Fenil and Bollywood

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Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor are both mature adults, at the peak of their careers. And we might just see them act together again

By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; October 26, 2009)

Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor

Had Kareena Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor still been a couple, Kareena would have surely starred opposite him in his father Pankaj Kapur’s directorial debut, Mausam. After all, Pankaj had written the script of Mausam keeping Kareena in mind. This, of course, was when Kareena and Shahid’s relationship was going strong. The former lovers last starred together in Jab We Met.

After the Shahid-Kareena break-up, Mausam got delayed to some extent since Pankaj Kapur had to drop his plan of casting Kareena and started considering other options for the lead actress. Also, Pankaj couldn’t get a producer for a long time before Religare Vistaar Entertainment came into the picture.

A source said, “Things are fine now but they can’t go back to Kareena saying that they want her to do the film. They are feeling quite awkward about asking her to star opposite Shahid and hence they have decided to launch a nationwide hunt to look for a girl who will be suitable for the film.”

When asked about him earlier wanting Kareena in his film, Pankaj said, “Who told you this? I am still writing the script. How can I think of casting actors before I have completed my script? I will further talk when we are ready to roll.”

Producer Sheetal Talwar said, “Well, Shahid and Kareena look fabulous together on screen. But we are now having a nationwide hunt for the lead actress for Mausam.”

Kareena had no idea about this till we contacted her to ask what she has to say about Pankaj Kapur writing a script keeping in mind her and Shahid’s jodi. Clear about not mixing her personal and professional life, Kareena said, “If they have a good script and a good role and ask me to do it, I see no reason why I shouldn’t.”

Pankaj Kapur

Now that Kareena has no problem starring opposite Shahid, we wonder if his father will drop his plans of a nationwide hunt for the lead actress and make the next call to Kareena.

Mausam is an out-and-out romantic film to be shot in five countries- UK, Spain, Italy, Austria and India. It is expected to start in January 2010.

Bharati Dubey | TIMES NEWS NETWORK (THE TIMES OF INDIA; October 18, 2009)


Want to net Indian tourists? Woo Shah Rukh Khan or Amitabh Bachchan. It’s a simple formula that several foreign countries seem to be following to boost tourism.


In a first, Khan has just been signed on by the Korean Tourism Organisation as its cultural ambassador to promote tourism as well as to encourage Indian film-makers to shoot in Korea. With SRK promising to use everything from taekwondo to the Korean countryside for his next home production, Korean Consul General Dong Yern Kim is all smiles: “I am confident that Shah Rukh Khan’s appointment will enhance awareness and interest about Korea among his fans.’’


The Bollywood bait has been utilised by countries to promote tou
rism for a long time now. Invite Bollywood film-makers to shoot, offer them hospitality, incentives and the works, and then watch the movie act as a powerful advertisement for India’s outbound tourist market, which is growing at the second fastest rate in the world.


Even before any concerted efforts were begun to market countries, however, there was Yash Chopra, the man who launched film tourism’s Indian chapter. Chopra regularly used UK and Switzerland as the backdrop for his lavishly mounted, chiffon-saris-in-the-Swiss Alps phantasmagorias, and thanks to him, Indian tourist traffic to Switzerland spiralled by almost 30%. Similarly, after Rakesh Roshan shot Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai in New Zealand, the desi footfall went up manifold—Roshan was even honoured by the New Zealand prime minister for promoting tourism.


Recently, the Singapore Tourism Board invested $6.3 million under its ‘Film in Singapore’ scheme that subsidises international film productions by up to 50%.

Thailand is new filmy favourite
Krrish was the first Bollywood film to opt for this scheme, and the annual Indian tourist traffic to Singapore immediately after its release went up from 60 lakh to 70 lakh.


Lately, there’s been a change in the Bollywood list of favourite locales. Switzerland and Dubai are no longer as hot as they used to be—it’s Thailand that tops the list of new favourites, with South Africa a close second. Others include Mauritius, the US, the UK, Nambia, Canada, Italy, Austria and Sri Lanka. “More and more countries are aggressively wooing Bollywood to shoot their films,’’ says producer Rajat Rawail. “Israel, Ireland and Poland are the three new players. Then there’s Fiji Islands, whose government is even willing to give producers a payback of 35% of the cost incurred on shooting. All of them have realised that the exposure their countries gets through our films is huge.’’


Says Sudhanshu Hukku, director, Locations, a firm that organises destinations for film-makers. “Today the world is taking cognisance of the fact that Indian films do leverage huge tourism. The Indian film industry, the world tourism boards and film commissions need to work together. They need to work out Indian film-specific incentives such as tax rebates, subsidies, air
fare support etc, which provide opportunities through in-film branding for tourism.’’


Strangely, India has been unable to similarly promote itself through outside films. Although the government has sanctioned nearly 19 international projects to be shot in India, there is still a lot of reluctance because of the red tape involved. Angelina Jolie went back with a bad taste in her mouth after shooting A Mighty Heart. Udaishankar Pani, who has been the line producer for Gandhi and Salaam Bombay, says, “It is getting extremely difficult to shoot in India because of the red tapism and the number of clearances one has to seek.”

I KNOW MY MIND: Deepika Padukone. For more pictures of the actress, log on to http://photogallery.indiatimes.com

Deepika Padukone is a girl in love, but also a superstar in her own right…

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; October 11, 2009)


The Mediterranean tan sits pretty on Deepika Padukone who has just returned from Italy where she wrapped up Sajid Nadiadwala’s Housefull with Akshay Kumar. “I was in London, then Italy for the longest time, so I didn’t get to enjoy the success of my last film Love Aaj Kal,” says the pretty South Indian, her large brandy-coloured eyes dancing. She’s clear though that she now has to move on to her next two releases — Kartik Calling Kartik with Farhan Akhtar and Housefull, both of which will come in 2010. Deepika has also signed Pradeep Sarkar’s gritty thriller to be shot on the streets of Mumbai with Neil Nitin Mukesh. “Producer Aditya Chopra had promised me a film right after Bachna ae Haseeno,” she recalls. “I’m glad Adi remembered that.”

For now, she too has made a promise to herself — she’s a girl in love but she will not gush about Ranbir Kapoor. On a recent television show when she was asked to analyse her superstar-boyfriend, Deepika was very pragmatic in her answers. “I know that I was expected to gush about Ranbir,” she smiles. “However, I believe that people who are closest to a person, must always give them a reality check. I’m aware that Ranbir is a superstar. But, I will always be rational when I speak about him.”
Deepika, who spent 12 days in Bhopal by her boyfriend’s side where he is shooting for Prakash Jha’s Rajniti with Katrina Kaif, says, “Ranbir and I have been away from each other for long spells because of our individual work schedules. Our career is of prime importance to us. However, I don’t wish to be one of those actors who is so caught up in work that I forget to keep in touch with life. Hence, I make it a point to spend time with him whenever I can. Work definitely makes my world go around but a short break here and there makes life so much more special.” The story goes that she flew to Bhopal just to keep Katrina at bay? “Certainly not,” says Deepika. And, though she is too professional to make any comment on Ranbir’s co-stars, her calm demeanour has a way of signalling that she’s secure in her new-found success. The actress is in a cushy place with a new set of friends like Ayan Mukerji and Vicky Singh, who are common to both Ranbir and her. “I knew Ayan would make a good film when he gave his first narration to Ranbir,” she says. Is she in Vicky’s new film with Ranbir, as is suggested by the trade? “It’s a bit premature to talk about that project,” she says. “Vicky is still undecided on what he wants.”
meena.iyer@timesgroup.com
Starting November, Shahid Kapoor will take nine months off to prepare and shoot for his father Pankaj Kapur’s out-and-out
By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; September 24, 2009)

It’s final. Shahid Kapoor will be taking nine months off starting this November to work on his father Pankaj Kapur’s first directorial venture, Mausam. Since Shahid wants to give all his time to Pankaj Kapur’s film, he won’t do any other film until July 2010.

Mausam is an out-and-out romantic film to be shot in five countries – Austria, the UK, Spain, Italy and India. Shahid will start shooting for the film in the last week of January 2010.

Pankaj Kapur with Shahid Kapoor

A reliable source says, “Though there is still some time before the shooting starts, Shahid will begin preparing for the film long before January 2010. He has been urging his father to direct a film for many years. In fact, if Shahid had his way, his debut would’ve been with his father’s film. But Pankaj likes to work at his own pace and only with those he’s comfortable with. They’ve found the right producer now.”

Pankaj Kapur’s directorial debut will be produced by Religare Vistaar Entertainment.

“The romantic film’s screenplay, written by Pankaj Kapur, spreads over 10 years,” adds a source.

A new girl for whom an all-India hunt will begin soon will be launched with Shahid in Mausam. Commenting on the kind of girl the filmmakers are looking for, the source says, “The girl has to be fresh-faced, innocent, virginal and has to have a never-seen-before quality.”

Sheetal Talwar, chairman and managing director of Religare, confirms the news and says, “I’m not denying any of what you’ve heard but I’m not at liberty to talk about it at the moment.”

Sussanne Roshan’s holiday with her mother Zarine Khan in Italy ends in a nightmare. A bag containing their passports was robbed a few minutes before they were to board a Mumbai-bound flight
By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; September 12, 2009)
Yesterday, Hrithik Roshan’s wife Sussanne was robbed in Italy. The unfortunate incident happened at Milan airport around 3pm IST when Sussanne and her mother Zarine Khan were about to board a Mumbai-bound flight after their holiday.

The drama unfolded when Zarine discovered that her bag was missing. A source said, “The bag contained a few valuables, credit cards, and most importantly Sussanne and Zarine’s passports.” Consequently, Sussanne and her mother were stranded in Milan. They are expected to return to Mumbai either tonight or tomorrow.

Sussanne and Zarine immediately notified the airport authorities about the theft and tried their best to locate the thief at the airport but it was a futile attempt.

Zarine Khan and Sussanne Roshan

When the two then called up their family and friends to inform them about their ordeal, the Khans and Roshans quickly made a few arrangements from Mumbai so that Sussanne and Zarine would have to undergo as little trouble as possible. To begin with, photocopies of their passports were emailed to Sussanne. Thereafter, Sussanne and Zarine approached the Indian Embassy who issued them new passports. The two ladies again checked into the same hotel where they had been staying during their vacation as they had missed their flight and couldn’t board the next immediate one since their passports were in the stolen bag.

“It was a harrowing experience for Sussanne and Zarine. They were terribly upset after the theft. After a long holiday, the last thing they expected was to have a problem like this on their return journey,” added our source.

Confirming the story, Sussanne’s sister Farah Ali Khan said, “Yes, all this did happen. It was rather unfortunate. I spoke to my mother and sister and they are fine now.”

HOTTIE: Militza Radmilovic

…says British model Militza Radmilovic, who is ready to do a Katrina Kaif in Bollywood

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; September 10, 2009)

She’s 5 feet 10, fair and slender, an Economics graduate from, well, the London School of Economics, is making her debut in Bollywood with a 3D horror film called Flick in which she seduces Rahul Bose (dear God), and when she speaks Hindi — people say she sounds like Sonia Gandhi! But British model Militza Radmilovic, who BT introduced to you in May, is half-Serbian and says, “I don’t have any Italian blood in me.”

After storming fashion ramps in Italy, Paris, Milan and Rome, Militza is doing the rounds of filmmakers in Mumbai. Two nights ago, she was in Vipul Shah’s house when he was celebrating his wife Shefali Shah’s National Award for Best Supporting Actress in the film The Last Lear. Vipul’s guests were floored with the striking presence and flattering measurements of this British model. “I’m under contract with the producers of Fired until November,’’ says Militza, “and I’m serious about making a career in Bollywood.’’ She is keen on getting lessons in Hindi now and her acting skills
have been honed by English guru Mark Summers. But she’s been a Bollywood junkie from ever since and counts Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Singh Is Kingg and Fashion among her fave flicks. “I don’t understand the language, but I understand the emotions. And I cried watching portions of KKHH.’’

Now Militza has set her sights on romancing Akshay Kumar, Hrithik Roshan and Salman Khan. She expects a stiff challenge from Bollywood’s hotties. “Indian actresses score over those from the West because they can dance, sing and emote all at once. Believe me, that’s a huge challenge,’’ she says, almost wistfully. But then, if Katrina Kaif can… why should not Militza Radmilovic!

By Lekha Menon (MUMBAI MIRROR; September 01, 2009)

When lost in a foreign country, Bollywood always comes to your rescue. Especially Shah Rukh Khan. That King Khan has a crazy fan following from Ambarnath to Amsterdam is stale news. But what you don’t expect is to see strangers, otherwise hostile to Asians, suddenly becoming more approachable, the moment they realise you belong to SRK’s country. Recently, a group of tourists from India were gallivanting in Naples, Italy, trying to find their way out of a maze of confusing streets.With not a soul in sight who could speak even half-decent English, they had a tough time negotiating the nukkads of Naples.

Shah Rukh Khan

Suddenly popped up Giovanni, a local youngster chilling out with his friends on a street corner. Hesitantly (after having experienced some not-so-polite encounters with Europeans), they approached him for help. “India?” was Giovanni’s first response to a rather long-winded question. “SRK?” was his next one-word query. And out of the blue, broke into ‘Tujhe dekha toh yeh jaana sanam’ from DDLJ in what sounded like a strange mix of Italian, English and Hindi. “I love Saahruk,” he informed the stupefied tourists. Turned out, Giovanni was a musician with a passion for world music. He had heard the song, watched the film and had fallen in love with Shah Rukh. Incidentally he hadn’t heard of Amitabh Bachchan or Akshay Kumar, neither had he visited India. But touring Mannat was certainly on his wish-list. Needless to say, the Bollywood convert immediately became a helpful guide for our stranded Indians, taking them on an impromptu tour of the city.

So the next time you feel directionless abroad, just say S-R-K.

By Subhash K. Jha, August 29, 2009 – 12:27 IST Akshay Kumar
A 12-year old film finally got completed this week, thanks to its leading man Akshay Kumar’s determination to not have a single film of his in the cans.

This week after completing a schedule of Sajid Khan’s Housefull, Akshay Kumar sent Deepika Padukone packing and called producer-director Shabnam Kapoor to London to complete the long-pending Purab Ki Laila Paschim Ka Chaila, now called Hello India.

Shabnam Kapoor flew to London and shot with Akshay Kumar for almost a week before he flew out to Italy on Thursday for the next schedule of Housefull.

With the completion of Purab Ki Laila… which also stars Namrata Shirodkar and Suniel Shetty, Akshay prides himself on being the only leading man in Bollywood who has no films in the cans.

Interestingly, this would be only the second film in Akshay’s career directed by a female. Sangharsh directed by Tanuja Chandra was the first.

He now has the enviable record of being the only Bollywood superstar with no incomplete films to his discredit.

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

Rishi Kapoor and Neetu had such a great time on a 15-day Mediterranean cruise that they have planned another one next year
By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; July 16, 2009)

Rishi and Neetu Kapoor

It’s all about being young at heart. Take the case of the quintessential romantic couple, Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh, who are all set to star together after almost 30 years.

Just after the charming couple went on a short holiday to Dubai last month, they went for a 15-day cruise to Spain, Italy and France. They had a splendid time on the sea and were back from the holiday last weekend.

Neetu described their holiday, “I had never been on the sea. Life on the sea is an addiction. When I wake up in the morning, I still think I am on the cruise. We had a few friends and relatives accompanying us and we had great fun.”

Giving us some memorable details of the holiday, she elaborated, “We went to Barcelona, Gibraltar, Florence, Cannes and Vigo. We used to take a boat from the ship to the port and come back to the ship within a few hours. Seeing these places was quite an experience. We had taken the Mediterranean cruise. There was every possible facility on the ship and I pampered myself no end. The food was good; the staff was excellent and so was the entertainment. Rishi and I even went to the gym together. It was so nice to be away from the hectic life of Mumbai for a few days that we have already decided to go for a similar holiday next year.”

Riddhima Kapoor

While holidaying in Florence, Rishi and Neetu met daughter Riddhima, who was holidaying there with husband Bharat Sawhney. “That was another good thing that happened. We spent quality time with Riddhima and Bharat,”said Neetu.

Denying the buzz that Ranbir had gifted this holiday to his parents, Neetu said, “That’s not true. This trip was planned in January. In fact, I have still not stopped talking about the cruise to Ranbir. He did not come with us but on hearing what a great time we had, he intends to accompany us next year.”


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