazy Abhishek Bachchan recently bonded with Dutch soccer star Wesley Sneijder, who is looking to come down to India. Junior Bachchan met Wesley at a recent event and has become friends with him. They are in constant touch. Wesley was with his stunning model and TV presenter wife Yolanthe Cabau van Kasbergen Sneijder, who in turn chatted up with Ash.
All four of them even hung out for hours together as Abhishek and Wesley kept chatting over football. Wesley informed Abhi that he was fascinated about India and was planning to come down to the country with his wife. Abhi immediately told the footballer to inform him when he is flying down as he wanted to host them in Mumbai.
Wesley, who was in the thick of controversy over whether he would quit Inter Milan for any other club, apparently also informed Abhi that he doesn’t want to do a hurricane trip to the country. He is looking for a relaxed holiday soon and we hear he might be planning a romantic getaway with his wife in North India. Yolanthe has become a great fan of Ash as they were heard talking about fashion and style.
In a saucy, hatke interview, Salman Khan unleashes his hilarious, wicked side
I keep an early alarm to wake up on time so that I can interview Chulbul Pandey aka Salman Khan. Zipping past the mad traffic to make it on time, I enter Mehboob Studio. Luckily the star hasn’t arrived. I wait for a few minutes and Sallu arrives with his entourage. The actor has his table-chair set outside his vanity van, where we sit under the hot sun discussing his new avatar as host on Bigg Boss 4. Excerpts from a fun rendezvous:
• If given an opportunity, would you go inside the Bigg Boss house and be locked up with the contestants with no connection with the outside world?
As long as there are no cameras inside, yes, I will.
• For how long can you remain disconnected from the outside world?
Let me see now.
• But will you experiment and go inside?
I have been in more difficult situations than the contestants of Bigg Boss can ever be in! And I have handled them pretty well I guess…So I don’t think it will be that much of a problem. It will be a party place for me. I like people, good people, great people.
• Who would be the first person you would make a call to apart from your parents after getting out?
(Thinks) Apart form my parents, I would call Ashvini (programming head of the channel) and ask her what to do next.
• The contestants discuss everything under the sun about their personal lives. Do you find it right?
That’s good na. It’s entertaining.
• Would you discuss your personal relationships in the house, seen and heard by everyone?
You guys discuss my personal life without even knowing it. That is what I find very amusing. So I don’t even react to it and nobody else also reacts to it. And now the fans have also stopped reacting to it. Now I am on Twitter ya, so whenever something comes up, they immediately tweet.
• Tell me five actors you would like to see in the Bigg Boss house together?
I would like Sanju to be here (Sanjay Dutt), Govinda, myself, Jackie (Jackie Shroff), Akki (Akshay Kumar). We all will have a blast.
• Five actresses?
Five names you choose. All are good.
• Five directors?
All the directors should remain outside and keep directing
• If you were locked in the house with Vivek Oberoi, John Abraham, Shah Rukh Khan, who would you eliminate?
Do I have to answer this question?
I have to? What if I don’t, then?
• You just have to say one person’s name!
I would eliminate myself.
• And if you are not in the house with them, who would you choose to eliminate?
(Loudly) If I am not in the house, I am not the Bigg Boss, then I don’t have the right to eliminate anybody. They can be in as longgg as they want.
• If you had Sangeeta Bijlani, Somy Ali and Aishwarya Rai in the house, who would you eliminate?
I would keep them all.
• You wouldn’t eliminate anyone?
(Long pause) I really really like Sangeeta and Somy. They are my friends.
• Which actresses, if inside, will have cat fights according to you?
I think the actresses nowadays are pretty chilled out. Because I have worked with most of them. They all get along. The way the heroes get along, the actresses get along.
• You mean actresses only get along on screen?
No, off screen also. Nobody is into each other’s work. They are all in their spaces.
• Every contestant is given a household duty to do? What duty would you take up?
I would take the duty of cooking.
• If given a chance, what would you cook?
Nothing! I’ll make such bad food for everybody that they will run away from my food.
• What is the hatke lingo you plan to use on this show?
I would use a lot of beep wali gaalis.
• Among the Hollywood celebrities, which star would you like to see as an inmate inside and why?
I have no idea. I don’t know anybody in Hollywood. I know my friends from here. This industry is Hollywood for me.
• Aren’t you disturbed that controversy never seems to leave you?
Doesn’t that disturb you guys?
• No, it doesn’t disturb us.
No? Then why should it disturb me?
• Why do people see you in a film and want to copy your style?
You are seeing what I am wearing (points out to his clothes). It is very easily affordable. Jeans, t-shirt, ek joota hai and my bracelet, kabse pehen raha hoon.
• Do you have any regrets from the past?
No, not at all.
Before leaving for Brazil, Piggy Chops organised a fab bash for her father’s birthday. Javed and Shabana were excited enough to break into song
Seems like Priyanka Chopra’s is quite a well-knit family, with daddy keeping track of beti’s diet charts and beti reciprocating the love by organising a lavish birthday bash for him at a five-star hotel. How lovely.
It turns out, before flying to Brazil for Fear Factor, Priyanka Chopra arranged for a grand party in a five-star hotel in Juhu for her father Dr Ashok Chopra’s birthday.
Like a loving daughter, Priyanka personally planned and supervised every little detail of the celebration, from arranging the invitee list, sending personal invitations to food etc. Priyanka ensured everything was in order before flying off to Brazil on Wednesday.
Confirming this, Dr Chopra added, “I am blessed to have such a darling daughter. She even sent me a watch, which landed at my doorstep on Monday morning.”
The doting father took a moment to praise his son as well and said, “My son Siddharth played the perfect host. He has completed a course in Hotel Management, and that worked I guess.”
Dr Chopra’s close friends attended the party, which was held on Monday evening. Guests from Bollywood included the likes of Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi, Mona Kapoor, Shahid Rafi (Mohd Rafi’s son), Neetu Chandra and Khayyam amongst a few others.
Talking about the party, Dr Chopra said, “Shabana and Javed sang the song Chhod Do Aanchal Zamana Kya Kahega, from the film Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi). Then I sang Khayyam’s composition Jeet hi lenge baazi hum tum from Shola Aur Shabnam. It was a fun-filled evening. We were in the hotel singing and joking till 2 am. I don’t know how to thank Priyanka.”
And how old are you, Mr Chopra, we asked shamelessly. “Well, I just completed my 21st year,” he replied. Aww!
TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; July 26, 2010)
At a time when the chaska for Bollywood stars to act in Hollywood films is slowly dying down, comes the news that Akshay Kumar is ready take a step in that western direction by co-producing an Indo-Canadian film called Break Away.
The Khiladi, who enjoys an enviable reputation in Canada, recently played host to a dinner meet between the premiers of both countries, our Dr Manmohan Singh and their Stephen Harper. His film will have the Canadian-born Emily Van Camp (who shot to fame with the television series Brothers and Sisters) and be directed by Robert Lieberman who recently completed The Tortured. According to a source, Akshay had plans to step into Hollywood as a producer with his banner Hari Om Productions for a while now. This is his first western production but his banner intends to continue scouting for more suitable collaborations in the West. Akshay himself is not acting in Break Away. But who knows about the future?
Due to a clash of dates with his shooting schedule for Don 2, King Khan refuses to host Bigg Boss 4. The channel is trying to get Akshay Kumar now, or even a non-film celebrity
Though the fourth season of Bigg Boss is around the corner the host for the show is far from being finalised. After hosting season 3 of Bigg Boss, Amitabh Bachchan will not be able to anchor the show again because the channel does not repeat hosts on this show.
Says a source, “Unfortunately the channel has a weird policy not to repeat hosts on Bigg Boss. Moreover, by the time the channel officials realised that it was difficult to get a replacement it was too late.
Big B had already committed himself to hosting season 4 of Kaun Banega Crorepati. So they consciously decided to look for another host.”
The channel then started wooing Shah Rukh Khan since he is viewed as one of the very few people who can fill Big B’s shoes.
But despite all their efforts, the channel’s deal with King Khan has now fallen through.
Says the source, “The channel went all out to get Shah Rukh to host Bigg Boss 4. They even offered him a larger remuneration than Big B. But SRK could not agree to play host because of lack of time.
The dates for Bigg Boss 4 clashed with Shah Rukh’s shooting schedule for Farhan Akhtar’s Don 2 with Priyanka Chopra in Bali.”
Channel sources confirm that SRK won’t do Bigg Boss, as he will be shooting in Bali at that time.
The latest buzz is that the channel is now trying to get Akshay Kumar to play host on Bigg Boss 4. If he doesn’t agree, the channel will opt for a non-film celebrity to host the show.
Can’t wait to know who this will be…
|Amitabh Bachchan in Bigg Boss 3|
He first stood out on Indian Idol 3 as ‘the Chinese dentist guy’ whose ouster lead to judge Alisha Chinai walking out in tears.
Then he made a comeback on the show as its host in the next season. His anchoring skills then led him to IPL. Bollywood was naturally the next stop.
In an industry where the onscreen show is more or less dominated by the Rajs, Rahuls, Kapoors and Malhotras, it’s always a pleasant surprise to find a character from cultural minority groups play a pivotal role without being reduced to a stereotype.
Also the reason why Meiyang Chang’s debut, with his significantly un-Bollywood looks in last Friday’s Badmaash Company makes one sit up and take notice.
In the film Chang’s character Zing’s origins are clearly defined - he is from Sikkim. But the fresh-faced newbie is quick to add that the work that has come his way so far has been irrespective of his looks and he never has had to justify them. “When I participated in Indian Idol I did not expect to make inroads and have people vote for me. Yes, my first film does mention that I’m from the North East but there is a very strong reason for that.”
Clearly, he knows he’s different from the rest of the assembly-line production of bicep-flaunting, smooth-talking actors-singer-anchors. “There are thousands of people who fit the ‘conventional’ make but have not made it. I think I’m extremely lucky to look the way I do and have got this film,” he says, a tad philosophically.
|Pics: Nilesh Wairkar|
Unconventional also was his choice of profession and his family of dentists took some timeaccepting his career. “Once Indian Idol wrapped up, some members of my extended family told me to keep the mic away and return to the clinic,” he laughs. “It was my parents who urged me to give it a shot. They felt I might stick around - for 10 days or 10 years!”
Chang’s fame, however, has had one interesting offshoot - unconsciously, he appears to have become the face of the Indian Chinese community. “We are in a minority and wish for representation in certain fields. I did not intentionally set out to become this but now I’m proud of it,” he shrugs.
Of course, what started it all was his flair for music which found apt platform on Indian Idol. His elimination was a shock to many considering his huge popularity but his hard work paid off when he made a comeback as an anchor.
Somewhere down the line he made one hasty decision that, in retrospect, paid off big time. After his audition for the role of Zing, he agreed to be part of the film without reading the script. “This film takes away my image as a singer and MC. I did not know how long the role was or who my co-stars were. Thank god I went with my instinct,” he says.
While he claims to bear little resemblance to his character - that of an alcoholic - his film experience had him bonding well with his co-stars too. Prod the dentist in him and he says that Anushka Sharma has great teeth while Shahid Kapoor, like him, needs some work on his lower set of dentures. “Maybe the two of us can visit the dentist together,” he jokes.
It’s not all fun and games though. Controversy has already marred Chang’s debut. The grapevine was bubbling with news of his girlfriend Indian Idol 2 contestant Monali Thakur, putting in a word for him to music director Pritam who in turn urged director Parmeet Sethi to pick Chang.
His response is the standard Bollywood response to such gossip. “When the news broke out, the three of us had a good laugh and promised to work together in the future,” he laughs, adding he had a gameplan to protect himself from all negativities - remain distant and unaffected.
That’s probably because he has much to look forward to. “I don’t want to place all my eggs in one basket. I’ve just started out in Bollywood but I’d like to continue in other fields too. I’m keeping my options open,” he says. So now that the hosting and acting boxes have been explored, Chang plans on returning to singing and sketching, something he’s great at. Considering the path he’s tread so far, it’s sure to be one uncoventional sketch.
A fit Priyanka Chopra replaces Akshay kumar as the brand new host of reality show Fear Factor
Akshay Kumar, over the two seasons of Fear Factor, made his mark as the charming host who dealt with the competing girls firmly. Replacing someone as fit and macho as Akshay was not an easy task, but now Priyanka Chopra takes on the mantle of the host for the third season. She will guide and goad 13 cricketers, who will be at her beck and call on the show. This also marks her small screen debut.
A source said, “The channel wanted a new face. That’s when someone suggested Priyanka’s name. Talks have been going on for some time and now it has been made official. Negotiations are also on to rope in some top cricketers for the show. Priyanka was selected as she has made her mark in action roles in films like Don and Drona and is probably one of the fittest actresses in Bollywood today.”
The need for a new host was precipitated after the format of the show was changed. Perhaps the producers of the show hope Priyanka’s chemistry with the cricketers will work for the show. Confirming the development, Ashvini Yardi, the programming head of the channel said, “When you combine Priyanka’s glamour, mass-appeal and athleticism with the energy and adrenaline of the cricketers, you get the perfect equation for a show like Fear Factor.
Akshay took this show to great heights with his inimitable style. So far you people had seen 13 haseenayein with ek khiladi. This season, get ready to witness 13 cricketing khiladis and ek haseena.”
Priyanka, of course, is delighted to take up the challenge. She said, “The show fits in perfectly with my personality. I have been a huge fan of Fear Factor and thoroughly enjoy watching it. I am looking forward to my innings on television. It’s exciting to be a part of a concept which is unique and feature some of the biggest names in cricket.”
By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; February 05, 2010)
|Aishwarya Rai Bachchan|
If Amitabh and Abhishek did it, can Aishwarya be far behind? The Bachchan bahu, we hear, is about to make her debut on television. Convincing Aishwarya at this stage of her career when her calendar is rather full may not be easy, but if all goes well, she will host a show on national television.
The format is a chat show and the logistics are being worked out.
Aishwarya’s debut is a part of a ‘family’ deal. A source says, “Right from the time they signed Amitabh Bachchan for Bigg Boss, the channel had decided to have Abhishek and Aishwarya as well.” No prizes for guessing that Aishwarya will charge a bomb for her first foray into television.
While Aishwarya remained unavailable for comment, her spokesperson denied the news. On the other hand, the channel’s spokesperson simply said, “No comments.”
While Ranbir Kapoor might still be nursing a desire to get back with former love Deepika Padukone, his parents have clearly expressed their displeasure on his relationship with Deepika.
We all know that Deepika has never been Neetu and Rishi Kapoor’s favourite. Adding fuel to the fire was the fact that yesterday, Rishi’s elder brother Randhir Kapoor, who hosted a dinner for his co-actors from Sajid Khan’s Houseful, apparently did not invite Deepika to his Chembur residence despite her being one of the film’s lead actresses.
A few hours before the dinner party a source said, “Sajid Nadiadwala, Sajid Khan, Farah Khan, Ritesh Deshmukh and Boman Irani will attend the dinner.
The whole thing stemmed from a conversation at Boman’s 25th wedding anniversary party when the Houseful actors told Randhir that they wanted to eat the traditional Kapoor khaana at his house. Randhir, of course, was more than happy to invite them over.””
When contacted, Randhir told us that none of the three girls from Houseful – Deepika, Lara Dutta and Jiah Khan were invited. He said, “I have invited only a few friends.
The girls are not in Mumbai. The dinner has nothing to do with Houseful. Can’t I have a few friends at my place once in a while?”
Surprisingly, Jiah told us that she was trying her best to reach the party when asked if she was invited. She sent us a text message, “Yeah, I know about the party. I am trying to go.
But it is also my uncle’s birthday tonight and will try to go to both the places. It would be wonderful to see all of them again and Dabooji (as Randhir is fondly called) is so wonderful.”
While we could not confirm if Lara was indeed not invited, Deepika Padukone remained evasive.