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BOLLYWOOD | Guftugu | MARCH 2012

Asin: “I am Not Desperate”
Saif: Not Wooing Kareena in Agent Vinod
Vidya - The Right Choice for Kahaani
Tusshar: Positive About Solo Starrer
Akki's Mystery Grin

Asin: “I am Not Desperate”

(Above): Asin

She made her debut in smash hit Ghajini, followed it up with a dud in London Dreams and then re-emerged with a vengeance in Ready. Now that Housefull 2 is looking promising as well, Asin is looking to extend her winning streak. However one wonders why she hasn't been seen in many films in last three years. After all, any other actress would have signed multiple films after scoring a huge success (which was also Bollywood's first ever 100 crore runner) with Ghajini. What made her go slow?

“See, it is not really about the number of movies that I am doing; it is about the experience of working in these film,” reasons Asin, “What is important for me is to have a good time working in a film and interacting with the people involved in the film. This is the reason why I have been so choosy.”

This is fairly evident from her South sojourn as well. Though she has been active for quite some time there, she isn't overexposed in the Tamil and Telugu industry either.

“Yes, I am not very prolific there either as I don’t like taking up too much of work. Even when I moved to Bollywood, I carried forward a similar working style. The fact is that I am not desperate to be constantly doing films every single day of my life. I am not like one who thinks that grab everything today otherwise all would be lost tomorrow. That's not my thought process at all,” says Asin.

No wonder her social dos and appearances are also restricted and she isn’t on-your-face at every event, something that many of her peers and contemporaries specialize in.

“I can't be seen at any particular event for networking reasons. I would be there only if the people involved are close to me. That’s the way I have always been,” she smiles, "Like I was there for Riteish's wedding since he is a dear friend. Then I was also there for Farah's (Khan) and Sajid's (Nadiadwala) birthday because these are the people I am close to. If I am seen there, it is not for gaining limelight or to earn any PR points. I guess if I have to find added visibility then there are my movies for that. I have enough commercial movies that put me into that visual space. I don’t want to over do that.”

Guess to present more of her, it would be Housefull 2 that would eventually do the trick.


Saif: Not Wooing Kareena in Agent Vinod

(Above): Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan (r).

If those associated with Agent Vinod are to be believed, the film won't feature Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor in a quintessential romantic rendezvous that one would have expected out of this real life couple. A spy thriller that travels continents and keeps an element of mystery in the air right through it's duration, Agent Vinod also promises to present Kareena in a different light altogether.

“Since Saif and Kareena are a couple, it was pretty much weighing on our mind that how should we present them on screen. Moreover, we couldn’t just rope in Kareena just because she would have easily walked into the film. There had to be a good enough role that justified her presence and along with my co-writer, I actually spent quite some time in cracking it before narrating the part to her,” says Sriram who does admit that at the end of it all, it is Saif in the title role who holds maximum prominence.

“I can promise you though that Kareena is going to surprise you in the film,” assures Sriram, “I don't want to say much about chemistry and all but then when you would enter the theatre, within minutes you would forget that it is a real life pairing of Saif-Kareena that you are seeing on screen.”

One can well trust Sriram here, especially since he has a knack of breaking stereotypes, as was evidenced in films like Johnny Gaddaar and Ek Haseena Thi. Though none of the two were smash hits, they were still appreciated by those who saw them and later went on to become quite popular on the satellite and home video circuits. Acknowledged as someone who knows a thing or two about telling thrilling tales, Sriram is now happy to unleash a new story with Agent Vinod while also deconstructing the Saif Ali Khan that is known to the audience.

“In Ek Haseena Thi, Saif was this charming and charismatic man though quite cunning and inherently negative. However in case of Agent Vinod, he is not a bad guy,” divulges Sriram, “Yes, he has this suave charm to him and the brains that can get him out of the trickiest of situations. Still, it is a new Saif you would be seeing. Just like he had surprised with films like Omkara and Being Cyrus, same would be the case with Agent Vinod as well. He is better than the best we have seen of him so far.”

Well, here is hoping the claims indeed turn out to be true.


Vidya - The Right Choice for Kahaani

(Above): Vidya Balan

Sujoy Ghosh’s decision to rope in Vidya Balan for Kahaani when she wasn't ‘THE’ Vidya Balan has paid off in a big way. He showed confidence in her abilities when films like Ishqiya, Paa, No One Killed Jessica and The Dirty Picture were still waiting to happen. However now that Vidya is being acknowledged as an actress who comes with a good degree of excellence, Sujoy is elated that he made the right choice.

“Really, this woman is a delight of an actress because you just can't find any flaws in her acting,” says Sujoy who is clearly awed with the kind of performance that Vidya has delivered in his dramatic thriller, “You can’t really quantify quality but the kind of quality stamp that Vidya brings in is priceless.”

He had started getting hints of what would eventually be in store during the earlier days of Kahaani itself when Vidya had just been signed for the film.

“Let me admit this, not many people were aware about Kahaani when I had started working on it after Aladin. However when these very people asked me about the leading lady and I said Vidya, there was a visible shift in their outlook towards the film. They used to say ‘Oh wow, it is Vidya. That's great, you have a good performance in store for sure.’"

It only acted as further impetus for Sujoy since he strived to get the written material water tight before proceeding to the actual shoot.

“To receive such compliments is really terrific because the worst thing that you can do is destroy someone’s trust. If that man on the street wants me to give her a good enough role that would justify her presence, I have to make sure that I bring in good enough meat into the script. I can’t afford to break that trust because once that happens, it can’t be undone,” concludes Sujoy.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed and wish him all the best.


Tusshar: Positive About Solo Starrer

(Above): Tusshar Kapoor

Tusshar Kapoor is excited. Seen in quite a few multi-starrer blockbusters during the last few years, most notably The Dirty Picture and Golmaal 3, he is now aiming to make a big splash with his first solo starrer in quite some time, Chaar Din Ki Chandni. Another reason for his confidence in this film is the fact that the man at the helm of affairs, Samir Karnik, also comes fresh after delivering a superhit Yamla Pagla Deewana last year.

“And trust me, you can well term Chaar Din Ki Chandni as a Yamla Pagla Deewana with a new cast and story,” exclaims Tusshar who plays a double role of sorts in the film, albeit with a twist, “Just like the Deols starrer, this one too is a family drama with lots of comedy and funny characters. The trailer pretty much depicts what the film is all about. It is an all out entertainer about two families, one from Punjab and another from Rajasthan.”

He insists though that Chaar Din Ki Chandni is a ‘different comedy’ unlike the routine slapstick affairs that audience is exposed to time and again.

Says Tusshar, “This is a full on fun affair where this boy is one big time dramebaaz. I play a Rajasthani who is in love with a Punjabi girl (played by Kulraj Randhawa, the ‘Kareena’ from Kareena Kareena TV serial). Since my father is a staunch Rajput and has his own principles, I am required to do a lot of draamebaazi in order to safeguard Kulraj's identity. Ek jhooth se doosra jhooth nikalta hai and so on and so forth. There is a lot of masquerading and disguising involved as well.”

However despite the comic element involved, Tusshar insists that the brand of humor is much different in Chaar Din Ki Chandni when compared to his biggest franchise success Golmaal.

“I think the biggest advantage here is Sameer's direction,” Tusshar credits his director here, “He has managed a good hang of affairs now that it comes after a huge success like Yamla Pagla Deewana. His brand value has gone up and for me too it is quite helpful as I gain benefit from the stamp of such a director.”

In this film which has mistaken identities at the core of it, it is Anupam Kher who plays the part of a Rajput while Om Puri plays the tough Punjabi. Other cast members include Chandrachur Singh, Mukul Dev, Sushant Singh, Johny Lever and Anita Raaj.


Akki's Mystery Grin

(Above): Akshay Kumar in "Housefull 2."

He may have played ‘Mr. Cool’ in countless flicks. However 'cool quotient' has taken an altogether different dimension in Sajid Nadiadwala's Housefull 2 where he enacts the role of a man with a mysterious grin.

“When you see the film, you would realize that he has been bold enough to play the kind of character that has never been enacted by any other mainstream Bollywood actor in the past,” informs a source from the writing team of Housefull 2, “He has pulled it off only because of his director's conviction.”

Since Akshay Kumar had left behind such on-screen antics 2-3 years back, he wasn't too sure if doing it all over again, albeit a little differently, would be correct for him. However, just one discussion with Sajid Khan was good enough for him to be convinced about the part. Once on the job, he was seen having harmless fun with his co-stars even when the camera wasn't rolling.

“Another reference point for Akshay was Sajid himself. He used to play such a character on his TV show Ikke Pe Ikka and thought it would be a good enough idea to attempt something like this on the big screen since no one had dared to do that before,” the source continues.

No wonder, if one sees Akshay giving out those mysterious grins for this film, it is Sajid Khan who is the source of it all.

Laughs Sajid “Trust me, by the time film is ready for release, you would see the entire nation hooked on to Akshay's mannerisms. He is the coolest man around who would be quite popular on the college circuits as well. When you would see the film, you would know.”

Let’s hope the bang with which all this is being said doesn’t end in a whimper.


Joginder Tuteja is a Bollywood writer based in Mumbai, India.


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