Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘preity zinta

WHERE ARE THE ROLES? Lara Dutta, Bipasha Basu, Sonam and (above) Vidya Balan

They’re not studio hopping in 2010 because there’s no work

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; January 5, 2010)

The Bollywood men are sorted. Shah Rukh Khan is committed to doing one film in 2010 with Kareena Kapoor (RA 1). Aamir Khan may or may not even do that much. Salman Khan is introducing 20-something Sonakshi Sinha (Dabangg) to audiences. Ranbir Kapoor is romancing Priyanka Chopra (Anjaana Anjaani) and Katrina Kaif (Rajniti). Akshay Kumar is serenading Deepika Padukone (Houseful), Southern hottie Trisha (Khatta Meetha) and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan (Action Replayy). Ajay Devgn wants Bebo (Golmaal-3)! The five or six men who matter at the box office have their screen partners more or less sorted. If they sign new films, they once again want the top five Bollywood girls to prance with them. So what happens to the rest? Well, well. “As usual the expiry date for heroines in Bollywood is getting shorter and shorter, their shelf life is cramped,’’ says trade consultant Amod Mehra. He continues, “Except the top four girls actually —whichever order you place them in — whether it is Kareena, Katrina, Priyanka and Deepika, the other girls have slipped into oblivion.’’ A top hero (from the lot mentioned above) adds, “One of the heroines is so desperate for work, she is actually contemplating doing a film with an art film actor. The reason for her desperation is understandable. Last year we saw B-town beauties Preity Zinta and Rani Mukherji being phased out. In 2010, at least half-a-dozen girls of the existing lot will be quietly shown the gate.’’ Another trade source points out that Bollywood has enough talent and glamour to keep it going. However, the men on top definitely want either the Top 5 or they want someone completely ‘virgin’. Vidya Balan says she would much rather do just Ishqiya that revolves around her completely and follow it up with one Chenab Gandhi — again a pivotal role for her. But the fact of the matter is that even a volcano of talent like Vidya is left with little choice. Honestly, how many regular films can she find herself fitting into? Bipasha Basu and Lara Dutta also have just one/two films on hand. Asin Thottumkal hasn’t shot for a single film all through 2009. Post Ghajini she greenlighted only London Dreams and the 19th Step. London Dreams tanked and the 19th Step was shelved. Youngsters like Genelia D’Souza and Sonam Kapoor have promise but are still to make the box office grade. The fact is that 90 per cent of the B-town girls are more visible at advertisement commercial shoots, ribbon-cutting ceremonies, stage concerts and television reality shows. It is the money from these add-on revenue streams that keeps their world going around. Films? Well, what’s that?
Rani Mukerji to work with filmmaker Deepa Mehta in the screen adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; January 04, 2010)

Last month, Rani Mukerji had a secret, productive and extremely encouraging meeting with author Salman Rushdie and director Deepa Mehta in Toronto. Rushdie and Mehta are coming together for a screen adaptation of the former’s celebrated Booker-winning novel Midnight’s Children. According to reliable sources, Rani met the author and the filmmaker for a good two hours and is now part of the screen adaptation. The buzz is Rushdie took a great fancy to her.

Rani Mukerji

Deepa is evasive about confirming Rani’s presence in Midnight’s Children. She says, “Yes, Salman Rushdie and I met her informally in Toronto, but nothing has been finalised.”

However, reliable sources insist Rani is part of the coveted project which already has Shabana Azmi, Seema Biswas and Nandita Das in its cast.

Hinting at the possibility of working with Rani, Deepa says, “I don’t know about Rani’s current box-office status but I have always wanted to work with her. I saw her work in Hey Ram, Black, Bunty Aur Babli and Veer-Zaara and loved it. She is among the best talent in India today. Whether it is Preity Zinta (Heaven On Earth), Shabana Azmi (Fire) or Seema Biswas (Water), I have always enjoyed working with strong, female actors.”

Rani too is on the lookout for a challenge that will take her beyond the roles she has done in Hindi cinema so far. Interestingly, she has never worked with a female director in her entire career. She came close to working with Mira Nair in The Namesake. She lost the prized role to Tabu because she didn’t want to play Abhishek Bachchan’s mother. Later, Abhishek too opted out of the project.

Deepa Mehta Salman Rushdie
The biggest hits of their career were NEVER meant to be theirs

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; January 2, 2010)

You talk to any film director and he’ll give you gyaan on how such and such actor is in the film because he/she fit the casting to the ‘t’.

Yet, the reality of the matter is something else. It is usually who is available; and sometimes who is more saleable.

Take the latest: Aamir Khan was never meant to be playing the idiot in his latest film. It was to be Shah Rukh Khan. Since SRK and producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra had a difference of opinion, the Bollywood Badshah was replaced by Aamir. And while the rest is history, there are innumerable such examples in the film industry.

History knows that Amitabh Bachchan was not Prakash Mehra’s first choice for Zanjeer. It was meant to be Dev Anand or Raaj Kumar. When both actors said no, the Big B stepped in. Jaya Bachchan even thanked Dev saab for refusing the Zanjeer role. The film gave her — her real life husband and it gave Bollywood one of its most revered screen couples.

Today you wonder how Dev saab would ever have fit into the angry young man mould. But that’s an after-thought.
Hrishikesh Mukherjee wanted Raj Kapoor to play Anand. When he couldn’t, Hrishida sent for Shashi Kapoor but Rajesh Khanna wormed his way in. And till today Anand is synonymous with the 70s phenomenon.

Shatrughan Singh continues to smart that it was he who was to be Jai in the Jai-Veeru jodi of Sholay but because he was riding a crest of super-success then, he didn’t want to do a twohero film. Amitabh Bachchan got the role instead.
Aamir had been pencilled in for Yash Chopra’s Darr but at that point he ‘accused’ Yash of playing games. And SRK made a permanent place for himself in the YRF camp.
Ajay Devgn was to play Karan in Rakesh Roshan’s Karan Arjun. But he was ousted by politics and next thing you know is that Salman Khan was in. Till today Karan Arjun remains one of the biggest hits of Bollywood and Salman’s career. And it may become film history because he and bete noire are unlikely to star in a movie again.

Saif Ali Khan had qualms about playing a pansy in Dostana so John Abraham was brought in. John got male and female temperatures rising with this fun flick and is now a part of its sequel.

Kareena Kapoor asked for too much money for Kal Ho Na Ho; result — Preity Zinta landed this memorable film. Shah Rukh was meant to be playing Munnabhai but since he walked out after some miscommunication, Sanjay Dutt became Munna. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was in Chalte Chalte till Salman dropped in as an uninvited guest forcing SRK to call Rani Mukerji to replace her… and Rekha and Jaya would never have had their screen face-off in Silsila had Parveen Babi and Smita Patil done their roles.

Unlike real history, reel history is often made by default.

By UPALA KBR (Mid-Day; December 12, 2009)

Karan Johar was indirectly approached last week by a filmmaker to act as the male lead in a B-grade film. He turned it down. He had earlier refused a cameo in one of Dev Anand’s films.

Not interested
Says a source close to Karan, “He was shocked at being offered the role of a leading man. He was mortified that someone should approach him to actually play ‘hero’ in a B-grade potboiler film! He has no interest in being in front of the camera. The role didn’t come directly from the filmmaker but through one of his friends.”

Karan was so embarrassed that he didn’t even waste a second in turning it down, “He declined saying he was busy for the next couple of years and was quite happy directing films.” Some people feel that if he’d been offered an A-grade project as the quintessential brooding intense passionate hero, made by a top filmmaker,  KJo would’ve given it a thought but it was a ‘No’ for this one.

Although Karan has been offered a few funny roles down the years, this was the first time he was offered the lead part. The khabru adds, “They even told him he could choose the heroine he wanted and they would get her for him — including a Rani, Preity and Priyanka whom he’s very close to.

The film is a full-fledged masala love drama with lots of action and songs and the producer was willing to fly down to foreign locales to shoot the romantic songs. Karan was too embarrassed to take the matter further and just brushed it aside.”

Karan Johar refuses to comment and adds, “Please don’t ask me such things. They are too embarrassing to talk about.”

CREATING MAGIC: Deepika Padukone and Farhan Akhtar in a still from the film
Farhan Akhtar is fida over his hot co-star Deepika Padukone…

SHARIN WADER BUTANI Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 9, 2009)

It’s difficult to separate the director-producer and actor in Farhan Akhtar, for he’s forever honing his acting skills, thinking of a marketing strategy to promote his films or of different angles to make his stars look larger than life. But today he’s in a different mood. He keeps aside the Don 2 script he’s been working on and gets talking about his hot costar from Kartik Calling Kartik, Deepika Padukone. “There are no words to describe her beauty, she’s extremely beautiful. Many will identify with me when I fall deeply in love with her in the film. In the hot quotient, she ranks among the top three actresses in Bollywood… need I say more,” he asks.

Farhan feels that the two share a wonderful chemistry but he wanted to be doubly sure so he held a focus screening where he invited people from different age groups to come and watch it. “I called my driver’s children and their friends, college students, housewives… and they felt the same,” he says. Once on the show that he was hosting, Deepika had turned up as his guest, standing tall, towering over him. “In reality, we are of the same height. I actually measured her with a measuring tape,” he laughs and adds, “she’s got long legs, her pose and posture make her look tall… unfortunately, I have neither.”

In all his films, Farhan has always given his actors a “hair-raising” experience, thanks to his wife, hairstylist Audhuna. Aamir had the spiked look in Dil Chahta Hai, Hrithik sported a crew cut in Lakshya while Preity Zinta went bob, Arjun Rampal had to grow his hair and Farhan himself was seen in a hairband in Rock On. And for KCK, Deepika had to chop off her hair. “I have a secret pact with Tirupathi Balaji, I cut their hair and send it there… but for Arjun in Rock On, we made hair extensions from the hair that we had cut during Dil Chahta Hai,” he laughs. “My actors shouldn’t look the same in my film the way they did in some other film. The audience should be able to see the character than the celebrity in them,” says Farhan, who plays a lovable loser in KCK. “I can relate to the character because in the past, I have been one myself. Like the crush I had on this girl but never admitted for the fear of being rejected,” says Farhan, who will be playing a fullfledged romantic hero in the film.

YEH DOSTI…(From left) Hrithik Roshan, Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan and Salman Khan. For more pictures of the stars, visit, http://photogallery.indiatimes.com
Foes turn into friends, stars bonding big time now…

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; November 13, 2009)

Raj Kapoor’s famous ditty Dost Dost Na Raha can ring true for so many in Bollywood. Akshay Kumar and Bobby Deol, Anil Kapoor and Anupam Kher are some recent examples of friendships that have gone sour. The quest for name, fame and money has driven a wedge between friends. Down the years, one has seen many close relationships fall by the wayside like dry leaves, bereft of emotion. But an interesting phenomenon is now on the rise. Having watched countless friends turn foes, what is interesting now is to watch the reverse. Foes turning into friends.

When Hrithik Roshan blazed into Bollywood with Kaho Na Pyaar Hai in 2000, he almost wrested the reigning Badshah Shah Rukh Khan’s throne. With the paparazzi adding to their woes SRK and Duggu started out on a wrong foot. And SRK, who was hanging mid-air at a Filmfare Awards’ night event, joked saying, “Come Hrithik… come and pull me down.” However, that was another day. Today both Duggu and SRK are bonding big time. Sources say, “Every other night, the King and the Prince are dining together.’’ What makes their friendship more special is the fact that the girls, Gauri Khan and Sussanne Roshan, are also thick.

Aamir Khan admits that he didn’t approve of Salman Khan’s cavalier attitude to his work when they were filming Andaz Apna Apna. Said Aamir, “I even ticked Salman, Raveena Tandon and Paresh Rawal off during AAA because they had issues to resolve with the producer. And, they were treating the project badly.’’ Today Salman and Aamir are very good friends. Salman’s sketches on the Ghajini superstar are the piece de resistance at Aamir’s residence, and the boys often bond over a drink when AK’s wife Kiran Rao is out on her work assignment. Aamir even said, “That confrontation we had years ago has actually strengthened our bond.’’

Akshay Kumar admits that Suniel Shetty and he shared a hatelove relationship when they started out and now they have a love-love relationship which was in full force during the shoot of De Dhana Dan. Suniel said, “We were immature, yaar, now we’re men in our 40s. Where is the question of us fighting? It all seems so silly. Akki and I are not the best of friends but we do enjoy a camaraderie that is there for everyone to see.’’ If the Bollywood men are bonding big time, the women too have left their previous grievances aside and become friends. Kareena Kapoor and Bipasha Basu who argued like cats during Ajnabi are now friends. And so are Bebo and Preity Zinta. Guess when the boys and the girls realise that they aren’t hunting the same game, they let their guard down.

READY TO PLAY: Preity Zinta. For more pictures of the actress, log on to http://photogallery.indiatimes.com

Preity is all set to start her own girls’ basketball team after cricket

SHARIN WADER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; November 6, 2009)

Preity Zinta has not hung up her designer boots and called it quits, on the contrary she’s put on sports shoes now. The actress who was away from Bollywood for “just six weeks and has not migrated to LA”, came up with the idea of making money for her charity by forming an all-international girls’ basketball squad called the Dream Girls team.

“The players will be internationally-famous women like film stars, supermodels, socialites and, of course, there’ll be me — the captain — and we’ll be playing with professional basketball teams around the world. American experts from NBA will train us,” said Preity, who stands 5 feet 5 inches tall in her socks but has quite a sporting background. “Nobody knows I’ve been a gymnast for 11 years, I did karate for nine years, I am very good at basketball and I rifle shoot too,” she said, adding, “People said that it was a crazy idea to give one-and-a half years to IPL, but then today, financially, I don’t have to care for the rest of my life.”

Does that mean she won’t do films for money anymore? “Are you kidding? I’m not retiring to the jungles! Of course, money is important. I do charity and all but I still need to wear my brands, travel first class and pamper myself. I believe more in living rich than dying rich. My biggest fear is to die broke, ex-film star,” laughed the bubbly actress who devotes a lot of time to causes like child trafficking and the upliftment of women. “I want to do full-on commercial films now,” she said. And for that, she conducted a poll on the net where she asked fans who they would like to see her with. “There’s a tie between Saif Ali Khan and Shah Rukh! I’m going to go in search of them now,” laughed Preity.