I won’t get provoked by marriage rumours: Katrina Kaif

February 4, 2009

After spending six years in Bollywood, British-born actress Katrina Kaif has learnt to handle rumours and criticisms. While she rubbished reports of her marriage to Salman Khan, she also denied speculation about her sister Isabel entering the Hindi film industry soon.

“It’s complete rubbish and the paper (Saamna) is denying it. When I marry, the world will know. Right now I’ve no such plans,” Katrina said.

Commenting on speculation about her relationship with Salman, she said: “That’s bound to happen. If you’re a public figure and if neither of the party is clarifying anything, there’s bound to be a lot of speculation and unnecessary comment. But I’m not going to get provoked into giving explanations. Because once they start, they never end.”

Asked about a picture that showed her entering her birthday party last year, Katrina said: “That wasn’t when I entered the party. The picture was taken while we were leaving. I was tired and, yes, I was disappointed. I didn’t want it to be turned into tamasha (drama).”

Salman and Shah Rukh Khan had a war of words at the birthday bash that was widely reported in the media.

Talking about her sister Isabel’s Bollywood plans, Katrina said: “That was something completely blown out of proportion. At the moment she’s too young to take up an acting career. In fact, my sister is off to drama school. Something I never got to do, and I wish I had. Not being a trained actress bothers me and I’m happy that my sister is taking that route.

“I realise I can’t be talked about only for my work. You can’t have things exactly the way you want them to be.”

Although Salman and Katrina are a real life couple, they have not been able to form a saleable pair on screen. Katrina had hoped “Yuvvraaj” would work so that she and Salman would be a saleable pair and filmmakers would sign her with Salman as eagerly as they do with Akshay Kumar.

But the film sank without a trace at the box office. Apparently, a major drawback was that director Subhash Ghai kept writing the script as the film progressed.

“I’d like to stick to a bound script from now on. The time has come for the entire film industry to get completely organised. A script helps both the director and the actor to connect with each other and with the plot. I’m not going to be shy about insisting on a script,” the actress said.

Katrian admitted she had very little space in “Yuvvraaj”. “Yeah, that was something I grew gradually aware of. I didn’t have that much to do. But that’s okay.”

However, not attending acting school doesn’t make Katrina feel inadequate as an actress.

“I think I had to undertake my own journey and do things my own way. I learnt on the job. I think I’ve acquired knowledge of the camera on-camera. So no regrets about not attending any acting school. If I had regrets about any aspect of my career, I’d be the most ungrateful person on the planet. Look at the level of acceptance I’ve received in so little time. Some people don’t get this kind of success after working all their lives,” she said.

The 24-year-old ventured into Bollywood in 2003 and was instantly written off because of her strong British accent. But after five years of hard work and determination, she is one of the most sought after actresses in the film world.

After the failure of “Yuvvraaj”, Katrina is no longer considered a lucky mascot for a film, but she is nonchalant about it.

“I think that’s just people talking a lot of nonsense. Actors far more intelligent and talented than me have had to deal with ups and downs. Sooner or later I’d have had to deal with failure. No point brooding about it. I’ve learnt my lessons from the ‘Yuvvraaj’ experience,” said Katrina.

Between 2007 and 2008 Katrina delivered six back-to-back hits – “Namastey London”, “Apne”, “Partner”, “Welcome”, “Race” and “Singh Is Kinng”


Karan Johar’s Blog, My Name is Karan

January 31, 2009

The latest celebrity to jump on the blogging bandwagon is none other than director, producer, actors, and the bearer or many other hats – Karan Johar! Karan’s first blog is about many things – being honest, his alvida to the letter “K”, his new take on life after his father’s death, AND his latest film with Shahrukh Khan and Kajol – My Name is Khan. Yes, he has done away with starting his movies with the letter “K”, or atleast thats what the initial title of the movie is.


Karan Johar also mentions that he now wants intellectual acceptance, critical acclaim, blog praise, and festive applause. He still wants the box office. Well, hes got my ticket money! Its going to be exciting to see this side of the director and get some direct interaction with him. Here’s wishing Karan Johar good luck with his new blogging venture.

Below is his entire first blog post:

I sat for days thinking of what I should write. Frivolous and intelligent thoughts kept oscillating in my “gemini” head. I read many blogs written by prolific and evolved personalities. And so, after suffering a persecution complex and a feeling of insecurity, I decided to be myself, which most of us in the film fraternity very rarely do.

Over the years I’ve surfed the net to read about how people perceive me. What they think of me as a filmmaker, a chat show host, or just as a human being. Initially what I read might have driven me to the closest therapist, and Prozac might’ve been my soul mate. But a good mother can always bring you back on track. I read bloggers attack my “bubble gum cinema”. I strolled into chat rooms discussing my sexuality. I read about my alleged link ups with leading mainstream actors. So should I have felt like a controversial celebrity? Or just plain and simple, sad? The latter has so much more drama. But fortunately, I settled for old-fashioned indifference.

It’s important to be honest. Yes, it’s important, but certainly not possible. So most of us in the film fraternity (notice how I use that word a lot?) have mastered the art of “dishonest honesty.” What is that? It’s the art of concealing the truth and yet coming across frank and forthright. It’s a gift we all have. But just like classical singing, it takes many years till you hit the high notes. My endeavor on this platform is to be a little less “dishonest honest”. I’m going to try. I promise.

So let me start by saying, I am star struck, and have always been. I love, adore, and am obsessed by film stars. I like to befriend them, I enjoy meeting them, I love having them in my inbox, and more importantly, I’m constantly trying to add to my collection. There, I said it. For many years, I had a desire to be popular. It’s like I wanted to win every congeniality contest in the world. It made me artificial. I didn’t quite like that about myself but I also didn’t know how to get out of that zone. I used to gush about women in terrifying clothes. Appreciate god awful celluloid performances. Hug and kiss people I wanted to send to jail and even applaud films that should never have been released. I had become the Godzilla of fake.

I lost my father. June 26th, 2004.

My perspective on life and relationships changed overnight. Death has a tendency of bringing you back to life. My new headspace at that point of time led to me making my infidelity saga, “Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna”. There was good news and bad news at that end. The good news was a bolder, newer, directorial, ME. The bad news was the old hangover that still made its way into the film; opulence, star image maintenance, and item song were some of the features of the film that I don’t really place on my pride mantle. Honestly, I don’t really have a film I want to scream and shout about. But then again, I never claimed to be a path-breaking cinematic genius. I was always an eager cinegoer who turned into an eager to please filmmaker.

Today I want intellectual acceptance. I want critical acclaim. I want blog praise, and I want festival applause. Don’t get me wrong, I still want the box office. Am I asking for too much? Of course I am. But I believe the universe, apparently, can be asked for the impossible. It’s no secret. I’m doing just that, everyday.

So, welcome to my bloggers park. I hope you find yourself a bench.

Love and koffee,

Karan.

p.s. my film is finally titled, “My Name is Khan” (alvida, “K’) and it stars Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol. This is my first official announcement.

Karan Johar’s blog can be found at mynameiskaran.com

Stay tuned for more updates.

P.S I think Karan looks like a hunk in this picture from his blog.


Top-10 Bollywood Male Actors of 2008

January 24, 2009

There are clear expectations that one has from top actors like Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar, Aamir Khan, Salman Khan and Hrithik Roshan year after year. Though with an exception of Salman Khan (who by the way had a horrible 2008 professionally) all the other aforementioned actors did justify their standing in the Top-5, there were also men like Ranvir Shorey, Emraan Hashmi and Abhishek Bachchan who sprung a surprise. While Naseeruddin Shah maintained his standing as an actor par excellence, newcomers like Imran Khan and Farhan Akhtar did wonderfully well too. Joginder Tuteja goes down the memory trip and brings back the performances that enchanted us most.

10. Ranvir Shorey (Mithya)
This was a sad-n-happy performance by a man who can be molded as per the requirement of any script. With no hang-ups about being suitable only for the lead roles, when given a chance to play one, that too in a double role, Ranvir Shorey came up with a cracker of a performance. As a commoner who is forced to live the life of a gangster courtesy the circumstances beyond his control, he was mostly flawless in this offbeat film that also earned moolah at the box office. The young man would certainly be seen in many more meaningful performances in years to come.

9. Emraan Hashmi (Jannat)
What ‘Awarapan’ couldn’t do, ‘Jannat’ did it for Emraan Hashmi. Though in former he came up with his best performance ever, it was the latter that brought in moolah at the box office. A low budget film that went on to make crores for it’s makers, ‘Jannat’ brought in ‘jannat’ for Vishesh Films that had seen back to back failures in ‘Awarapan’ and ‘Dhokha’. Emraan Hashmi was just the right face to depict the journey of a small time cards player to one of the leading match fixers and his naughty grin along with mischievous glint in the eyes worked wonders once again. He was back in the reckoning with ‘Jannat’.

8. Abhishek Bachchan (Dostana)
He rocked and how! One wonders how Abhishek Bachchan was keeping the balance intact when shooting for diverse films like ‘Dostana’, ‘Sarkar Raj’ and ‘Drona’ simultaneously. For the first time ever, one saw Abhishek Bachchan on screen as a man that he is in real life and one could sense that he was truly enjoying all the fun both on and off the screen. Leave aside the entire gay angle; Abhishek Bachchan truly demonstrated an altogether different facet of his personality with ‘Dostana’. Not many actors could have dared running in a feminine manner the way he did in the Venice sequence; something that was just good enough for the price of a ticket!

7. Imran Khan (Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Naa)
There was no news about this young man for almost two years when the film was on floors. And then when the film was two months away from it’s theatrical release, there was only one man who was being talked about – Imran Khan. So much so that the other debutant whose movie released on the same day as ‘Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Naa’, Harman Baweja, was more or less eclipsed. Imran Khan turned out to be quite a charmer in his just-graduated-from-college boy role and within hours of the film’s release, he was elevated as the nation’s newest heartthrob. Though ‘Kidnap’ did push him back a little, one would still want to remember him as the chocolate boy whose eyes never fail to communicate just the right emotion.

6. Farhan Akhtar (Rock On)
This was THE most surprising performance of the year gone by. Till a day before the release of the film, there were no talks about ‘Rock On’ or it’s actors even though Farhan Akhtar was making his acting and singing debut. However, the industry was forced to stand up and take notice of this immensely talented youngster who had shown his mettle as a producer and director in quite a few films before. ‘Being natural’ was the key phrase as Farhan used all his weaknesses to his advantage and came up with one of the most remembered performances of the year.

5. Akshay Kumar (Singh Is Kinng)
Akshay Kumar and Anees Bazmee are giving Bollywood a flavor that Amitabh Bachchan and Manmohan Desai used to give more than a couple of decades back. In his characteristic manner, Akshay Kumar proved once again that if the ‘masala’ ingredients are mixed well, he is good enough to carry any story or narrative entirely on his screen presence. As a common man who is attached to his roots and doesn’t have any hang-ups about the kind of dialogues he is required to deliver and the most absurd of situations that he is required to be a part of, Akshay Kumar got all his confidence together to make ‘Singh Is Kinng’ one of the biggest grossers of 2008.

4. Hrithik Roshan (Jodhaa Akbar)
Hrithik Roshan slogged for close to two years before ‘Jodhaa Akbar’ became a reality. Though he may be wondering if he would want to replicate such an effort for another film of his, one can’t deny the fact that he gave his all for this role. Whether it was the physical appearance or the dialogue delivery or the screen presence or the sheer demeanor, Hrithik didn’t cut any loose corners for his role as Akbar. It was indeed his performance in the film that elevated this epic saga to a level that may just have fallen flat had a lesser actor enacted the role. There are hardly a few actors who could have carried off a film entirely on their shoulders but Hrithik Roshan made it possible, hence keeping his successful run intact.

3. Aamir Khan (Ghajini)
In his most challenging and complex role till date that required him to become not just physically but even mentally strong, Aamir Khan was simply stupendous in ‘Ghajini’. A role that would have certainly emotionally drained him as well (it isn’t easy to be living the life of a character who looses his memory every 15 minutes only to remember every passing moment that his mission in life is to take revenge), the part of Sanjay Singhania also needed Aamir to build the kind of a body that he had never done before in his life. Of course, some people were not really thrilled with his act in ‘Ghajini’ but then the box office figures tell a different tale altogether. Add to that the kind of histrionics that he displayed and the debate began once more about who is the real King of Bollywood – Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan or Akshay Kumar.

2. Shah Rukh Khan (Ran Ne Bana Di Jodi)
Shah Rukh Khan proved once again (one wonders till when he would be required to prove himself though) that being called SHAH RUKH KHAN is due to some reason. In a role that no one else but only he could have played to such perfection, Shah Rukh Khan was terrific as Suri and his alter ego Raj. Never once did he slip out of his character, something which is commendable and also risky, because even audience expects him to get into a typical Raj or Rahul act time and again. Still, Shah Rukh Khan reinvented himself with this film where a lot was riding due to his coming together again with Aditya Chopra. The film has proven to be one his biggest success stories ever, hence ensuring that his HIT record remains intact for years at stretch.

1. Naseer (A Wednesday)
This was THE performance of the year, especially so in the age and times that we live. As a ’stupid common man’, Naseeruddin Shah was simply brilliant and outstanding as he came up with a performance that would resonate for years in the minds of cinegoers. While many actors of his age and caliber have been settling down for something far inferior, Naseeruddin Shah continues to find roles of substance that makes one stand up and question once again that why don’t film makers think of utilizing him in a bigger and better way more often? Dominating the proceedings in practically every scene of the film, Naseeruddin Shah came up with the most revered act of 2008. If he doesn’t win a National Award for this film, no one else would be deserving enough.


“’Slumdog…’ is hardly the best work of Rahman, Anil Kapoor or Irrfan Khan” – Mahesh Bhatt

January 24, 2009

‘Slumdog Millionaire’, which is presently the talk of the nation for being nominated for 10 Oscar Awards this year, is given an insight by Indian Film industry’s most experienced Director-Producer and pioneer in filmmaking, Mr. Mahesh Bhatt, who is also often referred to as The Encyclopedia.

‘Slumdog Millionaire’ is going to do no use to India and it is not at all an Indian Film is what he says. “It is Danny Boyle’s film and he is just using India’s finest talent to hit hard at the Oscars this year. I think the film would be very good as is being praised by many and I don’t criticize its content. But my question is, why is it that the same Indian talent is never recognized by the Oscar Jury when it independently enters the race of awards? When it is a foreign film with Indians, you honor it and when it is an Indian Film of same caliber, why not even have a look at it”, asks Mahesh Bhatt.

‘Slumdog Millionaire’ might be starring Anil Kapoor and Irfaan Khan in the film, but Mahesh Bhatt doesn’t think it to be as best of their works. In fact he believes that there are much better Indian Films that they have worked in. He says, “Anil Kapoor is just playing a cameo in the film and is not in the main lead. The main leads in fact are not Indian actors even. So it is just like making hay while the sun shines for Danny Boyle, who is using the Indian effect for grabbing an Oscar.”

In Delhi to promote his film ‘Raaz-The Mystery Continues’, India’s most expensive horror film till date which released yesterday worldwide, Bhatt saab very confidently said that ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ is not the best work of even A.R Rehman. “If you see his work in the past, he has produced such a quality product that it shouldn’t even take a minute to award this legend. His music in ‘Taal’, ‘Rang De Basanti’ or even ‘Lagaan’, which was nominated for the Oscars, stood nowhere in eyes of the Oscars’ Jury. However, when his music has a white connection, it comes to the priority list of the awards. Why? So is it that we Indians are incapable of making it to Oscars? Or it is just that we would be used for other’s benefit and just left unrecognized,” questions Mahesh Bhatt.

He firmly said that India is on path of yet another slavery and if others can’t respect our talent, they have no right to use us. He also said, “In my opinion, if any Indian related to this film gets the Oscar, it should not be kept in India, because we want to actually win the Oscar and not be given as an offering.”

Mahesh Bhatt who is busy promoting his film ‘Raaz The Mystery Continues’ is very confident about his film and says that “I don’t want to make any comparisons of my film with ‘Slumdog’. It may be a very nice film; however I can’t comment on it as I haven’t seen it. But yes, RTMC is what I can guarantee you is the perfect 21st century horror film. Never can a film like this in this genre be made again.”

Emraan Hashmi and Kangna Ranaut saw the first day first show of RTMC film at G3S Cinemas at Rohini in Delhi on Friday amongst the Full House audience and were mobbed for appraisals. “I am highly touched with audiences’ reaction. The other day, my daughter found a beggar on the streets of Mumbai singing ‘Maahi’, and there and then I knew that there is nothing stopping Raaz now. It is going to be a genuine hit,” signs off Bhatt


Why Abhishek was missing during the promotions of Delhi 6?

January 24, 2009

Rakeysh Mehra’s Delhi6 is all set to release in February. Director Mehra released it’s music on the sets of a reality show. But while everyone including Sonam to director Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra, lyricist Prasoon Joshi and others participated enthusiastically, lead actor Abhishek was nowhere in the promotion.

When asked about the Abhishek Bachchan, Rakeysh informed us that Abhi was busy shooting for Mani Ratnam’s Ravana somewhere far off, with wifey Aishwarya Rai. Interestingly both Ash and Abhishek were very much in town to grace another event that happened in the same evening.

Delhi 6
It is believed that and promotion that has given more importance to Sonam. , It seems that Abhishek is not so pleased by the promos as Sonam is getting lot of attention from the promoters thus AB baby has taken the backseat. When we asked Sonam about Abhishek she said, “I liked working with Abhishek. He is really a kool guy. He is fun to work with. We all had fun on the set. We both are foodie.”

Hope Abhi feels the same for his co-actress


Salman’s big Valentines Day plan for Katrina Kaif

January 24, 2009

Valentines Day is a month away but Salman Khan is already getting ready to shower an expensive gift on girlfriend Katrina Kaif.

Though there are rumors of a rift, things still don’t seem to be over for the two.
Salman

The buzz is that Salman has painted her many times while she’s been visiting the sets of his films and accompanying him on some of his mid-night adventures and has even rode an auto rickshaw with him.

Now Sallu’s big plan is to surprise her with a lavish Valentine’s Day gift.

He has chosen a plush apartment in Bandra and plans to gift it to her on Feb 14.

The flat’s location and its architecture go with Salman’s taste. He’s thinking of roping in Suzanne Roshan, Hrithik’s wife, to do the interiors.

The flat has a spacious living room space for paintings and portraits. It has two balconies overlooking the city in different directions. Apparently Salman wants to decorate the flat with some of his paintings before handing over the keys to Katrina next month.

Well, keeping in mind things like that, it seems all’s well in Sal-Kat’s paradise. So should we say, all the talks about Sallu being laid astray by Asin and the like are just rumors?


Film promotion is not my cup of tea: Abhay Deol

January 18, 2009

Actor Abhay Deol, who is promoting his forthcoming film ‘Dev D’, says he hates promoting a film.

‘It’s not about the ego, it’s not about projecting an image, it’s not about being lazy or anything else you might think. The truth is I love making movies, but I just don’t have it in me to sell them,’ Abhay posted on his blog.

‘I am an actor, not a salesman, but most people seem to think that the two are one and the same. I find promoting extremely tiring. It basically means I have to answer the same questions a 1,000 times in the span of eight to nine hours,’ he added.