Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘roshni k olivera

IN TELLYLAND: Shah Rukh Khan, AkshayKumar and (top) Rani Mukerji with guest Shahid Kapoor, Salman Khan and Karisma Kapur on their TV shows
How worthwhile has it been for channels putting Bollywood stars on TV?

ROSHNI K OLIVERA Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; January 4, 2010)

Abhishek Bachchan is stepping into his father’s shoes by hosting a game show on TV. What prompted Bachchan Jr. to give a nod to the small screen? Was it a lucrative offer? Perhaps, because it’s money that draws film stars to television. Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar, Rani Mukerji, Karisma Kapur… the list is endless of Bollywood stars who made the big crossover.

Akshay, reports said, was paid a whopping Rs 2.5 crore per episode to host the second season of Khatron ke Khiladi. And Salman Khan was apparently given Rs 89 crore for the first season of Dus Ka Dum! It’s big money all right for the stars, but is it worthwhile for the channels to shell out such big bucks for the star value?

Statistics prove that shows with Bollywood stars have never topped the overall Television Rating Points (TRP) charts. Only Amitabh Bachchan’s Kaun Banega Crorepati, that changed the face of Indian television years ago, saw TRP success. All other shows hosted or judged by stars have raked in average or dismal TRPs. Yes, there is a fair amount of curiosity and people are bound to watch the show at least once for the star’s sake, but after that it’s content that sells. Meanwhile, TV actors are unhappy with the ‘filmi’ invasion but will not complain openly for fear of antagonising the channels. “Does it make any sense to pay film stars in crores? No show has zoomed up the TRP charts,” said a popular TV actress. “The TRPs that these stars have got, after the initial few episodes and special episodes, is the same that any other anchor has got! Did Rani’s presence lift the show up so much… wouldn’t it have been the same if it was somebody else? And what big difference did Karisma make?” Another veteran actor added, “In the name of recession TV actors had to go through paycuts, but film stars on TV continued to rake in the moolah!”

Channels have their reasoning. Programming head Ashvini Yardi explained, “We go in for film stars for three reasons: It boosts perception… the brand image of the star rubs on to the channel. For instance, having Akshay’s show gives the channel a fresh, adventurous and risk-taking image. Second, reality shows help bring in a fresh audience, especially the men and youth, who are not regular soap watchers. Also, shows with film stars rake in huge money in terms of advertisements.” What’s important though, pointed out Ashvini, is to make the right choice while choosing a film star. “The show has to go with the star’s brand,” she said. TV serial producers, however, believe that since it’s serials that hold the top slot in the number game, more attention should be paid to them. “Instead of cutting down on our budgets, channels should cut down on paying so much to film stars,” grumbled a TV director. Producer-director Rajan Shahi’s glad that top film stars are now also TV stars. “I hope TV stars get the same treatment in films,” he said. Talking about B-town’s foray on the small screen, he added, “I’m sure taking film stars has some benefit that channels see. In the past film stars have given huge TRPs… may be the magic will work again. For me, Rakhi Sawant has been the most successful film actor in terms of success on TV.”
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HOT! Neha Dhupia in a still from Raat Gayi Baat Gayi

One-night stands are harmless as long as you are not hurting anyone, says Neha Dhupia in a candid chat with BT

ROSHNI K OLIVERA Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 30, 2009)

Neha Dhupia made headlines with her line ‘In India only SRK and Sex sell’. Now the focus is on her again with Pritish Nandy Communications’ Raat Gayi Baat Gayi releasing tomorrow. The movie, produced by Rangita Pritish Nandy and directed by Saurabh Shukla, won the best film award at the HBO Asian International Film Festival in New York last month. Neha plays the mysterious gorgeous woman hunted down by Rajat Kapoor, Vinay Pathak and Dalip Tahil, after a night of lots of drinking, sex and zero memory! Ask her if it’s a bold role and she replies candidly, “If you are asking in terms of skin show, then no. But if being bold is a state of mind, then yes.” That’s Neha for you. Not one to mince words, the actress speaks to BT about relationships, sex and movies…

What’s your take on one-night stands?
The problem with one-night stands is that you end up hurting so many people. As long as you are not hurting any one, it’s fine.

In Raat Gayi Baat Gayi you have a onenight stand with a married man…
There are seven characters in the film! Why do you assume it’s my character who’s had the one-night stand? Are you assuming that because I am attractive… Not fair!

Do you think the Indian audience is opening up to sex in movies?
Dev D was a big hit. Indian audiences are open to fantastic scripts. Raat Gayi… is a funny kind of a thrilling experience that takes you through a drunken night. You don’t really know what happened last night. The film is packed with a lot of emotions and it is very relatable. You can relate to one or the other character.

You’ve done movies of various genres… what’s your favourite?
It’s very hard for me to say that. Right from my roles in Singh Is Kinng, De Dana Dan, Mithya, Ek Chaalis Ki Last Local to Raat Gayi Baat Gayi, everything is challenging and at the same time everything is easy. I don’t over-intellectualise the whole acting medium. I’m not working because I have to work. I’m working because I really enjoy doing so.

Are you happy with the way your career has shaped up so far?
I am. I had made a few mistakes, but I don’t regret anything. They have been learning experiences. I have come a long way, but I also have a long way to go…

SMALL IS BIG: YRF TV and Sony Entertainment Television bring fresh content with five new shows from January 1, every Friday to Sunday, 8-10 pm. Seen here are Yash Chopra with Karan Johar and actors from the shows — Shruti Seth, Kavi Shastri, Manish Chaudhary, Geetika Tyagi, Rahul Bagga, Pankaj Tripathi. Raqesh Vashist, Pushtie and Shama Sikander
Bollywood movie mogul launching 5 new TV shows from Jan 1

ROSHNI K OLIVERA Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 28, 2009)

YRF TV is set to give telly programming a twist! Come January 1, and it will launch five shows on Sony Entertainment Television. Producer Yash Chopra is excited about his company’s foray in tellyland. “TV is getting bigger and bigger by the day,” remarks Chopra, who’s given the Indian film industry some of its biggest hits over the past many decades.

His busy schedule may not permit him the time to watch TVserials, but his wife Pammi gets her daily dose of entertainment from the small screen. “There are some serials that she likes and ardently watches every day,” he says. The Chopras had been planning to get into television for the past couple of years. “It was my son Aditya’s idea. After the release of his film Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, he started concentrating on TV. This whole year he has been focussing on this; he has put in a lot of effort,” reveals Chopra Sr.

Talking about their television foray, he says, “YRF TV is an initiative to engage and entertain the entire family through content which combines high-quality production values with contemporary story-telling. The characters, language and environment in our shows are the kind that today’s Indian families can relate to. We are happy that Sony has shown the commitment to back our content.”

This collaboration marks another milestone in the long standing relationship between the two companies, says NP Singh, COO of Sony Entertainment Television. “Yash Raj Films has been making feature films for almost four decades. Television is the biggest mass medium in India and this collaboration will bring the very best in TV entertainment,” adds Singh.

The shows, scheduled over the weekends, promise to be distinct in their look with fresh, contemporary and engaging storylines that reflect the dreams, aspirations and passion of today’s young India. This brand new line-up of five shows, one non-fiction and four fiction, will air every Friday to Sunday between 8 and 10 pm. Here’s a little brief on each of the shows…

Lift Kara De: Touted as the mother of all reality shows on Indian television, 20 of India’s biggest super-stars will be on one platform. Each week will feature one super-star and his biggest fan. The show is hosted by Karan Johar.
Seven: This is a sci-fi drama series, where mythology is revisited in the modern day context. The show will see seven ordinary people, with extra-ordinary powers, fight the ultimate battle of Good vs Evil.
Mahi Way: A contemporary representation of a young girl on Indian television. Real, relatable, imaginative, unapologetic, happy in her skin.
Rishta.Com: Today’s take on the most traditional institution of marriage. Isha and Rohan have formed a company to find perfect matches for people.
Powder: This is about two men on two different sides of the law who take a fight all the way to the end. This fast-paced, high octane drama moves from murky by-lanes to glitzy high rises.

BIRTHDAY BOY: BT caught Dharmendra in a relaxed mood at home
Dharmendra on his 75th birthday and start of a new innings in Bollywood

ROSHNI K OLIVERA Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 8, 2009)

Yoga, 30 minutes of cycling, and some free form exercises… that’s how Bollywood’s original he-man and endearing actor Dharmendra will start his day today. It’s not just another day. It’s Garam Dharam’s 75th birthday, and while his family and well-wishers are excited, for the man himself it’s only another “beautiful day” that he might spend at his farmhouse in Lonavala.

Life, as a whole, is a celebration for Dharmendra. ‘Be happy and spread cheer all around you’ has always been his mantra. “I am a very emotional person. I love people. I want to see genuine warmth in human beings where there is no artificiality, only true care and concern. There should be harmony all around,” is his birthday wish.

Talking about celebrations, he says it’s a personal choice not to celebrate his birthday. “I stopped doing so after my mother passed away in 1985. She used to be very excited about my birthday… bahut chahel pahel machati thi,” he fondly recounts. But, wishes from across the globe are going to pour in today, as they have over the years. He’s just received a beautiful t-shirt from a girl in New Zealand and a call from a group of 80 boys from Gwalior, who will be donating blood in his name today. Overwhelmed by the affection, Dharmendra says, “It’s this love from my well-wishers that keeps me going. In fact, recently after I appeared on Dus Ka Dum, I received so many letters from people asking me to do more films and make more appearances on TV.” Audiences’ response to Apne, Johnny Gaddar and Life in a Metro has given him tremendous motivation and he’s all set, looking forward to his next innings. “I want to do more films and do good films. I like to see myself on posters. Who doesn’t?” he smiles. A career spanning 50 years in Bollywood (this is his 50th year) and with a number of hit films to his credit, Dharmendra’s seen it all. He’s played the diehard romantic, action hero, and also done comedy. But ask him about his favourite genre and he says he loves every form of acting. He was born to be an actor and will continue to pursue his passion with as much gusto.

On his birthday, as he goes into flashback mode, when he first came to this city of dreams, when he signed his first film and faced the camera for the first time, one can see the same excitement and charm that he may have exuded then. Nothing’s changed… he’s as fit and handsome, his face radiating the same exhilaration even today when it’s ‘lights, camera, action’ time.

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.”

ANGRY AND HURT: Mandira Bedi

Mandira Bedi sends channel legal notice for ankle broken on show

ROSHNI K OLIVERA Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; October 24, 2009)



Mandira Bedi is in a bad shape, physically, mentally and right now, even emotionally. A bad stunt during the Khatron Ke Khiladi press conference in Mumbai that resulted in a broken ankle, surgery, a metal plate with seven screws to hold the bone in place, has left her upset and tearful. She sent Colors, the television channel hosting the show, a legal notice for ignoring her, now that the show is off the air and demanded a response within seven days. The channel asked for time. “Six weeks later, do they still need more time,” asked a fuming Mandira.


At the press conference, at the behest of show host Akshay Kumar, the 13 lady contestants jumped from a 15-foot height, barefoot, onto two thin coir mattresses. “Barefoot, because we weren’t informed before hand that we were doing a stunt and didn’t have training shoes,” said Mandira, who hurt her foot badly after doing the stunt. A doctor on the set advised her to ice the badly swollen foot. Mandira called her husband, who suggested an X-ray. Nobody from Colors accompanied her to the hospital, she said. “I left alone in my car as there wasn’t an ambulance there. My X-ray confirmed a fracture. I informed the Colors team of it and my inability to return. Then I went to hospital to put my foot in a cast. The next day, a newspaper reported that ‘Mandira twisted her ankle’. Which is the only official statement from Colors,” added Mandira. Injuries and all, in cast and on crutches, Mandira still made the KKK finale shoot where Akshay acknowledged her injury as a
“zara si moch”.


Then followed a painful, three-hour surgery and many attempts by Mandira in vain to talk to the CEO of the channel. “He deigned to call me back,” she alleged. “Of course, it was only because the show was still on air! Subsequently, he apologised for a Colors employee’s feeble attempt at clearing my hospital bills, saying it would be ‘chicken-feed in comparison to all the pain and trauma I have gone through’. He also assured me that he would ‘make it up to me’. That was the last time I heard from him or anyone else from there.” But Mandira doesn’t want anyone to “make it up to her” she wants them to take responsibility. “Accept, on a public forum, that a mistake happened, that there was medical negligence and violation of safety norms. This acknowledgement makes for a larger issue. This callous and inhuman behaviour has to be made an example of,” she insisted. “What if Akshay had hurt himself doing a stunt on the show because of lack of safety or medical negligence? Would the channel wash their hands off him?”


CHANNEL RESPONDS:
A spokesperson from Colors told BT: “We’re surprised on receiving this notice from Mandira and our lawyers are in the process of responding to the notice. The fact is that she voluntarily opted to do the jump and all due care was taken during all the rehearsals of the show, to ensure safety of all participants. For unforeseen incidents, there was an ambulance and a doctor on stand-by, always. It was unfortunate that she hurt herself during one of the rehearsal drills. While adequate firstaid was offered to her on site, we also offered to pick up her medical expenses for this injury. And we are willing to reimburse her medical expenses now as well if we receive the bills from her. After doing all this, her behaviour leaves us amazed.”
roshni.olivera@timesgroup.com

REVELATIONS! Farah Khan
… says Farah Khan, who’s just had a blast shooting for her upcoming chat show with a host of stars and common people

ROSHNI K OLIVERA (BOMBAY TIMES; August 17, 2009)


Shah Rukh Khan is a henpecked husband. Salman Khan’s a mamma’s boy. And Hrithik Roshan had speech problems as a kid. These are revelations by the stars themselves to their buddy and new host on the block, Farah Khan. The actor-turned-choreographer is set to host a chat show on TV for the first time. The show Tere Mere Beach Mein on Star Plus produced by Farah’s production house gives viewers a glimpse into the ‘real’ life of a celebrity. Set on a backdrop inspired by the beaches of Goa, it instantly sets a mood of informal, uninhibited chats with the stars. Farah gets candid with celebrities from various walks of life to discuss what they have in similar with the common man! “The show is not about a celebrity’s stardom, but about life away from the arc lights. They are not on my show to plug their movie or talk about controversies. We take up one interesting theme or issue and talk about that. There are also non-celebs who come on the show and share their
thoughts on the same topic,” explains Farah.

This seven week series comprises 14 episodes and the first celebrity on the show is Salman Khan with his mother Salma Khan, who’s always been media-shy. “It was so nice to have her on the show and she was absolutely candid,” says Farah. Brothers Irfan and Yusuf Pathan speak on sibling rivalry. “Yusuf was an eye opener, he was so funny,” reveals Farah. Karan Johar and Sonam Kapoor on the show talk about their journey from fat to thin and Shahid Kapoor and Genelia on second chances in life. “You see a different side of the celeb. From aspirational, it becomes more inspirational for the audience,” she points out. The show is her baby, right from conceptualising it
to the implementation. “For every episode there’s a lot of research that has been done,” she adds.
Farah may have directed people, been a judge on shows, but playing a host is another ball game altogether. “I was very nervous initially,” she reveals. “We first shot the episode with John Abraham and Yuvraj Singh and the topic was male eye candy, how men are suddenly shedding clothes like never before! As a host you have to be alert, spontaneous and quick with your responses. Here, I realised being a judge on TV was a cakewalk!”

Tere Mere Beach Mein will be aired every Saturday and Sunday at 9 pm on Star Plus

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