Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘assistant director

The Bollywood superstar is gambling with roles again…

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 29, 2009)

It is the season for the Big B. One day he steals hearts as the adorable Auro. Then he makes you sit up and notice him as the head honcho of a television channel in Rann. And if that’s not enough, the Bollywood superstar plunges straight into playing a Math professor with a quirk in Ambika Hinduja’s Teen Patti.
Here he is in the first look of the 2010 release. Sources say that Bachchan had a field day shooting in locations like the Mumbai docks, the Asiatic Library and the streets of Ballard Pier. “The locations made him nostalgic,’’ says an assistant director. Incidentally, Teen Patti has Bachchan teaming up with Sir Ben Kingsley, and the unit is all women. Talking often of being bullied, in jest, the actor would invariably say he is surrounded by ‘Hitlers’. Producer Ambika says, “Mr Bachchan is a paragon of professionalism. His acting genius is matched his profound moral conscience.” She adds, “I have never met an actor like Sir Ben, so unerringly prepared for his role. He lights up the stage with such formidable presence and
humility. It is my great joy to serve the story of Teen Patti with the best acting and technical talent. I have pulled every card out of the producer’s deck to make it a visual force of story telling.’’

By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 18, 2009)


Dia Mirza is in love again. She is now dating Sahil Sangha, Nikhil Advani’s former assistant director. A source says, “Sahil went to Dia to narrate a script. They were soon attracted to each other. The rest, as they say, is history.”


Recently, Dia and Sahil attended a high-profile wedding together in Delhi, where they looked comfortable in each other’s company. Dia said, “Yes, Sahil and I did attend a wedding recently in Delhi.

But you see, our families were also there with us. Actually, Sahil and I are very good friends. I have known him for a long time. His mother and my mom are buddies.”

Earlier, Dia has been linked with Kunal Kapoor, Apoorva Lakhia and Bunty Sachdeva.

Punit Malhotra wants a rugged look for Imran Khan in his directorial debut, mama Manish Malhotra is reluctant to give up the glam quotient

By Sonal Chawla / Deepak Tubhekar (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 09, 2009)


A mama-bhanja fight has been brewing… and no, we’re not referring to Aamir Khan and Imran Khan. It’s Manish Malhotra and his nephew Punit Malhotra who are quarrelling over Imran’s costumes for Punit’s directorial debut I Hate Luv Storys.

Imran plays an assistant director in the film and needs to have a rugged, carefree look according to his director Punit, who has been an AD in real life. But Manish, who is styling him, is sticking to the glam look he gives all his stars. A source from the unit reveals, “Manish bought a white Calvin Klein backpack for Imran as well as 20 pairs of trendy shoes and denims.Seeing this, Punit freaked out and explained that Imran needs to have a very casual, rugged look since he is playing an AD. They finally narrowed it down to five pairs of denims and two pairs of shoes to be worn through the movie.”

The makeover includes a weight-gain program for Imran as well. The source continues, “Punit has given a lot of tips to Imran in terms of dressing up since he has been around and been an assistant director himself. Imran has gained considerable amount of weight for the movie but at the same time is looking lean. He now weighs 70 kgs as compared to his debut film Jaane Tu Yaa Jaane Na where he weighed only 59 kgs.”

Imran, amused by the exchange between the director and stylist, says, “Manish had got a white pair of shoes and Punit asked him to put small stains on them, to go with my character. Manish freaked out and grabbed the shoes. It took a long time for Manish to understand that I am playing an assistant director and not one of the pretty glam actors he normally dresses up. But eventually Manish did a fab job with my styling.”

(R): Manish Malhotra (pic: Deepak Tubhekar)
Vivek Oberoi on love, life and a fresh innings in Bollywood

By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 27, 2009)


• You have got some good reviews for your role in Kurbaan.

Yes. I have not stopped smiling since the film’s release. At one of the trials, Bebo (Kareena Kapoor) and Saif (Ali Khan) did tell me that I was good in the film. Then Karan (Johar) and Rensil (D’Silva)also told me the same thing. I had not seen the film till then as I was shooting in Hyderabad. It was a nice feeling when Karan told me ‘finally you make me proud.’ I saw the film just a day before its release and I had knots in my stomach. I was very nervous but I was with people who have always been kind to me. There were Shah Rukh and Gauri, Imran and his fiancée Avantika, Yash uncle, Davidji (Dhawan). They all hugged me and said I was good.

• Why have you not done a romantic film after Saathiya?

Honestly, I really don’t know. Kurbaan has got a romantic track but Mission Istanbul and Shootout At Lokhandwala had zero romance. I have not done an out-and-out romantic film and I am really looking forward to doing one.

• People are saying that you have changed and that you want to leave the controversies behind and concentrate only on your work.

I wanted this for a really long time. However, after Shootout… things did not fall in place. Almost four years ago, when I did Omkara, I saw Saif getting under the skin of the character Langda Tyagi. I loved the work ethics. That’s when I thought that I should stop doing what I was doing, but I had a backlog to finish. Then my close friend Amit Chandra sat me down and helped me streamline my life so that I could practically achieve what I was trying to. Now, I have learnt not to take anything for granted.

• How did Ramu and you patch up?

I don’t think patch up is the right word as we were never at loggerheads. I will never have the audacity to say anything against Ramu and as an artiste, I will always be indebted to him for giving me Company. But when he called me and told me ‘I will never work with you again’, I was shocked. Now, when he called me and said that he had something for me, I was so happy. When I met him, he said that he could see the same passion in my eyes again and gave me Rakta Charitra. I felt exactly the same on the first day of Rakta Charitra that I felt on the first day on the sets of Company. Ramu made me feel so comfortable.

• You have done some amazing stunts in Prince, something which you are not known for.

Yes. Kookie Gulati is quite a whiz kid. I did so many things that I cannot possibly explain — right from learning how to skateboard, doing parkour, learning cable work, to action training. I had to put so many things into my system that after the training session, things became easier.

• You have said that you are done with apologising to people.

I made a mistake and it is human to make mistakes. Personally, I think it’s humbling and it’s also building character to stand up and say I made a mistake and please forgive me. It is always an ego-based thing to say that why should I apologise. It is a real man who can say ‘I am sorry’ and that too in public. I have said sorry to the assistant director whom I was rude to, I have said sorry to the movie star whom I had a fight with and I even said sorry to the director I snapped at.

He sold his house to fund his dream project, now he is in talks with UTV to sell its rights…Theatre artiste Paresh Mokashi, director of India’s Oscar entry Harishchandrachi Factory, on turning passion into action
By Vishwas Kulkarni (MUMBAI MIRROR; September 22, 2009)

Mokashi standing in the centre with his team; (below) a still from the film

For 40-year-old Paresh Mokashi, it has been a long journey to acclaim and a filmic vehicle finding a shelter — currently it is the modest office of Indian Magic Eye Pvt. Ltd at Matunga that is managing Harishchandrachi Factory. Yet, in 2005, when he first discovered the enigma of Dadasaheb Phalke, India’s first filmmaker who produced Raja Harishchandra in 1913, little did he know that it would take him through a rollercoaster ride of despair and unending hope and eventual acclaim. The film has beaten some Bollywood biggies to become India’s official entry to the Oscars.

“I had not worked as an assistant director with some hot shot Bollywood film director, as is the norm to climb the ladder in tinsel town. I was an autodidact who had imbibed whatever I could from World Cinema DVDs. And then there was the fascinating story of the legend himself. The more I read up on him, the more charged up I got.”

So fired up was Mokashi with the man that he wrote his screenplay in 15 days. Then came the tough part: getting the cash to produce this. “I was done with my screenplay in early 2005. By the end of 2008, I was hadn’t found a financier. Soon we began to hear of people doing projects with Dadasaheb Phalke as the subject. I felt a compulsive sense of entitlement given that I had been so impassioned by the man. So I decided to take my fate in my own hands.”

Mokashi sold his flat to finance the film, but he is quick to dismiss this as a cliché that has been plaguing him.

“Please let’s not talk about this; it’s become the only factor that the Press goes on about, and a lot of salient features about this amazing product are lost in the haze of this gamble. More importantly, it was a friendly deal with a colleague of mine,” he says.

The production did indeed begin after finances had been secured and the film officially began. “I think to follow your dreams you have to take that plunge. Or it never happens. My cast and crew followed me blindly. It was so wonderful to see that level of trust. At 3.5 crores, it’s the most expensive Marathi film ever made. That we haven’t cut corners comes across. For instance, we had a five-day schedule in London, where Phalke went to buy a Williamson camera. The historical dockyard of Chatham was opened for the first time for a film shoot for our film!” says Mokashi.

Thus over an eight-month schedule the film was produced, and its makers are presently in talks with UTV over a possible acquisition deal.

For actor Nandu Madhav, conjuring an idea of playing the filmic pioneer turned out to be quite a blast. “I needed references to the body language of the times, of the man himself. When Dadasaheb Phalke first started to test his camera, he got his wife to shoot him. So I had these experimental film clippings where Dadasaheb Phalke was posing and pretending to act! It was fantastic reference material. Then there was the question of language itself, which at the turn of the century is somewhat different from the Marathi we speak today. There were terms, for instance, such as ‘Eh heh ray!’ that are not in use anymore.”

For lead actress Vibhawari Deshpande, who essayed the role of Saraswatibai Phalke, it proved to be a postmodern exercise in feminism itself. “The character I was playing was extremely simple, extremely real. But she was a pioneering prototype of modernity, well before the idea of a ‘modern’ Indian woman had emerged. The experience was nothing short of electric. Here was a woman taking up the camera in 1912. Coming from theatre, with over 15 years of stage expertise and three Marathi films behind her, did help.

But what helped most was Paresh Mokashi’s passion. We’ve all known each other’s struggles for over a decade. So this film was not a regular film; there was a lot at stake for all of us. It was a collective enterprise that had a rare camaraderie and a cosmic magic attached to it from the word go. I had to give it my all.” Did she shoot in London? “I missed that foreign outdoors number. But you see, when Dadasaheb Phalke went to England to acquire that camera, Saraswatibai was nine months pregnant. It would have been shamelessly inauthentic for me to pull that off!”