Tag Archives: neeraj pandey

Akshay Kumar feels Baby deals with an extremely relevant and topical issue

BabyIn a career spanning over 20 years, Akshay Kumar’s repertoire boasts multiple genres from comedy to action to drama and rather than chase superstardom, his focus has always been to be known as an actor. He says, “I don’t want to be typecast in any particular genre. I think no one can ask me this question that why do I only do the same kind of films because I have never done that in my career. I would like to be known as an actor and not a superstar. I don’t like the tag of superstar.”

Akshay says his upcoming thriller, Baby, deals with the serious issue of counter terrorism. He has once again teamed up with director Neeraj Pandey after the critically lauded and commercially successful Special 26, this time playing an undercover agent. “In today’s time, terrorism is a big issue. Every nation is facing this problem and we should all take this seriously and try to fight with it. The story of Baby is about that. There is a group of 27-28 people and their only mission is to finish terrorism from everywhere. And this group is still immature so the code name of their mission is Baby,” Akshay says.

The actor adds that the subject is very close to his heart. “Every film I do that is special for me. My father was in the army. So I know many things about the services and I find myself quite close to the army men. I feel very proud whenever I do an army based film,” he adds.

Gulshan Kumar presents Baby, a Neeraj Pandey film, a Crouching Tiger and Friday Filmworks production, produced by Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Shital Bhatia, Cape of Good Films and Crouching Tiger, releasing on 23rd January, distributed in the UK by Filmonix.

Filmonix to release Akshay Kumar’s ‘Baby’ in UK cinemas on 23rd Jan

Baby_Poster 1B-Town’s fast emerging powerhouse duo, Neeraj Pandey and Akshay Kumar, unite once more to bring audiences a slick, action-packed thriller that redefines the genre in Indian cinema. Baby, a Neeraj Pandey film, a Crouching Tiger and Friday Filmworks production, produced by Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Shital Bhatia, Cape of Good Films and Crouching Tiger releases on 23rd January, distributed in the UK by Filmonix.  

Known to take risks and delve into subjects that are true in nature, Neeraj Pandey has carved a niche for himself as a director with strong vision and unconventional ideas.

After Special 26, which garnered both critical acclaim and commercial success in 2013, the filmmaker once more directs action supremo, Akshay Kumar, alongside a stellar cast including Anupam Kher, Rana Daggubati, Danny Denzongpa, Kay Kay Menon, Rashid Naz, Taapsee Pannu, Sushant Singh, Madhurima Tulli, Mikaal Patras, Aziz Zulfiqar and Hasan Noman. Like Pandey’s previous films, each character is vividly sketched to take this high-octane thriller into a gripping zone, bringing to the screen a dynamic ensemble of power performances.

Baby is set against the backdrop of international terrorism – a no-nonsense entertainer in which Kumar plays a top counter intelligence agent. It is a story of those unsung heroes who guard the common man fearlessly, under the radar. A Neeraj Pandey film is synonymous with meticulous research and attention to detail.

Rana Daggubati - BABYSteeped in current events, Baby will resonate with audiences of all ages and segments and entertain in thrilling style. The teaser, which released in November 2014, has already made Baby count amongst the most-talked about films on social media platforms. Aptly titled Baby Sizzle, it went viral in just a few minutes of launching.

A signature characteristic of an Akshay Kumar film, audiences can be sure of real, raw action. The actor has pushed his limits in Baby, alongside Rana Daggubati, and executed real life stunts under the supervision and guidance of international action directors.

Shooting of the film spanned far and wide, from Kathmandu, Oman and Istanbul to Abu Dhabi, Mumbai and Delhi, breathtakingly essayed on screen. Composers Meet Bros Anjjan have crafted an intense and atmospheric soundtrack to add a further dimension to the film.

Synopsis: The country is perpetually under threat from terrorist powers. While the common Indian fights for everyday issues, there are deeper and bigger threats to him and his family that he will never know exist, because it is the men and women in uniform that safeguard them; the men and women who put country before self; the men and women who define history.

Danny Denzongpa and Taapsee Pannu in BABY‘Ajay’ (Akshay Kumar) is one such officer; part of an elite team chosen from amongst the best in the forces to form a covert counter intelligence unit. In the course of foiling one terrorist attack bid, Ajay discovers a major threat to the nation – a plan to cause damage and strike fear at the heart of society’s very existence. The plot is masterminded by a maniacal leader, ‘Maulana Rehman’, whose organisation has a network spread across the world.

As days progress, the unit goes through escalating challenges with time ticking against them. At every juncture, the members of the unit give it all their strength and stand tall to safeguard the common man. Covert and courageous operations are performed across Kathmandu, Istanbul, Abu Dhabi, Delhi and Mumbai as the protectors will not rest until evil is defeated.

Will the maniacal Maulana Rehman and his band of evil succeed in striking terror in the heart of India? Will the Indian Government change gears from being reactive to proactive and strike? Will Ajay and his unit be able to prevent this terror tsunami?

Gulshan Kumar presents Baby, a Neeraj Pandey film, a Crouching Tiger and Friday Filmworks production, produced by Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Shital Bhatia, Cape of Good Films and Crouching Tiger, releasing on 23rd January, distributed in the UK by Filmonix.

Baby UK Release

 

Q&A: Akshay Kumar talks about ‘Baby’

Mr Akshay KumarBollywood superstar Akshay Kumar talks about his forthcoming film ‘Baby’, which releases in UK cinemas on 23rd January 2015.

‘Baby’, a highly anticipated action thriller, sees Akshay reunited with director Neeraj Pandey, who teamed up on the critically-acclaimed film ‘Special 26’. The film releases worldwide and in UK cinemas on 23rd January 2015.

Baby’s a bit of a strange title name for such a serious and hard hitting film?
I was very surprised when I first heard the script but slowly I got to know about the importance of the title ‘Baby’ and realized that it could never have been anything else!

You play a Special Forces officer in ‘Baby’. Did you find your role similar to that of your role in ‘Holiday’?
It’s true that I am playing another Special Forces role, but the characters are very different. Holiday was a real mix of genres, crossing between thriller and rom –com but Baby doesn’t really have that light hearted side. My role in Baby, Ajay, is a grim brutal character, as if Virat from ‘Holiday’ had lost his sense of humour.  I did love that about Virat, he had two different sides to him, he was a really complex man. Yes, he had a social life and chased the girls, but he couldn’t ever switch off. I think that even my character in ‘Holiday’ had a line which he probably wouldn’t cross; Ajay is the sort of person who would do whatever was necessary to keep his country safe.

Would you be happy if your children became police officers?
If they did, I’d be worried non-stop about them but deep down, I’d be so proud. Serving your country and protecting it, there’s no better honour! The police and soldiers are the true heroes of India. Saying that, as long as they were happy in their job, I’d  support them.

What sort of physical preparations did you do for the film?
There were a lot of preparations I had to make for ‘Baby’. Physically, it was a very demanding film and so I upped my game in the gym! I do like to keep my body guessing so I love trying out new techniques and exercises. The most recent discovery I made are these heavy wooden beads I bought in Singapore.  I have 50 beads, which weigh about 2-3 kilos  . The aim is to move them around your neck, which seriously works your core. If you do it wrong, the beads will drop. It works your cardio, so when you finish, it tones you up from the inside out.”

BabyBaby sees you working with Neeraj Pandey- were you excited to be working with him again?
Definitely! When I knew he was on board, I knew I had to get involved in the project! It’s been great working with Neeraj again, we’ve got this crazy chemistry and I’ve got such respect for him! Neeraj Pandey is one of the most complex directors I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with, he’s calm but super intense! He demands the best from his team and he made it clear from day one, ‘work hard or the door’s that way.’
What I love most about this man, apart from his direct honest opinion and crystal clear vision, is how this man doesn’t shoot to impress, he’s not here to extravagantly blow your mind, he shoots to tell you a story, his only interest is to suck you into the trail he wants you to follow. I could follow this man till the end of the earth.

What was it like working with Anupam Kher?
 An absolute honour – seriously, when I work with Anupamji, I am literally learning from the best. I have loved working with him – from ‘Special 26’ to ‘The Shaukeens’.

What were the shooting scenes in the desert like?
Quite crazy to be honest! It was 50 something degrees while we were out there so we just had to get it done as quickly as possible which wasn’t easy! 
We needed rough desert terrain and an Arabian airport.  Plus, we just couldn’t have shot it like that in Mumbai. They won’t close a part of the street for you – they’d rather close the shoot.”

 Where do you find the time to star in 3 or 4 films a year?
 A lot of it goes down to hard work and organisation. I only spent 32 days on the set of ‘Baby’ and the whole film was filmed in about 50 or so days. That’s because Neeraj has his script in place. I know I’m doing four films a year while others are doing one per year, sometimes one in two years. But I do these films very easily with a lot of free time in hand. In fact, I’m the only actor who takes so many holidays. I take at least eight days off every three months and a long month-and-a-half’s vacation every year. So if I have time, what else do I do?

Akshay KumarWhat sort of themes does ‘Baby’ have?
There are a lot of messages that will be conveyed through Baby. We can see in the trailer that the film also tackles the issue of terrorism but I want people to watch the film and realize the other messages that we want to convey.

Overall how have you found 2014?
It’s been an absolutely fulfilling and busy 2014 and 2015 is gearing to be even busier.  I’ve got an interesting mix of film genres coming up from a thriller, drama,  to action, romance…I think it will be one of my most diverse years yet

Do you have any New Year Resolutions?
I don’t believe in making New Year resolutions. I believe in the simple philosophy of work hard, please my fans, do good work, & be a loving husband and father, and that’s it. I’m not displeased with anything that I do, I have no vices, no bad habits, there’s nothing I need to cut back on. I just bring in the new year with a happy family, & I try very hard to keep them happy, that’s all that’s important to me

Interview: Ali Zafar speaks about ‘Total Siyapaa’

Total Siyapaa Poster -

Ali Zafar speaks to BollyNewsUK about this week’s big Bollywood release, Total Siyapaa.

Total Siyapaa is a roller coaster ride of hilarious mishaps which ensues when Pakistani rock star Aman (Ali Zafar) meets his British-Sikh love interest Asha’s (Yami Gautam) battle-axe Punjabi mother (Kiron Kher). The film is directed by E Nivas and the script is penned by Neeraj Pandey,

 

Total Siyapaa was due to release in January 2014. Why was it postponed?
We decided that 7th March is a better release date as it’s really cold in January in London and overseas (laughs). We want audiences to come and watch the film comfortably.

 

It’s now clashing at the UK Box Office with Gulaab Gang and Queen.
Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about that.

 

The film was earlier titled Aman Ki Asha…
That was a working title. We thought that Total Siyapaa suited the nature of the film better. The film is actually a love story and about these two people, Aman and Asha. It ends up being quite chaotic. It also has a backdrop of India and Pakistan as my character is a Pakistani and Yaami Gautam plays an Indian. Total Siyapaa is just a better title, in my opinion.

 

The trailer is hilarious. What kind of reactions have you received from people and your fans?
I have been getting super feedback. It is amazing that people are laughing out loud multiple times during a trailer of a few seconds. That is a big achievement. There are a lot of funny moments in the film and I am sure audiences will enjoy it.

 

 

Tell me about working with Yaami Gautam…
Yaami is a very professional, hardworking and decent girl. It was a delight to work with her.

 

Ali Zafar shooting for Total Siyapaa in London (4)You have filmed London, Paris, New York in the British capital and now Total Siyappa…
We filmed at Trafalgar Square.  That was a lot of fun. We had built a set in London at Wimbledon Studios. All the scenes at Yaami’s house were shot at the studio. We completed principal shooting in 28 days. The fantastic thing about Total Siyapaa is that the story is actually based here. The guy and girl live in London. If you live in London, you will be able to relate to the film a lot. The Indians, Pakistanis and the ones that are in love and live in the UK will really understand this film.

 

How do you think will it be received in Pakistan as in the film a Muslim boy wants to marry a Hindu girl?
Well, let see how people react to the film. So far, the reactions in Pakistan have been positive. It’s very talked about and people are laughing. It’s all done in good humour. People in Pakistan are really looking forward to it. I am sure that they will be proud of the film once they see it.

 

Ali Zafar shooting for Total Siyapaa in London (6)The ‘Shahid Afridi’ dialogue created quite a stir in Pakistan…
It’s nothing really. It was done in good humour and I didn’t get any reaction from Shahid. When audiences will see the scene, they will understand the dialogue. 

 

You were a huge sensation in Pakistan as a singer. How does your family feel about you being successful in Bollywood now?
They have become used to the fact that I am now working in Bollywood films. I am away a lot more from home now than I used to be as I am doing a lot of work in Mumbai. For them, I am a family member and it doesn’t matter to them whether I am a Bollywood star or whatever.

 

How was your experience working with Kirron Kher?
She is absolutely amazing. She has brought a lot into the film. My acting in the film is mostly about reacting to situations. She is the queen of doing comic scenes and it was quite a lot of fun reacting to her wonderful acting. 

 

Was it hard to maintain a straight face when doing comedy?
As a professional actor, you should be able to maintain a straight face but we do slip up occasionally and laugh it out. It’s all natural. If something really funny happens then you can’t stop but burst into laughter.

 

 

The film has been produced by Neeraj Pandey, director of A Wednesday and Special Chabbis. Were you surprised that he is making an all-out comedy film?
Neeraj is an extremely good writer. I saw A Wednesday and I really enjoyed it. I thought that he would be wonderful to work with. One day I got a message from him that he’d like to meet up. This project then came about. I don’t see people on the basis of the genre of their work. I think, if someone can write something serious, then he can also write something funny. People don’t have to be restricted to a genre creatively. That’s also how I feel about myself. I don’t want to be just stuck to a particular genre.

 

Total Siyapaa

How was your experience composing and singing the songs of Total Siyapaa?
It’s a very good process because usually I work on a private album and not a soundtrack. You have a lot of responsibility and it’s a lot of hard work. It’s very time consuming as well as I was acting at the same time, writing lyrics and composing the music and recording the vocals. It requires a lot of time but if people like the music then it’s all well and good.

 

You are working on Yash Raj Films’ Kill Dill also starring Govinda, Ranveer Singh and Parineeti Chopra…
It’s a fantastic film and I have been wanting to do a film like that for a long time. It’s very different from how people have seen me so far. I am sure that audiences worldwide will be pleasantly surprised. It has action, drama and everything else. I am having a lot of fun and I am thoroughly enjoying the process. I am very excited.

 

What’s next after Kill Dil?
I haven’t decided on anything yet. I am writing something of my own and will be producing it as well.

 

 

 

 

 

Reliance Entertainment to release ‘Total Siyapaa’ in UK cinemas

TOTAL SIYAPAA UK ReleaseReliance Entertainment is set to have audiences in splits with the release of Total Siyapaa (Total Chaos), in UK cinemas on 31st January 2014.

Billed as an ‘urban-ist rom-com’ with the feel of a Brit-Asian cross-over film, Total Siyapaa, produced by Reliance Entertainment, Friday Filmworks and AKA films, is a rollercoaster ride of hilarious mishaps which ensues when Pakistani rockstar Aman (played by the multi-talented actor and musician Ali Zafar) meets his British-Sikh love interest Asha’s (played by Yami Gautam of Vicky Donor fame) battle-axe Punjabi mother (Kiron Kher).

The film is directed by E Niwas (My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves) and the script is penned by Neeraj Pandey, who is famed for his award-winning dramas A Wednesday and Special Chabbis.

Set in London, this wacky, warp-speed tale is a melting pot of cultures. The film gains pace when Aman travels to London to meet Asha’s parents who are conservative Indians and completely unwilling to go against their rigid beliefs. Aman’s life descends into Total Siyapaa when he attempts, albeit unsuccessfully at first, to impress his future in-laws with hilarious and at times completely cringe-inducing consequences!

The film uncannily captures the differences between India and Pakistan and hopes to foster a deeper understanding and togetherness between the two countries. Total Siyapaa also sees real life couple Anupam Kher and Kiron Kher come together on-screen for the very first time.

Total Siyapaa has been garnering positive feedback since its first theatrical trailer was released in November, with many predicting it to be one of the funniest rom-coms to come out of India in a generation.

Total Siyapaa is set to tickle the comical senses of global audiences when it releases on 31st January 2014. The film will not only be a cultural bridge but will also break down the common misconceptions between India and Pakistan, whilst helping you to deal with that most formidable of adversary – the future mother-in-law!