Friday, November 30, 2007

Plans for the weekend

Hey, looks like even though it's a special appearance, AKshaye has a very well-written role in Aaja Nachle and looks like he's had a blast with it. Now I HAVE to see the movie!


Besides acting, guess what is the good-looking hunk Akshaye Khanna’s hobby? Well, he likes to play chess on the sets in his spare time.

And we heard that after Aamir Khan, AK is the only player who is an expert at this ‘mind game’.

Akshaye has often been spotted playing a game of chess with the good-looking Katrina Kaif, on the sets of their new film Race.

If not an actor, Akshaye would have become a professional chess player like Viswanathan Anand,” informs a unit member. That sure makes Akshaye Badshah Khanna, what say?


More chess craze from TOI:

Only recently we told you how actor Akshaye Khanna is an ace at chess and so crazy about it that he often plays the mind game in between shots.

Well, another actor, who spends his time similarly, is Riteish Deshmukh. The actor, too, is extremely good at chess and prefers to play the game on the sets during his free time rather than indulge in idle talk.

And Rits is so popular among his peers that he always finds someone who is more than willing to battle it out with him. It’ll be fun to see Akshaye and Riteish come together for a game of chess in that case.

Any filmmakers wishing to cast them together in a film that could well be titled Shatranj?

Surprise Performance

After his extraordinary performance in Gandhi My Father, Akshaye Khanna’s next release was going to be Race. However, to much of our surprise, we have learnt that Akshaye has made a special appearance in Yash Raj’s Aaja Nachle.

Akshaye shares the screen space with Madhuri in the film. He is Madhuri’s opponent in the film however; his is not a negative character. Interestingly, Irrfan Khan also does a special appearance in the film.

Yash Raj has always had this surprise element in their films with big stars making appearances in the film. Watch out for these two dynamic actors in Aaja Nachle.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Aaja Nachle

Don't forget. Aaja Nachle opens tomorrow.

Friday, November 23, 2007


Now this one proves that AK should ditch those jackets (like the one below) and just be in t-shirts. He gives them a new meaning. They seem to be made just for him.

Race stills

I love the one with Bipasha n Anil. It's so dramatic n Ak looks deadly.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

No NRI Gal, Only Desi Maal

Okay, his private life is more of a top secret than a nuclear formula. Yet there are whispers that he's quite a Chhupa Rustam. Be that as it may, he's one cool actor.. which is why Roshmila Bhattacharya unlocks the infuriatingly tight-lipped Akshaye Khanna

Have to start with this – it seems you're flying off to New York.. for one of your regular rendezvous with an NRI girlfriend.
What !

May I take your temperature?
Thanks but I'm fine. If I'm going anywhere in the next few days, it's to Goa to shoot for Priyadarshan's film.

In other words, you're denying the rumour that you have an Indian-born girlfriend settled in New York.. there was talk about a girlfriend in Germany too.
I must be really going global. But none of this talk is true. Just give me desi maal.

That sounds terribly chauvinistic.
It's just a manner of speaking.

"A guest appearance is easy because you're not carrying the film on your shoulders. But even if it's a small role it must be significant. Brad Pitt made a five-minute, two-scene appearance in Thelma & Louise."Your former girlfriend Tara Sharma, from childhood days, gave you up to marry someone else. Anything to say?
(Stares daggers) No comments.

Et tu? Okay, now tell me how did Aditya Chopra get you to do a cameo in Aaja Nachle? Aren't you supposed to be picky choosy?
Look, a guest appearance is easy because you're not carrying the film on your shoulders. But even if it's a small role it must be significant. Brad Pitt made a five-minute, two-scene appearance in Thelma & Louise. It was his first appearance in a major Hollywood movie and yet it's remembered.

Was Madhuri Dixit a lure too?
(Smiles) Madhuri's lovely.. very down-to-earth. And as good an actress as she was during Mohabbat.

Did you get to dance with her?
Matching steps with any actress is a problem for me.. with Madhuri it's doubly difficult. So thank God, I wasn't expected to dance.

Race is being touted as one of the first biggies of 2008. Will it live up to the hype?
It can't go wrong. It's a much bigger film than you can imagine!

"I accepted Shortcut because it's such an exciting script, total masala! It's supposed to be Arshad Warsi's best role after Circuit. I agree."But in January, north India is hit by a cold wave and school students have examinations. Isn't that wrong release strategy?
Rang de Basanti came in January too. Need I say more?

It seems, it's because of your bonding with Anil Kapoor that you have given the nod to Shortcut which he is producing.
I accepted Shortcut because it's such an exciting script, total masala! It's supposed to be Arshad Warsi's best role after Circuit. I agree.

And are you Munnabhai?
(Laughs) I wish.

How do you look back at Gandhi, My Father?
A small segment loved it. But the majority found it too slow. I did, too, when I saw it in totality I think . basically the viewers wanted us to take sides but the film was neither for Harilal nor against the Mahatma.

Salaam-e-Ishq was a three-hour plus marathon too.
Yes, I had some issues over its length but since I saw the film only two days before its release, it was too late to offer any advice. Still I loved it. I'd never played an over-the-top character. So much of the performance wasn't on paper but improvised. Poor Nikhil, the press went hammer and tongs at him.

When you see a Salaam-e-Ishq or Naqaab going off-track don't you want to intervene?
I'm not a film critic. When I see the finished product I express my thoughts to the producer and director. That's my right and my responsibility. It's their prerogative to listen to me.. or not.

Don't you want to be your own boss?
I don't want to take on direction, it's not my field of expertise. But film production interests me. I'm on the lookout for a script.

Will it bring the three Khannas -Vinod, Akshaye and Rahul-together?
Neither are we writers nor directors. So we have to wait for the right story. People won't come to see a film because a father and his sons are acting in it.

"My father has always done exactly what he wants to. If he doesn't enjoy something, he'll stop doing it. So I guess, he must be happy with Mere Apne."They went to see Apne for the Deols.
I went to see Apne because I found the promos interesting. And the Deols were great!

You went for the Saawariya premiere. What did you think of it?
Sanjay's (Bhansali) focus was on the boy and girl he was launching. As a showcase for them, he scored a perfect 10. Ranbir (Kapoor) and Sonam (Kapoor) were exceptional. I've been through a much-hyped launch myself.. I know how important it is to live up to the sky high expectations.

Would you team up with Sonam?
I'd love to. She's a mix of Rekha and.. (shrugs.) She's today's girl with the lingering fragrance of the old world.

Why weren't you in the star-studded Om Shanti Om title track?
You'll have to ask Farah Khan that. She didn't ask me to be there.

Have you seen OSO?
Not yet.. The person closest to me adored it. Rahul told me he didn't want the film to end. I haven't heard him say that about any film lately.

What's your take on your father's serial Mere Apne?
My father has always done exactly what he wants to. If he doesn't enjoy something, he'll stop doing it. So I guess, he must be happy with Mere Apne. I've been working way past 10 in the night, so I haven't caught it yet. I've had the episodes taped though.

Did you see your dad in Risk?
I hang my head in shame.. I haven't. The last six months have been really hectic. I haven't had any time for myself.


Hey I don't think it was chavunistic, I thought it was funny in a risuq sort of way.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

One more Comedy

Actors Govinda and Akshaye Khanna have been signed on by Venus Tapes and Records for a film.

The comedy film will be directed by David Dhawan. The rest of the cast is yet to be finalized for the yet-untitled movie.

Confirming the development to, Venus head Ratan Jain says, "We have signed Govinda and Akshaye Khanna for David Dhawan's films. It is a comic film and will go on floors by February next year. We are yet to sign an actress though and work on the final budget of the film."

Meanwhile Venus’ Rahul Bose and Mallika Sherawat starrer titled Maan Gaye Mughal-E-Azam is on floors currently. The film is directed by Sanjay Cheil. " Maan Gaye Mughal-E-Azam is a comic thriller and is in no way related to the old movie Mughal-E-Azam," informs Jain.

Seriously, this is getting insane.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Negotiating heavy traffic

Our heart goes out to the Khanna boy who stays in town and every morning drives to the distant suburb (where most of the studios are located) to shoot for his movies.

And recently when we bumped into him on one of his sets we asked him, isn’t it tiring to drive down every day to the suburbs? “Not at all yaar , town is where my home is. I have never thought of shifting to the suburbs. I’m so used to traveling everyday that I know every gali , shortcuts, long cuts and how long the lights at the traffic signals blink. So I just zoom in and out,” he laughs.

No wonder ‘AK’ is always smiling.


Sunday romantic intrigue

These two love each other but she marries Saif and Katrina is in love with him. Two hot ladies lovin Akshaye. Can't wait to see the movie

Friday, November 16, 2007

David Macdonald impressed by Akshaye

He is not the quintessential Englishman; he laughs a lot and is not ‘prim and propah’. But 64-year-old cinematographer David Macdonald, very English otherwise, lives in Brussels to be ‘far away from the madding crowd’ in Londo n, his hometown.

An ad cinematographer for the best part of his life, (his ad on Waterman’s pens was one among the all-time 10 best ads in Europe) he is in the news now as cameraman for Feroze Khan’s “Gandhi, My Father”. He describes the film as ascetic photography. “Except for a few wedding shots where there is a burst of colour, there is utter simplicity,” he says, surprised to know that Gandhi had children. In the West, he says, many people do not know Gandhi, the man for the Mahatma overshadows the man.

Universal theme

Though the movie is about the complex relationship between Gandhi and his son, Harilal, Macdonald says it is a universal theme, as it portrays the problems faced by children of famous parents the world over. Macdonald was greatly impressed by Akshaye Khanna, who plays Harilal Gandhi, and Shefali Shetty, who plays Kasturba.

Making this feature film after many ad films was a change; his portfolio overflows with ad films and documentaries. For someone who made only ad films for four decades, it must have been a challenge to shoot a feature.

The idiom of cinema and that of ad movies are almost like two visual languages. One is like a prĂ©cis; the other is like a novel. Eye-candy shots and instant recognition formulae dominate an ad movie. Most admen are prone to too many crane shots and emphasise eye-candy shots. “But I did not make that mistake. In a feature film, it will be like living on a diet of syrup,” explains Macdonald.

The use of colours must depend on the theme, he adds. “I am not someone who wants his cinematography to be noticed. In fact if someone says the movie was touching, it means my cinematography was good, it melded with the story,” he remarks, stressing that cinematography must not be seen in isolation.

ith the many experiments in digital cinematography globally, Macdonald is optimistic. “It might be costly now and cumbersome compared to film, but digital cinematography is getting more compact. Like it or not it is coming and it is going to change the face of the industry. People must find ways to combat piracy, the main obstacle now in the digital format,” he says.

Talking about graphics in movies, the cinematographer isn’t averse to the idea. He suggests the cameraman and the graphics person talk more to each other for better results. “Only, it doesn’t happen enough. Graphics must not intrude and it must not be an end in itself,” he comments. He was in Kochi to inaugurate an animation school.

Macdonald has not seen many Indian movies, but is all praise for Ravi K. Chandran. He calls Chandran’s work in “Black” “an astonishing piece of filmmaking”.

The movie industry people here have a very different attitude to work from their European counterparts, Macdonald feels. The set is utter chaos; there’s a lot of physical labour, unlike in the West. “For instance, where we use an electric saw in the West; here, it is done manually. But I must say that the results are the same. The problems always have a solution here; that’s the attitude I like: positive thinking,” he laughs.

Culture shock

Macdonald did get a culture shock when he first arrived in India, he reveals. The Indians he knows in London are, like the English, very sombre and reserved; in Mumbai, the laughter and the fun-loving ambience shocked him. “That was the culture shock,” he jokes.

Unionism in the industry is very important, according to Macdonald, who has been in the European film industry for 40 years. “For people who work freelance, a union membership helps because they are vulnerable to so many factors. In the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, unionism was strong in the Western cinema industry but not any more.”

He has worked with people like Ridley Scott and Bruce Willis too in the short time that he was associated with feature films.

In Belgium, where he lives, film makers get modest grants from the government and yes, it is recognised as an industry, he says.

David Macdonald vowed to come back again to Kerala to keep his camera busy.

(The Hindu)

Orkut's fan groups

I have just joined some of Orkut's Akshaye related communities. Hopefully, we'll be able to integrate many fans from there with out blog.

All the pics posted on this blog are conveniently located in one Picasa web album.

Race stills

Akshaye does look good in the group photo ( my guess it's for a title song shooting for which Gaultier visited. The women look hot but I don't like the way how at indiafm, Saif and Bipasha have their own stills but Akshaye doesn't. Is he being sidelined in promotion of the movie?

Race looks all set to sizzle

It’s a race between hot hunks Saif Ali Khan and Akshaye Khanna, the talented Anil Kapoor, and three sizzlers such as Katrina Kaif, Bipasha Basu and Sameera Reddy.

Abbas-Mustan could not have got together a more exciting team of front-runners for his explosive action-thriller Race. The film is about that king of sport, horse racing, and Mustan takes his crew galloping all over Durban to fulfill a script that’s all about one upmanship.

This race also brings together Saif and Akshaye after Dil Chahta Hai. Saif, who is shooting in Australia, said, "As kids, Akshaye and I used to have this bicycle race, and apparently he’s very upset that I always used to beat him. So I’m challenging him to have another race now!" The reticent Akshaye retorted, "Saif is a laugh-a-minute riot and can keep you entertained for hours on end."

The hot and in-demand Chhote Nawab also had high praise for his female co-stars. "Women in our movies are either Mother Mary or they’re prostitutes, there’s never the more realistic grey area. In this film, we are exploring that area very interestingly," revealed Saif. Of Katrina, with whom he was working for the first time, he said, "You’re really not sure on what side this woman is. She is deceptive, good fun and, yeah, entertaining too."

When the music video of the film was being shot, the internationally renowned designer and fashion guru Jean Paul Gaultier dropped in on the sets and was astonished to find that Bipasha, Katrina and Sameera had the looks of international models. According to producer Ramesh Taurani,"Gaultier stood for hours watching a song being shot and even danced like a little child when the music was on!"


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

By the Way

I hate Saif right now but can't help but notice that he has much better clothes on than our poor Akshaye! Would love to see our boy sport an elegant n chic wardrobe and ditch the garish one he has right now.

Stay classy, Mr.Saif

Saif throws a tantrum and gets the poster changed from this:

to this:

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Saif sabotages promotion of other stars in Race?

So Saif, who is more secure at the box-office, throws a fit when he sees a poster which shows all the stars of the movie and gets it to highlight just himself? No wonder he looked so grousy at the Provogue event. Definitely not big star behavior. In contrast, both Akshaye and Anil looked chilled out. They are the real cool stars.

From Midday:

Saif Ali Khan was recently part of a Provogue fashion show as a tie-up with the Abbas-Mustan starrer Race. At the event in New Delhi, the actor threw a fit when he saw the posters of the film which stars him along with Anil Kapoor, Akshaye Khanna and Bipasha Basu.

Publicity designers Rahul and Himanshu Nanda had created the look of the film and the first poster of Race was about to hit the theatres soon.

It is learnt that Saif was unhappy with what he saw and made his discomfort evident. He had a word with the director duo Abbas-Mustaan and told them to carry out certain changes.

Where’s the impact?

A source from the event reveals, “Saif always takes an active interest in each of his projects. He’s quite excited about Race and wanted the first look to create a good impact. Also since it’s a thriller and an Abbas-Mustaan film he wanted the poster to look in a certain way. He wasn’t too happy with the poster that was put up at the event and asked for changes.”

When contacted, Rahul Nanda confirms the development. He says, “Yes, we did rework on the poster. We value Saif’s opinion.

He had certain good suggestions that we agreed to and designed a new look. Everyone loved the final draft of the poster as it justifies the thriller genre the film belongs to.”

Monday, November 12, 2007

"Towering performance"

This guy is a web regular. From his review of Gandhi My Father:

Akshaye Khanna delivers a towering performance and one that truly reflects his talent and ability as an actor. However one feels sorry for him in the second half as he’s reduced in the background often coming across as inconsequential in the proceedings, however that more the fault of Khan’s story than anything else. His initial sequences are heart-warming, and one feels for Harilal as he tries to keep a control of his life in a very confused state. His drunken sequences are touching. However I do feel somewhat disappointed as I was expecting this to be a performance that competes with the heavyweights of the year however sadly it’s not.

I do agree that the second half fizzled out in terms of Akshaye's role but does that take away from Akshaye's achievement? I think not. Can't imagine any other actor not floundering under such a heavy handicap. It reminds me of a comment I posted here earlier that Akshaye's performances suffer from insanely high expecatations.

I agree that given a better second half, Akshaye could have scored a monumental triumph, but it is quite inaccurate to say that his performance doesn't match up with the year's heavyweights.


Akshaye is Ranbir's favorite hero.

Akshaye's dream girl

My dream girl is on her way,’ says Akshaye.

Contrary to all the rumours floating around, about Akshaye Khanna dating a girl from New York, the Khanna boy says there’s no truth in it and he’s still in search of that dream girl who will steal his heart.

“I also keep hearing these stories. I don’t know how it all started. I’m not seeing any girl from any part of the world.” He laughs and adds “I haven’t found my dream girl yet, but I can sense it. She is somewhere around, she’s on her way. Both of us have waited for long. We have missed each other by a fraction of a second, but it’s only a matter of time before we bump into each other, and sparks will fly. It’s going to happen soon. I have to keep my eyes wide open and I’m sure she’s also doing the same thing.”

Quite filmi, eh?

(Times of India)

Top 100

This blog has an interesting post ranking 100 handsome men in India and puts Akshaye in 40-50. It also puts Karan Nath ahead of Arjun Rampal. Guess each to his own!

Made in China starring Akshaye?

Look at this quote from Mithun Chakraborthy's interview:

What are your current projects?
I have too many films in my kitty, like Mera Bharat Mahan opposite Salman Khan, Bobby and Preity Zinta. Then there’s Phir Khabi opposite Dimple, Made In China that also has Akshaye Khanna. Again, there’s a Balaji film called C Company where I will be sharing the screen with Tusshar Kapoor and Anupam Kher. There are also many Tollywood films in the pipeline.

Is it a new movie of Akshaye? I remember Nikhil Advani's next with Akshay Kumar was called Made in China before it was changed to something else. Maybe they made a mistake here. Still, keep you fingers crossed.

Vinod rates Akshaye

From Vinod Khanna's interview:

How would you rate your son Akshaye’s performance?

I have seen it and I think Akshaye has acted brilliantly. It is his best performance in the last 10 years. Not only Akshaye, even Shefali Shah as Kasturba and Darshan Jariwalla as Gandhi were very good. I give the entire credit to director Feroz Khan.

Akshaye teaches Katrina

If her B-town image is taken into cognisance, Katrina Kaif seems to have taken over the ice-maiden tag from Aishwarya herself. Looking aloof most of the time, refusing to talk about her personal life and definitely not allowing the mention of a certain Mr Salman Khan. But take off a few layers and Katrina opens up.

It is her family that remains her favourite topic. “My mother lives in Chennai and I have six sisters. In fact, I’ve never felt the need to have girl friends because I’m very close to my sisters. All of us bond together like great buddies. I’m closest to my second oldest sister Christine. She is very kind and stable and has really influenced my life,” Kat says.

So, does that mean she has no really close friends in Bollywood or elsewhere? “Actually, I have made a lot of friends in Bollywood. Vipul Shah and I get on really well. Sajid Nadiadwala and David Dhawan are two friends who keep coming home and we let our hair down. Basically, I am around a lot of people who are fun to be with. I create my own equations,” she says.

Coincidentally, all these people happen to be very good friends of Salman Khan too? Kat goes all diplomatic as she says, “People have been writing about Salman and me for the past five years. There’s no issue to talk about and that is what I’ve been saying all this while.”

To emphasise that she has friends outside Salman’s inner circle, Kat adds, “On the sets of Race, Akshaye Khanna taught me how to play chess. I’m not very good at the game but I’m getting much better now. Thanks to Akshaye’s classes!”

Point taken. That means marriage is not on the cards? “I’m too young,” pat comes her reply. She adds, “I have a lot of stuff to do before I get married. I’m trying to settle my family in London. And you never know how things turn out in the long run.” Katrina also admits that she is a romantic at heart, “Everybody’s a romantic and so am I. My kind of a man is a person I can laugh with, have a good time with.”

Something that people don’t know about her is that she is hooked on to old Hindi films. “I am glued to these films, they are larger than life. Today’s cinema lacks that largeness. And those songs were different too – Helen aunty’s songs are amazing. I also watch a lot of Madhubala movies,” she says.

(Times of India)

A while ago I wondered whether playing chess was a bit dorky. Well, if you get to teach Katrina, then it's definitely not uncool. Go Akshaye!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Saanwariya premiere video

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Also, a video of an interview with Akshaye

Another Akshaye interview.

What Akshaye plans to do this Diwali

The bombs among them, ah yes, they sizzle otherwise too, but during the festive season, you would forgive them if they kept their performances at home for family and friends. So, what do the stars do for Diwali then? BT made some phone calls and came up with these answers...

Amitabh Bachchan: Nothing special. My mother’s condition keeps us worried. Diwali is always an open house at Jalsa. And, yes, since this is Aishwarya’s first Diwali in her new house, it is special for us.
John Abraham: I will be spending Diwali with family and friends. No crackers, but there will be lots of candles, I love the way the whole country is lit up.

Priyanka Chopra: I’ll be with family. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Diwali.

Shilpa Shetty: I’m in the midst of my show in Manchester. For Diwali I’ll be performing in London and then attending a party hosted by the Hindujas.

Akshaye Khanna: I'll be playing cards, sleeping very late and shooting late next morning.
Bipasha Basu: As always, I will be with my family and friends. There will be a puja followed by dinner. I also want to clean up, renovate and probably re-paint my house.

Arshad Warsi: I don’t and can’t play cards. Diwali is a day for the family. Maria, Zeke and Zene-Zoe. No crackers needed.

Suniel Shetty: I’m in Istanbul playing producer for Mission Istanbul. But my wife and children are here with me, so that’s a blessing.

Celina Jaitley: My best friend Tanuj is down from London and I’ll be getting together with all my close friends. There’s Laxmi Puja as well at home. I’ll decorate my home with traditional diyas. We are incorrigible card players. And the sessions go on all night with occasional indulgence in gujiya and mithai.

Ranbir Kapoor: Diwali is a huge event in our home. It’s bigger this time because my debut film is being released. There’ll be the usual family puja. And, of course, loads of sweets. My dadi cooks the most delicious Diwali delicacies in the world. Since my sister is down in Mumbai for my premiere, Diwali will be the way I like it. A family affair.

Tusshar Kapoor: I hate playing cards. I celebrate Diwali with close friends, probably go out clubbing.

Esha Deol: I don’t know how to play cards. And I’m petrified of crackers. But I like to watch. I love to light up our house with diyas. We’re in a new home this year, so Diwali is even more important.
Mahesh Bhatt: Bollywood is a gamblers’ den. We gamble all through the year. Why do we need to play cards at Diwali?

(Times of India)

BTW, Happy Diwali guys.

Saawanriya premiere pics

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Race promotion on Provogue ramp pics

Not ONE solo pic of Akshaye, not one.

Akshaye attends Saawariya Premiere

The premier of Saawariya, the first Bollywood film produced by a Hollywood company, Sony Pictures, was held at Adlabs Wadala Wednesday, November 7. It was attended by almost all A-list stars.

Notable absentees were the usual no-shows like Aamir Khan, and the stars and production crew of Om Shanti Om who are preoccupied with the premier of their film in London Thursday, November 8.

In addition to director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and the stars Ranbir Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, Salman Khan and Rani Mukerji, Bollywood A-listers attending included Hrithik Roshan, Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Akshaye Khanna, Kangana Ranaut, Diya Mirza, Lara Dutta, Sridevi, Boney Kapoor, Amisha Patel, Sushmita Sen, Soha Ali Khan and Siddharth.

The first celebrity to arrive was Nach Baliye 3's Rakhi Sawant who set the tone for the evening when she said she had seen both Saawariya and its rival OSO, that they are very different films and that both films are "superior".

Rani smiled for the cameras but didn't comment, Salman Khan begged off on account of laryngitis.

Saif and Kareena, holding hands tightly as if they might fall off the planet if they let go, tried to duck the media completely.

Everyone else took time to speak about the movie and the new stars to the hundreds of press gathered there.

What is it like to be in a Sanjay Leela Bhansali movie right out of the gate?

Both newcomers pronounced themselves very lucky to work with Bhansali, and with each other.

Sonam said that since she didn't attend university, Bhansali sahib "is my university".

Sonam Kapoor and Ranbir Kapoor looked every inch the stars they now are at the Saawariya premiere. Both were calm, composed and well-spoken with the media.

But their fathers were another matter entirely. Rishi Kapoor was so button-popping proud he could hardly speak a whole sentence and Anil Kapoor said, "I'm the nervous one".

Asked whether he thought his daughter and Ranbir were poised to become superstars, he said he didn't care whether they became superstars. "I care that they become good actors. I hope they become good actors."

Next year is going to start with a bang

Come January 2008, and Tips Industries would be all set to unleash their biggest extravaganza ever RACE.

RACE will be the buzz word of Bollywood. It features a star-cast comprising of the biggest and the best in Bollywood, Director Duo Abbas Mustan whose name defines the thriller genre in India wield the directorial baton for RACE. The movie is set against the beautiful locales of Durban and promises to be an edge of the seat excitement!

The film stars Saif Ali Khan, Anil Kapoor, Bipasha Basu, Sameera Reddy and Akshaye Khanna. Produced by Kumar Taurani & Ramesh Taurani, the film has music by Pritam and lyrics by Sameer.


Iknow I have to add a ton of pictures. I will get down to it eventually.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

When an actor dares

By Khaled Mohammed

Give a woman a child delivery scene and a man a big weeping scene — chances are that they will walk away with all the major acting awards of the year. Other big movie moments that can get the acting community thanking everyone, from their moms to cooks, are emotional outbursts, physical disabilities and grandiloquent death scenes.

Now Akshaye Khanna covers the entire gamut of these winning tricks — except the physical disabilities unless you count a wild variety of beards ranging from the bushy to the bushier. There is little doubt that his performance in Gandhi My Father, should earn him an armful of statuettes, medals and trophies. The upbeat news is that the actor will be more than deserving of the laurels. The strongly written part of Harilal Gandhi, the loser whom history chose to ignore, is raised to another level by Khanna.

Whether he’s mercurial or just moody, Akshaye Khanna has often sported that I'm-a-loner James Dean-like attitude.Unafraid to play a character, his warts and failures revealed in merciless close-ups, Khanna indicates that paragons of virtues are dead. Today’s movie hero can be a failure and proud of it. Over the years, most actors have softened their characters’ weaknesses by doctoring scripts or by just bullying directors to make them obscenely heroic. At long last, now heroes have stopped springing from the womb of fantasy: the more believable the more convincing.

Credibly real

Khanna, at 32, has been in 24 films and has always been more credible in roles that connect to the real. Besides Gandhi my Father, he has been at his best as the implosive soldier in Border (1997) and the taciturn painter in love with an older woman in Dil Chahta Hai (2001). By contrast, he hasn’t been entirely at home with the potboiler peregrinations, evidenced most horrifyingly in Shaadi Se Pehle (2006), Aap Ki Khatir (2006) and the recently released Naqaab.

Obviously, like most actors he would like to be successful in senseless as well as sensible cinema. His forays in the ‘sensible’ have been infrequent but memorable. Schooled at the Bombay International and Ooty’s Lovedale, he could have gone to Wharton University but the younger son of actor Vinod Khanna and his first wife Gitanjali Talyerkhan chose to debut in Himalayaputra produced by his father. The hodgepodge of a love story-cum-actioner laid an egg but a sensational newcomer was hatched.

Staying at Hanging Garden with his mother and elder brother Rahul, Akshaye Khanna is more of a punctilious, south Bombay townie than a robust Punjabi. Unlike most actors, he reads books and like most actors, he is complicated. Some eight years ago, a magazine cover shoot with his Taal co-actors, Anil Kapoor and Aishwarya Rai, was a nightmare. He discarded a heap of jackets for the shot without saying why, sulked in a make-up room and then suddenly materialised as if he were Mr Congeniality.

Whether he’s mercurial or just moody, Akshaye Khanna has often sported that I’m-a-loner James Dean-like attitude. Lighting up a cigarette, he can stare at a wall blankly, without giving a clue about what’s buzzing in his head. On the other hand, he can laugh at jokes uproariously (he never cracks one) and can even cement an unlikely friendship with Anil Kapoor who’s as gregarious as Khanna is introverted.

Riddle of contrasts

From all accounts, Khanna is a disciplined actor, known for his punctuality and involvement in a project — when it is going in the correct direction. Disappointingly, there have been instances when he has not kept his word, like promising to show up at an event and then not offering a word of explanation why he didn’t.

Most journalists are scared to interview him, others are indifferent because he rarely yields copy that goes beyond the usual if-you’re-interested-in-my-private-life-SCRAM! If at all, he will respond vaguely about Tara Sharma, a teenage-hood friend, whom he was expected to marry, till she announced her engagement to another. “I wish her luck,” Khanna stated on record, his voice masking any flicker of emotion.

Auspiciously Akshaye Khanna is far more accessible and paradoxically ‘real’ in the movies. Often in the course of Gandhi My Father, you wonder how a closed-in person like him could uncork his bottled feelings — and that too with conviction and empathy.

His hairpiece, loopy smile and make-up may not be perfect in Gandhi My Father at several points. But in emoting, he is flawless as a son in the shadow of the Mahatma. That one scene in which he rushes into a railway platform, half-drunk, and hands Kasturba a dry orange, the token of his love, is performed poignantly. So is his anguish before his wife’s dead body and his helplessness on accepting a whisky after weeks of giving up alcohol.

Once in a while there have been unconfirmed reports that Khanna Jr is planning to set up a film production company and that he has been toiling at a script. Be that as it may, he is at his most likeable while portraying a man who is well-intentioned but ends up hurting others… and himself. No one could have done a Harilal Gandhi with more psychological accuracy than our very own James Dean.


More coverage of the smoking incident

Apparently at the recent fashion show in Delhi Akshaye Khanna was seen strutting his stuff with a cigarette in hand. The actor was said to be very comfortable with the ciggie and asked the people who objected whether he was doing some thing illegal by smoking. Seems like the Bollywood smokers club has a new member.

From Filmfare. Is he going to lose some fans because of this? It's getting ridiculous!

Popular in North America?

I am touring North America at the moment and I found local suburb's Indian ewspaper's entertainment section. Guess what, on the lead page it had the Race promotion event with big pohotos of Akshaye on it and the back pages had no less than three or four goss, all covered here, about our favorite star. Somebody is a huge fan. Most of my hits come from North America too. I just got the feeling that he is more popular here than in India.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Akshaye smokes on the ramp

From Mumbai Mirror:

People have been spotted doing various things on the ramp, but never before has one seen someone strutting with a cigarette in hand. Akshaye Khanna, at a recently held fashion show in Delhi, was seen smoking a cigarette while walking the ramp for a premiere clothes brand.

Those present at the fashion show say that Akshaye was completely comfortable smoking on the ramp, with a large number of people looking at him. In fact, he was laughing about and having a good time while walking the ramp, along with fellow Bollywood actors. “Anil Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, Akshaye Khanna, Bipasha Basu and Sameera Reddy were walking the ramp at the fashion show to promote their upcoming film Race. Khanna was seen with a cigarette in his hand on the ramp. The audience felt that the actor was setting a bad example.”

Akshaye obviously doesn't think so. He says, “Have I done anything illegal?”

Recently, even Shah Rukh Khan was caught smoking in public. An NGO, National Organisation of Tobacco Eradication threatened to sue Khan for promoting smoking in public places as this is banned under the Anti-Tobacco Act.

For the record, I am not that fussed dup about his smoking. But I have seen many of his fans being concerned about it.

Ranbir Kapoor wants to work with Akshaye

From Ranbir Kapoor's interview:

Whom would you like to work with?
Hrithik Roshan, Akshaye Khanna, my father and mother. Salman Khan has been really encouraging from day one, and took me under his wing. He advised me as a friend, not only as an actor, but about my personal life. Abhishek Bachchan has also been very supportive, he always sends encouraging messages.

Aamir replaced Akshaye Khanna in Taare Zameen Par

Aamir Khan’s much awaited film Taare Zameen Par which is to be released on December 21 has been into loads of controversies already. From who is the original director of the film to Aamir’s alleged tiff with the media and thus his decision to release his film’s promo on the internet! This talked about film based on dyslexic children has had enough unwanted exposure much before its release.

To add to the hype and intrigue surrounding this promising film, a reliable source exclusively revealed to Indiatimes Movies that it was Akshaye Khanna who was considered to play the role of a teacher who looks after dyslexic children in Taare Zameen Par instead of Aamir Khan as Amol Gupte (the then director of the film) had Akshaye on his mind first.

Apparently Amol had requested Aamir to put him through to Akshaye as he wanted Akshaye to read the script. However, since Aamir was producing the film, he expressed his desire to go through the script himself first. As soon as Aamir read the script, he fell in love with it and requested Amol to cast him instead.

We spoke to Amol Gupte about the issue and he confirmed the news saying, “As far as casting is concerned, yes, I wanted to meet Akshaye Khanna initially but Aamir expressed his desire to play the lead and the rest is history.”

We wonder what Akshaye must be thinking of now.

(Times of India)

Akshaye's fantastic role in Shortcut

Been travelling again so blogging has been light. From Amrita Rao's interview:

Besides this, what are the other projects that you are busy with?
Short Cut - The Con Is On is an Anil Kapoor home production. Akshaye Khanna has a fantastic role in it and after Circuit, this will be Arshad Warsi’s next best role, believe me. Mine is a glamourous character and I am very excited about it as it has a lot of range for performance. Then there is My Name is Anthony Gonsalves due for release in January 2008. UTV’s Hook Ya Crook is right now on hold.

Glad to know Akshaye's role is fantastic.