Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘grandfather

Telugu star Rana Daggubati to make his Bollywood debut in Rohan Sippy’s film on the drug racket in Goa

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; January 02, 2010)


Producer-director Rohan Sippy’s gritty, hard-hitting film on the drug racket in Goa, inspired by Hollywood’s Traffic, has finally found a second hero.

The role, which was initially offered to Farhan Akhtar and Emraan Hashmi, has now gone to Rana Daggubati, the Telugu star-on-the-rise, based in Hyderabad. Abhishek Bachchan is playing the lead role in the film.

Rana is a rage in the Telugu film industry after he made his acting debut with the hard-hitting political thriller, Leader. He was chosen to play Abhishek Bachchan’s co-star because he fit the bill.

A source says, “It is the character of a Goan musician. When Rohan saw Rana’s picture, he was stuck by how Goan the Telugu actor looked. The Sippys saw Rana’s film, Leader, and knew he was right. The role is as powerful as Abhishek’s.”

The formalities were completed last week. Incidentally, Rana is not new to the film world. He comes from an illustrious film family. His grandfather is Andhra-based producer D Rama Naidu (who has produced 110 films including superhits in Hindi like Prem Nagar and Tohfa). His father is a distinguished producer Suresh Babu, while his uncle is the popular Telugu star Venkatesh.

Rana will now be another South Indian actor trying his luck in Hindi films after the likes of Kamal Haasan. Rajnikant, Chiranjeevi and Rana’s uncle, Venkatesh (who was launched opposite Karisma Kapoor in Anari by his father D Rama Naidu in 1993).

Rohan Sippy confirmed the casting, “Yes, I have signed Rana for the film I am directing.”

Everyone knows Kangna Ranaut, the accomplished actress of today. Here, she talks of her past and how it has made her the person she is

By Indu Mirani (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 29, 2009)


• What sort of a child were you?

I was very quiet. I used to suck my thumb. Other kids would never play with me and I would be sitting in one corner. There was something very strange about me. I didn’t live in the present. I was always in a dream world. I would be dreaming about the shows that I watched like Aladdin or Snow White and I would want to go to their world. My father would hate that I sucked my thumb, he would slap me and put my finger down and then I would cry.

• Were your parents strict with you?

I was never a naughty child, never troubled my mother. If you ask my parents they will say that I was very quiet, very peaceful and very scared of them. If they asked me to sit somewhere after five hours I would still be there. (laughs)

• Did you lead a very restricted life?

Yeah, I did. I wasn’t allowed to leave home after 6 o’clock so I would always make sure that I would go out late in the night. Then when my parents would say something like, ‘Andhera ho gaya hai, tum late aayi,’ I would just say ‘yes’. Slowly I became a person who wouldn’t listen to anyone. My father would be very upset with the clothes that I would wear. I don’t know what I wanted to prove. Now when I go home, I usually wear a salwaar kameez and wonder, why was I torturing them? (laughs)

A lot of the restriction came from living in a joint family. I remember having the biggest fights with my grandfather and every one’s jaw would just drop. Nobody had the guts to answer back to him and I was only 12 when I started doing so. He is an IAS officer and had lived all his life in Mumbai and for some strange reason he would always say that first all the males of the family would eat and then the females. I didn’t approve of rules like that and would insist on joining the men at the table. He would leave the table. My parents were quite embarrassed because of me.

• When was the first time you fell in love?

I was quite young. He was my English teacher, a very good looking guy and I was just a 13-year-old. That was the time I became aware of my sexuality. We were very comfortable with each other because he had been my teacher since I was eight or nine. But when I was thirteen and he would say, ‘Beta come here..’ or something like that, I would think what’s wrong with him, he doesn’t have to talk this way (laughs aloud). That was a beautiful romance because in my mind I used to romance him and he would be teaching me.

• How does living in a small town (Manali) compare to living in Mumbai?

These are two completely different worlds. This one is completely fake and that one is the real world. In Manali people live with animals. They feed them fodder and clean them too. So much of nature is involved there that you stay balanced. Here you deal with cars, roads, buildings and if you see a beggar, you treat him like a building and you treat a building like a human being. There is no reality here. I see so much of balance there, I see no balance here.

• What were you studying in Delhi?

Basically I went there for my vacations and then I decided to take admission in some college. Then I met a few people there and got into theatre. If you ask me honestly, I cannot recollect that time. I was like an animal, just wandering around. If someone was going to a modelling agency, I too would go with that person. I wasn’t aware of my actions at all which is a very pathetic and shameful way to live but I was living a life like that.

• So coming to Mumbai was also a part of that life?

Yes, my agency Elite sent me to Mumbai. I didn’t ask why I am going to Mumbai or what I will do in Mumbai. I came to Mumbai because I thought everybody came to Mumbai after Delhi. Then one fine day I stopped taking calls from the agency. I stopped going to the auditions. I used to go to town taking trains to give auditions and then within seven days of it all I was fed up. Then I said, ‘Forget it! I am not going to any audition as I don’t get any work.’

• Isn’t it all difficult for a young girl to manage?

It is and that’s what gets you into trouble. How do people get into problems? Actually they are the biggest problems for themselves. I got carried away with the life here, the nightlife, discos and the whole city life.

• You didn’t have any aspirations?

From childhood I would tell my parents and I would become somebody very famous. They used to be very rude to me when I would say this but for me it was always a matter of fact. I knew I was going to be what I wanted to be even if I had no idea what that was.

• And when you were rejected at the auditions, did it  dent in your confidence?

It did. I went through a lot of insecurities. I was leading a very random life for a year before I got Gangster. Before that too, I was supposed to do a few films. I didn’t have any concept of A grade or B grade cinema. I had hardly seen 10 films in my life. So if someone said, come to this audition, we want to sign a film with you, I would sign it. Fortunately for me, those films never took off. My parents would tell me that I would never be anyone and they would say all sort of negative things and I would think maybe they were right. I would think of myself as a loser in every sense, not only professionally but also in my personal life. That would scare me but also it wouldn’t last.

• Is there anything that you hated about yourself and wanted to change?

I hated everything about myself, my life, everything. When I came here, I was very uncomfortable about the clothes that I wore. I used to wear those really cheap clothes, buy them from streets and wear them and I would look so funny. I used to feel funny, not that I looked funny. Those dresses were not appropriate and no one should go out on the streets in them. They were fine for parties but I had no concept of what to wear and when. And I looked like a 16-year-old coming from some village trying to be modern. Not that I was dumb, I was intelligent but it was just so weird that people kept looking at me not very respectfully and I hated being so uncomfortable. If I had been wearing just jeans and a T-shirt, nobody would have noticed me. That was worse because if you are looking for assignments and modelling work and if nobody notices you then it’s terrible. So I was uncomfortable in every way. I never became friendly with anyone. Life was strange without parents, proper food, proper house, nothing at all in place. I hated everything around me and the way I was. I would go on for weeks and weeks without thinking where I was heading. That was a phase I remember and someday I will definitely make a movie on that.

• Was there peer pressure to do things?

I would do whatever others did. It didn’t matter if I liked it or not. It wasn’t peer pressure definitely but because I wanted to be one of them or maybe I wanted to prove that I belonged to this world, I went on like that for years and years. I didn’t hate it at that point of time. If I would have hated it, I would have changed it. But I had no clue what was wrong with my life. It took me two years to realise who I really am. Not that I hated it but I wasn’t happy either.

Were you lonely?

Loneliness was never a problem because whenever I was lonely I would do something that would make me happy. My problem was that I had too many people around me and they never let me be alone. Before I became an actress, I would go for auditions with people, have coffee and come back, normal life, not very different from Delhi. Then after I became an actress, there were designers, ADs, people who roam around the whole day on the sets. They kind of open those doors for you. You get shocked with what is happening around you but you don’t show it. This is how your new life starts and it just takes over.

• You also got into some wrong relationships

Well, when you get into a relationship it’s not wrong at that point of time and I won’t consider anything wrong with them. For me, I have been in two relationships till now, and both have been beautiful in their own way. It was I who was a random soul, and I still am. I still have so many things to learn in life. I am not a perfect person, nobody is perfect. So whatever experience one goes through is because of oneself.

Did you at anytime realise that you were in relationship that you shouldn’t be in?

See, relationships are not that important in my life. I don’t feel any pressure to say that love means everything and blah blah! For me, I don’t think love is something which will make me complete. It’s who I am. I have something to prove and I have a strong urge to do certain things in life. And if I don’t do that, I will be a very unhappy person. I never gave that kind of priority to any relationship. If I would have done that I would have been in a happy relationship and an unhappy career. I am clear about my priorities now. People at times judge me. They say that she says her priority is her career and her ambitions… but that’s ok. I am not ashamed of the fact that it actually is.

Today I am done with dating. Now if I get into a relationship, it will be with a proper plan. Now I would want to be with a man with whom I can see a future and give it more time and energy. If I see a man turning into my husband in the near future then only will I go ahead with a relationship. This is what life or age does to you. You can preserve your innocence but at the same time you cannot deny the fact that you cannot sometimes take another chance with life.

• So that means you are not going to fall wildly in love now because you are first going to look into the husband aspect of it.

Yeah. That’s true actually; otherwise I have always fallen in love first and then seen the right and wrong of it.

• You are too young to reach this decision. At this age people are still having flings.

Yes, if you start little late. But I started too early. (laughs) I started at 16. (laughs loudly)

• Are you still edgy?

That’s a very difficult question because to explain who I was is very difficult even for me. I mean nobody knows who they really are. Right now, I am definitely not the person who I want to be. There is still a lot to achieve but I am also definitely not the person I hated to be. I am okay now, peaceful,  but I want to be a better person in future. I am sure the better part of me is still to come.

Who do you want to be?

I just want to be a person whose very presence makes people smile. I want to have positivity and grace as a woman. When I came here, I was a tomboy. Not even a tomboy, I was something between a guy and a girl. I want to be a nicer human being so that when I look at myself I should feel proud of myself. Right now I don’t feel proud of myself. Earlier I used to feel shit about me. Whatever I said, I did, everything was wrong. I would always say the wrong thing at the right time. Now I don’t do those things which make me hate myself. I don’t beat myself up everyday when I go home. I am peaceful. But I am not even the person who would be so proud of herself.

• Are you ever fake?

Yes, I sometimes say things for the sake of saying things. Like the most common thing that I would say, “How are you?” makes me feel so fake. I prefer to say, “Kaise hain aap?” that makes me realise what I am saying. When I say it, I do really mean, kaise hain aap? So I am watching myself.

• When you were in trouble at any point in your life, have you taken any favours from your friends?

I have never ever taken any favour from anyone in my life. I have never called up any friend to discuss my problems or ask them for solutions. I have really great friends who claim to stand by my side when I am in trouble. I have been in trouble but never had the courage to test them because if my time was already bad, I wouldn’t want one more shock. So I never really tested my friends.

• When you say you never had the courage, you mean you were scared that they would not be by your side?

I don’t know. I never had the courage to discuss my problems with people around. I have always shown the happier side of me and I will continue to do that. It’s not my friend’s duty or concern to help me out with my troubles. I think it’s unfair to do so.

The presence of friends makes me uncomfortable. It distracts me from the situation. It’s the same with my parents. Even in childhood when I was in trouble, I would lock myself up in my room and would not leave my room until I had solved the problem. I have a lot of faith in my strength but parents and friends get so weak and I just think handling them is much more difficult than handling the situation.

• How do you manage to look so different in every film? Is it deliberate?

Honestly, it is. It bores me to death to be the same because for me it’s a character that I have to get into. So I change everything that I can. So I kind of do the fun things so people are shocked but I don’t like myself looking the same all the time.

Sometimes it can be embarrassing. Recently, at the Paa premiere, one of my co-stars was treating me like a fan. It was only when I said, ‘I am Kangna,’ that he realised that it was me. It’s so embarrassing, we work together for 60 days and they don’t recognise me. It has happened with me a lot. When I was in theatre, my guru used to tell me that it is a blessing in disguise. At times he would give me a guy’s role. He said that you have a face which can be moulded into anything. But another thing that really matters is whether my hair is curly or straight. It changes me so much that sometimes I too wonder about the look. It’s very good for a double role though.

By Bollywood Hungama News Network, December 4, 2009 – 14:06 IST Shahrukh Khan
After Aamir, it’s now the turn for King Khan to don the grey wig for a brand. Shahrukh Khan this time has done something unprecedented and innovative, by portraying the role of a 75-year-old grandfather, romancing Tanvi Azmi as his wife.

This is for the latest Dishtv campaign that gives viewers a chance to see Shahrukh Khan in an all new avatar. In the second TVC, Shahrukh Khan is paired with Tisca Chopra where he brings home an orphan girl child who settles into the family only after an experience with Dishtv.

Some of the best creative personalities in the country have come together to create this campaign. The creative idea was conceptualized by Ad industry veteran and celebrated lyricist, Prasoon Joshi and the McCann World Group team. The commercials have been directed by the much acclaimed Anurag Basu, (director of films like Life in a Metro, Gangster and the upcoming film Kites). Eminent fashion photographer Tarun Khiwal is the man behind the still photo campaign.

The television commercials are part of the brand’s new brand positioning of ‘Ghar Aayi Zindagi‘ and convey everyday beautiful emotions, through real life situations, of families rejoicing together with their loved ones. In line with the core message of the campaign, Shahrukh Khan will bring alive warm family moments that tug at the heartstrings. Indeed, SRK is the best man for this job.

Presenting the dichotomy kid… Ranbir kapoor

By Indu Mirani (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 05, 2009)

 

How much of the real Ranbir do we know?

 

Probably 30 per cent. And that too from the films I do because it’s only then that I actually give something of myself to the character. But when I am doing interviews, there is a certain amount of a façade. If you are an introvert or shy like me, you need to exude some confidence, some belief in what you are doing. But honestly, I am scared. I am not that confident an actor to believe and think that everything I do will be a success.

I believe, the remaining 70 per cent will eventually come through when I reach a point where I can really surrender to a character. I hope that role turns up some day. As I keep saying, I am very ambitious. I have lots of directors to work with, lots of roles to play. I hope to be a working actor everyday of my life, to be able to go on a set. I really don’t know what to do with my time when I am not on set.

// When you are not on your Segway that is…

(laughs) I do that every night. It’s my way of letting go. I know it sounds weird and stupid but it’s kind of spiritual. I do it at 2-2.30 in the night. The roads are empty, the weather is great and you just drive through.

A girl who has worked with you, describes you as a mixture of the three Khans. A bad boy like Salman, charmer like Shah Rukh and focused like Aamir.

That girl might be drunk or on some drug because I am not even close to any of these characteristics. The three Khans are living legends for me. Even using my name in the same sentence as theirs is an insult to them.

So you are saying that you are not a bad boy, charming or focused?

(blushing wildly) Actually I am. But I guess to a much milder degree.

So what is your charm?

I am just a happy person, I like talking to people who interest me. You just have to listen to people, I guess that’s what charm is. It’s not about corny lines, it’s not about the looks that you give somebody. It’s only about the attitude to and the conversations that you have with somebody.

Which Kapoor do you resemble as an actor?

As an actor, nobody. My grandfather, Raj Kapoor, was a stylised actor. I have always preferred him more as a director than an actor. Of course, though he was an amazing actor, his directorial abilities blew me away. Shammi Kapoor again had his own style. Shashi Kapoor had his own style. My father has always been a natural actor. So thankfully, I was never compared because you cannot compare natural acting. I would like to believe I have my own style and I am a natural too. I have my own good and bad qualities and I hope it remains like this. I anyway have the baggage of a lineage. If my acting reminded people of actors who they have worshipped earlier, I don’t think anybody would want to see me at all.

But you do want to direct at some point of time?

Yes, I do but it’s an immature dream. It is something I aspire to do one day. I am extremely passionate about movies, but right now I need to solidify my career as an actor. I need some bonafide blockbusters, I need people to have faith in me so that banks can give me money to make movies.

For a 27-year-old boy, you keep an extremely neat room. How come?

I am basically neat. I don’t like chaos, I can’t work like that. I like silence, I like loneliness. I like everything which is soft. I think because of my docile nature, it reflects in the environment I live in.

Even in your work?

Yes, of course, it just causes less confusion. But where my acting process is concerned, I am not bothered. I could be doing a scene in front of ten thousand people on the road, they could be loud and passing remarks, but it wouldn’t affect me. But I guess when the camera is rolling, you just change as a person.

Do you seek characters that are different from you as a person?

Not at all. An actor can only wish that these roles come to him. You can’t seek them. If I am not excited by a character, I can say no, irrespective of who the director or production house is. I need to connect with the characters I am playing.

One hears you were often beaten up by the principal in school?

My principal used to beat me up because I was very naughty in school. I used to do things which I should not have done as a student. I didn’t do it because I was somebody’s son. It was pure masti.

You were shy and naughty? That’s a strange combination.

I think I am just a confused soul. Confused, complicated and a bit complex. I am often told that. I think I am an amalgamation of everything.

And docile too?

That’s what I believe and that’s what my mother believes. I am just a calm soul.

Have you ever rebelled?

Not majorly, but I do believe that I have a rebel in me. I really don’t like to be told what to do.

You are most written about for your affairs…

It really hurts me that my affairs are being written about. I am suddenly acquiring this new image. It is not me. I have been in very few relationships in my life. Few have worked, few haven’t. And I am extremely sad about the ones which haven’t worked. I am not this lover boy, people think I am. The character I did in Bachna Ae Haseeno is not me. I am quite a romantic at heart, but at the same time, being in a relationship or being with a girl is not my priority. I do believe there are great things in store for me. I need to believe that if I need to move ahead. Women are lovely. I love and respect them, but that’s not my true calling in life. My true calling is cinema and acting.

Five films I can see again and againnd again:

1. Shree 420

2. Kaagaz Ke Phool

3. Dilwaale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge

4. Sanjay Bhansali’s Devdas

5. Andaaz Apna Apna

Six books that I can read again:

1. Songs That My Mother taught me by Marlon Brando

2. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon

3. Dreams from My Father – A story of race and inheritance by Barack Obama

4. Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler

5. Ingrid Bergman’s autobiography

6. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. It is cinematic in its writing. I could actually smell the kebabs in Afghanistan.

Six people whose lives I want to see chronicled in pictures:

1. Charlie Chaplin

2. Raj Kapoor

3. Michael Jackson

4. Amitabh Bachchan

5. Sachin Tendulkar

6. Lata Mangeshkar

Five songs always on my Ipod:

I can think of just one… Kisi ki muskuraahaton pe ho nisaar

//

Manisha Koirala (39) finds a new calling in politics. Will quit Bollywood to settle in Nepal to continue the family political legacy

By Meena Iyer (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 03, 2009)

 

Manisha Koirala is seriously contemplating joining Nepali politics. Her grandfather BP Koirala and her granduncle GP Koirala have both been ex-Prime Ministers of the mountain kingdom; and during her Diwali vacation in Kathmandu, Manisha visited the BP Koirala Memorial, fuelling talks of her imminent entry into politics.

 

It is still not clear whether she will contest elections as an Independent candidate or join the Nepali Congress which senior members of her family have been involved with, but the actress is serious about an alternate career.

“I will join politics,” says the actress who is flying to Los Angeles on November 5 for a work assignment. Manisha, who has steered clear of Nepal politics so far, says that her recent trip to Kathmandu has given her some fresh insights into the socio-political scene.

“I have a couple of films to complete in Mumbai,” she admits.

But she has spent almost four months this year in the US and seriously wants to move home base from Mumbai to Los Angeles. “It is too early to say anything about the work I am planning in LA,” says Manisha. “But I have made some good contacts in the movie business. I want to make LA my base as far as films go.”

The actress says that since her parents are now in Kathmandu, she doesn’t want to live alone in her huge duplex. “It makes little sense to run this place for one person… and it is also getting a bit lonely,” she admits.

Her brother Siddharth and his family have their own apartment in Mumbai. So the next step for her is to commute between Los Angeles and Kathmandu. “My political plans are in the formative stage,” she says. “However, I do realise that if I’m to take the plunge; which I have decided, I will then I need to spend a lot of time in my home country.”

While the actress wishes to continue to dabble in movies in some form or the other (be it acting or producing) she also wants to make her foray into politics.

Manisha will return to India in the third week of November because she is likely to be conferred with a political honour in Kanpur/Delhi around that time.

Man of the moment: Ranbir Kapoor

Ranbir Kapoor fell in love with movies while still at school. He talks to Subhash K Jha about love, life and how actors are overrated
TIMES LIFE! (October 18, 2009)

RANBIR KAPOOR’S earliest memories of his grandfather Raj Kapoor make him smile as he gets ready for his first shot for the day in Bhopal where he’s shooting for Prakash Jha’s Rajneeti.

“I was his favourite grandchild. Whenever my mom shouted at me I would call him up and he would fire her. I, being his first grandson, was special. Every weekend, the grandkids used to go to his home in Chembur. He kept a bag of toffees and gave us one every time we salomed him. I once asked him for a suit when he was visiting Russia. He got back two bags of suits in every colour possible. He never shopped for anyone else.” Wonder if the suits had anything to do with it, but Ranbir became an ardent fan of
Raj Kapoor’s cinema in school. “It was during my last days of school. That’s when I realised I wanted to be part of the film industry. The first RK film I saw was Sri 420. It influenced me deeply.”

Ranbir’s father Rishi
Kapoor wanted his son to get a formal education before he became an actor. “I completed my Standard 12 in Mumbai. Then I went to film school in America although everyone suggested I go to business school. But I don’t think I ever could do anything apart from movies. My father supported that and agreed to send me to acting school.”

Ranbir loved the experience of living alone in the US. “I learnt to value my fami
ly and my money. I missed my parents. I met them three times a year in Mumbai. In New York, my friends and I would take a train to Queens to see new Hindi films. Being in touch with Hindi films and music during my stay in the US made me determined to turn a director at the earliest.”

‘I’M REALISTIC ABOUT LOVE’
Ranbir didn’t have a girlfriend in the US. “But I had my first girlfriend before that in school in Mumbai when I was in Class 7. I was really naïve then. I didn’t understand love. When that relationship ended I went into depression. I thought I would never fall in love again. Now I think I’ve become more realistic about love. Love is a beautiful feeling. It almost equals cinema in my list of passions.”

Ranbir’s parents have been married for over 30 years. “I firmly believe in marriage. Marriages today go wrong for temporary pleasure and lust. My marriage will be for keeps.”

The Wake Up Sid actor has
seen his parents’ marriage go through turbulent times. “That’s what makes any relationship stronger. My sister and I were never kept in the dark about my parents’ fights. If after marriage, God forbid, my wife and I fight, I’d make sure our children don’t feel insecure.”

Ranbir feels Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh make the best ever pair on and off screen. “Just as Raj
Kapoor made the best onscreen pair with Nargisji. Me? I think I make the best pair with Konkona Sen-Sharma.”

He admits, “Yup, I think I have a wonderful life. But I want more. Much more. I don’t want my life to get perfect. Because then there’d be nothing more to strive for.”

The way he’s handling his career would have made his grandfather Raj Kapoor proud. If Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Saawariya brought Ranbir instant notice, his new film Wake Up Sid has given the young actor a cult status.

Ranbir isn’t taking the rave reviews seriously.
He pushes on doing his work, sometimes to the exclusion of a personal life. Girlfriend Deepika Padukone recently had to fly in to Bhopal to spend time with the country’s latest heartthrob. But when he’s shooting, Ranbir detests distractions. He’s so focussed on his work the people close to him feel left out.

For Shimit Amin’s Rocket Singh Salesman Of The Year, which releases next, Ranbir learnt to speak fluent Punjabi. “Rocket Singh made me a better human being. Not too
many roles do that. Though my mother is Sikh, I didn’t speak fluent Punjabi. But I started speaking Punjabi for the role of the Sikh. I wore a kadaa throughout the making of the film. I had a beard and turban. I read the Guru Granth. This film made me know and respect the Sikh culture and religion.”

‘ACTORS ARE OVERRATED’
Ranbir is all set to buy himself a home, “It’s just property acquisition. I’ll never live in it, not even when I get married. I can’t stay away from my parents.”

He also has a wishlist of 40 directors he wants to work with. It’s not just in his head. The names are diligently written down and being ticked off one by one. “For me, cinema and not just acting is a passion. I love filmmakers. Actors are generally just tools, and overrated.”

Ranbir reveals his plans as a director. “It sounds too pompous to say I’m already directing a film. But I’ve been inspired by the work of Raj Kapoor, Guru Dutt, Mehboob Khan, Bimal Roy. My father made me watch their works. I’m not influenced by actors. I’m influenced by these directors. They made me passionate about cinema. I’ve a number of ideas for what I want to make. But I’m not a good writer. I would definitely like to cast myself because I know my film would be about a boy my age. And I’d like to believe no one else would fit the bill better.”

He lights up when he speaks about his father Rishi Kapoor. “I loved my father in Love Aaj Kal. He’s a source of inspiration. His passion for any film, good or bad, is exemplary.”

He has signed only one new film. “I want to take a month off. On the other hand, these are the best years of my life and I might as well make the best of them. Truth is, I feel guilty when I’m not working. I would rather be on a film set than anywhere else.”

Pausing to think, Ranbir says, “I think God has already made plans for me. How things turn out are not in my hands. All I can do is follow my conviction.”
timeslife@timesgroup.com

ALL THE BEST: Bollywood’s Bengali beauty Bipasha Basu wishes BT readers on the auspicious occasion of Dussehra today after paying obeisance to Ma Durga at the North Bombay Sarbojanin Durga Puja Charitable Trust’s pandal in Juhu
Bengali beauty Bipasha Basu on her favourite festival

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; September 28, 2009)

Durga Puja is the time of the year when Bengali bombshell Bipasha Basu longs to be at home in Kolkata. The actress spent her early years in the City of Joy where her grandfather initiated a special puja each year at their family home. This year, Bipasha attended her producer Ajay Devgn and his wife Kajol’s special pujo — popularly known as the Mukherjee’s Puja at the North Bombay Sarbojanin Durga Puja Charitable Trust’s pandal in Juhu, to pray for the success of Devgn Films’ All The Best — Fun Begins that is slated for an October 16 (Diwali) release.


Bipasha couldn’t be home for her own family puja but the actress didn’t miss the opportunity to pay obeisance to Ma Durga, who she says gives her strength to be the independent and successful woman
that she is. Says Bipasha, “Durga Puja is a festival that is an intrinsic part of all Bengalis. Ma Durga gives me the strength to be myself. If I don’t give anjali on ashtami, I feel very sad. It is my connect with my childhood memories.” Her eyes light up in delight as she continues, “During Durga Puja we used to get new clothes and extra pocket money. All of us kids would cut fruit, make chandan (sandalwood) paste, distribute prasad and bhog in the pada (community) and lots of adda (chats) over the sound of the dhak and the dhol. I miss the Kolkata Puja and I try and take darshan at the local pandals of Mumbai each year. This year John, my didi, nephew Anitej and niece Nia were with me. We missed my parents and my younger sister Vijayeta who are in the United Kingdom currently.”

Abhishek Bachchan (33) was replaced in films, thrown out of some and suffered the ignonimity of having his films stalled. But he is a survivor. He talks about his journey candidly
By Indu Mirani (MUMBAI MIRROR; August 26, 2009)
When did you first become aware that you were Amitabh Bachchan’s son?

From as early as I can remember because for us at home it was never like, “I am Amitabh Bachchan’s son”. He was always ‘Pa’ for us. That’s something my mother always made sure of. I was never led to believe that I was the son of this great actor and so I was special.
Did you ever resent being Amitabh Bachchan’s son?

Never never… and I don’t think that will ever happen because I thank god everyday that I have been born into the family that I am born into and that I have the loving parents I have.

Did you ever want to be anything other than an actor?

As a child you have different ambitions everyday. I was no different. But amongst those ambitions, I also wanted to be an actor and acting is the one that stayed with me. As a kid I wanted to be a fireman, astronaut, race car driver, business tycoon. As a kid you are forever dreaming and then I realised that here is a job in which you can be everything at the same time.

What about acting comes easily to you?

I don’t know what comes most easily to me. Maybe just the acceptance of the environment because this is the world I grew up in, this is the world I know.

And what is difficult?

There are certain scenes and emotions that are difficult to tackle. But that is how it should be, you shouldn’t do an easy job.

How do you overcome such moments?

At that moment, it’s sheer desperation. You come up against a road block and you do whatever it takes to overcome it. You dig deep and pull out all the stops, just go for it.

Do you find yourself referencing your dad?

With an actor of his caliber, he is a standard, a reference point for every actor.

Did you ever watch any Rajesh Khanna films?

No, I never really saw his films. As a kid I always saw dad’s films.

In retrospect, how do you react to the flak your wedding invitee list got?

What flak? That was created by the media. I was switched off it. It was my once-in-a-lifetime wedding. I didn’t want anything to alter what I felt at that time period of time. I had no idea what was going on outside my gates. For me I was going to get married to the person I loved and that was going to be my favourite memory. I don’t pay heed to these kinds of things. Do I make a big deal about the invitation list? No. I don’t expect to be invited anywhere and I don’t think anybody said, ‘Oh, I should have been invited.’ Nobody said that to me. If they have a problem they come and talk to me and I will tell them the reasons behind it. The people invited were just very close friends and family. People tend to forget I had an ailing grandmother in the hospital and it was a conscious decision on the part of the family to keep the celebrations to a minimum. I would have loved to call the entire film fraternity. Yes this is where I work, these are my people. Could I? No, and I think people should respect that and if they don’t, then, it’s their problem.

How did you deal with the 17 failures you had at the beginning of your career?

You have to deal with it. You do whatever it takes. I have always been uncomfortable talking about myself because I am not that kind of person. Some people understand it some people don’t, some people accept it, some people don’t. I am fine with it. My only focus at that point of time was to carry on working. The minute you start thinking about the negatives, you become a bitter person. And I am not bitter, I never want to be and I don’t like bitter people.

Was it difficult?

Of course, it was. I was replaced in films, I was thrown out of the films and my films shut down halfway. It’s not a pleasant feeling. Do I make a big deal out of it? No. As compared to the struggle of other people, mine looks small. Many people don’t know that when I decided to be an actor, for a year I didn’t have a job. Some people might have thought that, ‘Oh, he is Mr Bachchan’s son; he would get a job easily. And I know close to 30 directors, who are some of the big directors who said to my face, “No sorry, we don’t want to make a film with you.” It’s not like I had a line of producers outside my house. I have been to a lot of producers and directors requesting them to work with me. Thankfully JP saab came over and said, ‘I want to work with you’ and he was the first person who did and I readily accepted. So how do you deal with it? Try and be positive and keep working hard.

By the grace of God, I have a wonderful family. I was never made to look like an underachiever or a loser. They are very supportive and always encouraging, that is not to say that they are blindly supportive. If they saw a film of mine which didn’t like they would say so and tell me how to improve. They never said, ‘Oh, you are hopeless. Forget it!’ There was a point in time when I thought that about myself because when you repeatedly fail and that too on public platform and you are humiliated on a public platform, Friday to Friday, after a period of time, your zest, your confidence goes flying out of the window and you start believing it. When you have 15-16 flops in a row, common sense kicks in, saying ‘Wait a second, obviously you don’t know anything, you are doing something wrong and maybe you shouldn’t be doing this.’ I had no confidence. I couldn’t go out in public because I genuinely believed that I had failed. Then I went up to my father and said, ‘I think, I have made a mistake and I have paid for it dearly and maybe I am not meant to be actor.’ He said, “I have not brought you up to be a quitter, I have brought you up to be fighter. Keep at it. I am telling you, I am going to be your biggest critic. I am telling you that you are improving with film after film. Do whatever you get. Whatever role, small role, big role, just do it. Spend time in front of the camera so that you get the opportunity to improve and eventually prove your worth.’ And that’s what I did. I dived into work, whatever I got, I did, and thankfully after a while they started accepting me.

How important is marriage?

It’s a wonderful institution. I won’t say I am going to recommend it. If you want to get married, get married. It’s a personal choice. I have taken the step to stay with the woman I love and care for. I am happy I did. It has been a wonderful wonderful journey so far.

And kids?

Kids are great. I think part of the reason why you want to get married is that you want to settle down and start a family and have kids. I think two should be good. Ham do hamare do.

Are you part of Dhoom 3?

Dhoom 3 is not being made as of now. If Adi (Aditya Chopra) decides to make it, I am pretty sure Ali and Jay would be apart of it. It’s their story, it’s their franchise, unless they want to take a U-turn and change it completely. Dhoom 2 has been my biggest hit and that’s the character I enjoyed working on.

For years numerologists said you should drop your surname and you resisted. Do you feel vindicated now?

I don’t feel vindicated. I think it’s foolish and stupid to even suggest it. Why would I want to drop my surname? I am very proud of being a Bachchan. I am what I am because I am a Bachchan. I don’t understand the theory behind changing my name. I have a name which my grandfather gave me. I carry it with great pride and I am not going to change it because somebody else wants to change it. Your film is not going to work because you change the spelling of your name. Destiny is written for you and you have to aid it by working hard.

Kareena has said that she has always had space in her heart for you…

Bebo has always said that. She was my first heroine and she will always be special for me. She is not only a very sweet girl but also one of the finest actresses. We started our journey together. So she is always special to me.

So will you work with her?

Of course, I will. People keep saying that I refuse to work with her. The fact is that nothing worthwhile has come up.

PROUD TO BE AN INDIAN: Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan wave the tricolour for BT. For more pictures of Bollywood’s hot couple, log on http://photogallery.indiatimes.com
MARK MANUEL Times News Network (BOBMAY TIMES; August 15, 2009)


The wind plucked at their hair and tugged at the flag. But Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor were not letting go off the Indian tricolour. This Independence Day, they aren’t here — a prior commitment will see them, along with Shah Rukh Khan and Katrina Kaif among others, shaking hands, signing autographs and posing for pictures with 50,000 Indians in Chicago. A Meet-and-Greet with Bollywood’s big stars has been organised as an Independence Day treat for Indian fans in the US today and tomorrow, in Chicago and Houston respectively. Tomorrow is also Saif ’s birthday… so it will be a double whammy for old fans and new of the actor-producer who is riding a big high with the super success of his first home production. Before they flew to the US on Thursday night, Bollywood’s most photogenic and happening couple waved the flag and said “Jai ho!” to BT readers. They would have loved to be here today, of course — swine flu notwithstanding, but the fans abroad have been waiting from ever since…

Kareena is used to the flag hoisting scene. As a child, she would hold elder sis Karishma Kapoor’s hand and toddle off to the R K Studios in Chembur where grandfather Raj Kapoor had a ceremony every Independence Day for the children in the family. Holi, rang barse and bhang, Rajji kept for the elders! Then, when Karisma entered Bollywood and the sisters stayed with their mother in Lokhandwala, as a girl of nine or ten, Kareena used to attend the housing society’s
Independence Day functions. But for the last five years, now, she has been out of the country on August 15. And while the patriotic surge is there, the ears strain to catch Jana Gana Mana wherever she is, it’s not the same as being in India on Independence Day. Saif, on the other hand, remembers early Independence Days spent at the family’s royal seat in Pataudi, Bhopal, where they had their own flag and coat of arms. His father, Mansoor Ali Khan, was the ninth and last Nawab of Pataudi before Indira Gandhi abolished royal entitlements in 1971 by an amendment to the Constitution. The royal flag came down (he remembers it fluttering from his grandmother’s car) and the Indian tricolour came up at Pataudi. Today, despite the royal blood, and over Kareena’s protests that he sometimes acts like a little angrez, MAK Pataudi’s only son is as Indian as his Punjabi lady love. See the pride in their eyes as they wave the flag? That’s what we mean.
mark.manuel@timesgroup.com