Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘omar qureshi

WHAT’S ON HIS MIND? Karan Johar

Karan Johar has a karmic connection with the actress of his Friday release

OMAR QURESHI Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; November 17, 2009)

JLo is probably eating her heart out. ‘Coz the new toast of the debonair circuit has slightly different initials — KJo. But envy won’t get her (or anyone else) anywhere, simply because Karan Johar has worked his butt off — planning, focusing and making his dad, Yash Johar’s banner, Dharma Productions, proud. Suddenly it’s an unstoppable juggernaut. Dostana, Wake Up Sid, now Kurbaan with My Name Is Khan and Stepmom to follow, even as his team of directors is plotting the next scripts. “These young directors today, Tarun, Ayaan, Rensil, Siddharth and others directing for Dharma, they’re geniuses,” says the stylish producer. “They’re steps ahead of the way we thought earlier. They’ve taken cinema to another level. Look at the themes — comedy (Dostana), adolescence (Wake Up Sid), terror-sensitivity (Kurbaan), poignancy (MNIK) … it’s incredible. I only wish dad was with us today. To see us take his legacy of honesty and credibility forward. Yes, hits help us financially, but we’re not greedy. We also want to give back quality cinema with conviction and good viewing. Otherwise, right now I have only Kurbaan on my mind. I’m very excited about it because it has been a subject close to my heart for a while now and I’d been tossing it around in my head. Then I asked Rensil (D’Silva) to write it and develop it for me. And I was so taken by his passion for the subject, that I asked him to direct it himself. And the result is crackling.”

Elaborating on the November 20th release, Karan says, “The story addresses the perpetually looming threat of terrorism, the film lends emotion into that graph. It has a point of view. That’s the path. Of presenting this threat in a logically, emotionally, sensitively cinematic manner. I’m quite delighted with the final product.” But there had been a thought in Karan’s mind, some time ago, to cast SRK in the lead role in this subject. “Maybe it was a thought a long time ago. Simply because SRK is emotionally a part of everything I do. Even before I wake up to box office figures, Shah Rukh calls asking, ‘How’re the collections dude? … How’s it going?’ He’s part of Dharma. However, that said, after the way the film has shaped out, Saif and Kareena are ideal casting,” smiles KJo. And how dissimilar is My Name Is Khan from this subject? Isn’t that Karan-directed venture also a ‘terrorism’ subject? “Not at all. My Name Is Khan is totally different in as much it doesn’t deal with terrorism at all. That’s all media conjecture. Wait for that one as well.” What we couldn’t wait for was his response to Kareena’s recent joke that KJo was like a ‘witch’, that everything he said was almost prophetic. Karan couldn’t stop laughing: “We have this strange Karmic Connection and I feel the need to be as protective about her as ever. I love Kareena to death. We fight too. We didn’t speak for a year. I hurt her and she hurt me. But one only fights with those one loves. Now that we’re past the initial hurdles, we’re the best of friends. And you have to see her in the film to believe what she’s capable of. As for the ‘witch’ part, I wish I could prophesise the success of Kurbaan for starters … that’s all I pray!”

LOUD AND CLEAR: Rani Mukerji and (inset) Aditya Chopra. For more pictures of the actress, visit http://photogallery.indiatimes.com

Rani Mukerji swears she’s single… despite the rumours about Aditya Chopra

OMAR QURESHI Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; October 9, 2009)



It’s just so easy to hit a soft target. That’s what Rani Mukerji seems to have become for some sections of media — simply because she refuses to respond; holding onto dignity above clarification. But it was time. I had a tough time cajoling her, until she relented. Rejoicing at the accolades she’s got for her superlative act(s) in Dil Bole Hadippa! she was in a happy place. Here’s the Queen Bee in a rare exclusive, about media and more…


The media thinks you take the ‘I-will-talkwhen-I-want-to’ stance too often…
I haven’t changed a bit over the years. But yes, journalism
has changed a lot. It’s not my nature to take calls from the media and talk each time I get an SMS about any issue. If it’s something that makes sense to me, I’d probably answer, but not when I’m busy working or spending time with my family. I know that as an actor I have to talk to the media so they can tell the audiences about me. But when that becomes completely wrong and baseless, I switch off and withdraw.


It upset you that people referred to Dil Bole Hadippa! as your ‘comeback film’…
They’re probably trying to use the word ‘she has reinvented herself’. But they end up using ‘comeback’. Which is strange because ‘comeback’ is a phrase used for actresses who
get married, have babies and then come back; and none of the two things are happening in my life.


You still get upset when the media writes badly about you?
I don’t get upset. It’s because most of them are the kind of reporters who don’t know me, who’ve never met me in their life. So
I don’t care. But what bothers me is when they test my intelligence and make me out to be a person I’m not. Not portraying me correctly to my fans.


You mean like persistent rumours of your marriage?
Exactly! When they write stories about my marriage, I feel really funny and strange. They keep linking me with a certain person. And they’ve been proclaiming that I’m getting married for over last three years. Every six months they decide on a venue and a date. But the date keeps shifting, simply because it’s unsubstantiated. And the media keeps passing it on, like a relay race.


The rumours keep pointing to Aditya Chopra…
I’m not thinking about marriage at all. I’m focusing on my work. There are so many things I want to do. Not that marriage will stop me from doing films. If I’ve found a person with whom I can spend the rest of my life with, yes, I need to marry. Today I don’t think that it’s about the biological clock at all. Marry when you’re ready is the mantra. But I am single, yaar. Can I shout that out?


There was talk that your attempt to ‘patch-up’ Salman with SRK, on Salman’s TV show, upset both of them…
Not true. I don’t get into anybody’s life. I’m too caught-up with my own life. They are my friends and I share a great relationship with them, but I prefer steering clear of controversies.


Not too many actresses say nice things behind your back…

I can’t relate to these things. I’ve genuinely not bitched about anybody behind their back. The fact is that if an actress has made a name for herself — it speaks a lot about her. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to be in this industry where people are ready to pull you down. So, I respect every actress simply because they must have something to be able to make a name for themselves.

WIDE AWAKE: Karan Johar with Konkona SenSharma and Ranbir Kapoor

..as Ranbir and Konkona discover on Zoom show

OMAR QURESHI Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; September 26, 2009)


Wake up… It’s coffee-time with Karan again. And this time there’s a tad more of cookies and candies on the menu. With such fiery conversation and chemistry between his special guests, Ranbir and Konkona, he was in no mood for a ‘grilling’ round, anyway. KJo had a date with the Wake Up Sid jodi: exclusively chaperoned by none other than ZOOM. There was conversation, coffee, cute pauses, candid moments and more conversation. Read on, while it’s still brewing…

Karan: What is the one thing about Konkona you don’t like?

Ranbir: That she is such a great actress!

Karan: What did you enjoy the most about working with Ranbir?

Konkona: Often I would be sitting and asking Ranbir to give me some gossip.

Karan: He knows it all?

Ranbir: I think I have to take an ‘Aamir Khan’ moment.

Karan: An Aamir Khan moment means a pause?

Karan: A relationship is not about two people being in love, it takes more than that, it’s about those conversations, its about respect, it’s about trust you instill in each other. You are in a relationship, how does she react to rumours of link-ups with your co-stars like Sonam and Katrina?

Ranbir: I know Sonam and Katrina on a personal level; they are friends, so it’s fine. Deepika knows them, and she hangs out with them too. You take it with a pinch of salt, fight about it for couple of days and it’s all forgotten, until another article comes up.

Karan: Do you believe in the institution of marriage?

Ranbir: I do. I come from a family where my father is very orthodox, he has instilled certain values in me and my sister.

Karan: Do you believe in live-in relationships?

Konkona: No, nor in one night stands.

Karan: Three things that turn you on in a man?

Konkona: Good smell, great sense of humour and good knowledge.

Karan: The one actress whose luck you wish you had…

Konkona: Freida Pinto.

Karan: Who would you consider competition —Imran or Shahid?

Ranbir: I don’t want to consider Shahid and Imran as my competition because they are my age. My competition could be from someone like Mr Amitabh Bachchan to Darsheel Safary.
(TUNE IN TO ZOOM ALL THIS WEEK FOR KARAN JOHAR’S DATE WITH ‘SID’)


TIME TO WAKE UP: Ranbir Kapoor and (above) Konkona SenSharma
That’s what Ranbir Kapoor shares with Konkona Sen Sharma, says Karan Johar


OMAR QURESHI Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; August 26, 2009)


Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll are archaic catchphrases for today’s youth. The ‘flower power’ gen has aged, and how. So, RIP Woodstock. Abstinence is the new ‘orgasm’ and work, a lil’ fun and dollops of pragmatism are the new ‘it’ words.
But surprise surprise! While modern values have taken a backseat, it is traditional Indian culture and even Gandhi-isms that have emerged as talking points. Can you imagine today’s hot young star Ranbir Kapoor asking a nation to ‘wake’ up on October 2nd (Gandhi Jayanti) just like “Gandhiji had woken up a nation earlier.” In fact, he and Karan Johar have even planned the release of his new movie on that date. Because, like Ranbir told us, “The one thing that can immediately wake up an entire nation today are a combination of achievement, success and chemistry!” Yes, chemistry … It was Karan who first coined the newest catchphrase of all —‘conversational chemistry’. Of course, we’d heard of physical chemistry and mental compatibility; but ‘conversational chemistry’ as the buzzword for today’s youth? “When I cast Konkona and Ranbir in my new film, Wake Up Sid, a question everyone asked me was ‘How come you cast two people who are so unlike each other?’ And my reply was, ‘They may have diferent demographics and followings and different places in the sun, but when they talk to each other it’s like bulbs lighting up in the mind. A kind of kickstarting of the grey matter and a feeling of joy we feel when we are stimulated in the mind. And don’t think dirty, but all pleasure lies in between — the ears, really. So if you have great, stimulating, intoxicating, drug-inducing conversation, it is the equivalent of great sex and great relationships — that is ‘conversational chemistry’!”

Ranbir agrees with KJo. “What truly wakes you up is stimulating conversation. Everything else follows later. Today’s youth want to be mentally stimulated. They keep away from harmful substances to a great extent and are more focussed on what they want. They are more practical yet emotional in a way about a few things — and love is one of those things.”

konkonaSo did he share that crackling conversation with galpal Deepika? “That’s a personal equation. What we share is the chemistry of two people. If we discuss it, it’ll become inclusive of more than two, so let’s not,” smiled the Kapoor.

ALWAYS KHUSHI, NEVER GHAM: Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol team up together after eight years and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, in Karan Johar’s My Name Is Khan, which will have a world release by an international production house on a large scale. No, the film is not on terrorism. It is about what happened post 9/11 in America. SRK plays an autistic man whose name is Rizwan Khan and Kajol, his wife. Together, the couple make happy music in anybody’s film

…says Karan Johar in an interview to BT about his next big co-production with Shah Rukh Khan… that’s not on terrorism!

OMAR QURESHI Times News Network (BOBMAY TIMES; Aug 5, 2009)

Karan Johar is back! India’s most suave, most stylish and wittiest director-producer is in Mumbai after months of living out of a suitcase in London, New York and SFO. But his travels (and travails) have only made that razortongue sharper than ever. He talks here about postponing My Name Is Khan, his so-called problems with Kajol, comments on Salman, the Bachchans and SRK and how he intends to Wake Up Sid — his newest baby. Read on for the KJo challenge!

The big news is that you’ve delayed My Name Is Khan...
You know, it was beyond our control. Now the film is only releasing early next year. We couldn’t have made it in time, we were very keen to release it this December, but there’s a lot of work on this film. I just felt that rushing it would lead to many compromises on a creative level.
So both SRK and I took a combined call to push it to next year.

There were reports that Kajol wasn’t all cooperation for your schedules?
Both Kajol and I have laughed at this absurdity. In December when we were shooting in LA, we read Tanu aunty was objecting to some lines that were cut, and that Kajol and I were having this cold war. It’s so ridiculous that it doesn’t even warrant a response.

My Name Is Khan is your first co-pro
duction with SRK. How did that happen?
It’s a powerful project, something we felt very strongly enough about to come together. At the end of day, this is one film that hopefully both of us should always own. Whether or not SRK and I share a film, we own them together in any case. Truly for me, I own OSO as much as SRK owns Dostana.

You’ve cast Konkana and Ranbir in your next film, Wake Up Sid. Most feel they’re mismatched…
I wouldn’t call it a mismatch. I’d call it an ‘unconventional’ casting. Konkana is established and associated with a certain kind of cinema and Ranbir is young, upcoming and attached to a certain demographic as an actor. When you see them, you know they have sparkling chemistry.

There was a report that the Bachchans were upset that you didn’t cast Abhishek in the
remake of Agneepath.
Agneepath is not cast at all. It’s an idea Karan Malhotra — my AD on MNIK, who’s directing Agneepath for me, has. He’s still scripting it. We’ve not cast for it at all. Once the script is ready, we’ll think of casting. We had an internal conversation, which leaked out, I have no idea how. Everybody started conjecturing on their own about people in the film.

Salman recently said he’d never do a ‘John act’ in Dostana? Do you take it personally?
Never. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion

and their thoughts are their prerogative. I’ve had many other stars and directors comment on my cinema. I don’t ever take it to heart.

Your take on the Khan wars?
Let me tell you, a lot of this may be true, but a lot of it is not. Most is created to make it more dramatic. A lot of it is exaggerated and enhanced in print, and sometimes it becomes worse because things sound much worse on paper and people start taking the lie as the truth and that’s when things bother me. I don’t get involved and I
don’t fight with people. Actually, I’m bored, I’m seriously waiting for a filmmaker or actor to pick on me, so that I can retort back! (Contributed by MI and Aakanksha Naval-Shetye)


TIME TO CELEBRATE: Katrina Kaif cuts a cake to celebrate her birthday with Zoom

Katrina Kaif talks to Omar Qureshi for a Birthday Special on Zoom tonight

BOMBAY TIMES (July 16, 2009)

It’s the birthday of the cutest Katz alive. Yet, when I met Katrina Kaif just before she left for London, there was a melancholic mood enveloping those lovely features. She was upbeat about her success, but reflective on her own resolutions. So, to cheer her up, ZOOM cut a special cake and celebrated her birthday since she wasn’t planning to be here. Read on for some insights into a beautiful mind.

So Katz, I hear that you and Neil had a bit of a ‘stand-off’ initially before you became buddies?
Neil is a shy boy. He made me realise that sometimes you have to rewind a few steps and take things a little slowly; because I first mistook his shyness for arrogance. And he mistook my shocked expression for arrogance, too. So we both kinda, had a stand-off. Neil is a sweetheart and I enjoyed every moment working with him. We had a blast together later, so now people seriously think that either we’re ‘friends since the last 20 years’ or ’brother-sister’.

Do you think friendships and relationships affect film promotions? Because when it came to you and John, it wasn’t all smooth…
I can’t speak for John. But somewhere, sometimes, I felt that maybe it did bother him. But for me it was all hunky dory. I was the same laughing, joking girl, full of silliness, I always am at promotions. Maybe it was
newer territory for him. There were no cold vibes as such.

Last time round, your birthday generated a lot of news, is that why you’re away this year?
That’s not the reason. But I’d enjoyed my party. Whatever little incidents happened were a personal thing. But on the whole we had a good time.

Birthday resolutions?
Hmmm! You have to have goals, something you’re working towards, at least for me, for us Cancerians, it’s a must because otherwise we start feeling lost. I want to start taking a little more time out to spend, like,

every three-four months, with my sisters. I love my work and there’s nowhere else in the world I’d rather be. But I don’t want to look back and say that I spent my whole life working only. We sisters are young and in the same age group and I hardly ever see them. So I just want to
maintain that balance a little more.

Is Salman flying down for the birthday?
No!

How does it affect you to read about your fights, a relationship — now okay, now a break up? Do you laugh about it all?
It’s kind of like looking at life with rose-tinted glasses. But to a
great extent, it’s a compliment. Because it means that many people are interested in you. The media is doing its job in reporting what it hears. Okay, sometimes they’re misinformed. But imagine if no one was talking about you? My idols were Marilyn Monroe, Vivien Leigh – and if you see their larger-thanlife lives… these are people I dreamed of being. I say, ‘If they could go through it, so can I!’

Ameesha Patel talks about shaadi and romance with Kanav

OMAR QURESHI Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; May 31, 2009)

Ameesha Patel is in a brutal mood. She’s not about to sit down and take any questions. She’s ready to punch back. And in a no-holds barred, rocking interview with BT, she tells us of her current mood, her hot new avatar, marriage plans and romance with beau Kanav

Some friends have let you down. Do you regret any relationships now?
• None at all. I know there are some mistakes I’ve made in some decisions. But it’s okay. I’ve learned from every one of them. And as far as my relationships and friendships are concerned, I haven’t regretted a day of anything.

Don’t look now, but Ameesha is changing — from cutie-next-door to hot new sizzler! So why not do a hot-hot, full-fledged role, rather than just an item song (Lazy Lamhe)?
• I guess I was testing the waters. I played a dumb bimbette, whose only interest in life is to be fashionable. It was a brand new avatar I had to present. Remember, I was this demure Gadar girl that you take home to your parents. A sweet, salwar kameez-wearing girl. And my audiences liked me like that. I had to change to see whether I fitted in and whether I’d be accepted as a hottie. I was scared to completely take on a full fledged hot role. Today I’m confident to take on any sizzling avatar.

How did you find true love with Kanav?
• Kanav is from London. He’s a hotelier and shuttles between Delhi and London. On one of his business trips, I met him through a common friend. We had coffee over casual conversation. Then about seven-eight months later, we bumped into each other again when I went into Delhi, and we just clicked. We exchanged telephone numbers and that was it. We realised there was a hell of a lot of chemistry happening here and we’ve never looked back.

Who was more intense and which of the two, more romantic?
• There is a huge amount of intensity between us. In every which way. I mean, physically, emotionally, personally. Surprisingly, for a guy, he’s actually very romantic and very caring and realises little-little things, and does the little things that make all the difference. That doesn’t just mean taking me on great holidays or giving me great gifts. All that is, actually, easier to do. It’s the little things that matter, that you have the depth to understand and give to that person.

So marriage is definitely on the cards?
• Aah yes! Eventually marriage is on the cards!



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