Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘17-year-old

Shekhar’s Paani is ready to roll in Spain

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 16, 2009)


Shekhar Kapoor flew into Chennai earlier this month to record his first song for Paani, officially flagging off his first feature film undertaking since the sequel to Elizabeth two years ago.

Says Shekhar, “Paani is now completely on. We start shooting in April 2010. We’re at a pre-visualisation stage. And I needed Rahman’s song for that. Since it is located in a futuristic city, I’ve artistes in Los Angeles, Singapore and India creating my city.”

While the film is set in futuristic Mumbai, Shekhar plans to shoot in Spain. “I’ve had a big offer from Spain to shoot the film in their country. They too are fascinated by the water theme. It’s a massive project. Otherwise it wouldn’t interest me.”

The film will star newcomers in the lead. Says Shekhar, “The girl has to be a 17-year old French-Canadian who lives in the Upper City (the posh area) of  Mumbai. And the young Indian boy is a desi Leonardo DiCaprio who’s a water revolutionary.”

The film is a forbidden love story. “The girl’s father is the global head of a water company. We need another girl, a smouldering entertainer like Shakira, who’s a big star in the Upper and the Lower City. Then there’s an Oracle called Amma.”

Shekhar will cast the hero from India while the girl will be cast internationally. He swears he hasn’t decided a single member of the vast cast as yet. “You know I had planned whole schedules of Elizabeth and I hadn’t found the actress to play the lead. And since Elizabeth wasn’t cast, no one else was. The studios were getting frantic with worry. We tested a hundred actresses. I wasn’t the least worried. I knew I’d find my Elizabeth. I saw two shots of Cate Blanchett in a film no one had seen and I decided on her. The most difficult actor to cast was Richard Attenborough. Likewise I’m not worried about Paani.”

The spoken language of Paani would be English. But there will be a dubbed Hindi version. “Even the characters of the Lower City would be speaking English. Slumdog Millionaire has proved that language is no barrier. Even though all the Indians spoke English, the language didn’t come in the way of credible self-expression. I will have a dubbed Hindi version too.”

Paani will be readied in time for the Venice Film Festival in 2011.

Nikhil Advani will hold a nation-wide contest to choose a teenager, who will play the 17-year-old Akshay Kumar in Patiala House
By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 17, 2009)


Akshay Kumar

Although Nikhil Advani’s Patiala House is set to go on the floors next month, his casting troubles are far from over.

After roping in Akshay Kumar and Anushka Sharma for the lead roles, Nikhil is now looking for a youngster who will play the 17 year-old Akshay Kumar.

Our source said, “The film’s team was tired of auditioning and watching show reels. None of the boys fulfilled the requirements. So, Akshay suggested that they conduct a nation-wide hunt. The participants essentially have to match Akshay’s height and body language.”

The contest will begin from December 1. The advertisements announcing the same will be published in newspapers across India. Moreover, the filmmakers have tied up with two news channels, one entertainment channel and a multiplex chain for the contest. The entries will be collected from December 1 to December 15. Director Nikhil Advani, will select ten semi-finalists. The winner will then be chosen by Akshay Kumar.

Talking about Akshay’s determination, Nikhil said, “Akshay is very keen on casting someone who comes from a real background. At 17, Akshay was a typical middle class boy; he wants some of his qualities to show in the boy who will play him in the film.”

Patiala House will be produced by Bhushan Kumar and Mukesh Talreja. The film will be running on a tight schedule as it has already been slotted for a 2010 Diwali release.

Borivli resident, 24-year old Trupti Shukla, who went for an audition to Balaji, recounts the gruelling discomfort she experienced when asked to lock lips with a stranger and don a swimsuit…
By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; September 10, 2009)

Trupti Shukla

On September 8, Mumbai Mirror broke the story of how boys and girls were asked to smooch each other at the Balaji office, if they were interested in being cast for a forthcoming show. A distraught Trupti Shukla, who auditioned at the Balaji office last month for the same project, is rather shaken up. “I need to tell you what transpired when I went there,” she told Mumbai Mirror yesterday.

Trupti says she auditioned at Sankraman (Goregaon) a couple of months ago for a show based on the fashion industry for Balaji. “After a few days, I got a call from a girl informing me that I had been shortlisted and that I should come to the Balaji office at Andheri. The show was meant to be something on the lines of an MTV Roadies or Splitsvilla. However, I was shocked when she told me that I was supposed to come in ‘minimal clothing’. My mother was flabbergasted but I still went. I did not adhere to the instructions.”

Describing what she witnessed, Trupti says, “Many girls hadn’t come in skimpy clothes but they had got some extra outfits that they were changing into. They soon changed into some rather revealing outfits. I, for my part, had worn jeans and a full-sleeved shirt; I hadn’t taken a change of clothing. Thus, I waited my turn in the very outfit that I had worn.”

Things got nasty soon enough. Trupti claims, “We were told that we had to meet Vikas Gupta (project head) ‘one-on-one’. He was wearing a T-shirt and bermudas.  The first question he asked me was how good I would be at smooching someone. I fumbled. The second question was equally revolting. He asked me how good I would be at carrying off a swimsuit. I told him that I had come there to do some performance-oriented role and this was not something that fit the bill. Vikas then replied that there was a lot of performance-oriented stuff that I will be doing in the show, but smooching and donning a swimsuit would be one of the requirements. I was also asked what my take was on a 25-year-old girl making love to a 17-year-old boy. I failed to fathom the logic. After such questions, I told Vikas that I was leaving and walked out. Many girls left like I did too, but many also did the kissing shots in the next room.”

Ekta Kapoor

A couple at the audition

“I am extremely shocked. More than shocked, I am disappointed. Where has the creativity gone? Are actors and actresses going to be judged by how well they smooch and how well they can carry off a swimsuit?” Trupti exclaimed, her anger rising, “Why were we not briefed that we would be asked such embarrassing questions? I had asked them for a brief prior to the audition but the girl on the line merely said that she knew nothing about the role.”

Well Trupti, those are some murky waters you claim to have paddled through. Whoever said tinsel town was a cakewalk? But make sure you never kiss and tell. That’s the golden rule.

Project head, Vikas Gupta clarifies

Q.What is the show about, for which aspirants who auditioned were asked to kiss strangers?

A. We can’t say anything yet.

Q.Have you received any backlash from the contestants or their parents?

A. No. Everyone was in the loop.

Q. Apart from smooching, why were the girls asked if they would be comfortable wearing a swimsuit?

A. I didn’t ask them anything about a swimsuit. They were asked only about the kiss. Smooch nahin kaha, kiss kaha tha.

Q. Did you meet the contestants on a one-on-one basis?

A. Yes. But not everybody. Only those who were shortlisted.