Mumbai Express

Astounded by Ash

At the launch party of Ram Gopal Verma’s latest film, Sarkar Raj, he showered praise on his film’s leading lady Aishwarya. He said, “When we first approached Aishwarya, I wasn’t conscious of the fact that she is a good actor because her beauty overwhelms her brilliant performances. So I had a certain arrogance in me, I thought I would make her perform. But I was surprised.”

Ramu recalled, “There is a particular shot in Sarkar Raj where Amitji is explaining something to her. Due to some complex camera movements, we had to shoot nine takes. What is amazing is in all the nine takes, she looked as if she was listening to Amitabh for the first time.”

Kodak moment The first look of John Abraham’s much-awaited film, Ashayein, was unveiled in Mumbai recently. Since John is currently shooting for Dostana with Abhishek Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra in Miami, his parents represented him at the event. When director Nagesh Kukunoor invited John’s parents onstage to express a few thoughts about Ashayein, the proud father fondly shared his personal experience. In a heavy accent he said, “At the age of 95, my father was full of hope and had zest for life. I personally feel hope sees you through the most hopeless situations.” John’s mother was reticent and steered clear of the limelight.

A beaming Nagesh revealed, “This is the first time John’s media-shy parents have attended a film event. And they have done it for the simple reason — because it’s more than just a film for all of us.”

Nagesh, a trifle emotional, added, “John is missing (physically) but he is here in spirit. I got all the work that I required for the film from him so it’s fine if he is unable to come. I can hog the limelight on this one.”

A Kodak moment: Nagesh Kukunoor and Shailendra Singh, MD of Percept Picture Company, going to see off John’s parents.

Shekharspeak Shekhar, of Vishal-Shekhar, is not stingy when it comes to praising his colleagues. When asked to name those from the current crop of music directors who inspire him, he rattles off: “Vishal Bhardwaj is my current favourite; along with A. R. Rahman, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Ismail Darbar.”

Ask Shekhar about Himesh Reshammiya, who came like a tsunami on the music screen till he chose to dabble in acting, and the Om Shanti Om composer’s thoughts are still full of shanti. He says: “Himesh is a very good composer, and a marketing genius. A lot of negative things are being said about him but he is not a bad guy.”

(Bollywood News Service)

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