Tag Archives: Exclusive

Interview: Salman Khan talks about ‘Race 3’

Bollywood superstar Salman Khan is celebrating Eid worldwide with fans through his newest blockbuster, Race 3, in cinemas from today.
Although the film is part of the Race franchise, it has been completely overhauled, courtesy Khan. 
 
Like the last two films, the film is high on action, stunts and twists & turns along with a huge cast. Anil Kapoor, Jacqueline Fernandez are back too, but playing new characters. The newest addition to the franchise include Saqib Salim, Freddy Daruwala, Daisy Shah and Bobby Deol.
 
Another notable change, besides Saif Ali Khan not being in the film, is that directorial duo Abbas-Mustan have been replaced by Remo D’Souza, who has directed the hit ABCD franchise. 

 

Speaking to Sunny Malik, the 52-year-old actor opened up about why the script needed to change, why a soundtrack of the film is so important and much more…

The Race franchise was associated with Saif Ali Khan and Abbas-Mustan. Since you’ve come on board, it has all changed. How did all come about?
I don’t think Abbas-Mustan were a part of the film by the time I came on board to play the lead character. Remo D’Souza was already supposed to direct the third film in the franchise when I was approached. I really liked the script and the genre but I wasn’t sure of it. I was just not convinced whether I can fit into the character. I’ve been a part of films like Hum Aapke Hain Kaun and Race is a completely different genre for me. We had several discussions and we changed it into a family film. Once, we made the necessary changes, we got our cast together. 

4. Ingenious Choice of Actors
 
Why make the changes at all when the franchise was quite successful?
It’s a completely new film with new characters. I basically want children to come and watch the film. Anil Kapoor and Jacqueline were a part of the previous films but they are not playing the same characters anymore. The original movies were meant for an older audience. I wanted the film to appeal to all audiences including families.  

How was your experience filming for Race 3? 
I had a great time and really enjoyed being a part of it. I also got a chance to work with my friends Anil Kapoor and Bobby Deol. We filmed in Abu Dhabi and the local government was extremely supportive and helpful throughout our schedule. The most important part for me was that I liked the script. It’s basically become a Hum Aapke Hain Kaun where the family don’t get along for reasons that are correct in their head. The film has really funny moments but keeps you engrossed as well. It has action, drama, comedy, a lot of style and a big budget which is visible. We needed to make Race 3 bigger because Race and Race 2 were made on a large scale and we just had to make a product that is loved up by the audience. Jacqueline and Daisy worked really hard on the movie too and performed some incredible stunts.

1. Salman Khan's Eidi

Each song released is composed by a different music director. That is very similar as to how soundtracks are made in Hollywood.
I’ve used multiple music directors in the past too. Sometimes one music director manages to provide you with a complete soundtrack like Himesh Reshammiya did for Tere Naam. There have been instances with my films where Sajid-Wajid directed the music but we got Himesh to do one song, which went on to become a super hit. There are so many great music directors who’ve made some great songs. I like to keep them aside and use them in films where they best fit into. This way I have a couple of options. I believe that there should be about six songs in a film and all of them should be blockbuster tracks. It doesn’t make sense to me for example, if you have three mediocre songs in a film, that would mean 15 minutes where the audience is getting bored. The film starts dipping too. It’s bad for the final product which is why we have to be really careful with songs these days. Another example is Agneepath, starring Hrithik Roshan and Priyanka Chopra and the hit song Chikni Chameli in the film. The song featuring Katrina Kaif comes in towards the end of the film but it created more excitement for the audience at the cinema, building up to the climax. Even our promotional strategy is based on our soundtrack. We want people to like the songs and audiences tend to come and watch movies with good songs in it. 
 

Race 3 is also the first in the franchise to be co-produced by the lead actor. Why is that important for you?
If you truly believe in a film, then why not produce it and work towards creating the best out of it? We are producing Loveratri with Ayyush Sharma and Warina Hussain, which was extensively filmed in London. We’ve also just announced a film with Zaheer Iqbal, the son of my childhood friend with a really nice script that we’ve finalised. 

 Salman and Jacqueline Heeriye
 
 
Race 3, a Yash Raj Films release, is out in UK cinemas from today.

Interview: “I am excited about my line-up of films” – Ranveer Singh

Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh speaks to BollyNewsUK about his films, co-stars, social networking and much more…

Ranveer in Lootera

How are you choosing your films?
If I have to be very honest, I go by the director’s previous work. I need to be excited about the person whom I will be putting my faith into. I am a director’s actor and for me, he is the captain of the ship. Then I look at the story of the project. It should be a story that has entertainment value and should be engaging. The story should evoke some kind of emotions out of me. Finally, I look at my part and character. It has to be a challenge that excites me because I’m going to put everything into it and I’m going to transform myself into the character. These are the main criteria that I look at when choosing a film.

Does this mean that you aren’t concerned about who plays the leading lady in your film?
No, not at all as that’s not my concern. I leave that to my director. If I am asked about my opinion, then I do say what I think. However, I don’t get involved in the casting of my heroines and I don’t make any demands. If I trust the script and my director, then I trust him to cast someone opposite me who will do justice to the role.

Ranveer Singh - Photo by Rohan ShresthaYour most recent release is Lootera, released in UK cinemas on 5th July. The director’s last release, Udaan, won many accolades and awards. Was that something that drew you towards doing his next film?
Yes. When I saw the film, I thought to myself how this director made such kind of a film in India. It was so unique and powerful. I decided back then that this is a creative mind that I would like to collaborate with. When the director, Vikramaditya Motwane, won the awards for Udaan, I won my award for my debut film Band Baaja Barat. I met him at the award function and told him that I loved his film and that I would love to work with him if he has a script for me. When I was offered the film, I loved the script and my role. The character I play in the film is slightly reserved and he doesn’t speak much, which is not usually attributed to my persona.

You were linked with your Lootera co-star Sonakshi Sinha. How do you deal with such rumours?
(Laughs) I have to give credit to Sonakshi for that rumour. She was the one who broke the ice initially and was really cool as a person. I remember the first time we met for this film was for the look test. She had started before me as we were shooting for a magazine cover. There were also all these rumours doing the rounds about us two. When I entered the room, she just shouted across ‘Hi Boyfriend’. She is really nice and comfortable to work with. She has a lot of ease to her approach towards a take and her character. I got to learn a lot from her. She chilled out throughout the whole process. She takes everything very easy and that translates into her performance. She doesn’t stress about anything and is cool as a cucumber.

So it doesn’t bother you whatever is written about you in the newspapers?
Well, both of us are mature enough to know that it’s just tabloid journalism. They need to fill space and make sales. They sensationalise news and that is part and parcel of the work that we do. We are young people and we know that we will be written about. We know better than to let such rumours affect our professional equation. I personally used to worry about these link-up stories but not anymore. I don’t subscribe to any tabloids anymore. I find them really beside the point. The point here is that I am a performer and a professional and I am here to perform and act in films. I allow all my energies to focus on that and don’t let myself to be distracted by what is being written about me. I don’t even know these days what is being written about me. When people tell me that they have read something I react with ‘Really? Is that what is being written about me?’ as I have no clue myself.

Ranveer Singh by Rohan ShresthaYour confidence was misconstrued as arrogance. Did you change yourself after almost everyone thought that you were arrogant?
When I started out I didn’t know that I have to act differently in front of people. I was just being comfortable in my own skin. I didn’t know what to say and what not to say. On whatever platform I went, I behaved just as I did with my friends, family or in my living room. I didn’t know that I shouldn’t do that. However, I have now learnt that. I don’t believe that I am arrogant. I don’t think that people who ever spoke to me would say that I am arrogant. I have developed a certain sense of tact which is important for a public figure. I know that I was misunderstood and fortunately, I still sometimes speak my mind. I still say what I am asked about and have managed to retain eighty or ninety percent of what I am. So it’s all good. As you get more experience, you learn more about how to be a public figure, which is not easy.

How do you prepare for a scene? Do you rehearse or are you very spontaneous?
I used to study a lot and do a lot of homework for acting before I performed. But now I have seen that a lot of my co-actors, especially Sonakshi Sinha, leave a lot of room for spontaneity. There is a certain organic nature that comes into the performance when you do that because it’s unplanned and unrehearsed and that’s the beauty of such a performance. I leave far more room now for spontaneity. I pretty much just learn my lines now and don’t fix a way of how I am going to perform the scene in case the director wants to change or mould the performance. He can then take it into any direction once we are on the film set.

You are recently joined Twitter and have a verified account but you don’t tweet much but retweet more…
(Laughs) Yeah, I think If I start tweeting then I will become obsessive. For the time being, I am using it as a platform for my work so that my fans know what professional work I am doing. For example, I will tweet a poster of my film. I use it as a platform for that. I had to get it verified before I started using it. It was a real battle to do that. I had to go through a lot to get it verified. There were many imposters on Twitter who were tweeting many incorrect political comments and inappropriate things about senior actors. I was getting into trouble because newspapers were picking up those tweets and were attributing them to my name. I was getting into a real mess because of these imposters which is why I wanted a verified account.

Ranveer SinghHave you experienced people on Twitter who ‘hate’ you or your work for no reason?
I was warned about this by my talent management. I was told that once I get on Twitter, there will be flak coming my way. I have been lucky though because I remember just two negative messages that were sent to me. All I see on Twitter is love. I get the warmest and full of love messages sent to me by fans. I read every message and I really can’t recall more than one or two negative messages.

What other films are you currently working on?
I am working on Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Ram Leela opposite Deepika Padukone. I also have another Yash Raj Films production, Gunday, releasing early next year. I will start working on Shaad Ali’s Kill Dill, also a YRF production, this year with Parineeti Chopra. I am excited about my line-up of films. There is plenty of variations of films and differences between the characters I am playing in each film. I will have four releases in a span of a year so I am happy with that.

How was your experience working with Deepika Padukone in Ram Leela?
It was amazing. She has really come into her own as a performer. She is very professional as well. The one thing I admire about her is her ability to multitask. She works very hard and that’s what I admire about her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interview: Girish Kumar talks about ‘Ramaiya Vastavaiya’

Debutant actor Girish Kumar speaks to BollyNewsUK about his first film Ramaiya Vastavaiya.

RV Poster You are producer Kumar Taurani’s son… Was acting always something you wanted to do?
Yes, absolutely. Acting was always something I wanted to do. As you said, my father is a producer and I grew up in this environment. When I finished school, I told my father that this is something I want to do. I was about twelve or thirteen and wasn’t taken seriously. However, I was serious about it and took some acting courses and action classes. My father saw that I was ready to put the effort in and told me that he will give me a launch in his home production.

How did you decide on the script of the film?
We started looking at scripts and my father saw a South Indian film that he really liked. The film is called Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana (also remade into Hindi as Maine Pyaar Kiya starring Salman Khan) and was also Prabhudeva’s directorial debut. When we saw the film, we were really sure that we wanted to make this film in Hindi. The writer of our film has worked with Prabhudeva twice before and was keen to get him on board for Ramaiya Vastavaiya as the director. We didn’t actually know that the film was directed by him because we saw the film in subtitles. When my father told Prabhudeva that we are remaking the South Indian film, he said ‘Oh, I made this film’. So, I guess destiny was working in its own strange ways to get us together.

Was Prabhudeva happy to launch a newcomer?
He wanted me to audition for the role before going further as he wanted to see if I’ll suit the role. He did two days of auditions with me – one day of acting scenes and one day of dancing. He saw potential in me and saw that I was ready to put the effort in. He was quite keen to get on board but was working on Rowdy Rathore at that time. He asked my father that while he is filming for Rowdy Rathore, he would like me to polish up my dancing skills. He also wanted me to become more spontaneous for my character Ram. After about eight months, after Rowdy Rathore released, he started working on my film. I was also sending him DVD’s of me dancing to songs to new choreographies and would then get feedback from him.

Was becoming a good dancer the biggest challenge of working with Prabhudeva?
I wouldn’t say that it was easy but Prabhu Sir is very kind and was very patient. He knew about my abilities and choreographed the songs accordingly.

Poster - RVWas it slightly difficult to understand what was required of you when Prabhudeva directed you since he is south Indian?
No, not at all. Prabhu Sir can speak Hindi and he always communicates in English. He knows every single word of the script and the dialogues. It was actually really easy working with him from that aspect.

Does the film have south Indian flavour to it since it’s a remake?
I wouldn’t say a south Indian but just an Indian flavour. One of our songs is Punjabi and there are different kinds of songs on the soundtrack which make the film very Indian.

Being the producers son, was it somewhere your decision to cast Shruthi Hassan in the film?
I was not involved in casting the female lead at all. What happened is that we were looking for a fresh face and Prabhu Sir expressed that he would like to cast her in the film after seeing some of her work. He spoke to my father about it and he was keen about casting her as well.

‘Jeene Laga Hoon’ sung by Atif Aslam from the soundtrack became a rage online after it was teased in the first trailer…
The official song has now hit more than 9 million views on YouTube. I am just really happy with the songs from the film as they have been loved by people even before the release of the film.

Your first feature film is getting a UK release this month which is rare since distributors aren’t releasing films with unknown faces here anymore…
It feels really great that my first film will release in UK cinemas. I know that there is a huge audience for Indian movies in the UK as I have studied here.

Where did you study here?
I studied at a college in Berkshire. I was at boarding school there for five years. I know that there are a lot of Indians who regularly watch movies at cinemas in the UK and I also have family in the UK. I am familiar with areas like Southall and Slough which have a predominant Indian population and I think it’s good that we are releasing our film overseas for them to see it. I also believe that people are aware of Prabhudeva and his work. I am very happy that I can reach many places through my first film.

Ramaiya Vastavaiya releases in UK cinemas on 19th July 2013.

 

 

 

 

Interview: Saif Ali Khan talks about ‘Race 2’

Saif Ali Khan  - London - Race 2 (1)Saif Ali Khan spoke to BollyNewsUK in London last week about his upcoming action packed thriller Race 2 – a film by Abbas-Mustan.

Khan will be seen reprising the role of Ranveer Singh in the sequel to UK hit Race (2008). The plot in the sequel moves at a reckless speed as friends turn foes at the drop of a hat, from one locale to another with unexpected twists and turns taking forward the legacy of Race.

In this candid quick chat, the 42-year-old actor talks about the year ahead, the ladies in Race 2 and much more…

How was your honeymoon with Kareena Kapoor Khan? You were in Gstaad (Switzerland) and then came to London.
It was very good. We were in Switzerland in Gstaad. It is a lovely place, like a fairy tale village. Kareena is very fond of it and I love it too. The air there is so clean and nice. We were waking up, exercising and then we went into an outdoor pool surrounded by the Alps, which looks absolutely stunning. Afterwards, we would go for a walk in town, take lots of DVD’s and watch some nice TV shows in the afternoon and get ready for the evening.  They have really quaint and beautiful restaurants with some amazing and healthy food. We did this for about two weeks, which was great. Then, we came to London where the drinking and eating has gotten a little bit out of hands (laughs). It’s time to get back on the wagon. We have fallen back a bit in London.


What are you expecting from the year ahead?

I have a good film (Race 2) releasing in the beginning of the year. I am starting work and shooting for Bullet Raja, which I am feeling very happy about. I am feeling quite confident professionally. I am working in films that I enjoy and I am in an environment that I enjoy. I love my job and love the fact that you have to behave, be spartan in your diet and look after yourself. I am also very much looking forward to doing up our new apartment in Mumbai. It will be a real labour of love for me to set up that house. I would also like to renovate our family home in Pataudi this year.

 

Saif Ali Khan  - London - Race 2 (5)Tell me about working with the actresses in Race 2.

Ameesha..
Ameesha and I did not really have much to do. She has played a cute kind of role in the film. It is a bit of a difficult role because you have to be ditzy and charming but at the same time quite sexy. She has to wear high heels, short skirts like a classic blonde except that she is not blonde (laughs). She is brilliant though and it was great fun.

Jacqueline Fernandez..
Jacqueline, I think, is playing a star making role. I hope I am right in thinking so. Like what happened to Katrina Kaif after Race. I don’t know if it will happen to her. Kaif’s song (Zara Zara Touch Me) was something else and she knew it. I remember she bought this dress and said I just want to kill it. Jacqueline has also been given the same platform. She has killed it as well. Let’s see what happens.

Deepika Padukone..
It is not the first time that I am working with Deepika Padukone. It was fun. She looked a little shell-shocked sometimes because Abbas-Mustan have a unique way of communicating and speak very slowly and softly. They don’t say too much. I have seen her with Homi and Imtiaz, who are more like friends and will talk a lot and hold your hand and teach you how it should be done. Whereas, Abbas-Mustan will say ‘Thoda Aur Sexy Karo’ (Do it sexier [while directing a scene]) (laughs). I would laugh and would say go for it. But again, she approached it right and added some complexity and depth to her character, which is why I say that she will go very far. It is almost a negative role but she has given it sympathy. I was happy to have shared this with her as well.

 

Saif Ali Khan  - London - Race 2 (4)

There were reports that you ignored Deepika after she had left Race 2 due to date issues.
No! What rubbish! It is none of my business. You know, there are some things that irritate me that won’t irritate other people, but this is not one of them. I would never get irritated if a co-star had their own reasons for doing whatever want to do. It is nothing personal. It has to do with the director and the production. I am happy she did it. If she had not done it, someone else would have done Race 2 but maybe not someone as good as her.

A lot of people did not really like your dance moves in ‘Lat Lag Gayee’. Were you a bit apprehensive while doing them?
I was very much so. I did not really think that it was part of the character. I think they should just cut me out of it because Jacqueline looks great. But YouTube and these guys, they bitch out almost anything. I think most of them have no lives apart from sitting there and commenting. It’s a bit too much sometimes. But it is always great to get feedback and I have a healthy relationship with the internet. I don’t take it too seriously but at the same time I do think maybe I should sharpen up my steps.

Produced by Tips Films, an Abbas-Mustan directorial, Race 2, starring Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, John Abraham, Jacqueline Fernandez, Anil Kapoor and Ameesha Patel releases in UK cinemas on 25th January 2013.

Interview: Asin talks about ‘Khiladi 786’ and more

Asin - Khiladi 786

Bollywood’s ‘100 crore’ actress Asin speaks to Bollywood Reporter Sunny Malik about her latest film Khiladi 786. 

 

You have had two blockbusters this year with ‘Housefull 2’ and ‘Bol Bachchan’. Congratulations!
It has been a really good year for me and I hope to end it on a good note with Khiladi 786.

You are paired with Akshay again after ‘Housefull 2’ in ‘Khiladi 786’. Were you concerned about being repeated with an actor in the same year ?
No, I was actually happy that I was paired with the same actor again in the same year because it just shows how much of a great working experience we had with each other. We don’t take the pressure of the Box Office, because I think, that should be handled by the makers of the film. I just do the best, to my ability, that I can with my character. I took no pressure nor was I worried about the repetitive pairing with Akshay after Housefull 2.

How different are the characters you both portray in the film compared to ‘Housefull 2’?
The characters are very different. I played a girl who lives in London in Housefull 2 and in Khiladi 786 I play 
a Maharashtrian girl for the first time – Indu Tendulkar,  who is the sister of a Don, played by Mithun Chakraborty. She is a very ‘desi’ girl and a little rough around the edges. She is not shy, coy or a sophisticated classy girl, being the sister of a Maharashtrian Don. I have gone all out to play her. Even with Akshay Kumar, in this film he plays a very Punjabi character who is from a village located near the border of Punjab and Haryana.

What do you look for in a script? What is the one factor that makes you sign a film?
It’s not just one factor. It starts with the script and secondly what my character is in the movie. Thirdly, it would be who is directing the project as the director is very important. Fourthly, I look at who is producing the film because you need a strong producer to make sure the film is completed and released properly. Finally, it would be my co-artists, whom I would be acting with in the film. Not just the leading actor, but also the whole cast of the film. These are the five important criteria that I look into and help me decide which film to take up. But everything does not come together in every project, so I look for most of these factors in a film while signing up for movies.

It seems like you have a strong sense of choosing the right film since they all make a lot of money at the Box Office.
(Laughs) It does take some planning from my side but not everything depends on that. My past films have had fun and emotional stories and appealed to the masses. I have done those movies and I guess, it really is because of intuition and sense, like you said. It takes, of course, a lot of hard work and planning.

Asin

Do you worry about your films not doing well at the Box Office?
I don’t really worry about it because I know, success and failure are part of this profession. There is nothing permanent here. I have been in the film industry for quite a few years, not just Hindi films, and in the part of my career when I was doing South Indian movies I have also mostly experienced success. It has been quite similar with record-breaking films in the South as well. I have been around to see what happens, how equations change, how people change and how the graph changes Friday to Friday – with every new release. I don’t take success too much to my head and similarly I won’t take failure to my heart. I know these are temporary things and we should not be taking them seriously. Of course, we learn from failures and try to be better next time and for your successes, you just have to be grateful that people have accepted your hard work. I really take no such tensions. I just think that okay, this project seems fun to be part of and it looks like it will do well at the Box Office, and there is where my worry ends. The rest is up to the producers and I move on to the next project.

There are reports that ‘Talaash’ and ‘Khiladi 786’ are fighting for screen space. What is your opinion on the issue?
I have not heard about it but journalists have been asking me for the last few days. I don’t really know about it but as far as I have heard from Akshay and Himesh Reshammiya there is no problem. Himesh said at a recent press conference that we already have the screen space that we want for Khiladi 786 which is ok. I am not aware about a problem and am sure that both films will release without one, since there is a gap of a week between them, which means there is not really any direct competition between the two films.

How was your experience working with Himesh Reshamiyya as he is acting in the film, is a producer and has also composed the music?
I have worked with Himesh in a South film as he composed the music for it. It was a film with Kamal Hassan called Dasavatahaaram. We also had a song by Himesh this year in Bol Bachchan called Chalao Na Nainon Se. Now he is part of Khiladi 786, and he is not just composing the songs of the film, but also acting in the film and co-producing it. He has also written the film and is very involved in it. The music has done really well, whether it is Long Drive, Hookah Baar or Saari Saari Raat. I am glad that is the case because songs really help create buzz around a film before the release. I must say, Himesh is very focused and it was lovely working with him. He is also very work oriented. I have not had one conversation with him which was beyond work, everything is work related whenever I meet him or talk to him. He plays a Gujrati character in the film of a wedding planner and has done a very adorable job of playing the character. It has been good experience.

You are seen in both looks – desi and western – in the film.
There are certain scenes in the film that required me to stay true to the traditions or where Akshay’s Punjabi character is fantasizing a song about me and him. He imagines my character to be in typical Maharashtrian attire. That gave us an opportunity to portray my character in a traditional look. Otherwise, my character lives in Mumbai and dresses like a normal girl. There are two more fantasy songs – Saari Saari Raat and Long Drive – which required more western outfits. The looks have been designed by the directors wife, Komal.

Asin in Hookah Bar

Your fans complain that you are not on Social Networking sites. Have you given it a thought?
I have thought about it from the time Twitter came about. To be genuine about the interactions with my fans, I don’t think that I would be a person who would be regular on Twitter. I did not want to join Twitter and keep away from it from time to time. I like to keep to myself a lot of times and I like things to be more private. There are times when I want to go all out and interact but I don’t know how understanding people would be of those periods when I just want to be by myself. I am on BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) and those are people I know and I have added to my contact list. Even if I say something or make a comment, they will understand the context in which I am saying it. They know my personality and will not take it in any other way or would not misunderstand me. On Twitter there are many people, who don’t know me. There could be comments that people will not understand the tone of. I took all these things into considerations and kept away from it. I would love to interact with fans but because of these factors I chose not to.

What do you like to do when you are free?
I like to spend time at home. When I am working, I spend a lot of time away from home. I like to spend my free time at home with my loved ones, family and friends. I like to call my friends, catch up and watch movies. If I have a few days off, I like to go to a foreign destination on holiday.

 

 

Khiladi 786, directed by Ashish R Mohan and starring Akshay Kumar and Asin, will release across UK cinemas through Eros International on 7th December 2012.