Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

Wish you all a very happy 2008.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Akshaye and Akshay together?

If everything goes as planned, director-duo Abbas-Mustan will foray into film production by mid-2008. One of the films will bring Akshay Kumar and Akshaye Khanna together. The others will topline Shah Rukh Khan.

The director duo in white have already completed their first film production - Evano Oruvan, the Tamil remake of Dombivli Fast with R Madhavan.

Playing favourites
News is that the Abbas-Mustan have already had separate meetings with the Akshay(e)s about doing a movie for their banner - the Burmawalla Brothers' Movies. The actors have agreed verbally.

The Baazigar directors last worked with Shah Rukh Khan for Badshah. Now, they have narrowed down on a couple of subjects for SRK.

On being contacted, Abbas said, "Right now, we're too occupied with the post-production of Race (directed for the Tips banner). Of course, we have short-listed some of ideas we would like to do after Race."

Our source confirms the production plans of the director duo, adding that they will stick to the genre they excel in - musical thrillers.


Hey, I've been looking for this story. Thanks for finding it. Good to see he's doing more and more movies and we have something to look forward to.

And the Best Actor award goes to.....

Great. To make my weekend even better, Radiosargam has given its best actor award to ... Shahrukh Khan in Chak De India. Why do they even bother with putting up the show? At least Abhishek Bachan in Guru wouldn't have been so offensive.

Thoughts on Race's first promo

Just saw the Race promo a couple of more times. Saif has the stunts, the sex scenes and the smouldering dialogues. While poor Akshaye looks frustrated n confused most of the time. Can't blame him because that's what I felt after watching it.

There's this objective part of me which says that Race promo is well done, the movie looks interesting and that Saif looks quite cool in some scenes and Akshaye, by comparision, looks overweight and dowdy.

But there's also this another part of my self which is fiercely partisan when it comes to Akshaye. It's disappointed n angry. The fact that Akshaye's talent is getting wasted always bugged me but to see a contemporary forge so far ahead while Akshaye still lags behind gives me a wrench in the gut. Saif is everything in the movie( well, in the promo at least) that I have wanted Akshaye to be: fit, well-dressed, stylish and playing a masterful leading role.

At this point, I'm pitifully clinging onto the hope that Akshaye will a couple of good scenes which will prevent him from being totally sidelined.

PS: After writing this post, I checked out the Tips site and the Saif bias in promotion seems even more blatant.

Race's first promo

Race's first ad. The movie looks good. Akshaye's part looks too small. Doesn't get me excited much.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Friday, December 21, 2007

Chess Nuts

Akshaye Khanna and Katrina Kaif bonded big time over chess, on the sets of their film, Race. Akshaye, who is an avid chess player, taught Katrina how to play the game.

The actors on the sets of Race (Aksahye, Katrina, Saif Ali Khan, Bipasha Basu, Anil Kapoor and Sameera Reddy) came upon a novel and intelligent way of passing time during breaks. They would often be spotted indulging in a good game of chess.

Says a source, "Akshaye Khanna and Katrina were very often seeing playing chess on the sets at Yashraj Studios. Sometimes, Saif and other co-stars would also join them. Katrina, however, was the most serious of the lot and under Akshaye's tutelage, she has picked up the game really fast."

Katrina says that she enjoyed exercising her mind. "Race has a huge star cast. We had to wait for long hours for our shots. Chess is the best way to kill time in between those shots. Playing chess exercises the mind brilliantly. It's a very healthy way of spending extra time," she says.

Although she's just started playing, Katrina says that she's learnt very quickly. She laughs, "I almost beat Akshaye at a game! I still have a long way to go. But I'm happy with my progress."

(Mumbai Mirror)

Just counting

By midyear next year, we should already see three Akshaye releases : Race, Shortcut and Mera Baap Pehle Aap. Race should work and because the other two are comedies, chances are they will too. It's not the work I'd like to see him do but I guess it's better seeing him on screeen than miss out for months with no movie of Akshaye.

Still to be confirmed, Sunil Shetty's movie Bhaagam Bhaag( my guess is AK might not be doing it), David Dhawan's next with Govinda(this has been talked about for long and but will it happen?) and the recently announced multistarrer with Suniel and Arjun( we can't know for sure until shooting begins). That's lot of work. Looks like he is busy and we will be too.


Thanks for the tip!

Akshaye's Priyan movie set for a summer release?

From a business report on Shemaroo:

Currently, Shemaroo Entertainment is busy with the production of the film Mere Baap Pahle Aap, starring Akshaye Khanna and newcomer Genelia D’Souza, which is likely to see a summer release.

Akshaye living it up in Kerala

Akshaye Khanna is presently shooting in Alleppey, Kerala with one of his favorite directors Priyadarshan for his forthcoming 'Untitled' film.

Akshaye and Priyadarshan, as a team have been consistently delivering hits like HULCHUL, HUNGAMA, and with their latest venture, are sure on a hit track record again.

But besides shooting with his favorite director, Akshaye seems to be enjoying the breathtaking beauty of Kerala. It is Akshaye's first visit to Kerala, and is amazed at the beauty of God's Own country. He is virtually living it out in a plush Houseboat, in the backwaters of Kerala.

The locals have told him on how The Houseboats of today have evolved from the traditional kettuvallams and are equipped with all modern amenities like plush carpets, bedrooms with attached bath and on board food.

And surely Akshaye seems to be enjoying every bit of the shoot in this land of lagoon, beaches and the unspoilt backwaters.

Says Akshaye, "I am enjoying my stay in a houseboat out here. It's a different experience altogether. Kerala is such a beautiful place; I am charmed by its beauty. There is so much of tranquil calm in the backwaters of Kerala".


Monday, December 17, 2007

Akshaye in a multistarrer?

A possible new Akshaye starrer:

Producer Afzal Khan's youngest brother Asif Khan is making his directorial debut. His first film will be a multi-starrer action film. The venture produced by Nisha Kreation will star Suniel Shetty, Akshaye Khanna, Arjun Rampal, Ayesha Takia and Tanushree Dutta.

Asif Khan says, "Yes my first film is going to be a multi-starrer. The script is ready and I am working on the pre-production work of the film. It is going to be an out an out action flick."

It is also believed that Abhishek Bachchan will do a cameo in the movie. Asif confirms, "Yes Abhishek will have a very important and interesting character. He has confirmed his participation but is yet to give dates."

It is believed that Asif has registered a title that was similar to Ram Gopal Varma's title. "We have applied for a title but came to know that RGV has registered the same title. My film is currently untitled and will be called Production No 1 till we officially get our title registered."

This untitled film is based on a real life incident that took place during the fifties. Asif himself has written the script of this film. He says, “I can't reveal the storyline of the film but yes it is based on a real life story. Thus the characters’ look and backdrop of my film will be similar to that era."

Interestingly this film sees a comeback of popular music director Pyarelal. "Pyarelal will be composing for the film. We decided to approach him because he’s the only one who could do justice to the music of my film. I am confident that he will recreate the magic of that era."

Based in Dubai, the movie will also be shot in Malaysia and will go on floors in July next year.

(Times of India)

July is a bit too late, isn't it? I used to wonder if Akshaye will start doing those multistarrers and I like Arjun as his co-star. The more movies he does, the better. But since its AK, we should wait till the shooting begins to know for sure.

I belong to the Malabar Hills Camp

Akshaye Khanna talks to Gautam Buragohain on his movies, camps and his mysterious NRI girlfriend

Why do you always keep such a low profile?
What do you mean by that.

We mean, no controversies, 6 pack abs, fight with co stars or girl friend?
You are telling me or asking me? I guess I’m the eternal good boy of Bollywood. (smiles)

But inspite of that you were recently embroiled in a controversy. You were caught walking the ramp with a cigarette?
Oh yeah, I was smoking backstage and when suddenly my name was announced. And in the spur of the moment I forgot to throw the cigarette and ended up walking the stage with it. And when I realized, it was too late.

Ok professionally you ended this year on a high note with the critically acclaimed Gandhi?
Without blowing my own trumpet, I can say this was my best work till date. One doesn’t get to do something of this sort on a regular basis. I’m glad I did Gandhi, because when I grow old I can look back with pride.

How did you dad reacted to it?
He saw the movie and didn’t say anything, he just hugged me.

You must have been disappointed when the film didn’t do well?
There are things were you have no control. You can either sit in a corner and sulk, or just move ahead. I decided to move on. I was told that a major part of the audiences found the film slow. Probably they were disappointed that we didn’t take sides, but the film was not meant to take Mahatma Gandhi or his son Harilal’s sides.

Bollywood is known for its camps, Shah Rukh, Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar camps, which camp you belong to?
I belong to the Malabar Hills camp (laughs).

So what’s in the pipeline for next year?
Plenty, I have Anil Kapoor’s home production Shortcut , Abbas Mastan’s Race and I’m doing another film with my favourite director Priyardarshan.

Another film for Anil Kapoor, you guys seem to have formed a mutual admiration society?
(Laughs) I consider him my elder brother and we really gel well.

Is it true that Anil is looking out for a girl for you?
I said that as a joke.

How come you were not recently in any of Priyan’s films?
Yeah, I’m working with him after a long time. What to do in between Akshay Kumar had booked him for 3 years and was not letting him go.(Laughs)

And Akshay agreed to release him?
I’m glad he did that. I’m keeping a close watch on Priyan these days.

Rumours have it that you are quite smitten by an NRI girl you met during your cousin’s wedding in New York?
(Feign ignorance) I have known quite a few girls and some of them very closely, but I haven’t met my dream girl yet. I think my dream girl is somewhere around and there’s some cross connection, that’s why it’s taking so much time.

So are you seeing anyone?
No buddy, I’m not seeing anyone from Mumbai, New York, Germany or Timbuktu. Hopefully the matter will end here.

How about the other rumours that soon the three Khannas, Vinod, Akshaye and Rahul will come together?
I want to make it clear for the last and final time; we are neither thinking nor planning a movie together.

When every star worth his salt made it to the special number in Farah Khan’s OSO, you were conspicuous by your absence?
Please forward this question to Farah Khan. I was not approached for it.


Anil on Akshaye, Shortcut

From Anil Kapoor's interview:

Anil has a full year ahead. Apart from his daughter's debut he's turned producer. While his first production Mahatma Versus Gandhi was released earlier this year Anil moves forward bang-on with his second production."

Shortcut is a remake of a Malayalam film which my friend Anees Bazmi is directing for me. Akshaye Khanna (whom I really like ) and Arshad Warsi will play the lead.

I'll only be putting in a cameo appearance. It's impossible for me to manage acting and production at the same time."

Talk veers to Anil's blue-eyed boy Akshaye Khanna. "Why just Akshaye? I also think Hrithik and Abhishek are damn good.

But yes, Akshaye is the best thing about Salaam-e-Ishq, and I'm not saying that only because he's in my two productions. As for me, I really like my track with Juhi Chawla.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Akshaye game to do gay roles

Irrfan Khan has done the seemingly unthinkable in Mira Nair's AIDS-related film "Migration". He plays an unhappily married man in a secret anguished affair with another.

The film was screened at the 38th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) and also on TV for World AIDS Day.

Earlier, Sanjay Suri was the first mainstream hero to go happily gay in "My Brother Nikhil" and he has now decided to play another gay character in a forthcoming play.

So, have Bollywood actors decided to get over their inhibitions about tackling homosexuality?

Ranbir Kapoor: Play gay? Why not? I'd love to play any character that takes me into unexplored parts of my psyche. But first let me serenade all these lovely ladies in our movies.

Akshaye Khanna: It would depend entirely on the script.

Manoj Bajpai: I'd love to play a gay character if it's written well and it's part of a very good script.

Vinay Pathak: The excitement of portraying any character lies in the strength of the character's graph and progression vis-a-vis the plot and its conflicts. How a character helps a narrative grow is what interests me the most. The cast's sexual orientation and other factors are all secondary.

Rohit Roy: Playing gay? I don't mind at all. But it depends on the film and its director's intentions and most importantly how his sexual preference affects the film and his character. If homosexuality is intrinsic to the narrative and the director possesses the sensibilities of Mira Nair or Aparna Sen, I'd surely play gay. But I'd never play gay to titillate senseless mirth or to ridicule the gay community. My character's sexuality would have to drive the choices he makes in life, which in turn takes the picture forward.

Tusshar Kapoor: I'd play gay only if the director has the class and sensitivity to handle such a portrayal without making it a caricature or offensive.

Arshad Warsi: I'd willingly play a gay character. It will be a new challenge to me as an actor.

Anupam Kher: Playing gay is nothing new to me. I did it years ago in Rahul Rawail's "Mast Kalandar" and David Dhawan's "Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge".

Ravi Kishan: It's a big challenge for a straight guy to play gay. I'd love to play a gay character. I used to play Sita in the stage shows of Ramleela back home in Jaunpur.

Sammir Dattani: I must admit playing one makes me slightly uncomfortable at this stage of my career when I'm still finding my bearings. For my new film "Dhoom Dhadaka" I had to get into drag and I was very uneasy. It took Tom Hanks and Irrfan years before they came to "Philadelphia" and "Migration". I need to be experienced as an actor before I attempt a character so distanced from me.

Akshaye's love life active

Akshaye Khanna is enjoying being single these days. But when it comes to sowing his wild oats, he seems to be looking beyond India definitely.

The latest is that he is dating a leggy Australian beauty. Ask the actor himself about it and he says, “Oh that Australian model... yes, even I have heard that I am dating her.” And pray, what is the ‘truth’? “I met her, yes.

But that was exactly for half an hour. I had met her at the Australian Film Festival. She is very pretty, but unfortunately, I am not dating her,” says Akshaye.

But she is not the only one, is she? He has been linked with a lot of foreign beauties in the recent past. “I am not in any serious relationship,” he smiles. So, any not-so-serious ones happening? “On and off... oh, come on, we all have flings!” he says in a very matter-of-fact tone.

And what’s happening beyond love? “A lot of work,” he lets on. “My films – Race, Shortcut and a Priyadarshan movie – are in the pipeline. I have been shooting for Priyan’s movie and I love working with him. It is after two years that I am working with him.”

Akshaye has been shooting in Goa and indulging in some great Goan delicacies. “Yes, thanks to it I have even put on a lot of weight. I am planning to head to backwaters in Kerala to get back in shape and have a small vacation. My dad was there last year on the New Year’s Eve and he recommends the place, so I am more than excited to check them out.” Food, flings and vacationing seem to be keeping Akshaye happy these days.
(Times of India)

Good to know he's having 'flings'. I have always wondered

Friday, December 14, 2007

Race Pics

Not one solo pic of Akshaye. Indicative of things to come?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Akshaye sparkles in Aaja Nachle

I have finally done it, watched Aaja Nachle. It's not as bad as the reviews made it out to be. Madhuri is beautiful and she has picked up that extra something that comes with age to beautiful women. The story was alright and the music was hummable. I did not feel bored at any time.

And Akshaye! It's obvious the movie was done when he put on a lot of weight and grew a humungous beard( the beard's not in the movie). Thankfully he has slimmed down a lot since then. If you put that aside and the slightly Rajesh Khanna-ish gait and mannerisms, which were more conspicuous because his role was short, this is one memorable performance from him.

It's apparent he has grown leaps n bounds as a performer. He has acquired something that elevates the great above the merely good --thespic gravitas. And that was noticeable in so many small things. The scene with Irfan where he was playing golf; he was withering in contempt and smote down Irfan before him without even taking off his glasses! The way he toyed with Madhuri all through the movie. In their first meeting, there were flashes of pure meanness on his face that he made us feel for Madhuri without even trying to rape her! The scene where Madhuri storms off after their confrontation, refusing the pizza, he looked so bemusingly droll, droll even for Akshaye.

In their first movie, they did not click but here Madhuri and he share such a sparkling chemistry that I loved seeing them together. I especially loved the way the movie ended hinting at possible romance between the two. He a rajasaab and she a single mother, it's pure Mills & Boon stuff. In fact, I almost wanted to see a sequel, just to see how their romance would pan out. If only somebody casted him opposite Sridevi!

Akshaye doing a movie for Santhosh Sivan?

Film-maker Santosh Sivan is currently busy shooting his latest film in the Kashmir valley.

The film, Daastan, is almost entirely shot in Kahsmir and features Rahul Bose and Kashmir-born actor Anupam Kher, who has returned to the valley after 21 years.

The veteran actor was deeply nostalgic.

“There is no place on earth like Kashmir,” he said, quietly. “You cannot get this beauty any where else in the world.

Speaking about Daastan, Kher said, “It’s a film which will change the perception of Kashmir at the international level."

Co-staring Akshaye Khanna and Sarika, along with Rahul Bose, the film’s entire unit has been shooting in Pahalgam for over a month now without fearing any threat from militants.

Rahul Bose, for one, vouches that the valley will be back on top of every film-maker's map soon.

"Here is my prediction: It’s not gonna be just Bollywood, its gonna be international after this film that's being shot,” he promises. “I can guarantee you, this will be one of the places on every single great international films with real scope!”

That is precisely what the state tourism industry is hoping for. J&K’s tourism department is helping provide the best of facilities for the film units including free access to locations to invite more business from film-makers.

Says Sarmad Hafeez,."Kashmir provides the perfect location for film shooting. It’s not just the most beautiful but also the most affordable shooting destination. This is the only place in the country where we are not charging any location fee."

Kashmir has had many old ties with Bollywood and it seems that they just might be renewed.


Is this really true? The same Santhosh Sivan who made The Terrorist? Co-starring Rahul Bose and Sarika, both nice actors? Akshaye finally doing intelligent cinema made by a quality filmmaker which can showcase his talent? To top it all, they have been already shooting for a month! Won't belive it until we know more!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Been Busy

Sory been away too long. I know that. Haven't seen Aaaja nachle yet. Can you believe that? I have been that busy! But, looks like I haven't missed that much. Still, I 'll try to keep up with yall.