Posts tagged London
Image courtesy: Prasad Naik
Being a small-town 17-year-old from Bhambla in Himachal Pradesh didn’t stop this stunner from taking on Bollywood. Waiting in her vanity van to front the camera for Knock Out, her latest movie with Sanjay Dutt and Irrfan Khan, where Kangna plays a crime journalist – today’s Kangna is confident, composed and totally at ease with being ‘real’.
Excerpts from the interview:
What made you become an actor?
I was restless when I was 15/16. I was pursuing science but I was more attracted towards art. So I started pursuing theatre. Thereon, I also tried modelling because people kept harping that I looked different. I signed up with a modelling agency and took it quite seriously. Unfortunately, modelling didn’t take me very seriously! I figured that in India, modelling is only something you can be happy doing part-time. In the mean time, I was pursuing theatre and my guruji, Arvind Gaur encouraged me a lot. I started giving auditions for movies. The truth is even if I wasn’t selected for Anurag Basu’s Gangster, I would’ve tried other projects. However, I got selected and Bollywood became my career.
What is the creative process that goes behind every character you etch?
Each role is challenging. You have to do your homework. For instance, in Abhinay Deo’s Game, I play a cop from London and she has a Brit accent. It was difficult for me to emulate that. Acting is a job where you have to learn to look, talk and project a certain body language. The trick is to remain focused, yet flexible.
With no filmi background, how do you hold yourself in this fiercely competitive industry?
People in Mumbai are judgemental. Here, your fate changes every Friday. Also, it’s true that if you’re a star kid or if you’re a star girlfriend, you get extra mileage. But if none of these things work in your favour, you tend to work on your talent. My challenge was to be able to fit in here. People criticised the way I talked, walked and even the way I looked—more so because I come from a small town. There are two ways of dealing with such a situation: either you care a damn; or you can improve yourself.
You’ve gone through several ups and downs in your personal life. Do you think the media has been fair to you?
I feel that the media, somewhat, is nicer to people coming from a filmi background, or personalities they have connections with. The media doesn’t accept you easily. A Shah Rukh Khan or Aamir (Khan) have been around for two decades and have established a relationship with the media and the public. That’s why their films get 90% opening. So, tomorrow, of course their children will get special treatment because the rapport is already there. But now I realise that if I connect with the media personally, it always works better. They figure out your dimension too.
And how have you evolved as an actor?
I’ve always been surrounded by very creative people—whether it’s Bhatt saab, Anurag Basu, Mohit Suri, Madhur Bhandarkar. I can write a whole book on my experiences and the craft I’ve learnt in the last five years! (laughs) When I entered Bollywood, (Mahesh) Bhatt saab made me unlearn everything – he taught me not to act and be real in front of the camera. You don’t fake crying or laughing. You actually do it.
But the turning point came when one day Bhatt saab told me I was the ugliest woman he’d seen. I asked, why? He retorted, asking where my dark circles, pimples were and why I was hiding behind makeup. He called me a mannequin! That’s when I realised that it’s important to be real.
Can you actually be ‘real’ in Bollywood?
It’s difficult. It’s almost like being naked in front of the public. Every time you’re in front of the camera, there are so many emotions you let out and you’re not scared. You may even portray emotions that might not be familiar to you. But you need to be you, your real self, to give that astounding performance.
How do you keep fit?
I take care of my body and make sure that I’m happy. I work out, but I don’t over-do. I don’t remove that cheese slice from my sandwich; or remove the oil when I’m having kheema pav! I try to be as normal as I can be in my habits. I love food and I love life. So I’m not the kind who’d count calories everyday and kill myself in the gym, or die doing yoga. I listen to myself and my body. I don’t push myself very hard.
What’s more important to you: critical acclaim vis-à-vis box office success?
For me, there are two kinds of movies– good or bad. To please only a particular group of people is not my goal. I think a film should be entertaining.
Kangna’s hit list
Holiday destination: Paris
Perfume: I wear men’s perfume. But I like Chanel.
Dream director: Aamir Khan
By Bollywood Hungama News Network, October 4, 2010 – 12:40 IST
Madame Tussauds has been a name to reckon with when it comes to preserving life like structures of famous personalities immortalized in wax. The latest addition to the museum in London following Bollywood celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Salman Khan and SRK is none other than the Greek god of Bollywood Hrithik Roshan.
Hrithik was recently measured up for his new wax figure by the sculpting team in Mumbai and London. They captured a catalogue of reference photographs and hundreds of precise measurements for the figure, which will be unveiled in London in January 2011.
To ensure total authenticity, Hrithik will be closely involved in the creation process, collaborating with the team to agree the pose and even donating items of clothing for his figure to wear.
Commenting on the creation of his figure, the star of hit films including Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai, Dhoom, Krrish and Jodhaa Akbar, said: “I don’t really have the words to articulate what it feels like. Being bestowed this honour is overwhelming.” Hrithik, who remembers visiting Madame Tussauds as a child but never imagined he would stand alongside his heroes there, added that his inclusion “re-affirms my belief that nothing is impossible”.
The figure will be created at Madame Tussauds studios in London over the next four months at a cost of £150,000. The first step is to craft a perfect clay sculpture from which the moulds are made to make an amazingly life like wax figure. Then it is over to a team of skilled hair and colour artists to insert the hair by hand and build up life like skin tones using layer upon layer of oil paint; every freckle, mole, dimple and wrinkle are accurately reproduced.
The R&B sensation will record another song for SRK and shoot a music video also featuring Kareena and King Khan
Prithwish Ganguly | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; October 4, 2010)
Shah Rukh Khan will host singing sensation Akon at Mannat in December. The singer will be in town then to record another song for SRK. Akon, who has been bowled over by SRK and also the concept of his film Ra.1, has gelled well with the composers and loves their groovy tracks.
The last time Akon was in town, he became good friends with SRK and Kareena. They had a great session talking about their different cultures and knowing each other. Akon had said that Mumbai gives him the feeling that he is at home having also done a hit show here. He was taken by surprise when Shah Rukh threw a party in his honour in Mumbai and many people turned up. He felt really special working for SRK and he took back this warm feeling with him to the US.
During the London shooting schedule of the movie, SRK and the production team decided that since the movie had someone like Akon, they should showcase him more. They felt doing another song with him would help. SRK approached him and Akon probably tweaked his schedule to accommodate his trip to India.
When contacted, SRK told BT, “Yes Akon is set to do another song for us. We are just working on it to finalise things. December might be the month. We are excited to have him in our film.”
By Subhash K. Jha, October 2, 2010 – 11:11 IST
Asian filmmakers find it increasingly tough to get shooting permission in England. And when British authorities hear about a brown-skinned community coming down to their country to make a film on terrorism and terror attacks, the Brits go into convulsive fits. Rensil D’Silva had to shift Kurbaan, his film on Islamic extremism, from London to Philadelphia.
Now it’s the makers of Tezz who have gotten their project into a budge because it’s a film about a terror attack on board a speeding train between London and Glasgow.
Having been denied work permits for a part of their crew the team now claims the film is not about terrorism at all!
Priyadarshan grappled and solved the huge problem of getting work permits for 14 of his crew members in Tezz, the film about terrorists holding a speeding train between London and Glasgow to ransom.
Apparently, the work permits were denied because of the terror theme. Skirting the terrorist issue Priyadarshan says, “But Tezz is not about terrorism! The man who holds the speeding train to ransom does not represent any ideology or religion. He is his own person.”
Denying that the film is a remake of the famous terrorist adventures The Bullet Train and The Taking Of Pelham 123, Priyadarshan says, “Let people speculate on the source for my film. It is being said that my Aakrosh is ripped off from Alan Pakula’s Mississippi Burning. Aakrosh does have two investigative officers coming to a small conservative place to investigate a hushed-up killing, just like Mississippi Burning. That’s it. Likewise Tezz is about a train held-up just like the films you mentioned. But I’d say the only film Tezz resembles is Jan de Bont’s Speed.”
Priyadarshan’s Tezz is now moving on the right track. The film starts shooting on October 10. Almost the entire shooting with the cast featuring Ajay Devgn, Anil Kapoor, Boman Irani, Kangna Ranaut and Sameera Reddy would be over in a 40-day schedule.
Priyadarshan admits the work permits to be professionally functional in the UK were denied to the crew. “Most of us got the work permit. But fourteen of the crew members did not get their permits. We could not start shooting without them. That apart we’ve all the relevant permission to shoot in London. We shoot from October 10 to November 20. And then we’re done.”
Adds producer Ratan Jain, “The delay in the work permits was caused by a procedural problem. Now it’s all sorted out and all the work permits have been allotted.”
Celebrated sitar player Anoushka Shankar got married to a London-based filmmaker recently. They are expecting their first child soon
Sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar has reason to be proud.
His daughter Anoushka Shankar, and Joe Wright, who directed films like Pride and Prejudice and Atonement, tied the knot on Sunday, September 26, in London. The wedding was a private affair that was attended only by close friends and relatives.
Anoushka was earlier dating Delhi-based socialite Nishant Peralta. She met Joe at William Darlrymple’s house for dinner in New Delhi in March 2009. Consecutively, the couple fell in love and moved in together. They are now expecting their first child.
Says a source, “Ever since they started dating, they have been inseparable.”
The rest, as they say, is history.
The master blaster has not agreed to do a role in Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s film
Meena Iyer | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; September 28, 2010)
Yes, you read it right. And Sachin Tendulkar fans who were hoping to see the master batsman in a different avatar in his second innings, will be sorely disappointed. Whatever he may choose to do, joining the ranks of his friends Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan in Bollywood is not on Tendulkar’s mind as an alternative career after cricket.
So, yes, while it is true that Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s Ferrari Ki Sawari is likely to go on the floors by December, the lead actor of the film has not yet been decided. A source hinted, “Sharman Joshi is likely to be in the lead. However, Aamir Khan who recently returned from London has also promised Vidhu that he will read the script within the next month and let him know for sure whether he is on board. And if Aamir comes on board, then Ferrari Ki Sawari will be made with him and not Sharman.”
So, where does that leave Tendulkar — who the media on Monday wildly speculated might be the lead actor in Vidhu’s film? Nowhere! The batting maestro had never indicated that he wanted an acting job in the film. But, certainly, the car that is referred to in the script of the film is Tendulkar’s Ferrari all right. Then again, whether he will allow his sports car to be actually used in the shooting, or whether he might decide to do a cameo in Ferrari Ki Sawari, is the million dollar question right now.
A source from Vidhu’s unit said, “When did we say Tendulkar had confirmed his presence in the film? The call on whether he will give a shot in his Ferrari will only be taken after the lead actor is decided. And everyone on board is tight-lipped about the developments because many things stand to change if Aamir greenlights this project.” Meanwhile, Sanjay Dutt also has a Ferrari similar to that of Tendulkar’s. And the Bollywood actor is keen to hear the script of the film from his Munnabhai producer!
Vivek Oberoi was seen there with fiancée Priyanka Alva
Last weekend, Vivek Oberoi spent some quality time with his fiancée Priyanka Alva in London. Whether they timed it together or it happened coincidentally, we don’t know. Said our source, “But both of them were spotted together on Saturday in London. They looked very, very happy together.” Our source said, “Vivek was in the UK to perform for three hi-profile stage shows in London, Wembley Arena and Leicester. He also performed with Pakistani rock star Mustafa Zahid.”
Added the source, “His gorgeous fiancée Priyanka was also in London with her friends for some last minute pre-wedding shopping.” Vivek remained unavailable for comment. He marries Priyanka on October 29.
Peepli (Live) director Anusha Rizvi is unlikely to participate in the excitement regarding the film’s Oscar nomination. She explains why
In a day and age when a person even remotely associated with a hit film shouts from the rooftops about it, Anusha Rizvi seems remarkably unaffected and detached. The journalist-turned-director might have given a huge hit with her debut film, but would rather tour with her theatre group than be part of a marketing jamboree.
How did you get to know about the Oscar nomination for Peepli (Live)?
From the media! I heard it on NDTV. It was of course very exciting. Maybe we should’ve been informed by the government agency that decides which film goes to the Oscars.
Didn’t your producer Aamir Khan inform you?
He didn’t know! He is in London for the release of our film.
Why aren’t you in London for the release of Peepli (Live)?
Because I have not been asked to be in London. It is my film. But I live in Delhi. And I have no connection with the decisions that are taken in Mumbai.
Why have you cut yourself away from your film?
That’s partly because of the person that I am. I can’t change that. And I’m happy being that way. My work finished when I made the film that I had to make.
Of course publicity and marketing are important. And a lot more people went to see Peepli (Live) because of the way it was promoted. But what is more important to me is that a film should be seen for what it is. I think it is important for the audience to discover a film on their own.
A film should not be pushed down people’s throats. It’s important for it to create its own credibility.
Changes were made in the Peepli narrative for the London market. Are you aware of this?
Yes. Only two scenes were tampered with: one featuring a reference to Saif Ali Khan and the other to TRPs.
These were scenes that were never part of the original screenplay. Like many other scenes they were added later to increase the running time of the film for the Indian market.
Initially the interval was coming after 40 minutes of playing time.
I don’t think Peepli (Live) needed an interval. I don’t think so either. But it’s an intrinsic part of marketing our film. And I’ve no quibble with it. However I wish the film had not been pushed as a comedy, although I know that so many people would not have seen it otherwise. Let’s be honest. Peepli (Live) was not easy to market.
The film has made huge profits.
Would you be expecting a larger budget for your next film?
The content of the film and not the success or failure of the earlier film should decide the budget.
The DVD of Peepli (Live) is out soon. Are you participating in its editing?
I’ve got nothing to do with the DVD. I’m back in Delhi. I’m simply cut off from Mumbai and the film now. My husband Mahmood Farooqui and I are back to travelling with our small theatre group.
Hasn’t Peepli (Live) changed your life in any way?
Yes, to some extent. It’s become difficult to travel by train. I really miss that.
Your husband co-directed Peepli (Live). Not too many people know that.
It’s in the credits of the film. And of course he’s the co-director. He has also done all the casting. In the credits after my names comes a long list of producers. Then his name. That’s why his name is missed.
Why is his name not in the credits jointly with yours?
These are things that we had no knowledge or control over. Our main concern was to make the film we had.
What has the experience of directing Peepli (Live) taught you?
It has taught me to deal with a large number of people. It has been a huge learning curve for me. I know how to cope better with the production part of a film the next time.
You’re the first debutant director from India after Satyajit Ray to be going to the Oscars.
Yes the comparisons between my film and Pather Panchali keep surfacing. But there can be no comparison between the two. And I’m not being modest.
Are you and your husband going to Los Angeles for the Oscars?
It’s really exciting to see the film go to the Oscars. But it’s far more exciting to know that people in Patna, Gorakhpur and Barabankhi are watching and discussing it. Like I said Peepli (Live) was a film that we had to make. That it’s touched people is a very happy situation for us.
Final question. Would Aamir Khan be producing your next film?
No, he won’t.
So that Jhootha Hi Sahi releases on time, Abbas Tyrewalla is burning the midnight oil with Rahman
A R Rahman might be the toast of the Indian music industry, but Abbas Tyrewalla has had to face the brunt of working with the Academy Award winner.
His film, Jhootha Hi Sahi, will be releasing in a couple of weeks. However Abbas is travelling with Rahman to finish the background score all over the world.
Our source said, “Rahman left for his world tour, which started on the 11th of this month. However, the background score of Abbas’s film, Jhootha Hi Sahi is yet to be completed. So Rahman called Abbas over to Boston, where he was doing a show and then travelling all over.
Rahman finishes his concert and in the night goes to a local recording studio and records the background score for the film. Imagine travelling all over the world and recording a score in bits and pieces? They have already visited around seven cities, which include London, LA, Boston, New York and Vancouver, apart from Mumbai and Chennai, where work on the soundtrack had initially started.”
When contacted, Madhu Mantena, the producer of the film, said, “I don’t think Abbas is complaining at all. I am. He is having a ball travelling all over and working with a world-class talent.
However, for me as a producer, it is touch-and-go as the film is releasing on October 15, and the overseas delivery has to go on the 7th of October. The last part of the film has turned out to be toughest. However, it’s Rahman’s magic and so, we are not complaining.”
Vivek Oberoi has taken upon himself to promote Black, a band of blind musicians.
The actor, who will be seen in Ram Gopal Verma’s next Rakta Charitra, is going to attend the concerts of Black, which will be performing in Leicester on September 24 and 26 and in London on September 25.
The band of boys who hail from Bombay play classical and Bollywood music. Vivek will turn up for the events to cheer up the musicians and show his support to them.
The organiser, Jayesh Kotak from the Jays Entertainment, confirms, “I have introduced the band last year in UK.
Due to special demand we are organising the show again. We think Vivek was the perfect person to come on board.”