Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘toronto

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

Khiladi gets invited to Canada’s biggest talk show

Bollywood Khiladi Akshay Kumar did more than cause a stampede in Toronto where he went last week to be be the Indian torch bearer for the 2010 Winter Olympics. The action star, who intends to auction the torch and give the proceeds to the Special Olympics, was subsequently invited to television studios to be on one of Canada’s most powerful and influential talk shows – The Hour.

Aired every night, The Hour covers politics, the arts, entertainment, the environment, human rights, sports and more. Its host, George Stroumboulopoulos, is one of the most respected journalists in Canada and has interviewed many of the most influential and recognised people in the world from heads of state to rock stars.

Naturally, Akshay with his huge fan following in Canada was the perfect choice as subject on the show that earlier featured Hollywood actors Matt Damon, Samuel L. Jackson, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tom Cruise. The Khiladi is not saying what Stroumboulopoulos asked him, but the TV host is known more for flamboyance than any cut-andthrust on air.
Akshay Kumar, who will run with the Olympic torch on December 17 in Toronto, is apprehensive about dropping the torch

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 15, 2009)

The first Indian ever to have got the opportunity to run with the Olympic torch, Akshay Kumar made all efforts to be a part of the run. He had to request director Priyadarshan to allow him to go to Toronto for the Olympic run on Thursday, December 17. While his excitement was palpable, he was also worried about dropping the torch while running.
Akshay said before leaving, “As I am getting ready to leave for Toronto, I just keep telling myself one thing over and over again, ‘No matter what happens Akshay, don’t drop that torch. Naak kat jayegi.’ It would be so embarrassing. I would never be allowed to visit Canada.”

Akshay regretted not being able to take along his son Aarav. “It’s just for a day so I somehow managed to squeeze it in my schedule. But it would be too tiring for Aarav. If I was going for 5-6 days I would have taken my wife and son along.”

Akshay was working round the clock to beat the deadline for his departure to Toronto last night. The untiring actor said, “Only when I go home in the night do I allow myself the luxury to feel tired. On December 17, I run with the torch then I return to Canada next year to see some of the Olympic’s sports. I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

On November 16, the Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper handed over the Olympian torch to Akshay in Mumbai. “When I was given the torch some kids came running to just to touch that torch.  I can’t tell you what a proud moment that was. I remember, as a child I used to watch sportsmen carrying the torch on our black-and-white television,” said an elated Akshay.

ALL SET: Akshay Kumar.
Winter Olympics torchbearer Akshay Kumar leaves for Toronto tonight…

SHARIN WADER BUTANI Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 15, 2009)

Akshay Kumar’s packing his bags. The Khiladi leaves tonight for Toronto where he will be the only actor among 14 international celebrities to run with the XXI Winter Olympics torch on Thursday. Akshay, who received the torch from Canadian Prime Minister Steve Harper in Mumbai last month, is the Indian ambassador at the Games which are slated to start on February 12, 2010. Over 80 nations participate in the Winter Olympics and the competition is held in eight sports including ice hockey, figure skating and Alpine skiing. India, which sent a four-member team to the last Games that were held in Turin, Italy, in 2006, came back with no medals for our efforts in the luge, crosscountry skiing and Alpine skiing. Clearly, the country’s pride now is Akshay at Toronto! The actor, when asked why he was chosen for this great sporting honour on an international platform like the Olympics, replied, “I definitely didn’t get nominated because of my cricket skills… I may be a celebrity, but with great power comes even greater responsibility. I have put a lot of effort over the years supporting and being brand ambassador for the ‘Special Olympics’ in India. I would go to any lengths to promote sport in my country, my efforts have been appreciated worldwide, and I am touched that India shares my enthusiasm. To be honoured to carry the Olympic torch is so prestigious in every country, you can’t ask for this honour, you can only be recognised for your true love and dedication to children, to sport, to bettering your country’s involvement in the world. You can’t imagine how grateful I am. And how nervous as well!”

NO WORRIES: Abhay Deol
Abhay Deol, who is busy wrapping up Aisha, clears the air

MEENA IYER (BOMBAY TIMES; November 22, 2009)

Abhay Deol is currently one of Bollywood’s hottest properties. The actor who has been on a roll since Anurag Kashyap’s Dev D and Dibakar Banerjee’s Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye got those rave reviews, is once again in news courtesy Dev Benegal’s The Road Movie, a film that has taken the international film festival circuit before it comes to Indian shores. As the leading man of the film, Abhay has been jet-hopping from Toronto to Venice, New Delhi to Doha. On a day when he can actually catch his breath for a few minutes, the actor says, “I’ve bought myself a new office in Mumbai. My banner is all set to roll with our first production in the month of January 2010. My director Navdeep Singh and I are just finalising details before we go on set.”

He has an achiever. In the first leg of his journey, the young actor has gone from struggling actor to being the toast of the international film circuit; and in the second leg he has gone from being Bollywood hottie to independent film producer. Yup, in about a year, life has thrown up a myriad of opportunities for this contemporary thinking actor. But there has also been his share of controversy. Reports said he was unhappy with the treatment meted out to him on the sets of Sonam Kapoor’s home production Aisha. It is conjectured that Abhay was cooling his heels on the sets of the film in Delhi because things were haphazard.

However Abhay refuses to be drawn into a controversy. Says he, “My producer should be clearing the air on any controversy surrounding Aisha. As a professional actor I will never talk about what happened on set. I hold Sonam (co-star and part producer) in highest regard. And, there is no ego issue with her.”

Abhay is also expected to start work with Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani’s banner and he is said to be in talks with producer Krishna Shah for the film on Indira Gandhi. Of course, the actor’s silent on these films too. “My producers will make the announcements as and when they have to,” he says. “All I can say is that I’m exhilarated with the work I’m doing.”
Elesh Parunjanwala hits back at fiancée Rakhi Sawant for maligning him with accusations about his financial instability and eventual move to Toronto

By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; October 28, 2009)


Elesh Parujanwala may have been the lucky suitor to win over Rakhi Sawant among 16 contestants on Rakhi Ka Swayamvar, but he has wisened up to one fact fast — Mother Mary she ain’t.


Elesh, who came to Mumbai with hopes of settling down with the controversy queen, has been at the centre of controversy himself, thanks to Rakhi’s outbursts.

The man is deeply hurt and angered by Rakhi’s attempts to malign his image with her accusations of his financial instability and his plans to relocate to Toronto post-marriage with her. So far, Elesh had maintained a dignified silence, but having been pushed too far, he now sets the record straight. There is a distinct sadness in his eyes and voice when he speaks about Rakhi.

Rakhi Sawant and Elesh Parunjanwala

Elesh says that he tried his best to make the relationship work. Talking about his incompatibility with Rakhi, he says, “I tried my best to understand this woman, but failed. I tried to know her past, I tried to understand her moves. I tried everything, but failed. On the contrary, Rakhi never tried to understand where I am coming from. Her notion about NRIs is so limited. I think it is based only on watching movies and TV. Rakhi needs to understand that real life is different from reel life.”

To begin with, Elesh is amused that Rakhi did not want to stay in his hometown, Toronto after marrying him. He elaborates, “Honestly, I never told her to settle in Toronto. She can always travel back and forth. What’s wrong if I suggested that if and when we have a baby, he/she should be born in Toronto? I have my parents there and they would be a support system to my family. Anything wrong with that?”

Commenting on Rakhi’s accusation that Elesh is financially not stable, he says, “What does she mean by saying that I don’t have money? That’s all so stupid and unnecessary. I am studying and have decided not to take money from my parents. I want to be an independent person. Am I doing something bad?”

Clearly, Elesh has realised that Rakhi has used his name to play to the gallery and get her nautanki’s worth of airtime. Getting more vociferous, he says, “Frankly, I am shocked by the allegations. Anybody else in my place would have sunk into depression. Had it not been for the support of my family, I don’t know what would have happened to me. I do realise people have their own reasons to try to make others feel small and bad in the eyes of the public, so that they can gain sympathy. Part of being in Bollywood, I guess. But I am hurt. The controversy and the humiliation that I have been put through; the name calling to mar my character has hurt my family and me tremendously.”

By Bollywood Hungama News Network, September 9, 2009 – 15:24 IST

Lisa Ray Lisa Ray, the stunning beauty from Toronto (Canada) who made a stunning debut in Bollywood with Vikram Bhatt’s Kasoor, has been diagnosed with a rare type of cancer of the bone marrow.

In her blog, Lisa has revealed that she was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma on June 23rd and started her first cycle of treatment on July 2nd. The actress, who keeps shuttling between Canada and India for work, started experiencing the early symptoms such as fatigue and exhaustion. After a series of blood tests and other procedures she was diagnosed with Myeloma.

Unfortunate as it may sound; Multiple Myeloma is a rare and incurable type of cancer which affects a large number of people each year. However, Lisa is not the one to give up hope so easily. She is determined to fight this disease.

We at Bollywood Hungama pray for her speedy recovery.