Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘freida pinto

BOLLYWOOD CALLING: Loveleen Tandon
Slumdog Millionaire’s Loveleen Tandon, who’s set to direct a film

ROSHNI K OLIVERA (BOMBAY TIMES; November 24, 2009)

It wasn’t just Anil Kapoor or the cute couple Dev Patel and Freida Pinto who catapulted to international fame with Slumdog Millionaire. It was also a pretty face that emerged from behind-the-scenes. That’s Loveleen Tandon, who co-directed the movie with Danny Boyle. But she has kept a low-profile for a while now. “Yes, I have literally been hibernating in Delhi,” smiled Loveleen, who was in Mumbai recently. “I have been busy with my film script. That’s a full time job.” The only time she took a break was when she was invited to meet the Queen and the Duke to the Buckingham Palace last month. And the Mumbai trip for Eve Ensler and Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal’s play I am an Emotional Creature, where she read the epilogue. “It’s a great co-incidence that Eve’s play is quite similar to my script, the story of a young girl, her desires, emotions and the pressures on her,” says Loveleen, who plans to start her movie next year. Getting good actors shouldn’t be difficult, she believes because “script is the queen.” As she puts it, “People are always on the lookout for a good script. Whether it’s actors or producers, nobody says no to a good script.” All credit for Slumdog’s apt casting goes to Loveleen, but she wasn’t just the casting director for the film, as some initially thought. “That wasn’t the only thing I was doing. Casting is a part of the bigger scene, part of the larger vision,” she says.


Matching Slumdog’s heights is not going to be easy and comparisons are bound to be there, but that isn’t putting any pressure on her. “I’m someone who thrives on pressure. I thrive on tension, crisis, less time and deadlines. It brings out the best in me,” counters the pretty filmmaker. One question Loveleen’s often asked is, if her film is going to be an international venture, and this baffles her. “You just make a film. Whether it becomes a hit in a city or a country, two countries or five is beyond you. Crossover, international, mainstream, commercial, art… are just tags.”

Refer to Mira Nair, who Loveleen assisted on Monsoon Wedding, and she points out, “She lives abroad. She comes from a different space. I live in India. This is my speciality. I can’t relate to the NRI experience. May be some day in the future, but at the moment, mine is the Indian experience. It’s unique; there’s a strong element of traditional and modern ethos… perfect material for movie making.”

What about criticism regarding Slumdog highlighting only poverty in India? “Films are stories, they are not documentaries meant to highlight any aspect of society. You can only tell a story and tell it well. If it’s a boy from the slums, you have to tell it from that perspective. You can’t glamourise or glorify it.”

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’)

Anupam Kher writes from London on his experience of working with Woody Allen on his new film
Posted On August 27, 2009 (MUMBAI MIRROR)

A few months ago, my agent in London, Ruth Young, told me that Woody Allen had cast me in his untitled film as Freida Pinto’s father. That news came to me on May 24, as I was hosting the celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the release of my first film Saaransh. No award that I had received in my quarter century in cinema could have made me happier than this bit of news.

Buried as I was with work, the excitement abated only to resurface on August 23, when I was set to go to London for the shoot. It suddenly hit me that I was going to work with someone I had adored and almost worshipped for decades. Then, a strange nervousness gripped me; just like it did during the first day’s shoot of Saaransh. But that was understandable when I was a rookie being directed by Mahesh Bhatt. Now I had acted in almost 400 films. Yet I was nervous.

To understand this reaction, I spoke to my mentor Mahesh Bhatt and asked him how I should behave when I would be on Woody Allen’s sets. Nervous, confident or important? Mahesh said, “Just be the way you are: inquisitive, nervous, and, be yourself.”

I reached London the next morning and was taken for a ‘costume and look’ trial. I was told that Woody Allen would see me the next day as he only meets actors directly on the sets on the day of the shoot. But I pleaded and they reluctantly took me to a holding area near the location. The scene that was being shot was the exterior of a restaurant on a busy street in Notting Hill.

I was introduced to Freida who was warm and turned out to be a great admirer of my work. She introduced me to her co-star, Josh Brolin and I told him that he was brilliant in Milk. I then went out on the crowded street and some Bangladeshis waved to me. But there was an overpowering silence. I was searching for the man who I had seen only in films and whose books I had read and who was my icon. And suddenly I saw him. He was in his trademark beige trousers, light blue shirt and brown shoes. His specs were black. His hair had gone whiter and strangely, he looked taller and larger.

I had never seen anyone in my life who was as focussed as him. For him, the world did not exist, the crowds did not exist. There were no security guards around him. All that mattered was the frame of his shot. Even the crowd sensed his concentration. In respect, passersby moved in silence.

The executive producer was apprehensive, knowing Woody’s reluctance to meet actors in advance. On seeing the waving Bangladeshis, she knew I was as famous in the sub-continent as I had been made out to be and that made her apologetic as well.

There was a gap in the shoot; Woody had turned to his iPhone and was listening with great concentration to some music. The costume girl then walked up to him and showed him my pictures with the ‘look’ and told him that I was on location. I was wondering what his reaction would be.  My tongue was swollen and my mouth was dry.

He turned around and tried to match the face with the picture he had seen. And then, he spotted me and smiled. I tried to portray the confident look of Anupam Kher the veteran of almost 400 films and the winner of many awards. But all I managed was the anxious look that I had when I had watched my first shooting as a 16-year-old in Shimla. That was Rajesh Khanna, Sharmila Tagore and Rakhee in Yash Chopra’s Daag.

I wondered if Woody’s smile was out of politeness. But there was warmth in his eyes. I felt as if it took me a year to cover the five feet that separated us and I can vividly remember each step. His grip was firm and before I could say anything, he said, “It is a pleasure meeting you.” I heard myself saying, “I can’t believe it!” Woody insisted and repeated, “I am really am happy to see you!”

I told him I had seen all his movies, and he kept nodding, as he had heard such comments many times in his career. Then he looked at me as if to say, “Can I go back to my work…”

The next day I did my scenes with him and I realised that all what I had experienced as an actor in the decades was not of much use as one could not depend on any one school of acting. In my eye flashed scenes from Annie Hall, Manhattan, Sleeper, Crimes and Misdemeanors…

Suddenly the sun got brighter and the shooting stopped. I asked an assistant the reason and was told that Woody does not shoot in bright light. Imagine, everyone loves to shoot in bright light, save Woody Allen!

I discovered that I had left my camera in Mumbai and decided that it would be a pity to shoot pictures of the occasion on my cell. And as the day ended, Woody was more vocal. I told him that Indian cinema was changing and how we were making the kind of movies we always wanted. His cogent response was that it could only happen when the audience changes. He spoke of his early years in New York when he would watch films by Satyajit Ray and Kurosawa. “But now, it is the time of $200 million blockbusters,” he said.

Later that evening, I bought a camera and clicked some pictures. I also got some books for Woody to autograph and gifted him copies of the Ramayana and the Gita. One of the vintage memories of that day I will carry is when Woody was shooting a scene with lots of people and he wanted, in his typical style, for the camera to move from one speaking person to another. At the end of it, he told his cameraman, “You were a little lost…but I liked the chaos.”

Indeed, working three days with Woody Allen has been my most memorable experience in cinema. And I wish to thank Indian cinema for making all this happen. As I have said in my one-man play, “Kuchh bhi ho sakta hai…” Or, as my grandmother would say, “Allah meherban to gadheda pahelwan!”