No nicknames, please

After wrapping her second Yash Raj film (with Shahid Kapur), Anushka Sharma has now spread her wings and begun shooting for a third film Patiala House (opposite Akshay Kumar). The actor already knows her mind — don't make the mistake of ever shortening her name and calling her Anu. She states firmly: “I have never had a nickname, though my brother had one. I just didn't like any short form. I really don't like it when people call me Anu.”

‘They behave like taskmasters'

Javed Akhtar has been in the industry for around 40 years now, but the veteran stays in step with the new generation, having written lyrics for several contemporary filmmakers. Javed's collaborations with his children Farhan and Zoya also keep him young. But sometimes there is a sense of strain in his dealings with youngsters.

He recently worked with Vijay Lalwani who is making his debut as a director in the Farhan and Ritesh Sidhwani produced Karthik Calling Karthik which stars Farhan. Ask Javed about working with them, and he says, “Ritesh is like my son and Farhan is my son, but when you work with your children, and the child starts acting like a father, you come to know the real meaning of the phrase: ‘Child is the father of man'.”

Poker-faced, Javed jokes: “And it is an ordeal to work with directors who are making their first film because they tend to behave like taskmasters standing atop a pyramid with a whip in their hands to see we writers write well. It was not at all pleasurable working with Vijay Lalwani; he is a bully and has troubled me so much. But at end of the day he made me push myself and I should be thankful to him for that.”

Tanushree's birthday wish

Bong beauty Tanushree Dutta has just finished shooting for two films — Jagmohan Mundhra's edgy thriller The Apartment co-starring Neetu Chandra and first-time director Rajesh Ransinghe's scarefest, Rokk. Tanushee enthuses, “I have seen both the films and they have turned out beautifully.” She adds, “During Rokk's screening, we had invited outsiders too. I was thrilled to see people actually getting scared.”

The Piscean girl, who will celebrate her birthday on March 19, says, “Both my films are slated for a March release, and what's more interesting is Rokkis releasing on my birthday.” So what is her birthday wish this year? “I want both my films to do well.”

Maddy's water diet

When South star Madhavan turned up one hour late for the interviews of his forthcoming film, Leena Yadav's Teen Patti, co-starring Amitabh Bachchan and Sir Ben Kingsley, the buzz was that the normally amiable Maddy was riding high on the super success of 3 Idiots. But when the star finally rushed in he blamed the delay on the traffic and to prove his point, immediately rushed to the loo to answer nature's call. A few minutes later he emerged, looking relieved and apologised, saying, “Kya karun badi zor se susu aaya tha and I was stuck in traffic.” Maddy explained, “And I am doing this diet where I am supposed to drink a lot of water.”

Wonder if Maddy's diet is inspired by his 3 Idiots costar Aamir Khan's six pack? Can't wait to see a slimmer Madhavan.

Off to New Zealand

After only two releases (Saawariya, Delhi 6) in more than two years since her debut (Saawariyawas released in Diwali 2007), Sonam Kapoor is finally looking at a busy 2010. Anil Kapoor's darling daughter is looking forward to her two new films — her home production Aishaopposite Abhay Deol and the Karan Johar production I Hate Luv Storys opposite Imran Khan. After completing two schedules for IHLS, she is now off to New Zealand for a long schedule. Typically feminine, she wails: “Trying to pack less; but it's just not happening.”