Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘Aamir Khan

Anurag Kashyap finds an unusual hero to play a serial killer for the second film of the Mumbai trilogy – Nawazuddin aka Patna Presley of Emosonal Attyachaar

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; January 05, 2010)


Anurag Kashyap’s much talked-about Mumbai trilogy has found its third and final hero. While Aamir Khan stars in the first film, John Abraham will play the lead in the third. Now, the little-known but talented Nawazuddin who gave sterling cameo performances in 2009 in Nandita Das’s Firaaq, Kabir Khan’s New York, Anurag Kashyap’s Dev D (one of the two Patna Presleys singing Emosonal Attyachaar) and Black Friday, has been pencilled in as the lead in Kashyap’s second film in the Mumbai trilogy. It’s a huge leap for an actor from a village near Delhi.

More startling than his casting is the character that Nawazuddin plays. He plays Raman Raghav, India’s most brutal serial killer. In 1968, Raghav bludgeoned a number of pavement dwellers to death before he was caught and diagnosed with schizophrenia. (Sriram Raghavan has, in fact, made a documentary on the serial killer.)

Nawazuddin has been secretly reading up on Raman Raghav and looking at footage of the killer. When we spoke to him, Nawazuddin was taken aback. He said, “Anurag has asked me to keep it absolutely quiet. Yes, I’m playing the serial killer Raman Raghav in Anurag Kashyap’s film. It’s the biggest challenge of my career especially since superstars like Aamir and John feature in the other two films of the series.”

Nawazuddin, who has been trying to make a mark as an actor in Bollywood since 1996, has played the lead in Aamir Khan’s Peepli Live and Mangesh’s Dekh Circus too. Says the actor emotionally, “I’ve waited very long for this. I’ve struggled hard to get out of playing the cameo to the lead. Mumbai trilogy is my greatest challenge.”

Anurag Kashyap Nawazuddin

The dusky actor has made Mumbai her home – and Subodh Maskara her husband

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; January 05, 2010)


There aren’t very many Delhi-based Bollywood actors, but Nandita Das certainly figured high on the list. Even Aamir Khan – her co-star in 1947 Earth – had tried to convince her to move from Delhi to Mumbai to pursue her acting career, but she held strong. Now, Nandita has finally made Mumbai her home, post her recent marriage to environment entrepreneur Subodh Maskara.

Confirming the news, she sighs, “What I resisted doing for 13 long years has finally been done. I couldn’t imagine shifting to Mumbai for my career, but love did it.”

Nandita Das and Subodh Maskara

Subodh was introduced to Nandita by her friend Shahana Goswami (whom she directed last year in Firaq) and her boyfriend Milind Soman. “Milind and Shahana kept urging me to meet Subodh. But I’m the last person to believe in blind dates. But look at destiny, now I completely believe in instant love. When I was hesitant about meeting him, Subodh sent me a lovely e-mail. And I said, ‘Why not? Just have coffee with him?’ So we met. And immediately I knew this was it. Within five months of meeting him, I knew I wanted to marry him. We became soul mates seamlessly,” she recalls.

Nandita and Subodh got married according to Ashram Vidhi rites on January 2 at Subodh’s residence in Worli, which is now their marital home. “Only our parents – his parents and brother, my parents and my brother were there for the marriage. And of course, Shahana and Milind, who brought us together. We couldn’t possibly get married without them,” adds Nandita.

Meanwhile, friends like Paresh Rawal have been urging Nandita to direct another film. However, at the moment, she is content playing Mrs Nandita Maskara at her new home in Mumbai. So does she cook for her husband? Nandita gasps, “That would really be going too far, even further than my move from Delhi to Mumbai.”

NO PAIN, NO GAIN: John Abraham pushes himself an extra mile

John Abraham believes if you want to achieve something, you’ve got to go through pain…

MARK MANUEL Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; January 5, 2010)

It is true that a picture speaks a thousand words. But this stark and screaming one of John Abraham pumping 140 lbs dumbells in the gym, does 473 actually. The Bollywood hunk himself believes it is a “wild, crazy and ugly” picture. “But it speaks the state of my mind,” he is quick to explain. He is at an inbetween stage. In between films. He’s finished Abbas Tyrewala’s 1-800 Love and has Nishikant Kamath’s
(Mumbai Meri Jaan) untilted action project lined up next. Then there’s Dostana 2 starting in June. Before which he has four months to himself. “To look at life, to introspect, to ask myself questions about things I’ve done and which need to be done, to solve 10,000 problems, my mind is caught in a melee,” carries on the actor, “there’s a lot of nervous energy, there’s tension waiting to be relieved, and the gym is my release. I’m not lifting heavy weights to prove a point. The gym is like my church and working out is like praying…”
He’s umindful of the fact that, like Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan, he’s stuck to doing one film a year only. There was Dostana in 2008 and New York in 2009. That’s it. “Like everybody else, I get offers all the time, but you’ll never hear I refused a film… I don’t take pride in saying that. The point is not to do everything you get… but to do the right thing,” says John. And right now, he’s not doing anything. Yet he’s the only actor, apart from SRK and Akshay Kumar, with a non-filmi lineage who’s hanging in there. Perhaps that’s because John has a huge and loyal fan following that’s got nothing to do with the success or failure of his films.
But it doesn’t worry him who’s doing what in Bollywood. “I’ve studied economics, so I know that if somebody else’s film works, so will I as an industry,” he says. And he’s busy benchpressing in the gym towards his own benchmarks. He’s got severe tendonitis in both elbows, shin splints, he fractured the bones, severed the veins in his left foot in a 2006 bike accident, he broke the navicular bone in his right foot last year… yet, as his T-shirt suggests, John Abraham is aware that pain is temporary, pride is forever. “If you want to achieve something, you’ve got to go through pain,” he warns. “I’m trying to reach a pinnacle, at the gym, in films and life itself. I want to get to a point where I can say, yes, I’ve got what it takes.”

WHERE ARE THE ROLES? Lara Dutta, Bipasha Basu, Sonam and (above) Vidya Balan

They’re not studio hopping in 2010 because there’s no work

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; January 5, 2010)

The Bollywood men are sorted. Shah Rukh Khan is committed to doing one film in 2010 with Kareena Kapoor (RA 1). Aamir Khan may or may not even do that much. Salman Khan is introducing 20-something Sonakshi Sinha (Dabangg) to audiences. Ranbir Kapoor is romancing Priyanka Chopra (Anjaana Anjaani) and Katrina Kaif (Rajniti). Akshay Kumar is serenading Deepika Padukone (Houseful), Southern hottie Trisha (Khatta Meetha) and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan (Action Replayy). Ajay Devgn wants Bebo (Golmaal-3)! The five or six men who matter at the box office have their screen partners more or less sorted. If they sign new films, they once again want the top five Bollywood girls to prance with them. So what happens to the rest? Well, well. “As usual the expiry date for heroines in Bollywood is getting shorter and shorter, their shelf life is cramped,’’ says trade consultant Amod Mehra. He continues, “Except the top four girls actually —whichever order you place them in — whether it is Kareena, Katrina, Priyanka and Deepika, the other girls have slipped into oblivion.’’ A top hero (from the lot mentioned above) adds, “One of the heroines is so desperate for work, she is actually contemplating doing a film with an art film actor. The reason for her desperation is understandable. Last year we saw B-town beauties Preity Zinta and Rani Mukherji being phased out. In 2010, at least half-a-dozen girls of the existing lot will be quietly shown the gate.’’ Another trade source points out that Bollywood has enough talent and glamour to keep it going. However, the men on top definitely want either the Top 5 or they want someone completely ‘virgin’. Vidya Balan says she would much rather do just Ishqiya that revolves around her completely and follow it up with one Chenab Gandhi — again a pivotal role for her. But the fact of the matter is that even a volcano of talent like Vidya is left with little choice. Honestly, how many regular films can she find herself fitting into? Bipasha Basu and Lara Dutta also have just one/two films on hand. Asin Thottumkal hasn’t shot for a single film all through 2009. Post Ghajini she greenlighted only London Dreams and the 19th Step. London Dreams tanked and the 19th Step was shelved. Youngsters like Genelia D’Souza and Sonam Kapoor have promise but are still to make the box office grade. The fact is that 90 per cent of the B-town girls are more visible at advertisement commercial shoots, ribbon-cutting ceremonies, stage concerts and television reality shows. It is the money from these add-on revenue streams that keeps their world going around. Films? Well, what’s that?

‘3 Idiots’ director Rajkumar Hirani accuses novelist Chetan Bhagat of slander

By TNN (January 04, 2010)

A still from 3 Idiots

Director Rajkumar Hirani is flabbergasted by author Chetan Bhagat’s allegation that 3 Idiots was majorly copied from his bestseller Five Point Someone without giving him due credit. Terming it a “clear case of defamation”, Hirani says they may take legal action against Bhagat for flouting their contract.

“It’s a clear case of defamation because contractually what he (Bhagat) was bound, he was given. Now why is he slandering us? We are consulting our lawyers. But that’s a call Mr. Vinod Chopra has to take. He is the producer of the film,” Hirani told IANS.

“I am sure it’s defamation because lots of people I know are wondering about the issue (due to Bhagat’s allegation) In lots of Twitter and Facebook sites we have been abused saying, ‘we won’t watch Hirani’s film or Abhijat’s film’. This kind of muck is flying all over the place. I think Vinod Chopra is looking into it, I guess he will follow the legal path,” he added.

Hirani clarified that once Bhagat had given the rights to make a film on his book, there shouldn’t be any “percentage issue”.

Hirani maintained that the basic plot of the film is completely different from the book.

“In the book, there is no bet between the two friends, the journey to find their friend is not there, the child delivery scene, the ‘Balatkar’ scene, the two weddings where they crashed these key scenes are not in the book. There are certain similarities, which I am not denying, but we had bought the rights for that.

“We can use 100 per cent of it. What does he (Bhagat) mean by 70 per cent? Are we supposed to pay more money for using 70 per cent? Are we supposed to give different credit for 70 percent? I do not understand this percentage controversy,” said Hirani.

Baghat has reportedly posted a blog saying he should have got a prominent place in the rolling credits. He also said that he was not shown the final script.

Reacting to his allegations, Hirani said: “We have officially bought the rights for the film. We drew a contract with him and it clearly mentions about the position of his credit. With open eyes he had seen the contract, consulted his lawyer and signed the agreement.

“In the contract, we have said that the title would be given in the rolling credits. We haven’t changed the font size. We haven’t increased the speed of the title. It’s exactly there where it was agreed to be,” said Hirani.

The director, who has a hattrick of hits – Aamir Khan starrer 3 Idiots, Munnabhai M.B.B.S. and Lage Raho Munna Bhai, says after signing the contract with Bhagat, they were not obliged to show the script to the author.

“I was not obligated to narrate the script to him. I have bought the script from him and I am supposed to use it the way I want to use it. I had changed the script drastically, so out of good gesture I wanted him to know it has changed so much and if he feels he doesn’t want to be associated with the film, he can tell me.

“He heard the script for four hours and readily agreed to stay associated, saying ‘I want to stay associated with the film, it’s a fine script’ which he has said in your (IANS) interview too. He signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement. Now he writes in his blog ‘I wanted to see the final script and it was not shown to me’. It is a blatant lie, he is telling,” Hirani added.

Asked if Bhagat could have a vested interest in kicking up the controversy, he said: “I guess there is a motivation to create the controversy so that people read the book and see the film.”

Hirani says that they never relied on controversies to publicise their creative work.

“Our film is doing exceedingly well. It’s beyond my dignity to create a controversy for a film. We have never sold our soul for our cinema. I’m not stooping to that level to sell my cinema or make extra money.

“When you talk of that percentage thing, it creates a curiosity to read that book and judge the film.”

Would he again adapt Bhagat’s book?

“This came as a shock to me that suddenly he is trying to hog the limelight; suddenly he is trying to take away the credit from the screenwriters who slogged for three years to modify the script. He doesn’t understand the difference between book writing and writing for a film. If he continues doing these things, I would rather not associate with him.”

Currently Hirani is working on two scripts with Abhijat Joshi. One among them is Munna Bhai Chale America, while the other one is a completely different plot. He will start shooting either of them by the end of 2010.

Aamir Khan’s dog, Shah Rukh, who had created such a furore in both the Khans’ lives, no longer lives at Aamir’s Panchgani home

By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; January 04, 2010)


Shah Rukh Khan can heave a sigh of relief. Remember the dog in Aamir Khan’s life, Shah Rukh, who made headlines last year? Well, that dog is not a part of Aamir’s life anymore.

Recently, the dog Shah Rukh moved out of Aamir’s Panchgani bungalow because his master, Aamir’s caretaker, moved out, taking his dog with him.

A source says, “Since the old caretaker is out, there was no point keeping the dog Shah Rukh. The dog had to go with the caretaker.”

The dog Shah Rukh had played a big role in widening the rift between the two Khans. After Aamir had written on his blog, “Shah Rukh is licking my feet and I am feeding him biscuits every now and then. What more can I ask for?” and “Shah Rukh is smelling too much, I think he needs a bath,” the already hot competition between the two had been further fuelled.

While both were battling it out for supremacy at the box-office this sort of banter had only made them more competitive.

Evidently, after a while Aamir & Co had changed the dog’s name. After calling him Shah Rukh for sometime, they had started calling him Shahki.

There is an explanation for the dog’s name too. Said the source, “The old caretaker is a big fan of Shah Rukh Khan. Since Shah Rukh was shooting in Panchgani when the dog was born, he had named him Shah Rukh. Later, he himself started calling him Shahki and the others, in and around Aamir’s Panchgani property, followed suit.”

Anyway, things seem to be a lot better between the two Khans now. In April 2009, they came together on the same platform to support the producers in their fight against the multiplex owners. Recently, Shah Rukh attended the premiere of 3 Idiots. Who knows, with the exit of the dog, Shah Rukh, from Aamir’s life, their interpersonal equation may greatly improve too.

CANDID CHAT: Kareena Kapoor
Kareena Kapoor says she is guilty of just that…

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; January 4, 2010)

It has been a year of fluctuating fortunes for Bollywood’s most powerful actress — Kareena Kapoor. The janta and her sceptics will never let her forget that she had three duds in 2009 with Kambakkht Ishq, Main Aurr Mrs Khanna and Kurbaan. But just when they were nailing her coffin, she bounced right back with the biggest hit of them all.

Like a cat that has swallowed the cream, Kareena smacked her luscious lips and said, “There I was licking my wounds when God above answered my prayers. Honestly, I’m delirious. To think that I started 2009 with a whimper and ended it with a bang. Someone up there heard me.’’

Just before she set off on a tour of England with Saif Ali Khan, the incorrigible Bebo said, “2010 has a lot of promise. I sincerely wish the Midas touch continues. I’ll start the year with my idol, Shah Rukh Khan, with whom I’m travelling to Miami for RA 1. Then I’m going to be traipsing the globe with Saif in Agent Vinod. And, if Aamir keeps up his promise to me, the two of us will end up in a romantic film by the end of the year.’’ Jumping like a child, she asked, “Listen, is it wrong to love more than one Khan at a time? I’m guilty of just that. Shah Rukh and Gauri are my close friends. I love Saifu. And as for Aamir, well, what can I say? He’s the new Khan on my block.’’

Gamely she takes the blame for her duds. She knows the critics dipped their pens in poison when she did KI and MAMK. “My funda is simple,’’ said Bebo. “Actors should be like scientists, always willing to experiment. I experimented and I failed. That doesn’t take away from my acting abilities. If I don’t experiment, the same guys will write — she’s a plastic doll on screen. One does take chances with one’s roles and if the films fail, I’m more heartbroken than anyone else. Don’t forget films are all I live for. I give my films everything I have. So failure does affect me. But to write me off each time I have a flop is unfair.’’

Maybe, but that’s the way things in Bollywood work. One Friday you’re a handmaiden, the next Friday you’re the Queen. And, if you’re lucky, you can get an extended lease at the box-office. Like Bebo just managed. meena.iyer@timesgroup.com