Bollywood suffers from 'gora-phobia'. Any sign of a collusion with a caucasian actor has even the biggest of our stars turning into jelly with excitement.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui who has lately become an actor to reckon with, is now on a firangi trip. Last week the papers were flooded with Nawaz's PR overdrive claiming that he was being "paired opposite" Nicole Kidman in Garth Davis' Lion.
Some careful probing reveals some very embarrassing facts about this sensational spot of casting (Kidman and Nawaz together does look like an unlikely combination).
A source very close to the project reveals, "I don't know why Nawaz has created the impression that he's paired opposite Nicole Kidman. Nawaz doesn't have one shot with Nicole Kidman. He is in the film for sure. But he features in one episode and Nicole in another. They don't even come face-to-face in the film."
Shedding further light on the project which begins shooting in Kolkata next week the source reveals, "Lion is a true-life story based on Saroo Brierley's auto-biographical account of his search for his family. The main character of Saroo is is played by Dev Patel and there is a child actor who plays the younger version of Dev Patel. They are in the film throughout. The other actors including Nawazuddin, Tannishtha Chatterjee and Nicole Kidman play characters who meet Dev on his journey."
The event this week to commemorate Ilayaraja's completion of a 1000 movie scores was personally supervised by Amitabh Bachchan.
That is how we saw Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan, with Sridevi thrown in, on the same platform.
Apparently, the two Tamil superstars were hesitant to share the same platform.
"Even for Ilayaraja whom both Rajniji and Kamalji revere, they were not willing to come together on the same platform to honour him," says an insider.
It was a call to each from Amitabh Bachchan that did the trick.
Says the insider, "Bachchan Saab rang up Rajniji and Kamalji and told them how much their presence mattered on that special evening honouring the living legend of Tamil film compositions."
Sridevi too received a personal invitation from Amitabh Bachchan. And Gulzar who seldom attends any event, was gently reminded by the Big B of the Sadma connection between Ilaya Sir and Gulzar Saab."
Balki asserts, "The entire evening was planned personally by Mr Bachchan. He was as excited as a child putting the event together to honour Raja Sir. The invitees were personally called up and left with no choice but to attend."
The entire Bachchan family was on attendance at the function. Apparently, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan who was shooting for Sanjay Gupta's Jazbaa took time off from her shooting to attend.
Regrettably some illustrious artistes associated with Ilayaraja could not attend.
"We wanted Lataji and Ashaji. But Ashaji was in Dubai and Lataji's health did not permit her to attend," says Balki.
Anurag Kashyap's magnum opus Bombay Velvet is caught up in a fix yet again. After being postponed twice, the film receives yet another setback after one of the prominent member of the cast, Raveena Tandon has called it quits. The actress has decided to walk out of the film owing to the constant changes that has been happening in the script of the film.
Bombay Velvet which was initially slated for a release in 2014 has been postponed for more than six months to May 2015. While the makers have always maintained that the reason behind this decision was the delay in the post production, we hear there are a lot of changes being made in the script as well. The actress expressed her disappointment stating that though she had completed her shoot schedule, now the scenario has changed and she won't be a part of it anymore. However, rubbishing rumours of an alleged rift with director Anurag Kashyap, Raveena clarified that such things will not matter when it comes to her and Anurag's friendship. In fact, she even assured that she will be working with him in an upcoming project.
Based on the novel 'Mumbai Fables' by Gyan Prakash, Bombay Velvet traces the journey of this city of dreams as it becomes the biggest metropolitan city of India. It stars Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma and marks the debut of multi-talented filmmaker Karan Johar as the villain. Produced by Fox Star Studios, Bombay Velvet is slated to release on May 15, 2015.
Earlier we had reported about Emraan Hashmi playing the role of Mohammed Azharuddin in his biopic directed by Tony D'Souza, which traces the journey of the cricketer's career and his personal life. Currently the film is in the initial stages of production and Emraan Hashmi is preparing for the role by learning the nuances of the game and guess who is lending a helping hand to the actor, it is cricketer Mohammad Azharuddin himself.
From what we hear, the two have been spending a lot of time together pondering over the game, its rules and practicing it. In fact, during the training sessions, even filmmaker Tony accompanies the duo in order to catch the cricketer teaching the Bollywood student about the dos and don'ts of the game. Moreover, the team working on the film, will also be capturing these sessions on camera in order to recreate the situation in the upcoming film. Excited about the biopic and Emraan playing the lead role, Azhar is all praises for the actor and mentioned that Emraan is a quick learner. In fact, it is being learnt that two of them meet up for practices in different locations in Mumbai and being the hard worker that Emraan is, the star has been putting in hours to perfect the game.
Apart from Emraan, we hear that Prachi Desai has been signed to play the role of Azhar's first wife Naureen. Though rumours are stating that Kareena Kapoor Khan has been approached to play the role of Azhar's second wife and former actress Sangeeta Bijlani, the makers have always maintained that they are yet to zero down on the actress who will be playing this role.
If you thought that the gorgeous Deepika Padukone has 'been there, done that' in Bollywood films so far, then let us tell you that what you have seen is just half of what this stunner is all about. With the kind of the film release line up that she has, it's indeed no brainer to ask as to who the front runner will be at the awards functions of this year.
According to Bollywood Hungama's reliable sources, Deepika Padukone is now all set to be the brand ambassador of Nike shoes.
The very name of 'Arjun Kapoor' resonates with success, charisma and the Gen-Next star. If the response to his performance in the recently released Tevar is anything to go by, then, it won't be long that Bollywood finds its worthy successor to the superstar throne which has been lying 'vacant' for a long time now.
According to Bollywood Hungama's reliable sources, Arjun Kapoor is now all set to be the brand ambassador of Hero Cycles. The very moment this deal comes through, it will definitely add more weight to the adage 'Only one 'hero' deserves another'!
Though Shah Rukh Khan started his career with television dramas, the superstar post attaining stardom, has only been hosting shows on the small screen which includes 'Kaun Banega Crorepati', 'Kya Paanchvi Paas Se Tez Hain' and 'Zor Ka Jhatka'. And now returning as an anchor once again, Shah Rukh Khan will be producing the show 'India Poochega Sabse Shaana Kaun?'
Shah Rukh Khan is known for his witty and sarcastic sense of humour and this show will reveal this persona of the actor where contestants will be required to answer the questions thrown towards them by people across India in a street smart manner. We also hear that unlike his previous hosting stints, this one will prove to be more entertaining since the format of the show is fun and lively. Shah Rukh Khan mentioned that it is the Q&A format that intrigued him the most in this show. The actor further added that he will also be giving the audience a brief background of the ones participating in the show. While his team is currently involved in finding the participants, the actor said that his team will also be interviewing them as they will get to know about their likes and dislikes. In fact, Shah Rukh Khan expressed his desire to take interviews of a few by himself in order to get to know them better. He maintained that he wants this show to be as real and interactive as possible.
Currently, Shah Rukh Khan and his team are on a hunt for the people who will be asking unique, quirky and clever questions on the show. The details of the time slot is yet to be revealed but the show will be aired on a channel of Zee Network.
Magic Cloud Media and Entertainment, a new entrant into the world of Bollywood, has acquired the international rights for 3 eagerly awaited films produced under T-Series banner; Baby, Roy and All is Well.
Baby that releases today is directed by Neeraj Pandey, starring Akshay Kumar, Rana Daggubati, Anupam Kher, Danny Denzongpa, Taapsee Pannu, Mikaal Zulfiqar and Madhurima Tuli. Roy is directed by Vikramjit Singh starring Ranbir Kapoor, Arjun Rampal and Jacqueline Fernandez, while All Is Well, is directed by Umesh Shukla starring Abhishek Bachchan, Asin, Rishi Kapoor and Supriya Pathak.
Smita Thackeray, Managing Director - Magic Cloud M&E said, "We are excited and glad to partnership on international rights with T Series. Bhushan Kumar's peerless knowledge on music and his prodigious knowledge of cinema was the main reason for the deal."
T-Series Chairman and Managing Director Bhushan Kumar says, "Smita Thackeray has supported us in our previous films too. I am glad to be working with her for the overseas distribution for our forthcoming releases Baby, Roy and All Is Well. They have helped us reach out to the international market in the major countries."
Rajesh Banga & Sippy Grewal, Partner and Directors - Magic Cloud M&E, said "The overseas market is the "new emerging market" for Indian cinema and with immense clout to create and control musical content, the penetration of T-Series produced content will be 'second to none'."
T-Series Director Ajay Kapoor says, "Smita Thackeray has done a very good job with all our films so far. With our next release Baby, we are reaching out to 450 screens overseas and looking forward for our other projects Roy and All is Well."