Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘overseas

Aamir Khan not only feels the need to take up cooking, but wants to grow his own vegetables as well

By Meena Iyer (MUMBAI MIRROR; January 02, 2010)


Aamir Khan has two immediate plans when for the future. The actor, who was in Kolkata for New Year’s Eve, is expected to go overseas for a holiday. And when he returns, he has plans to enroll for cooking classes.

Says Aamir, “I’m fascinated by cooking. My mother is easily my favourite cook. She can make everything from exotic dishes to regular stuff exceptionally well. And when I feel like home food, I just drive to Pune to eat it.”

To keep the biwi happy as well, he adds, “Kiran is also a fantastic cook and she loves getting into the kitchen.”

The actor, who confesses that his skills are limited to boiling an egg and making a cup of tea, says he has no cooking prowess. “I volunteer to help Kiran with the dishes if she asks me,” he says.

Talking about his determination to join cooking classes, he says, “I admire people who cook well. It is just one of those things that keeps going on in my head.

Earlier, I didn’t bother with it because I always reasoned this is not one of the equities that I as a star am expected to bring to the table. But now I just feel I must learn to cook. I don’t know how soon I can get around to doing it though,” he says.

Aamir, who is also fascinated by the thought of growing his own vegetables, has said, “I’m seriously toying with the idea of organic farming. Both Kiran and I are fascinated by farming. I think it would be really nice to be able to grow our own vegetables and feed people.”

Bollywood lets its hair down as 2009 comes to an end and raises its hopes for 2010

TEAM BT Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 31, 2009)

AMITABH BACHCHAN: In the New Year, the entire family is hoping to do the kind of work that would please the audience and carry the company forward. Our New Year wishes? May 2010 bring peace and well-being. May it fill us with pride as a nation. May our glory spread further. May we progress in all walks of life. And may the year keep me alive to witness the country, the film industry and my family prosper and progress. I look forward to the coming year passing peacefully.
KATRINA KAIF: I couldn’t hope for a better New Year’s day. I’m in London with my sisters and brother having the time of my life. We have lots of fun when we all are together. After I started working I have hardly seen my siblings. So meeting them is always special and a festival to mark our meeting, is the cherry on the cake. My mother forced me to leave my cell phone behind in Mumbai, so I’m almost cut off from Bollywood. What hopes for 2010? Lots of hard work and hopefully hits.


SHAH RUKH KHAN: I will be at home (Mannat) with Gauri, Aryan, Suhana and a couple of close friends like Karan Johar. Being with close family is the one thing I truly cherish.


AKSHAY KUMAR: Tina, Aarav and I are in Goa. I normally take a vacation from December 29 to January 2 because it includes a double celebration. Tina’s birthday on December 29, and then the New Year’s eve party. Honestly what can be better than spending time with your loved ones? This is a commitment I have made to my family.


DEEPIKA PADUKONE: I will be home in Bangalore with my parents and my sister. Then I go to Goa to wrap up the last fortnight on Ashutosh Gowarikar’s film. Every year I hope that the following year is as exciting as the previous year and I’m very happy with the way my professional life is going. Hope 2010 is the same.


RANBIR KAPOOR: I start shooting for Siddharth Anand’s film in the US from January 2. Since I didn’t wish to be in an aircraft on New Year’s eve, I left India on December 27. My entire family is in Dubai as tomorrow is my paternal grandmother’s birthday and the family is treating her to a one-week holiday there. I wish I could join them!


KAREENA KAPOOR: Saif and I are in England. We are catching up with Saif ’s Oxford batchmates and their spouses. I’m dying to wear my fur coat and sniff the English chill… looking and feeling every inch a diva. We work hard all the year around to make this happen, so let me enjoy myself.

BIPASHA BASU: I’m performing tonight. Then there will be a small get-together with friends. I always like to keep my New Year’s plans uncluttered. Home is the best place to be on any special occasion. And New Year will be a nonfilmy evening at home. Beyond that my only resolution for 2010 is, love yourself.

VIDYA BALAN: I bring in 2010 with my birthday tomorrow… no one can forget it! What hopes do I have for 2010? Oh plenty! After watching Mr Bachchan at work in Paa, I realised being focussed on your work to the point of shutting out everything else is not something I need feel guilty about. Now I’m all set to be seen as this full-blown, seductive, sexually-charged woman in Ishqiya. It brings an entirely new perspective to my personality for the audience. That’s what I’m hoping for in 2010… to find new aspects to my personality through the roles I play.

AJAY DEVGN: Kajol, Nysa, my parents, cousins, sister and her family and I will all be at our Karjat farm house. We’re planning an extended holiday. I start work only from January 2, so does Kajol. So in the meantime it is going to be a huge, long party.


AMRITA RAO: I wonder what 2010 has in store for me… Resolutions sound nice to the ears but adhering to them is a matter of destiny!


AMISHA PATEL: I have a show in Dubai. I will be working and then I will take a holiday. I always like working on New Year’s day because I feel you will then be working throughout!

RITESH DESHMUKH: Friends and I are contemplating how to ring in the New Year. It’s not compulsory to indulge in anything fancy, even a quiet time with good friends does the trick!


ARSHAD WARSI: I am looking forward to three releases in 2010. Will start Raju’s film next year so it’s going to be an eventful year. I haven’t a plan for New Year as yet. I’ll be with family and friends.


ANUSHKA SHARMA: I don’t do much for the New Year. Actually I do nothing. I just wish my family and go to bed.


SHABANA AZMI: As usual I’ll be with my family and a few close friends for the New Year.


IRRFAN KHAN: On every festive occasion I try to visit my mother in Jaipur. But for the New Year I made plans to be home. Beyond the New Year I’ve made no plans. I’ve noticed every time I’ve chalked out a plan for myself, life has humbled me. I leave all my plans to God.


MUGHDA GODSE: I am dancing at a live performance in Delhi tonight and will spend New Year with family and close friends. I’ve a horror film tentatively titled Help coming up for release. My co-star Bobby Deol is such a sweetheart. I hope to find a guy like him this year. Where are all the gentlemen?”


HEMA MALINI: I won’t be doing anything much for New Year. I’ll be with my family and rehearsing for my dance show which is on January 2.


POOJA BEDI: I’m having a small get-together on the terrace of my beachfront penthouse with flowers, candles and an incredible view of the entire city, with my father, my children and a few loved ones.

SUSHMITA SEN: I normally travel overseas. However, Alisah, my younger daughter, can’t travel abroad yet because she doesn’t have a passport. Hence it will have to be a beach resort in India.

ASIN: For me it will be a quiet New Year with family. I wanted to make it for Christmas itself, however I will ring in the New Year at my family home in Kerala.

The music of My Name is Khan releases today. Karan Johar tells us five things that everyone wants to know about the film

By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 16, 2009)



• How long do you plan to work only with Shah Rukh Khan considering that actors have a limited shelf life, unlike directors?

I have never worked without him and I have no clue what the experience will be like. I do my best work when Shah Rukh is on the sets as there is this tremendous sense of comfort when he is around and I feel that everything will be fine and fun on the sets. I think I will be working with him for the rest of my life as we have this special connection not only personally but also professionally. We understand each other very well, he is a member of my family and vice versa.

• Don’t you think that right now the audience wants to watch entertaining films while yours is a serious film?

Well, I don’t know as I never calculate anything as far as creativity goes. I know that I have made a film with my heart, soul and a lot of passion. My entire team- SRK, Kajol, Ravi Chandran, Shibani, Deepa, Sharmistha and everybody else- has really toiled to make it a soulful venture. I firmly believe that emotions are universal and I know that when they connect with the audience, it works. There is no such thing as an entertaining or a serious film; there are good films and bad films. Good films will always find a vast audience.

• Your last film Kurbaan had a terrorism backdrop and was promoted as a love story, which clearly did not work. Do you plan to have a different strategy for the promotion of My Name is Khan?

There is nothing about terrorism in Khan. It is a soulful emotional journey about a man who is all for love and that’s exactly how we are promoting the film. I certainly have no idea why the rumours about terrorism in Khan are doing the rounds.

• My Name is Khan releases on February 12. Do you think it’s the ideal release date considering its Valentine’s Day week and youngsters would want to see a romantic film?

Absolutely! Khan’s core content is a love story. The entire journey is the love story between Rizwan and Mandira, my protagonists. What better time than the Valentine’s Day week for the release of this love story about two people who go through so much in life for love.

• My Name is Khan will have the biggest release till date, even overseas. Do you think it’s the right strategy?

We have a great partnership with Fox Searchlight and it is their strategy to have a platform release, which is what they call such a release. They believe that My Name is Khan has a market way beyond what’s expected and it is their strategy to break certain boundaries of exhibition for this film. They have full faith in the film and I hope their faith pays off. The real work for any filmmaker stars after he finishes directing a film. I spent two years making the film but most of my efforts for the next two months will go in the promotion, marketing and connecting with the audience.

Premiere league

My Name is Khan will premiere at the Berlin Film Festival on February 12. It is expected to be screened at one of Berlin’s most important locations, Potsdamer Platz. Incidentally, it is the first Indian film to be premiered in Berlin.

K2: Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol are paired together after eight years in My Name Is Khan
First look of Karan Johar’s My Name Is Khan going to 70 countries on TV tonight at 10

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 16, 2009)

It has the ‘K’ factor going for it. Eight years after Shah Rukh Khan, Karan Johar and Kajol came together for one of the biggest Bollywood blockbusters of all time — Kabhie Khushi Kabhi Gham, the charismatic trio are presenting the trailer of their February 12, 2010 release, Fox Star Studios’ My Name Is Khan, tonight. Yes, look out for it, Star TV Network will beam the first look of the first production by SRK and KJo together at 10 pm across 70 countries worldwide. So wherever you are, you can catch the promo for sure.

Says Karan, “This is the first time ever in the history of Bollywood that the promos of a film will play across such a wide platform. And, this has mainly been made possible because of our synergy with Fox. It is my first production with SRK and also the first time a Bollywood company is tying up with a mainstream Hollywood studio. So, there are many firsts to this venture.” He adds, “The idea of the launch was suggested to us by Fox. Both Shah Rukh and I felt that it was the best way to flag off our campaign. We wanted to create a road block and since Star has such a broad base globally, we both conferred that it would be an ideal way to launch our first promos.’’

For Karan, the film is not just his biggest professional challenge, it is also an emotional journey. One of India’s brightest production talents says, “Shah Rukh and Kajol have never gone wrong in their pairing. For me, combining with these two actors is not only a professional high, it is also an emotional bond. The three of us have done two super-hit films in the past — Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Kabhie Khushi Kabhi Gham (K3G). Now, we’re hoping that we can recreate the same magic with My Name Is Khan.’’

The buzz is that this is the most expensive deal to have ever gone through in Bollywood history. Unconfirmed reports say that Fox picked up the film for Rs 100 crore and will release it with 600 prints overseas, making it the widest release
for a Bollywood film on foreign shores. Theatrical trailers of the film have been attached to the prints of James Cameron’s Avatar that is releasing today. Trade analyst Komal Nahta says, “Never before has there been such excitement over a film, nor has there been such a wide release for any Bollywood film so far.’’
LAUGHING ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK: Bollywood hit producer Boney Kapoor prepares for his next blockbuster,
Milenge Milenge, starring Kareena Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor

Boney Kapoor is buoyed by the success of Wanted and the future prospects of the last Kareena-Shahid film together

MARK MANUEL Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; November 9, 2009)

Boney Kapoor is maha excited. Not over Wanted, his September blockbuster that got close to Rs 40 crore billing, but by his January release Milenge Milenge — which is the last time you will see Kareena Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor romantically paired on screen. I don’t have to tell you the film’s been in the making for a while, but Boney is confident it will be successful. “I can feel it in my bones,” he said emphatically, “why should it not work, it’s a good love story, it’s got fantastic music.” But what about the chemistry between Kareena and Shahid, I asked. “That’s there,” Boney declared, “besides, once the lights are off in the theatre, you forget whether they are a couple or not, and they become characters.”
He’s been a major player in Bollywood for 33 years now, and has always been big on ideas, and bigger on executing them. Which accounts for some 30 successes over the 80s, 90s and so far into the 2000s. Now he rattled off their names to me not in any order but as they came to mind. “There was Judaai in 1997 with Anil Kapoor and Sridevi which was a major hit but not a blockbuster,” he began, “Company, Pukar in 2000 — that won the National Award, and Loafer which was very successful, also Run in 2004… Abhishek Bachchan’s cleansing began with this film, and Sirf Tum in which Sushmita Sen had the superhit song Dilbar… then No Entry, the biggest commercial success of 2005, and Wanted now, which I would rate as one of the Top 10 films of all time. It’s still running! And it’s a case study to the business that has evolved now. When people talk of a film raking in Rs 200 crore… that’s a western concept to lure eyeballs. What you get in hand is what matters. I gave you the Indian boxoffice figures for Wanted. The overseas, satellite, home video/audio, branding rights are separate.”
He’s had some lemons at the box office as well, films like Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja in 1993 that I wasn’t reminding him about. However, Boney said on his own, “I’m a complete hands-on filmmaker, I’ve been through it all, I’ve done so many films, and several for my brothers Anil and Sanjay too, that I’ve got to know the complete and detailed aspects of filmmaking and distribution. With today’s invasion of corporates, the role of the producer is not underlined, there’s just a mad rush to put the package together. That’s why you’ve seen so many packages falling like nine pins! The control of the project is the engine… and it’s important to have a producer driving it with passion. Yes, the corporates brought in discipline where the business of filmmaking is concerned, and they streamlined the revenue mode, but they took away the passion.” That Boney has passion, there is no doubt. “I’ve been through the highs and lows, I’ve had a fractured financial status, but even then… if I can still churn out a blockbuster, what magic might I have done with a complete back-up,” he asked. The answer to that, perhaps, is in the films his production house BSK Network and Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. is making. I’ve already told you about Milenge Milenge. Then there’s the Anees Bazmee directed It’s My Life with Genelia, Harman Baweja and Nana Patekar, a remake of the successful South Indian film Bombraillu in Telugu and Santosh Subramaniam in Tamil. Isn’t Hurman bad news in Bollywood, I asked. “Wasn’t Amitabh bad news until Zanjeer,” Boney shot back. And he’s got three more films in mind for which Boney Kapoor can already hear the cash tills at the box office ringing. They are all sequels. “I’m starting Mr. India 2 — Be Positive,
there’s a strong possibility of Anil and Sridevi being the
lead pair, plus a new, young couple, and somebody big playing the major and unusual role of the villain. Then I’ve got a fix for No Entry 2. And somebody suggested a good idea for Most Wanted. Everything depends on the viability of the projects and availability of the main crew. I’m a strong believer in the need for a good support system. My cast is always according to the need of the film. What works is not a package, but the product.”
After a self-imposed house arrest to prepare for his next film, Farhan Akhtar was so depressed that he took two months to recover
By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; September 22, 2009)

Farhan Akhtar recently took his love for method acting too far. So involved was he with his role in his forthcoming film, Karthik Calling Karthik that he took two long months to get back to his normal self.

The story goes that for his next film, Karthik Calling Karthik, in which he plays a super intense character, Farhan locked himself in his house and refused to meet or interact with anyone to prepare for his role. He did this continuously for eight days. Farhan didn’t even spare his immediate family during the eight days that he had locked himself up. He would hardly interact with them.

Farhan Akhtar

The actor also stopped his daily work out altogether as he plays the boy-next-door, which requires him to look very unlike a hero.

After preparing for eight days, Farhan shot for the film start to finish, which took a toll on him. The immediate aftereffect of the self-imposed arrest was that he withdrew into a shell and didn’t have a social life for a long time.

When Farhan realised that he had taken the love for acting too far, he started getting back to his normal routine by first taking a two-week long holiday overseas. After he came back about a month ago, the first thing he did was hit the gym as he was sorely missing his work out sessions. Exercising daily also made him feel good and he gradually got back his confidence, which he had lost because of getting under the skin of the character.

Farhan is still in the process of reclaiming his life and he makes sure that he meets his old friends regularly and also has begun getting back to his busy work schedule, slowly but surely.

The star had a blackout on Thursday night while at a promotional event. Her frequent bouts of ill health are worrying family and friends, but Priyanka is in no mood to slow down
By Kunal m Shah and Indu Mirani (MUMBAI MIRROR; August 08, 2009)

Priyanka walking out of a hospital after an earlier illness. Note her waif-like frame

Priyanka Chopra had a health scare on Thursday night when she had a dizzy spell and a brief blackout minutes after addressing the media at an event to promote Kaminey at a suburban theatre. This is the fourth time in the last few months that the actress has suffered from indifferent health sparking concern among family and friends about her pushing her body beyond endurance.

“She has been running high temperature for the last several days but refuses to slow down her crazy schedule. She came for Thursday’s event propped up by antibiotics but exhaustion took a toll. She stood tall at the media briefing only on sheer will power,” said an eye witness, “but immediately afterwards, she went out of the exit corridor and collapsed. Everybody around was most concerned.”

She has fallen ill during every film that she has worked on be it Dostana, more recently What’s Your Rashee? when Ashutosh Gowariker cancelled shooting and last week on the sets of Pyaar Impossible with Uday Chopra when she was down with viral fever. “Down with the flu or viral or some such thing that is making me miserable. Ugh! I hate being sick! Had to cancel shoot. Guilty,” she announced on Twitter.

She has been admitted to hospital at least twice for acute exhaustion and a stomach ailment, both of which are symptomatic of deeper problems. Is the race to cope with shoots, promotions, endorsements, shows, public and media appearances, and a satisfying personal life taking its toll?

Friends and family of the 26-year-old Priyanka are worried for her. Her ascent to the top of the pile has been beset with lows. There was a time when she had six flops in a row, and simultaneously her father was going through serious health issues causing Priyanka to juggle a busy work schedule with constant visits to the hospital. Thankfully today both these are behind her, her father is well and her career is blazing after Fashion and Dostana.

Nearly everyone is in a hurry these days but for actresses who always have somebody younger and thinner nipping at their toes, the rush is even more. The shelf life of heroines is constantly shrinking and their time in the sun gets smaller and smaller. In this time they have to do memorable roles, look dew-drop fresh and beautiful all the time and fit in every other avenue to make money. All this while living on fresh air and love in order to maintain those waif-like silhouettes. Is it any wonder then that long term health goals take a back-seat?

Priyanka at an event to promote Kaminey at a suburban theatre on Thursday

When asked, Priyanka laughed off rumours of ill-health. “I have been unwell and I am working through it,” she said.

For, Priyanka, who is a perfectionist who believes in keeping every commitment at whatever personal cost, and is restless unless she has a diary packed with things to do, this is proving to be too much. And though food is not the problem, because thanks to a high metabolism, she can pack it in, her refusal to rest and take it easy, is a cause for worry as the dizziness yesterday proves. Her now on- now off relationship with Kaminey co-star Shahid Kapoor would only add to the stress.

Even though she is now in a position where she has consolidated her success, is looked on as one of the most bankable heroines and is very much in demand for endorsements, she refuses to slow down. We hear that despite her exhaustion on Thursday, she flew overseas yesterday for three days to shoot for an endorsement and is committed to a week of hectic Kaminey promotion on her return. Ill health notwithstanding, Priyanka, we suspect, is in no mood to get off the merry-go-round.