Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘Aishwariya Rai

ROLE PLAY: Priya Mani
Rumour has it that Raavana writers missed out Shoorpankha’s character in the first draft, but now Priya Mani has been finalised for the role

MEENA IYER (BOMBAY TIMES; August 31, 2009)

There are two theories doing the rounds. One is that filmmaker Mani Ratnam’s writers reportedly goofed. When they gave Mani a copy of the script of Raavana, a contemporary adaptation of the Ramayana, with Tamil superstar Vikram playing Ram, Aishwarya Rai playing Sita and Abhishek Bachchan playing Raavan, they forgot to include the very important character of Shoorpankha.
Shoorpankha, who is Raavan’s sister, whose nose is chopped off by Laxman in the forest according to folklore and because of which episode Raavan swears revenge on Ram. Now, Shoorpankha is pivotal to the plot… could Mani’s writing team actually have over looked this detail? Seems improbable because Mani is known for his precision. A source from the South says Mani’s production team approached the current reigning diva Nayantara for the role of Shoorpankha but she refused. Next they approached National Award-winner Priya Mani.

Priya will play Shoorpankha in the Tamil and Hindi versions, just like Aishwarya is playing Sita in both versions. Theory two on why many top Bollywood heroines who were approached for the role of Shoorpankha refused it is because “no one wants to play Abhishek’s sister,” says a source. “Abhishek
is a dishy actor, and not many actresses want to ruin their chances of being paired romantically opposite him by playing his sister in Raavana,” the source adds.

Girls who refused to be cast as Abhishek’s sister should recall Josh where Ash played Shah Rukh Khan sister, but she still romanced him very convincingly
in Mohabbatein. After all it is just role play.

By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; August 18, 2009)

Aishwarya Rai is unwell but contrary to rumours, she isn’t suffering from swine flu. In fact, she has a chest infection. Mumbai Mirror had reported on Saturday that she has been shooting for Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Guzaarish despite her ill-health.

But Aishwarya’s condition worsened and she has now been advised complete rest because of which she requested Bhansali to give her two days off from the shoot of his forthcoming film, Guzaarish, in which she stars opposite Hrithik Roshan.

The director readily granted her leave even though she was scheduled to shoot on Monday and Tuesday at Mehboob Studio. Aishwarya is currently under medication and is resting at home.



Reaching out to a global audience with critically acclaimed box office hits, seems to be UTV Motion Pictures’ strategy. And how does Ronnie Screwvala’s production house do this? By making its presence felt at the most prestigious film festivals in the world, from Italy to Shanghai and New York to Moscow. Also Venice, where Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Delhi 6 and Anurag Kashyap’s Dev. D will be screened at the 66th Venice International Film Festival next month in the ‘Out Of Competition’ section; and Toronto, where Ashutosh Gowariker’s forthcoming What’s Your Raashee? will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 19. The romantic comedy’s stars, Priyanka Chopra and Harman Baweja, will attend this show along with producers Ronnie and Sunita A and Gowariker himself.

Siddharth Roy Kapur, CEO, UTV Motion Pictures, said, “It is indisputably
acknowledged as the artistic pinnacle for a film to be screened at Venice and Toronto — two of the most acclaimed film festivals. Receiving a platform there for three of our films is a rare honour.” Gowariker added, “We are very fortunate What’s Your Raashee? will be premiered at Toronto where, I believe, 64 countries are showcasing films before an audience of 300,000. I’m looking forward to getting the first international reactions to my romantic comedy with 13 songs!” While Rakeysh said of Delhi 6, “The new version of the film has done the trick. Being invited for screening at Venice is the first sign towards the acceptance of this version. The organisers are interested in screening it more than just once, which is very encouraging.”

New markets for UTV include Taiwan and Italy, where its films Jodhaa Akbar, A
Wednesday! Welcome to Sajjanpur, Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! and Mumbai Meri Jaan have proudly been doing the rounds of the festival circuit. Welcome to Sajjanpur, in particular, was screened at the Taormina Film Festival in Sicily, and will next be shown at the Indo-American Arts Council’s MIAAC Film Festival in New York, the Fukuoka International Film Festival in Japan and the Indian Ocean Film Festival at Reunion Islands. While A Wednesday! was selected for the Shanghai International Film Festival in the Competition section for the ‘Asian New Talent Award’ and for the Bollywood & Beyond Indian Film Festival in Stuttgart, along with Mumbai Meri Jaan.

Two UTV films of 2008 that have proved to be big

draws internationally are Fashion and Jodhaa Akbar. Fashion, for which Priyanka Chopra swept many awards, was screened at the Moscow International Film Festival and the Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PIFFF) in South Korea; it has also been invited to the Kaohsiung Film Festival in Taiwan this October. While Jodhaa Akbar made the Barcelona Asia Film Festival in Spain as part of the Official selection and the Shanghai International Film Festival in the Panorama section. The Hrithik-Aishwarya starrer has also been invited to the Helsinki International Film Festival in September. And along with A Wednesday! and Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!, it was screened as part of a special exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York with Naseeruddin Shah and Abhay Deol introducing their respective films. Kashyap, the director of Dev. D, said, “UTV is making films that have real international potential in terms of content and not just face value. Their films are changing the world’s perception of Indian cinema.”

Here’s how Sohail Khan decided to stand up for big brother Salman by publically making fun of Vivek Oberoi at a party on Tuesday evening
By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; August 15, 2009)
Vivek Oberoi must’ve never in his wildest dreams imagined that he would be called a waiter at a party. It’s he who always calls Ganpat for the daaru, right? Well, this time the tables were turned during Ramesh Taurani’s silver anniversary, which had its share of drama with Vivek being the butt of the joke. Salman Khan’s younger brother Sohail Khan didn’t miss the opportunity to cock a snook at Salman’s sworn enemy Vivek Oberoi. It was bhai chaara at its best when Sohail decided to stand up for his bade bhaiya.

When Sohail walked in, Vivek was busy sipping a drink. Sohail proceeded further into the hall where the party was gaining momentum. A few seconds later, Sohail saw Vivek standing quietly in one corner. On spotting Vivek, Sohail couldn’t help but remember the enmity between Vivek and Salman and he decided to get cheeky.

An eyewitness says, “Suddenly Sohail called out ‘Oye, Vivek!’. On hearing his name, Vivek looked towards Sohail. Immediately, Sohail looked at a waiter carrying a tray of drinks and again said, ‘Oye, Vivek, zaraa idhar aana’.”

Vivek’s face fell when he realised that Sohail had humiliated him. The shocked actor simply put his head down and walked a few paces away from where Sohail was standing.

Did Vivek want to confront Sohail? And did he control his anger as Salman was shortly expected to make an appearance at the do? We may never know, but one thing is for sure, poor Vivek is still paying for that much publicised press conference he had called in April 2003 complaining that Salman harassed and threatened him over the phone for his relationship with Aishwarya Rai, with whom Salman was romantically involved earlier.

A friend of Sohail (name withheld on request) present at the party confirmed the incident. He laughed and said, “Uske baad Vivek ka chehra dekhne laayak tha.”

Vivek Oberoi at the party

Sohail Khan at the party

Govinda rubbishes rumours that Mani Ratnam is unhappy with him in Raavana
By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; August 11, 2009)


Though Govinda is not letting the cat out of the bag, in Mani Ratnam’s Raavana he plays the man who guides Aishwarya Rai’s screen husband (Vikram) through the difficult forest terrain chasing the social outcast who has kidnapped his wife. In fact, his role is not loosly based on Lord Hanuman anymore.

All the mythological analogy is being cleared out of Mani’s film and Govinda’s role is the first to benefit from the cleansing act. What started as an extended cameo has now become a full-fledged role.

Meanwhile, rumours doing the rounds about Govinda’s eccentric behaviour have not affected him. He said, “If I’m so difficult why did Mani offer me such a role?” According to Govinda there’s absolutely no truth to the rumours that Mani is unhappy with him. “In fact, my character of  the man who guides the protagonist  through the  forest has shaped into an  achha khaasa role as the film progressed.”

Apparently, Mani is so pleased with Govinda that he has offered him another film. Commenting on his work, Govinda said, “Bahut mushkil se mujhe kaam phir mila hai (I’ve got work again after much difficulty). I’ve to concentrate on holding what I’ve found after a long struggle rather than give importance to people who are trying to malign me.”

“Mani, Santosh Sivan (cinematographer), Abhishek (Bachchan) and I have been shooting happily for the film. Recently, when an elephant killed his mahout in Kerala, the unit had to shift to Ooty where I will be joining them on August 18,” he added.

Two more Bollywood boys join the chase to win Katrina Kaif in the sequel to Dostana, taking the tally up to four
By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; August 09, 2009)

Arjun Rampal

Riteish Deshmukh

Katrina Kaif will be joining the loony team of John Abraham and Abhishek Bachchan in the sequel to Dostana. She has signed the deal recently and is now the leading lady of the film. But Katrina’s not the only addition to the existing cast. Also in the list to woo and court her will be Arjun Rampal and Riteish Deshmukh. The two men have been taken on board to give the plot an extra zing.

Director Tarun Mansukhani has finally come up with the perfect script for the sequel to Dostana. Producer Karan Johar’s brief to Tarun was, “Go for it… I’ll produce it only if you come up with the right script.” And Tarun claims to have done just that. The sequel will have not one or two, but four men chasing the pretty girl.


Our source reveals, “Katrina was chosen to play the female lead after much deliberation. Dharma Productions has auditioned dozens of new girls. Actually, they wanted a fresh face for Dostana 2. But finally, after a tedious Google search, they felt that Katrina’s ‘most hit’ status on the Internet makes it apt for her to play the role of the ‘most hit’ girl by the boys in Dostana 2.”

“It speaks volumes for Katrina’s professionalism that she has agreed to co-star with Abhishek, regardless of the rumoured differences with Aishwarya Rai over the Barbie doll issue and even with John, whom boyfriend Salman Khan has apparently declared as a prohibited zone.”

Katrina, currently in New York, refuses to comment.

CANDID CHAT: Katrina Kaif. For more pictures of the sexy actresses, visit http://photogallery.indiatimes.com
Katrina Kaif bares her soul (and not her claws) in an honest tete-a-tete with BT about Bollywood’s actresses

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; July 24, 2009)

Katrina Kaif, whose performance in New York is still getting her compliments, is pleased as Punch… but the actress who recently celebrated her birthday with family in London, is also concerned about the huge responsibility this success has now thrust upon her. “I’m going to be expected to raise the bar with each further release,’’ she said, “and the thought is scary.”

Taking stock of the top brass in Bollywood, Kat said, “I disagree with the constant statement that actresses in Bollywood are interchangeable.’’ According to her, each of the top contenders had an uniqueness, and she was certain that what Kareena Kapoor could do… she herself would never be able to.
“Kareena is a fantastic actress,’’ admitted Kat. “I’m

still nowhere near her as a performer.’’

She was also of the opinion that Priyanka Chopra, Asin, Deepika Padukone,
Vidya Balan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan had their own individual strengths. “I hate this media refrain that heroines in Bollywood are all the same,” complained Kat. “Priyanka, Asin and Vidya are my contemporaries. Can you imagine Parineeta without Vidya? Jab We Met without Kareena? Or, for that matter, Fashion without Priyanka? They are all first grade in these films.’’

Naturally, she is peeved that a magazine called them all assembly-line products who could be replaced by one another without the audience noticing the difference.

Katrina flashed, “By pigeon-holing us, the journalist is showing his or her lack of perception.’’

Another irritant is the constant comparison to Ash just because the two of them have endorsed the same products. “Aishwarya is an icon, I’m nowhere close to her,’’ said the actress who is currently one of the top contenders for Kareena’s No. 1 slot in
Bollywood. And, as for that reference also in the media to her being “a modern day Madhubala”, Kat asked incredulously, “Where did that spring up from? Madhubala was an iconic actress. I’m not even one per cent of what she was. And I’m not amused at such comparisons because, honestly, I have no illusions of having reached somewhere with the body of work I have behind me. My journey has only just begun.’’
meena.iyer@ timesgroup.com

The Bachchan bahu is angry that a section of the media has attributed quotes certain quotes to her which damage her credibility
By Meena Iyer | TNN (TIMES OF INDIA; July 23, 2009)
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan (in pic) has had it up to her neck with rumour-mongers speculating about her personal and professional life.

The actress, who is one of Bollywood’s busiest currently, having films with topnotch makers like Mani Ratnam, Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Vipul Shah, has been perfectly balancing her married life and career.

She’s, however, angry that a section of the media has attributed quotes like “My career is more important to me than my family” to her. And is not amused with people putting words in her mouth like “If I want to remain in the film industry then I need to stay fit.”

Ash is currently shooting with husband Abhishek in the jungles of Kerala for Ravana, but she conveyed her feelings through her spokesperson who said, “Aishwarya Rai is not just a star. She is also a daughter, a wife, a daughter-in-law and a symbol of true Indian tradition. She has always believed and practised values that govern our society.”

The spokesperson further added, “Previously Aishwarya preferred to remain silent. Even when she was married off to a tree, she chose not to speak because she truly felt better sense would prevail. However, her silence should not be misconstrued as a sign of weakness.” The actress wants to know why should people speculate, when her spokespeople are available to clarify the truth.

Despite wanting to complete the Sarkar trilogy, Ram Gopal Varma gives up on Sarkar 3 because of no satisfactory script

By Meena Iyer (MUMBAI MIRROR; July 21, 2009)

Abhishek and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in Sarkar Raj

Sarkar (2005) is one of Ram Gopal Varma’s acclaimed films. The film is his tribute to Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather series and it also netted handsome returns for the filmmaker. Then came the sequel, Sarkar Raj in 2008, but received a lukewarm response. Expectations from Bollywood’s first family, the Bachchans, were so high that critics and the audience were unkind to the film.

Ramu says, “At that stage, I seriously wanted to take the series forward.” The general buzz was that after Abhishek Bachchan’s character was bumped off, the mantle of running the family would be taken over by Aishwarya Rai’s character and the story would be taken forward by her and Amitabh Bachchan’s character. RGV felt he had a winner on his hands and his team of writers tried to take the story forward from where they had left it with Sarkar Raj.

“However, we couldn’t do justice to it,” confesses the filmmaker. Like The Godfather series, he too felt the graph going down with a third film. “If you have seen The Godfather, the first part where Marlon Brando plays the head of the family is easily the most arresting of the three films.”

Ram Gopal Varma

Now, as he struggles with his writers to come up with the perfect script for the third film, he knows that it is not working out. “My relationship with the Bachchan family (no pun intended) is over,” RGV laughs. “I will make something with the three Bachchans at some other stage in life… But as far as a Sarkar 3 is concerned, it is shelved for sure.”

Ramu adds, “My relationship with the Bachchan family is very close. I don’t wish to discuss the extent of proximity of our relationship because I have never done that in print. But yes, I can say that at the moment, my screen relationship with the Bachchan family is over.”

Hrithik needs more time to prepare for his role of a paraplegic; Sanjay Leela Bhansali offers respite by recreating Goa in a studio in Mumbai
By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; July 15, 2009)

Hrithik Roshan

Hrithik has been concentrating on his home production, Kites, which has left him with little time to prepare for the role of a paraplegic in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Guzaarish. The actor may be moving around on a wheelchair at home, but the role requires more work than that, for which time is in short supply. Bhansali’s solution is simple: bring Goa to Mumbai. He has decided to recreate Goa in a studio in Mumbai for the first major schedule, giving Hrithik some breathing room.

Confirming the news, Sanjay said, “It’s not just Hrithik whose role requires tremendous preparation. Aishwarya’s part too is far from a slip-in slip-out character. Both are very busy actors. But they’re also quick on the uptake. And once they are back, they’ll be able to give themselves completely to the project.”

In recent weeks, Sanjay has been meeting paraplegics all over the country and they’ve also been invited to Mumbai to meet the director. Commenting on the meeting, the director said emotionally, “It has been a life-changing experience. It is so inspiring to meet these people. Many of them haven’t moved from their wheelchairs and beds all their lives. And yet they’re so free-spirited and their zest for life is amazing.”

“I want Guzaarish to be inspirational and not some depressing and defeatist story of physical disability. And I want my lead actors to be as inspired as I am. I know Hrithik and Aishwarya can bring the spirit of ebullience into the story. I know they’ll get the point as soon as they join me,” said Sanjay.