Interviews

Ep 235: “Making Bollywood replica’s won’t get us anywhere!” Asim Abbasi talks Cake

We catch up with Asim Abassi director of the Pakistani film Cake releasing in UK theaters on the 29th of March.
Asim talks to Asim if there is an actual revival of Pakistani cinema, claiming a cinematic identity and “gola-ganda” cinematography.

Subscribe to our new feeds and share if you like what you hear!
Here is the trailer for Cake:


Our awesome theme song was created by mash up king Dj Shai Guy!

Follow him on Bombay Funkadelic Facebook page or twitter so you can attend his unforgettable Bollywood parties all around the UK as well as his awesome mash up mixes that are regularly featured on BBC Asia.

Ep 234: “Parts like these aren’t written for women in India” – Richa Chadha talks Fukrey Returns

This week’s episode is filled with tons of goodies!

We speak to the amazingly talented Richa Chadha about Fukrey Returns which is the Hindi theater release from last Friday.

I do keep mistakenly calling the movie “Fukrey two” which is not the name of the movie- my bad!

We talk about:

  • Shooting and fun on set
  • Lady Gaga
  • Leveraging Indie success to the mainstream
  • Why Bholi Punjaban is angry?
  • When to speak against social injustice

We also have a sneak peak of our new podcast series “The Khandaan Podcast” before the show, have a listen so you know what the fuss is all about.

Keep an eye out on our social media feeds so you are all caught up on when the new show drops.

Of course if you subscribe below in our iTunes feed, you definitely wont miss it.

We also have an amazing new theme song, created by mash up king Dj Shai Guy!

Follow him on Bombay Funkadelic Facebook page or twitter so you can attend his unforgettable Bollywood parties all around the UK as well as his awesome mash up mixes that are regularly featured on BBC Asia.

Fukrey Returns is currently playing in theaters!

You can listen/stream/download the episode below.

Or you can subscribe to our iTunes page and never miss a show

We would love it if you can rate or write us a small review on iTunes! Just click here.

Ep 233: “Insomnia is my obsessed lover” – Mahira Khan Talks Verna

This episode we speak to the luminescent Mahira Khan about her movie releasing in theaters today, Verna.

We recorded the interview last week, before the controversy surrounding the release became big news, but glad to hear everything seems to be sorted out and people can go out and watch the movie everywhere.

Mahira talks about:

  • International fame and fandom
  • How to promote a movie with impactful themes
  • Adapting a global message to a local audience
  • A rumor she doesn’t mind spreading…

Verna is playing in theaters from today!

You can listen/stream/download the episode below.

Or you can subscribe to our iTunes page and never miss a show

We would love it if you can rate or write us a small review on iTunes! Just click here.

EP 230: “Woman Need to be their Own Heroes” Taapsee Pannu Talks Naam Shabana

This is one from the secret Upodcast vault!

We spoke with the wonderful Taapsee Pannu during the release of Naam Shabana but never managed to post the episode.

Since we talk a little about Judwaa 2 and the release is around the corner, what better time to than now to put our conversation up!

In this episode we talk about:

  • How many other Taapsee’s Taapsee knows?
  • Her career after Baby and Pink
  • How Hindi Cinema has changed for actresses
  • and what her favorite songs from Judwaa is

Naam Shabana is available for home viewing now!

Judwaa 2 releases 29th of September in UK theaters.

You can listen/stream/download the episode below.

Or you can subscribe to our iTunes page and never miss a show

We would love it if you can rate or write us a small review on iTunes! Just click here.

 

Ep 228: “We are all living stories”- Shubhashish Bhutiani Talks Hotel Salvation (Mukti Bhavan)

We spoke to Shubhashish Bhutiani, director of Hotel Salvation (Mukti Bhavan), at the London Indian Film Festival just before his UK festival premier. The movie is releasing this week through the BFI in the UK so it was the perfect time to post this interview.

We talk about:

  • Opening night at LIFF
  • How to get a movie made
  • Traveling the world and the difference in audiences
  • Dealing with envy and privilege

“Hotel Salvation has already won ten Indian and international film awards including Best Film at the 2017 New York Indian Film Festival, and the Prix Enrico Fulchignoni at last year’s Venice Film Festival (an award given by the International Council of Film and Television at UNESCO to the Venice film that best represents the values of peace and human rights.) It is now a strong contender to be India’s Academy Award entry in 2018.

There will be a full review Upodcast of Hotel Salvation later this week, Shah Shahid from The Split Screen Podcast will be joining us!

Until then,

You can listen/stream/download the episode below.

Or you can subscribe to our iTunes page and never miss a show

We would love it if you can rate or write us a small review on iTunes! Just click here.

 

 

Ep 227 Bhumi Pednekar talks Toilet Ek Prem Katha with Upodcast

On this week’s episode of Upodcast, we are talking to Bhumi Pednekar who is starring in Toilet Ek Prem Katha with Akshay Kumar, which is releasing in theatres this FRIDAY.

We talk about to Bhumi about:

  • Game of Thrones and her love of the show
  • The issues that Toilet deals with
  • Melding a romantic story with a movie dealing with social issues

Toilet: Ek Prem Katha releases internationally in cinemas on 11th August.

TOILET Ek Prem Katha - PosterYou can listen/stream/download the episode below.

Or you can subscribe to our iTunes page and never miss a show

We would love it if you can rate or write us a small review on iTunes! Just click here.

 

Ep 226: Neeti Mohan talks AR Rahman’s concert to Upodcast

This week’s episode of Upodcast we talk to the amazingly talented singer Neeti Mohan who is joining AR Rahman on his “Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow” concert at SSE Arena Wembley on Saturday 8th July 2017.

 Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow” marks the first in a global series, celebrating 25 years of the timeless music of AR Rahman and his team, who have crafted and perfected performances that are enriched with high-scale technology and

production. Leading engineers from around the world have been brought on board to present spectacular lighting and visuals as a backdrop to the live sounds of the musical genius, creating a multi-media extravaganza that will provide a once-in-a-lifetime experience for fans and audiences.

AR will be joined onstage by Neeti Mohan as well as other special guests including Benny Dayal, Javed Ali, Haricharan, Jonita Gandhi, Ranjit Barot and many more.

Screen Shot 2017-07-07 at 17.26.35

 

“Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow” Saturday 8th July, SSE Arena, Wembley

Ticket Purchases:

www.ssearena.co.uk/events/detail/ar-rahman

We talk with Neeti Mohan about:

  • Working with a genius
  • How the internet has effected playback singing
  • Surprise at the name of her dog (who provides some back ground vocals to this chat)
  • How she feels about the recent trend of actors/actresses singing
  • The idea of a playback singer being the “voice” of an actor
  • We also follow up on the effects of the Film Companion Roundtable of female singers
  • The songs she doesn’t understand why people keep asking her to sing

For our review of AR Rahman’s previous concert at the O2, head over here.

You can listen/stream/download the episode below.

Or you can subscribe to our iTunes page and never miss a show

We would love it if you can rate or write us a small review on iTunes! Just click here.

 

Ep 222: “Baahubali is not pro Hindu or anti Hindu…” SS Rajamouli Interview Upodcast

We were lucky enough to attend the UK press junket for what was supposed to be the UK premiere of Baahubali The Conclusion with director SS Rajamouli in attendance.

Since the movie had already released and is a massive success we had the opportunity to dig in a little deeper about the movie and it’s reception.

We spoke about:

  • Terrible experience of seeing his movie completed the first time
  • How he sees the value of film criticism
  • Rajamouli gives his secret formula to Bollywood film makers
  • If South India feel vindicated by the success of Baahubali
  • Making a movie like Baahubali as an atheist

Pardon the obvious fanboyism in my voice and the bad acoustics in the room but I think this might be one of the best interviews we have ever had.

Baahubali The Conclusion is currently running successfully in theaters.

You can listen/stream/download the episode below.

Subscribe to our feed and leave us a review!

Mubarakan Press Conference kicks off London schedule

The cast and crew of the upcoming comedy movie “Mubarakan” are in London for the 50 day schedule of their comedy set to release in cinemas in July 2017.

The cast includes Anil Kapoor, Arjun Kapoor, Ileana D’Cruz and Athiya Shetty and they will be shooting in and around the England for around 50 days. As an exclusive first, the cast and director met with media at a fun-filled interaction on location amid the grandiose of Sheraton Park Lane, Mayfair.

In attendance were real life “chacha” and “bhateeja” Anil Kapoor and Arjun Kapoor, who plays a double role in the movie, and Athiya Shetty and Ileana D’Cruz who are Karan (Arjun Kapoor) and Charan’s (Arjun Kapoor) love interests in the movie and of course the comedy producer, Anees Bazmee.

Here are some excerpts of the Q&A session with the UK press;

Q: How is it different working with local British talent and actors and actresses back in Mumbai, India?

Athiya Shetty: This is my second film so I still have a lot to learn, but I think everybody has a great energy and everybody is working together really well. They are adapting to the way we work and we are adapting to the way they work as well. But I feel it is a happy family even on set and everyone’s having lots of fun. So it’s not very different.

“We’re a happy family on set” @theathiyashetty talks about differences between shooting in India and UK

A post shared by asimburney (@asimburney) on

Q: You were shooting a scene in the Gurdwara in Gravesend. How’s the reaction been to shooting outside central London?

Ileana d’Cruz: I actually was really surprised when I saw the Gurdwara in Gravesend. It’s massive and I think I have explored every room there, it’s huge. It’s my first time inside a Gurdwara as well, but it was beautiful. It’s been fun, it’s been nice. I thought it was going to be really far off but it’s actually a really nice drive, about an hour and ten minutes way from where we are staying.

.@ileana_official tries to answer @ameetchana but @arjunkapoor got jokes #Mubarakan

A post shared by asimburney (@asimburney) on

Q: How is it for you to work a) with family and b) with new generation actors?

Anil Kapoor: I think when I am on set I just forget I am a professional. I remember one of the first shots I had was with the senior most actor in our country, which is Dilip Kumar, so for me I know that on every set I feel the same way with every actor. For me, when on set, I am in character and give my younger or senior the same kind of love and respect and I enjoy being on the set with everybody around me.

When we are on set we are all in the characters of what we are playing, it’s not that Arjun is my nephew but for me he is Charan and Karan in front of the camera.

Q: It’s been said in Bollywood it’s easy to make people sad, make them cry, make them sing and dance, but it’s very hard to get your comic right. Do you also feel that way?

Anees Bazmee: I feel I have written a lot of movies, romantic films, emotional ones but genuinely the most difficult ones to write are comedies. In comedy if you go slightly off, it can become a very poor movie and I feel as a writer if you haven’t written a good scene it becomes a big pain for actors because they have to try very hard to make it funny.

Whenever I have written good comedy I have mostly written them when I was in a bad mood, so for me it doesn’t necessarily mean that if you are writing a comedy you have to be in a very funny, laughing mood.

“This movie is about you” @arjunkapoor answers a question about UK Asian representation in #Mubarakan

A post shared by asimburney (@asimburney) on

Q: You are playing a double role in Mubarakan, what’s that been like?

Arjun Kapoor: I have played a double role before, I did “Aurangzeb”. It gives me a certain calmness because I have played it once before so I know what you have to do as an actor to prepare and to be on set and the time that it’s taken to pull it off. It’s a gift for an actor to get to do two characters in a film. You’re lucky to get one good character in a film, but I am getting to play two and I’m getting to do it despite doing it once before. So the faith that the director has in me that I can pull off playing two characters gives me a lot of confidence and excitement. It’s about having fun with the role.


Big Thanks to Iram and Imran for covering this event for Upodcast!

Mubarakan is produced by Sony Pictures Networks Productions and Ashwin Varde & Murad Khetani’s Cine1 Studios.

The film has been written by Balli Januja and Rupinder Chahal.

Mubarakan is slated for a worldwide release on 28th July 2017 release.

Karan Johar : “I don’t discriminate”- LSE India Forum Event Full report

Two people who pride themselves on being punctual, Karan Johar and Anupama Chopra, are running late for their discussion panel at the London School of Economics SU India Forum. It’s not a starry late entrance though – they simply didn’t know that one never makes plans in London without checking the number of obstacles the city will inevitably throw your way when you’re in a rush. On this lovely, sunny Saturday, an entire section of the London Tube has been closed for repairs and two separate, giant protests (one against the Trump state visit and the other against the systematic gutting of the NHS) have blocked traffic in all sorts of interesting ways. Johar finally makes it in about 15 minutes late, having taken a cab from Mayfair like a total noob; Chopra got as far as Trafalgar Square before the massive crowds persuaded her to just hoof it. Johar, mindful of the plane he needs to catch later in the evening, uses the 20 minutes before she arrives to field questions from the room.

The LIF is a yearly event but this is the first time they’ve held a pre-LIF discussion and one suspects it was because they had to accommodate Johar’s packed schedule. He is clearly a speaker that draws a crowd – 200 students bought out the tickets in nine minutes flat and quite a few older guests have inveigled an invite as well. In person, he is exactly as you have seen him on TV: average build, medium height, familiar smirk. I’m struck by his shoes because a) I’m so used to seeing him midshot on TV, I don’t remember having seen his feet before; and b) they’re a violent shade of neon silver sneakers that I’m sure are the pinnacle of some mysterious men’s fashion that is more attractive to men than women.

The crowd is entirely desi (I spied one white photographer) and the young women in the audience are all dolled up and ready for their shot: perfect makeup and long, straight hair, chic dresses that are entirely too flimsy for the weather. The young men are no less, clean cut and leaning intently forward as Johar speaks, nodding along to his bon mots and catty zingers alike, some sporting those high collared Nehru vests that are the last word in rising-Indian-politician chic. He says hello to someone’s mom, professes his love for La La Land and Ranbir Kapoor, announces that Bombay Talkies 2 is in the works (Zoya Akhtar has already finished filming her segment while he is yet to begin scripting his) and speaks of Dharma’s evolving digital plans. One of the first questions is from a Pakistani fan who wants to know if Johar will ever take a chance on a Pakistani actor again; he is witty and diplomatic as he deflects her with protestations of his own helpless progressivism and effusive praise of Fawad Khan’s talent. Another young woman wants to know his take on Saif Ali Khan’s homophobic witticisms on this season’s Koffee with Karan; a nervous Nehru-vest-clad student organizer pipes up thinly that personal questions are discouraged. “Was that personal?” Johar winks broadly at the roaring audience before choosing to answer by affirming Khan’s liberalism in his personal life.

Once Anupama Chopra arrives, they’re immediately off; the comfort of long familiarity evident by how easily they’re able to launch straight into deeply personal subjects. The talk is as wide ranging as any Karan Johar event based on the always fascinating subject of himself that you might have witnessed before, with Chopra referencing a chapter in Johar’s recent memoir, An Unsuitable Boy, where his mother ticks him off for being mediocre in every respect and how that went on to fuel his discovery of himself as the celebrity we recognize today. He is candid about only attending award shows that pay him to emcee, his fear of eventual and inevitable irrelevance, his love of Hindi film music, that entire scenes of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil have been adapted straight from his failed romances, and his desire to make a film that Chopra will love.

Things then took a turn: Chopra introduced a segment on pay parity in Hindi cinema, pointing out that while she understands the pay scale being pegged to a star’s ability to attract an audience, even newcomers are paid different rates according to gender. Johar immediately distances himself from such practices.

“When it comes to newcomers, I don’t discriminate. When I launched Varun (Dhawan), Sid (Malhotra) and Alia (Bhatt), they all got the same number. Why should there be any kind of disparity in remuneration?” he said to loud applause. “You guys make the men bigger stars. When the audience empowers the women more, I would love to pay Deepika Padukone more than I pay Ranbir Kapoor but the truth of the matter is he opens to a number solo and she opens to a number solo. We have six movie stars in India who’re all men and then we have a few women who are doing really well but they can’t match the numbers or get that opening. They can’t get the economics right – satellite, music, overseas, digital, theatrical. They can’t pull in the same numbers on any of them so there is this disparity.”

Chopra reminds him of Sonam Kapoor’s recent statement that her upcoming project with Kareena Kapoor, Veere di Wedding, was unable to generate a fraction of the funding given to a Varun Dhawan and John Abraham project.

“Because Varun Dhawan is a bigger movie star,” Johar said, flatly matter-of-fact.

Really?” Chopra said.

“Yes,” he said. “Seriously! He has an ABCD that opened to 14 crores. Neerja opened to 4 crores. Dhishoom opened to 11 crores. Sonam is an amazing beauty and a humongously talented girl but she cannot compare on the economics.”

Next came the controversial segment where Johar defended himself from Kangana Ranawat’s accusation on a recent episode of Koffee with Karan that he is the “flag bearer of nepotism” and part of the “movie mafia” that made her early years in the Mumbai film industry a nightmare.

“I just want to say, I’m glad she knows what it all means,” he began, a perfect (and perhaps unintended) callback to Ranawat’s point that Johar was one of those who mocked her relentlessly for her poor English when she first arrived in Mumbai. The crowd erupted in raucous cheers that turned variously into gasps and applause as he went on to list the number of directors with no prior industry links who have been employed by Dharma. Even if Ranawat was talking about actors, he said, the only two industry kids he has given a break to are Alia and Varun, neither of whom are related to him. As for being a member of the so-called movie mafia that excluded her, he said he couldn’t understand the charge – although he considers her to be an outstanding artist who is fully deserving of praise, when it comes to making his films, he felt entitled to his choice of cast.

“I am done with Kangana playing the woman card and the victim card,” he said, to noticeably louder cheers than his statement identifying her as a serious talent. “You cannot always be a victim who has this sad story to tell about being terrorized by this bad industry. Leave it. Who is forcing you to be here? Do something else.”

Later, as the evening came to a close, I overheard a couple seated behind me discussing how much they’d enjoyed the evening and Johar’s frankness. I came home and began to write this article, Googling to see if anyone had uploaded video of the event – and the very first link was the surprise announcement of Johar’s brand new fatherhood via surrogacy. The man had sat five feet from me at an event to discuss himself, interviewed by a woman who plainly felt no qualms asking him sensitive questions, and there hadn’t been so much as a hint of any such thing in the offing. In fact, it apparently came as a surprise to most of his acquaintance who’d attended a well-publicized singles party for Valentine’s Day at his home a mere seven days after his children were born. In hindsight, therefore, the entire event became a whole other exercise in studying how celebrities hide in plain sight and retain the ability to practice discretion when warranted, even in the media-saturated environment of 2017. Celebrity events are a dime a dozen but it is always a pleasure to attend a master class.

by Amrita Rajan.

You can find more of her work on her blog or follow her on twitter!

 

LIF is the first of its kind forum in the UK involving keynote speeches and panel discussions on major economic, political and cultural issues facing contemporary India. The conference serves as a platform for students and young professionals alike to engage with some of India’s leading industrialists, politicians, economists and popular culture icons.

This year, the forum has been segmented into two unique events – the next even will be

LIF – Saturday, 11th March: India – A Superpower in the Making?

 

Certain Women- an Interview with director Kelly Reichardt

It’s been a long day for Kelly Reichardt, whose latest film Certain Women is due out in the UK this Friday, 3 March. When she listens to you, she folds into herself, her chin tucked in, almost disappearing into the enormous wing chair she’s seated in. And then she looks up to answer you, keen eyes direct.

It’s the morning after the Oscars and I want to know if she stayed up to watch the now notorious telecast that ended in a confused jumble with Moonlight eventually beating out La La Land for Best Picture.

“No, I didn’t. It was in the middle of the night,” she says, smiling a little wearily. She’s been working and gearing up for this grueling press junket, with more meaningful human contact in a day than most of us experience in a week. “I do know my fellow Miami filmmaker Barry Jenkins won for Moonlight, which was one for the home team. I liked the movie very much; it was nice to see parts of Miami portrayed that you normally don’t. It was a nice little shelter from a year of cruelty – when that film came out in such harsh times, to see it celebrated.”

Often described as the new master of the American experience, Reichardt’s own film, Certain Women, is also a triptych, a look at the lives of four ordinary women in an America that refuses to be safely pigeonholed into one familiar category or the other. There is an innate loneliness to the lives these women lead, bubbling under the surface where they have carefully hidden it away. It stems from their gender, their independence, their jobs, the people they love, the lives they have chosen for themselves. When the rancher played by Lily Gladstone finally makes a push and turns herself fully visible for an instant, it is a crystallized moment of uncertainty because this entire world is built on women who disappear in plain sight.

The stories of Certain Women are based on two collections of short stories by bestselling novelist Maile Meloy, Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It (2009) and Half in Love (2002). I ask Reichardt why she was so drawn to Meloy’s work and she says, “They were just great character pieces; the characters were really sort of hunkered down in this particular environment.”

The film is set in Montana, home to Meloy, and it’s an interesting juxtaposition of landscape and lives: the visuals are of the vast sky and cold beauty that are a familiar staple of the great American Western but the characters are unlike any in those kinds of movies. There’s a lawyer (Laura Dern) whose client won’t take her professional advice seriously but needs her to be his emotional sounding board; there’s an unhappy wife (Michelle Williams) who chooses to focus on the perfect home in the midst of the shambles of her marriage; there’s a young lawyer (Kristen Stewart) who is so wrapped up in the mere act of being herself that she can’t see beyond that struggle; and there’s a rancher (Lily Gladstone) who is so desperate to make a connection, she will do it any way she can.

“[Meloy] is from Montana, so she set the stories there and I went there,” Reichardt says. “It’s super intertwined… sometimes you’ve got to come to a place to figure out the people and they go hand in hand.”

Most reviewers have singled out the story between the lonely rancher and the young lawyer she falls for; in the original collection, the rancher is male, which turns that story into a more traditional, familiar one of a lonely cowhand and a city slicker. But the story in Certain Women is not that story, it is instead an unfamiliar one of female friendship and companionship and love. I ask Reichardt about the gender switching.

“It’s not a sexual romance in that story,” she says. “It’s a crush of sorts and someone projecting a lot onto another person. It just might be an attraction to someone that has access to a world that the rancher doesn’t. Someone isolated romanticizing someone else’s life.”

It strikes me that the thing I found most interesting about Certain Women is its refusal to romanticize these lives. Unlike the characters who populate it, the film remains clear eyed to the end, taking its time to capture the complex reality of these lives.
Add Certain Women to the list of interesting movies that 2016 sent us.

Winner of Best Film at the 60th BFI London Film Festival 2016

Michelle Williams winner: Best Supporting Actress at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards

Lily Gladstone winner: Best Supporting Actress at the LA Film Critics’ Awards

Kelly Reichardt nominated: Best Director at the Independent Spirit Awards

Lily Gladstone nominated: Best Supporting Actress at the Independent Spirit Awards

Certain Women is in UK theaters this week

Kelly Reichardt was interviewed by Amrita Rajan.

You can find more of her work on her blog or follow her on twitter!

Saiyami Kher Mirzya Interview Upodcast

“This experience has been life changing…”

We speak to Saiyami Kher who is making her big screen debut this Friday in Rakesh Omprakash Mehra’s Mirzya, a re-imagining of Mirza Sahibaan’s legendary folk tale.

We talk about her preparation for her role, her background as a marathon runner and how the experience was for an outsider to the industry to collaborate with the Harshvardhan Kapoor, son of living legend Anil Kapoor.

Mirzya hits theatres this weekend and is having it’s European Premier at the London Film Festival.

You can listen/download/stream our episode below.

Or subscribe to iTunes and never miss a show!

 

AN EVENING WITH SHARMILA TAGORE LIFF 2016 Q+A

“Are my answers too long?” Sharmila Tagore asks halfway through her answer to the first question about her esteemed lineage (her great grandfather was responsible for bringing Cubism to India whilst her grandfather was the poet laureate Rabindranath Tagore). The truth is one could listen to Sharmila talking all night; eloquent, polished and engaging, whether it was recounting her time in regional cinema or as one of the reigning superstars at a time when art house and commercial cinema were two different worlds, this Q&A was full of amazing anecdotes and stories that as director Sangeeta Datta put it “evoked lost worlds“.

A large portion of the Q&A centred on Sharmila’s work with Satyajit Ray; after a clip from Apun Sansar (The World Of Apu) was shown (which also saw Sharmila rightly questioning why a subtitled version was not shown for all the non-Bengali speakers), she described in detail the direction she had been given and also quoted key dialogues, commenting how economical the words used were but their impact was devastating when delivered under Ray’s direction. A clip from her next film Devi was equally fascinating, especially when Sharmila pointed out they had been shown out of order and presented the context herself. Sharmila

However, it was her work in Hindi cinema in the 70’s that seemed to really get the audience interested – what it was like to work with Rajesh Khanna (did you know Roop Tera Mastana was shot in one take as they only had a few hours to shoot it in), Shammi Kapoor (unpredictable; he would do one thing in rehearsal and then improvise in the actual take) and how Deewana Hua Badal from Kashmir Ki Kali was the first song Sharmila lip synched to and found it challenging as Hindi was not her first language but living in Bombay helped her learn fast.

Then came questions from the audience which Sharmila took on with aplomb – praising Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone, Kangana Ranaut and Vidya Balan when asked about current heroines whilst also reiterating she herself had taken roles where her characters had “agency till the end“. She also spoke about her recent visit to the Lahore Literary Festival as well as her time on the Censor Board, telling how she tried and failed to rebrand it as the CFBC rather than just the “censor board” as well as (in what was the line of the night) “politics divide but Hindi films unite“.

Finishing on the notion that “films are a wonderful profession” and how she had managed to juggle motherhood and work at a time when it was not the norm, one audience member commented how Sharmila was like a representative for women now as much as she was at the height of her star power. With an incredible body of work behind her, felicitated with Festival Icon Award as well as being invited to be a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, it will be interesting to see what Sharmila does next.

 

Bhushan Kumar is a film obsessed amateur fashionista who lives in London.

You can read more from him at www.bogeyno2.wordpress.com or follow him on Twitter: @bogeyno2

For more about the London Indian Film Festival head over to their website or twitter feed!

Vidya Balan Talks Te3n Upodcast

We had the opportunity to speak with the amazingly talented Vidya Balan about Te3n which hits theaters today in the UK.

As usual on Upodcast we talk about the most random things:

Greed as an actor
Our theory that Vidya might be a superhero ninja
How hard it was for Sujoy ghosh to not direct the movie
Vidya reveals a little about Kahaani 2 and we pitch our ideas for Kahaani 3
How the ending of Te3n was kept secret from the cast

You can listen/stream/download the episode below.

Or you can subscribe to our iTunes feed and never miss a show.

If you enjoyed the chat, do take a moment to leave us a review on iTunes.

Varun Dhawan and Kriti Sanon talk Dilwale with Upodcast

Rohit Shetty’s big release, Dilwale,  is just over a week away so ShahRukh Khan, Kajol, Kriti Sanon and Varun Dhawan were in town for a press conference.

Upodcast had the change to sit down with Varun Dhawan and Kriti Sanon and ask the questions that only a nerdy podcast like ours dares ask. (Like debating which Star Wars character Kriti Sanon is Chewbacca or R2D2)

The video of our interview is below but the podcast gives you a bit more behind the scenes gossip as well as the 5 things we learnt segment which quite a few of you like listening to.

Do give us a shout or RT or like if you’re enjoying the interview!

Dilwale is a family entertainer with a perfect blend of action, romance and comedy. The film is produced by Red Chillies Entertainments in association with Rohit Shetty Productions. The film will release on December18th 2015.

You can find our Student of the Year interview by clicking here!

After the press conference the stars headed over to Feltham for a meet and greet and here is some of the craziness that ensued:

BIG BIG BIG thanks to our awesome Twitter Friend @JessicaSisk for all the help on the video editing, we were lost without her! Give her a shout on twitter if you liked the video

You can Download/Stream/Listen to the Podcast episode below.

Prem Ratan Dhan Payo London Press Conference

Last week Fox arranged a video conference with Salman Khan and Sonam Kapoor in London for the release of Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. Here are some excerpts of the Q&A session with the UK press.

 

Q/ WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT PRDP?

 Salman: I like the film’s nice, sweet, cute, ticklish moments. I like the film overall and how this really nice, happy, sweet film turns into this really emotional, beautiful, romantic love story which involves the family, brothers, sisters.

I think PRDP is Sooraj’s best work to date. What I see in the character of Prem is what every guy should be like with a girl, which is very difficult as you need to have a lot of patience to be “Prem” in real life. Prem is so endearing that every girl would want to marry someone like Prem. He’s somebody like … he’s actually Sooraj Barjatya! Trust me, Prem is Sooraj. In fact Sooraj likes to see that side in me but the problem is that I only don’t see that side in me in my real life. So Sooraj puts that on film.

Sonam

Q/ YOU HAVE WORKED WITH SOORAJ B. THREE TIMES BEFORE – HOW WAS THE EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH HIM THIS TIME?

Salman: Yes, it is. I just wish I could do another 4 or 5 films with Sooraj! I’m here in this industry only because of Sooraj Barjatya. A 19 year-old boy took a stand when he was directing his first movie, at a point in time when Rajshri Productions weren’t doing that well, to take on an actor who had already done a film that’s releasing before his film.

Sooraj had seen Biwi Ho To Aisi, and we all knew that I sucked in the movie, but despite that he took me on because he thought I was good in the screen test for the film. He went by his instincts and the gut feel of his sister Chanda and cousin Charu.

Sonam: you see Salman was always gorgeous looking…it’s because they had a crush on him!

Salman: well, they thought they saw something in me to suggest I would make it. I still don’t see what, how… I don’t even question it…let it go!

Sonam & Salman 4

 

Q/ THE MUSIC IS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE TRACKS FROM THE MOVIE?

Salman:  Mine is the title track – Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, and I like Jalte Diye, Jab Tum Chaho, Prem Leela and Aaj Unse Milna Hai

Sonam: Jalte Diye and Prem Leela are my favourite songs from the movie. I also like Aaj Unse Milna Hai as well – it’s a very beautiful, romantic song.

Q/ ANY FUNNY STORIES FROM THE FILMING? 

Salman:  We were working! It wasn’t supposed to be fun. You cannot make such a beautiful film whilst having fun; you need to be focused.

 Sonam:  It was a happy time – I think that’s the best way to describe it, we were very happy and content.

 

Q/ WHAT WAS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT FILMING? WHAT’S THE BEST SCENE?

Salman: I think every single day was beautiful. Actually walking to the set was a really beautiful feeling. The set were so lovely that we didn’t mind shooting long hours. Sooraj actually is very particular about shooting long hours – he doesn’t like to shoot that many hours, even if the scene was not complete he used to say, let’s leave it now and we’ll continue tomorrow, even if we were like no let’s do it now.  You see, it’s a very large-scale film; in every frame there were like hundreds of people, there was a regal theme, which also made it a very expensive film. Each day costs the production 45, 50 lakhs so when Sooraj said let’s pack up and continue the scene tomorrow, it seriously took a lot of courage.

 Q/ YOU HAVE ALWAYS HAD A VISION FOR THE TYPE OF ROLES YOU WANT TO PLAY. IS PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO THE BIGGEST PAYOFF OF THAT SORT OF CONVICTION?

 Sonam: Yes, I think that’s what it is. I think you are absolutely right. After I did Mausam, I gave my heart and soul to that and after it didn’t do very well, I didn’t sign a movie for a year and a half. Then I decided to sign Raanjhanaa – everyone around me said I was stupid but I decided to stick to my conviction. But I stuck to my guns. You’re absolutely right that this is the payoff for being patient and handling my life with dignity.

Q/ WHAT YOU ARE DOING ON YOUR INSTAGRAM PAGE IS A GREAT WAY OF MARKETING PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO. WAS THAT YOUR IDEA OR WAS IT SOMETHING YOU DISCUSSED WITH THE MARKETING TEAM? 

Sonam: Okay, I’m going to tell you a secret, when I spoke with the marketing team at Fox, they mentioned that people were finding the title Prem Ratan Dhan Payo a bit of a mouthful. They told me we needed to come up with a really fun and genius way to talk about the film a lot. So, there was this really cute guy who did this dubsmash on Prem Ratan Dhan Payo and I thought let’s put this up on instagram and maybe people would be excited about doing dubsmash. I thought it would be cool so I put it up and people really liked it a lot. And then a friend from New York told me to call a competition and to get the 5 best dubsmashes on Instagram – I did just that. There were lots and lots of people who did the dubsmash. It was easy to do and people loved doing the dubsmash as it has a great rhythm. Salman did one too, but he didn’t do it for long.

My aunt Sridevi also did one with Shilpa Shetty.  She loves me so much! I remember when I was just becoming an actress, she sat down with me and showed me how to do make-up really patiently for like hours and hours really patiently. I think she was extremely kind to have promoted me and the film. I’ve known Shilpa for a very long time and they had done the dubsmash at my home whilst I was away on promotions for the film. Once they did it they put it up on Instagram and I got a message from Shilpa saying to go on Instagram to see what we’ve done!Sonam & Salman 3

Q/ HOW DIFFERENT IS THIS PREM COMPARED TO ALL THE OTHER PREMs THAT YOU HAVE PLAYED? 

Salman: Prem is my favorite character too. I think this Prem is lovelier; he’s a grown man but a very childlike. Sooraj has written this character. He has always been a mature man and romance has also grown in his life ten folds. He was always a mature filmmaker starting his career at the age of 19. He wrote Hum Apke Hain Kaun at the age of just 22 and made the film when he was 24, and there is no man as mature as Sooraj Bharjatya.

The way he has written this character, he basically wants men and boys to be like Prem; he wants to change the way they are and to change this for women in the world. He wants men to be funny and charming but to also be respectful to women.

Q.YOU HAVE A GREAT SENSE OF STYLE. HOW SIMILAR ARE YOU FROM YOUR CHARACTERS IN REAL LIFE. 

Sonam: I don’t think I’m similar to any of the characters that I played, I mean I’m definitely not a princess.

 Salman: Yes she is a princess because her father spoilt her.

Sonam:  I’m not spoilt! (she laughs). No, answering your question…I don’t know, I hope I’m inspired to be someone with that much conviction and I try and do whenever I can to be like that. Perhaps there’s a little bit of me in every character.

Salman: I think she’s got it in Prem Ratan Dhan Paya … I remember when Sooraj was showing me pictures of a lot of leading actresses and each and every picture that Sooraj showed me of Sonam were absolutely stunning. He showed me all the picture when she was at her worst test, and she looked like the way she looks now, so that is one quality that he saw in her, and he said this is the lady for my film. This is something that I want.


Q/ SONAM, HOW DID YOU FEEL WHEN YOU FIND OUT YOU WERE GOING TO WORK WITH SALMAN? WHAT IS IT YOU MOST LIKE ABOUT EACH OTHER PROFESSIONALLY AND EACH OTHER’S PERSONALITY? 

Sonam: I was very nervous, like really nervous. It’s not easy working with someone who you’ve been a huge fan of. Also it’s not easy because before Salman, I had never worked with a big star like him before. It’s usually been contemporaries. I was nervous but he really made me feel comfortable.

The best thing about him professionally is that he is the most hardworking actor that I worked with, he pushes himself and he is extremely talented. He’s also very modest. Also, professionally it’s easier to work with someone who doesn’t judge you in anyway. I remember when I was messing up he’d come and tell me really nicely, he has a lot of patience.

Salman: That is true, when you need to get some good work out of a bad actor you need to be patient JJ

Q/ WE HEAR THAT YOU ARE PLAYING A DOUBLE ROLE IN THE FILM?  

Salman: Yes I am playing the roles of Vijay Singh and Prem – but if I open up too much about the characters I will spoil the suspense. But what I can say is that both the characters are phenomenal.

PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO releases this Diwali on 12 November 2015

Anupama Chopra Talks Jio Mami Upodcast

We got the chance to speak with Anupama Chopra, Festival Director, 17th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival With Star India about why these movies and the festival is important, which movies you should watch out for and how they dealt with some of the issues that happened during last year’s festival.

Listen/download/stream the episode below

JIO MAMI VISION 2015

The Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival is an inclusive movie feast. We showcase the latest cutting-edge, independent cinema – art house fare alongside genre movies from Bollywood and Hollywood and cult international movies. We offer the best of world cinema to the people of Mumbai and we offer the best of Indian cinema to the world. The festival is run by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image popularly known as MAMI. This is a space where we revel in the sheer pleasure of cinema, the joy it gives us and how much it enhances our lives. The goal is to nurture and ignite a passion for movies. We want Jio MAMI to be shorthand for excellence in cinema.

 

ABOUT JIO MAMI

Mumbai – the financial capital of India is also the epicentre of the Indian film industry. The city plays such a major role in production and dissemination of Indian films and television programmes that it is widely known by its acronym ‘Bollywood’. In 1997, a group of film industry stalwarts headed by late Hrishikesh Mukherjee founded the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) as a not-for-profit Trust. Their main objective was to organise an annual International Film Festival which the film industry and the country could be proud of. MAMI has been organising the festival for the last 16 years and aims to foster a climate of good cinema. MAMI engages people from all walks of life across the city and country who enjoy and love good cinema. It is Mumbai’s only film festival that is entirely created and run by film professionals and a group of members from corporate India. Appreciation of good cinema, stripped off all the limiting labels of art and commercial, can only come about through exposure to the best of films the world has to offer. The Festival is the first step in that direction.

 

In their Mission Statement in 1997, the MAMI Board of Trustees said, “We feel it is the need of the hour to disseminate and inculcate good cinema among Indian audiences. The only way to achieve this is to celebrate cinema by hosting an International Film Festival in Mumbai, India ‘s film and entertainment capital. MAMI (Mumbai Academy of Moving Image) is committed to start Mumbai’s first independent international film festival organized by practicing film makers.”

 

For more information on MAMI and the upcoming 17th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival scheduled to be held from 29th October- 5th November 2015, do visit our MAMI Website, Twitter handle, Facebook Page, Instagram and YouTube as follows:

 

Website: www.mumbaifilmfestival.com #MAMI2015Twitter:/mumbaifilmfestFacebook: /mumbaifilmfestival Instagram: /mumbaifilmfestival YouTube: Mumbai Film Festival

Akshay Kumar Brothers Press Q&A

Why is this film important to you?

This movie is very close to my heart, it means a lot to me, especially because it is a movie about Martial Arts, which makes it even more important for me. The movie is releasing in August this year, which also co-incides with me completing 25 years in the film industry and it means so much to me that this happens to be a movie about Martial Arts commemorating the accomplishment of my 25 years, when it’s because of my martial arts background that got me into the film industry in the first place. We’re mliterally going full circles.

 

Could you please tell me more about the character you’re playing in “Brothers”?

My character is a school teacher who teaches Physics and Chemistry. He used to be Mixed Martial Artist who would fight on the streets for money. Mixed Martial Arts is a very dangerous profession and due to issues monetary issues, my character faces he has no choice but to go back to the streets to flight in a professional tournament.

How was your experience working with Karan Johar?

Karan is mainly in the production side for this movie so I don’t really get to work with him much. But he really knows how to make big and brilliant movies; he knows how to do it right and I’m just here to make him happy 🙂

 

Mixed Martial Arts sounds dangerous!

Yes, Mixed Martial Arts is a dangerous practice that could result in injuries and loss of life. Even during filming we would end up with abdominal injuries and smacks on our face but overall it was important for the role to look realistic and conditioning for us actors to make the movie as real as possible.

Desipte being a professional martial artists, I underwent vigorous training for six months to be fit for the role. But besides all the fighting, there’s also a poignant love story at the heart of the film which we find out later is the main reason why my character goes on to become a street MMA fighter.

What all was involved in the training for the role?

The main part of the training was a 6 month intense and gruelling work-out followed by practicing different fighting styles like Judo, Karate, Kyudo, Aikido and other Mixed Martial Arts.

What was the most challenging part of your role?

The most challenging part was fighting like a professional MMA fighter, learning from the best and then trying to catch up with their fighting techniques! But I thoroughly enjoyed it as my teachers are from everywhere around the world – from Brazil, LA, Bangkok and Japan – they are true MMA fighters. It was an honour to learn fromt the best.

As part of our training programme I had to lose upto 16 Kg’s and Sidharth Malhotra had to gain 13 Kg’s in weight!

Whilst fighting was a major physical challenge, we also had to face a lot of mental challenge. A very high level of mental attention is required to remember your punches and every move.

Wow that must have been a challenge! Do you ever take a break?

Hah, its been 25 years and I haven’t had a break J Jokes a part my international filming schedulre becomes a break for me. Its the best thing if your work is your passion in life. It makes me feel like I’m always on break.

How was it working with Sidharth Malhotra?

Sidharth is a very talented young man; he is very professional when it comes to work. Although he had no experience with MMA he did really well. He also went through 8 months of training.

Sidharth has a great future ahead of him. In Brothers he plays the character of a “man” unlike his ealier movies, where he’s mostly played young characters.

We had a great time on set. He’s a Punjabi, I am Punjabi and even our director Karan Malhotra is Punjabi! We spoke in Punjabi all the time to the degree the film should have been called Prah (Brothers in Punjabi). Haha.

Do you have some MMA tips or warnings for your fans out there?

Mixed Martial Arts is wonderful to watch, it is very parctical but dangerous at the same time. You have to be very careful when doing something like that. Watch and enjoy MMA, and if some people are thinking about doing it, they must be very careful and think about enrolling in training first, they must make a thoughtful decision before actually doing it.

There are lots of talks going on about the movie everywhere, you must’ve done an amazing job. Infact I was researching about the movie right before this interview and I found out that the movie is a remake of the movie “Warrior” by Gavin ‘O Connor and Cliff Dorfman, I believe you will put forward an amzaing performance, maybe better than the original?

Well that’s news to me but very humbling to hear. We have tried our level best to give the best performance we can. I wouldn’t really compare the two movies to be honest as we probably can’t make it better than the original but we gave it all we could. Let’s see what the audience says.

The movie has a wonderful cast, we also have an “item-number” performance by Kareena Kapoor. Sidarth Malhotra and Jackie Shroff also play lead roles.. Is there a love story somewhere in the story line?

Absolutely, there is a love story in the movie. I mean the movie is about street fighting, but there’s a reason to why the fighting happens in the first place which emenates from love. You will get to know that there’s a love story between Jacqueline Fernandez and I, there’s also a family related love story between Jackie Shroff and Sidharth and also between Shefali and I. The fighting comes later on in the movie, the film’s main emphasis is on it’s relationships.

Akshay, what’s your favourite genre of movies? I mean you’ve done many different types of roles in different movies, which one is your favourite? Is it comedy, drama or action?

I like comedy when its mixed with action, its just so much fun to do comedy with a bit of action, its fun to watch and also so much fun to do.

So the movie is releasing on the 14th of August this year, which is just one day prior to the Indian independence day, does the movie have a hidden message of patriotism or any message relating independence of India?

No, no, there’s no patriotic messages, the movie is not related to the independence day and it does not end with me waving a flag J

How has it been working with so many Karan’s in the movie? The director is Karan Malhotra and Karan Johar is producing the movie? Is there more Karan’s you’ll work with in the future?

Ha, no that’s just a co-incidence, it was not planned to be like that.

What are your next projects?

My focus is on the release of Brothers. After that I have Singh is Blinng coming out on the 2nd October and then Airlift in January 2016. In Singh is Blinng i play a larger than life character, something I haven’t done in a couple of years since Rowdy Rathore. My films have been pretty serious with Gabbar, Baby, Special 24. I’m really excited about Airlift as it is a story about Saddam Hussein’s attack on Kuwait.

What is your hope for Brothers?

I hope it brings in the mullah and gets the box office ringing whilst also gaining critical acclaim.

Your final message to your fans please!

I would just like to tell my fans how much it means to me to make a movie that they like. I really hope all my fans like Brothers. I would also like to tell them that the movie took about one whole year to make, we literally put our blood, sweat and tears into the making. The climax of the movie took about 52 days to shoot, just to get it perfect for the audience. All the fans across the globe should watch this movie on the big screen, watch it with your family and loved ones, do not watch pirated versions of it, we poured out our sweat and blood into this movie.

 

***

Synopsis:

Gary Fernandes (Jackie Shroff), a former alcoholic and street-fighter, returns home after serving a prison sentence of 10 long years to find that the wounds of the past still haunt his family. His two sons, David (Akshay Kumar) and Monty (Siddharth Malhotra), who had parted ways as kids, are grown men now, but are still bitterly estranged. Gary himself carries the burden of his guilt. His elder son, David is an ex-fighter turned school teacher.  He and his wife Jenny work hard to make ends meet and to provide the best they can for their ailing daughter Poopoo.

 

Troubled financial circumstances drive a desperate David to return to the world of street fighting. While, Monty struggles with his lonely complex existence. An alcoholic, he is active in the world of street fighting, but lacks focus and determination. He strongly yearns for the acceptance, love and respect of his family. As the story unfolds, we see the journey of these three men, as they seek to find redemption and healing.

 

Meanwhile, the arrival of ‘Right to Fight’ is announced in India — the biggest international event in mixed martial arts history. Both brothers, at the crossroads of their lives, end up enlisting to fight in this ‘Winner-takes-all’ event. And it is here after an age of estrangement, unknown to the two siblings, they finally stand to face off with each other and against their personal demons, in the ultimate final battle.

 

It is said, that when a deep injury is done to us, we can never recover until we forgive. With twists and turns, pouring emotions and edge-of-the-seat action, will this final battle between the two brothers repair old wounds?

Brothers releases internationally on 14th August 2015 through Fox Star StudiosIndia.

Vidhu Vinod Chopra Interview- Broken Horses

Sometimes a man can be so talented that facing him for a short chat can be intimidating. Writer- Producer- Director Vidhu Vinod Chopra is one of those men. He’s been involved with ground breaking cinema for a few decades and today he sat down with us to talk about his English venture Broken Horses.

Our Review of Broken Horses can be found here.

Broken Horses cast features – Vincent D’Onofrio (The Judge, FULL METAL JACKET, MEN IN BLACK), Anton Yelchin (LIKE CRAZY, STAR TREK, ALPHA DOG) and Chris Marquette (ALPHA DOG, THE GIRL NEXT DOOR). The cast includes popular Spanish actress, Maria Valverde (Exodus), Thomas Jane, and Sean Patrick Flanery.

 

MV5BMTEyODkzODExMzReQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU4MDU0NjM2NzQx._V1_SY317_CR12,0,214,317_AL_

From the Press Release:

The legendary film-maker, who has always set a new benchmark for the Indian film fraternity and has made some of the most memorable movies that India has cherished like the Munnabhai series, 3 Idiots, Mission Kashmir, Parinda, among several others, has once again decided to reinvent the wheel. He has stepped out of his comfort zone and with Broken Horses he becomes the first Indian filmmaker to make a Hollywood Production – it is the first Hollywood film produced, directed and written by an Indian!

Set in the shadows of the US-Mexico border gang wars, Broken Horses is an epic thriller about the bonds of brotherhood, the laws of loyalty, and the futility of violence. The film has been co-written by Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Abhijat Joshi (PK, 3 Idiots, Lage Raho Munnabhai, Mission Kashmir) and it based on an original story by Vidhu Vinod Chopra.

Broken Horses is in currently playing in selected theaters.

 

Happy New Year / Slam Tour Report + New Charlie Promo

Farah Khan is suddenly a little tearful – “I’ve realised the journey is coming to an end“.

HNY1

Watching the star studded line up at the European press conference for the upcoming Happy New Year in a Central London hotel on a crisp Sunday morning, the camaraderie and strong bond between the cast was clearly evident. And if that is in the final product, then we really do have an amazing film to look forward to. Sonu Sood claimed it was “the biggest film ever made in India” and how it had been a “life changing experience working with Farah“. For Deepika Padukone, working with Shah Rukh in a lead role for the third time came very easily to her – not only did she know his processes but also revealed how she never questions anything that Shah Rukh tells her to do.

HMY3

Indeed, there was plenty of SRK mania evident at the conference and being in the same room with him, it was not hard to see why. Shy and unassuming, his poise and modesty came across with sincerity, gently encouraging to the Nepali journalist who had recently learnt Hindi when she asked a question and he seemed genuinely embarrassed when a French journalist offered him a book about him written in French as a gift. It was also touching to see how he made sure all his cast members got a chance to speak.

Things took quite an interesting turn when a press member suggested that the SLAM tour had allowed HNY to make all its money back before release and the rest was a money making exercise. The journalist also asked SRK what he had felt he had yet to achieve, cheekily adding on a request for SRK to reply in Hindi rather than English. SRK certainly gave a fitting reply in Hindi – explaining how a film could not guarantee it would do well at the box office and this was more a project of passion. As for his achievements, he said he wanted to give back to the audiences. It was interesting to see the superstar put on the spot and emerge with his dignity intact whilst shutting down the journalist.

Indeed, the SLAM tour has proved a blessing for HNY – as SRK explained: “We used the coincidence of the live concerts and film release as promo strategy” – certainly a savvy business idea which has been well received by the fans and by the rest of the cast too; apparently, we have not heard the last of the SLAM tour which may return once more in a different form in the future.

HNY2

All too soon, it was time to wrap up – it seemed the cast had more fun than anyone else, encouraging and teasing one another but with the feeling that the gathered audience were also in on the joke. How the film is received on release remains to be seen but it was Farah Khan who had the last word – explaining “HNY is a festival film – it is releasing on Diwali!” – let the festivities commence!

Happy New Year releases on 23rd October 2014

Here is a new poster and promo introducing the character of Charlie, played by SRK:


 

 

HNY_Poster Hindi

 

Bhushan Kumar is a film obsessed amateur fashionista who lives in London.

You can read more from him at www.bogeyno2.wordpress.com 

Or follow him on Twitter: @bogeyno2

 

Haider Press Conference

It might have been a rainy Tuesday morning after a bank holiday weekend but nothing was going to dampen spirits at the swanky London hotel where visionary director Vishal Bhardwaj and the dynamic Shahid Kapoor were in attendance to talk about their much anticipated next release Haider.

After showing those in attendance a sneak peek of the film (sorry, no spoilers here!), it was time to speak to Vishal and Shahid and find out what went into making one of Shakespeare’s most well-known and difficult plays into a Hindi film for a commercial audience.

Haider Press Conference

Excerpts below:

Why did you choose to adapt Hamlet for Hindi cinema?

Vishal Bhardwaj: Shakespeare has been my favourite because his dramas are so “juicy” – they have this conflict that is so universal that you can find those conflicts in any society because they are basic human conflicts.

So is Haider a faithful adaptation of Hamlet or a complete rewrite of the premise?

Vishal Bhardwaj: I always try to remain true to the spirit of the play rather than the text itself – that is what I also did in Omkara and I have also taken those liberties in Maqbool. In Haider, my ghost comes late, [whereas] in Hamlet, the play starts with the ghost so I have taken these kind of structural liberties but all those milestones which Hamlet is known for are there. But of course, it is a rewrite for me and I see it as completely my own work. It is very difficult to take Shakespeare’s burden off your head, especially when you are making a trilogy.

Shahid, the role of Haider is one of the most complex to play…Haider2

Shahid Kapoor: Especially when you are given contact lenses to wear and you are told you can only act with your eyes!

…so what were some of the challenges you faced in enacting this role?

Shahid Kapoor: One is usually used to doing movies which are largely single layered – it is very rare that you come across situations as an actor that are complex and I guess that’s where performance can actually come from. I just try to understand the character, his background, his mental state and just try and be honest with how that character would be feeling in that situation and I’ve pretty much played the whole role like that, I never tried to think of is this too many expressions, is this loud or is this not loud, I think those things are largely governed by the director.

This is your second film with Vishal – what is your working relationship like two films on?

Shahid Kapoor: I have a fantastic relationship with Vishal Sir – I think we had a really good relationship when we did Kaminey but now I think it has grown a lot, especially after this film, I felt very dependent on him, pretty much through the film, I would be very unconfident if I couldn’t see what his expression was after I had finished a shot, I felt the need for him and so, I depended a lot on him and if he seemed happy, I would feel like pretty much achieved what I needed to and we’re good.

 

It sounds like Vishal is quite the taskmaster!

Shahid Kapoor: He is very encouraging on set though and I’ve always felt that, a lot of people might feel because of the content that you view, that you must be feeling maybe he is really difficult, he pushes actors and does stuff but actually he provides you with a really good set of actors, really interesting new background and fresh content in terms of script, and all he does is encourage you on set. Actually, he has never been angry or upset with an actor – I’ve never seen him do that, which, you know, I guess is an amazing, amazing quality.

Haider3

Vishal, why did you choose to set the film in Kashmir?

Vishal Bhardwaj: I sincerely think that Bollywood has not been very sensitive towards Kashmir as [Kashmir] is the biggest human tragedy of modern Indian history. I had been reading about it a lot, I had been thinking about it a lot, that why have we not seen Kashmir from inside, why do we always have to go from outside. My eyes opened about what this region has gone through, this conflict and is still going through – that’s where I thought it would make the best backdrop for my film.

Haider completes a trilogy of Shakespeare’s tragedies that you have adapted for Hindi cinema (Omkara and Maqbool being the other two). What is next on the anvil?

Vishal Bhardwaj: Truly I want to make three comedies – a lot of serious stuff has happened for me so now I really want to get into comedies – there are so many. We [Shahid and Vishal] were talking about Comedy Of Errors

And Shahid, what will you take away from the experience of Haider?

Shahid Kapoor: What has lingered on is this feeling of why didn’t I do more films like this after Kaminey – that’s the one feeling I felt the most whilst shooting Haider. It was very enriching experience as an actor and when you do films like this, it reminds you of why you wanted to become an actor actually and then a lot of other things take over and I guess that holds true for any profession – we all get into something because at a certain age, there are certain things that attract you to a particular profession and then when you do it, there are rare opportunities where the things that you did it for are the things that you actually do it for. I really felt I should have done more films like this after Kaminey and I’m very clear that I want to do one such film every year for my journey as an actor.

Haider is set for a worldwide release on 2nd October 2014.

 

Bhushan Kumar is a film obsessed amateur fashionista who lives in London.

You can read more from him at www.bogeyno2.wordpress.com or follow him on Twitter: @bogeyno2

Bobby Jasoos Press Interview Ali Fazal

Ali Fazal has been grinding in Bollywood since quite a few years now. Most probably most people noticed him in 3 Idiiots as the engineer who committed suicide. But now he’s  looking forward to his biggest release yet paired opposite Vidya Balan in Bobby Jasoos.

He did some Q&A interaction with the press and here it is:

Q: What attracted you to ‘Bobby Jasoos’?

A:It’s a beautiful script. I thought it was a great concept and I loved the story. I was also trying to break the mould. Even though I’m just starting out I think it’s important to push myself and take up as many challenges that come my way. Bobby Jasoos offered me the opportunity to play a character that’s an integral part of the story. Also playing the lead role with Vidya and having Dia as a producer was also a major factor in my decision. I think signing this film has been one of my best decisions in my career so far.

 

Q:  How did you get into acting?

A:  When I was in boarding school I loved taking part in cultural activities like dance and theatre. But I did it for fun I never thought It could turn into something more. I was still a student when I got my first acting offer and having that experience made me realise if I worked hard I could actually turn my hobby into a career.

 

Q: Did you find the romantic element of the film challenging?

A:I was looking forward to playing a romantic role. Vidya is a fantastic actor and it was very comfortable and easy working with her. Even though she is a senior actress I wasn’t scared of romancing her, it was both fun and challenging. There was no awkwardness in the sense that she is a married woman, probably thanks to the workshops we did together before we started shooting. Hopefully our chemistry translates on screen.

 

Q: What’s unique about this film and why should we watch it?

A: The entire concept of this film is unique. I read many Indian detective stories and I can’t recollect  any story where the detective is a woman. I think it’s such an original angle. As well as being colourful and entertaining it has a really human story behind it. It’s a ‘hatke’ love story.

 

Q: What did you find most challenging about this role?

A: Sharing the screen with a powerhouse like Vidya Balan is challenging and very satisfying. My first worry was, can I do justice to it? But actually when you are presented with a challenge you know you have to give your best. It was great fun working with Vidya, we felt really comfortable on set. In terms of specific challenges we worked quite hard to get the Hyderabadi dialect and body language right, but we did some intense workshops which helped a lot.

 

Q: The songs are an important element of the film. How did you enjoy shooting these scenes?

A:It was an amazing experience. All of the songs are beautiful. They’ve got a classic touch that takes you back to the Bollywood of the 80’s.The film is packed with great numbers. They are a key element of the film’s romance.

 

Q: What can we expect from the film?

A: A powerful story and a colourful and entertaining film, full of music, jasoosi and excitement.

Bobby Jasoos releases on 4th July 2014 by Reliance Entertainment.

Pritam Comes to Wembley (London) and brings a bunch of friends

Pritam has become an unstoppable force on the Bollywood music scene in the past few years. His steady flow of chart toppers and the frequency and ease he drops them on people is something that is pretty much incomparable to any other music director.

So this sunday he’s coming to London for the very first time for an all out concert and joining him are:

Benny Dayal – Badtameez Dil from Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani and Lat Lag Gayi from Race
Harshdeep Kaur – Kabeera from Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani
Aditi Singh Sharma – Raabta Night In A Motel from Agent Vinod
Nikhil George – Aashiyan from Barfi!
Shreeram Chandra – Subhan Allah from Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani
Anupam Amod – Rab Ka Shukrana from Jannat 2
Soham Chakrabarty – In Dino from Life in a… Metro

Here is a short Q&A he did about his Wembley concert this sunday:

– How do you feel about performing in London for the first time  

I have always wanted to play in London. I genuinely love the city. Given the large Bollywood music lovers there, I am eager to play in front of them and am looking forward to the show. To top that, it’s a dream venue like Wembley Arena. It’s a great feeling. Excited.

– Have you been following any artist who had performed at Wembley Arena in the past (Any International Artists)

Yes, Wembley Arena is a historical venue for music. I remember the epic Queen show at the Wembley arena and Wembley stadium. Also, I have followed bands like U2, Meatloaf, Corrs, Pink etc, performing at Wembley Arena .

– What is it like for you to be performing at the same stage?

I feel honoured obviously. It is one those arenas and venues you dream of playing in, as an aspiring young musician. The legacy and history makes it really exciting for me to perform there.

– Your music has gained a lot of prominence in the last 5-6 years; what sort of Bollywood gigs would you be performing at the Wembley arena stage

I have completed a decade in Bollywood scored for 100 films with films like Dhoom 1, 2 3, Gangster, Metro, Jab we met, love Aaj Kal, Bhoolbhulaiya, Race, billu barber Once Upon, Barfi, cocktail, Yeh jawaani etc . By God’s grace I have more than enough number of songs to keep everybody entertained (smiles). I am planning to perform songs which has been appreciated by my audience over the  last few years. So ya, from the romantic ones to the peppy ones. From Sufi to Dance. From guitars to Dhol. Trying  to incorporate a little bit of everything. I will be doing a combination of the chartbusters and popular songs mixed with some of my favourites. For the final list however, you will have to wait till 13th evening (smiles).

– Which other singers you are bringing with you and what key songs will they be performing, if you want to reveal the surprise

A few popular Bollywood playback singers are accompanying me . They will be featuring with me on 13th April. Benny Dayal for example, is the most sought after singer nowadays . He has rocked last year with his rendition of my song Badtameez dil and lath lag Gayi. He will sing lot more. Harshdeep Kaur needs no introduction to UK audiences, as she has performed there before. The magic of her deep voice will keep the stadium ringing. She is my favourite Sufi voice – no wonder everybody calls her Sufi ka Sultana. She will sing songs like Kabeera, Jugni etc. Aditi Singh Sharma is a rockstar. She’s a performer to look forward to . She will definitely create “Dhoom” with her performance. Then there’s my friend Nikhil Paul George joining us who sang Aashiyan main kya karoon in Barfi. He has a addictive voice. Shreeram Chandra actor singer winner of idol has a magical voice. He sang songs in Yeh jawaani for me. Soham Chakraborty has been a part of my band Metro since the Life in a metro days. And about the full performance, let that be a surprise!

– Finally, how you feel getting associated with World’ s biggest south Asian TV channel, Zee TV

I have been associated with Zee from a long time. From Sa Re Ga Ma to Zee Cine Awards. And experiences have always been overwhelming. I am happy to be associated with Zee again. Looking forward to something equally exciting.

Here’s a link to tickets: click here

Let us know your favorite Pritam songs in the comment section below!

@asimburney

 

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Kareena Kapoor & Imran Khan Gori Tere Pyaar Mein Upodcast Video Interview

Kareena Kapoor and Imran Khan were in London promoting their forthcoming rom-com Gori Tere Pyaar Mein and we had the chance to speak to them face to pretty face (you can decide who has the pretty face for once).

Both stars were on a marathon promo tour and were dead shattered at the point we got to meet them, but Bebo put her hair up and Imran was still being very chatty.

Here’s our Video Interview with Kareena and Imran:

Since unlike most of our interview this is on video, we thought we would write up our thought in the post.

So here goes: “5 Things we learnt while speaking to Kareena Kapoor and Imran Khan”

Meeting Kareena Kapoor after a couple of years, her magic has only amplified, even if she consider herself to be “BLAAH, WHATEVER”

Imran told me this really interesting story about how the weirdest thing for him is to see when they have mirrored the image in some shots. Apparently one of the final scenes in Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu was shot back in India whilst most of the movie was shot in Las Vegas, so they had to do everything in a mirror image and then edit it into the movie, it was one of his oddest filmic experiences.

Imran Khan was the first guy in all our interviews to step into the press room and come say hi to everyone and ask how were were doing and what we thought of the new promo of Naina.

Imran and Kareena genuinely get along, there is much more ease on screen and off now then there ever was during Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu.

Check out Kareena’s face at 2.54 when I tell her Twitter is a scary place. PRICELESS!

Do Share and Like the video if you can, hopefully if the format is liked, we can do more of these.

BIG BIG BIG thanks to our awesome Twitter Friend @JessicaSisk for all the help on the video editing, we were lost without her! Give her a shout on twitter if you liked the video

Gori Tere Pyaar Mein releases in the Uk on 22nd of November

@asimburney

 

 

 

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Sonakshi Sinha and Jimmy Shergill Media Interview

Here is a media interview done with Sonakshi Sinha and Jimmy Shergill, Jimmy (and Vidyut Jammwal) being the main reason I would want to watch this movie, its a shame that “the media” didnt bother to find any decent questions for him.

If you haven’s seen it yet, here is a trailer for Bullet Raja:

Enjoy!

 

Sonakshi Sinha Q&A:
 Q: This is your first time working with Saif Ali Khan, were you excited for this opportunity?
A: I think we make a very fresh pairing, I have wanted to work with Saif for a while now and was very excited to get the chance in Bullett Raja. Saif is a great actor and is so committed to his roles, I am very happy with how we look together on screen and I would love the opportunity to work with him again.
Q: Your role in the film is of a struggling Bengali actress, what did you think of your characters look in the film?
A: This is the second time I am playing a Bengali girl. But my character in Lootera was drastically different; I was playing a girl from the ’50s, who is a Zamindar’s daughter. In Bullett Raja, I am playing a contemporary Bengali girl. I loved my look for this role; it has a very traditional feel and there was a certain grace to it. Once I was in the costume, everyone was shocked to see how Bengali I looked. I wish the sequence we shot in that costume was a little longer, because I did not want to get out of it.
Q: After having so much success so early in your career with your films, do you feel under pressure with every new release?
A: There’s no pressure actually. I really like what I do and if I think of it as pressure it would really bog me down. I feel I’m in the right place at the right time because there are a lot of films right now where, for me as an actor, there’s something I can give to them. So I truly believe I’m in the right place at the right time.
Q: Do you feel overshadowed by your co-stars? Does less visibility bother you?
A: Never. I do my work to the best of my capacity. I don’t pick a role looking at its length. I take up a film because I would like to see it. People notice me, appreciate my work and dancing skills, so where’s the question of being overshadowed? No one has any complaints.

Q: How would you describe this phase of your life?
A: I’ve come in at the right time and I’m getting films with great roles. It’s fabulous.

Q: No one has ever heard of any stories of you fighting over a role or anything of that sort. Does that mean you’re serious competition here?
A: I’ve never had to fight for a role. Call it my ego or my self-respect, but I won’t pick up the phone and call a producer and fight or ask for a role. That’s not me. I’ve always got the best and my work speaks for itself.

Q: But you’re always the Indian girl. Don’t you want to break that image?
A: People see me like that. I may play an Indian girl, but each role is different. If I’m offered a film where I need to play an urban character, I will. But these roles work for me. I’m not stuck in a rut and neither do I feel the need to break the norm. When a female star plays western roles only, no one asks her these questions. At 25, I can proudly say that I’m successful.

Jimmy Shergill Q&A
 Q: What’s the relationship between you and Saif in Bullett Raja?
A: In this film we are best friends and we go out and do what gangster buddies do… casually shoot people.
 Q: What do you think about Saif off camera?
A: Saif and I were shooting together every single day and it was great as we got time to bond. Saif has a great sense of humour and he makes you laugh. I had a memorable time and I look forward to our second schedule which begins in January. I respect Saif as a friend and fellow actor. He’s a great guy and he’s one of the most genuine persons in the film industry.

Bullett Raja will be released in cinemas from 29th November 2013.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Krrish 3 Press Conference London Upodcast

The Stars of Krrish 3, Hritik Roshan and Priyanka Chopra,  were in town promoting their upcoming superhero movie and Upodcast had the chance to attend the Press Conf.

There was also an Event at the Apple Store which is a first for a Bollywood Movie so it seems promotions are going full force!

During the short interaction with the UK media Hritik mostly spoke about the usual topics: his fitness, how it felt to play 3 different version and surprisingly he mentions that Vivek Oberoi wasn’t the first choice for the villain Kaal.

The conference was attended by our good friend Sujoy, who you can find on twitter as @9e3K or on his wonderful blogs BollyPop and OneKnightStands.

If you haven’t seen it yet. here is the trailer:

And you can listen/subscribe or stream the podcast in the link below:

Enhanced by Zemanta

Krrish 3 Hritik Roshan Media Interview

By now most people have heard of this little underground movie called Krrish 3, although none of us have figured out how to write the title without googling it or why it isn’t just simply called Krrish 2. The marketing of the movie has been horrendous until now. The hairstyles, the music or even casting Vivek Oberoi as the main character, as such dumb moves that they must really be confident in the ability of father- son, aka director- actor, Rakesh and Hritik Roshan to sell us a desi superhero.

Krrish 2 never aged well with it’s Matrix hangover and none of the new trailers have excited anyone really. Maybe the kids that liked the first one are already old enough to call bullshit on this stake looking sequel.

 


In any case the cast are doing the UK media circuit round and we’re hoping to ask them some questions. Let’s see if that works out. Until then here is a generic media interview with main actor Hritik Roshan.


1.  You are undoubtedly one of the biggest stars in Bollywood obviously doesn’t come easy, where does your determination and passion stem from?
My family has been my biggest inspiration – they are my true role models and they continue to be. My parents through to my grandparents have seen and experienced all shades of life, the good, the bad, and always faced any situation God presented to them fearlessly together. We share a unified bond which I also instill in my own little family with my wife children.

2.  2013 sees the third instalment of Krrish, a franchise that you are renowned for, what can the audience expect?
I think the audiences are going to be in for a treat with Krrish – if you loved the first two films, you will adore this edition. Krrish is our home production and it was like coming home. I did miss Krrish’s character.

3.   What are your thoughts on Superhero movies created in Bollywood?
The Indian cinema industry is among the best in the world and has created movies of par excellence for years. Being our home production, Krrish 3 will master the superhero genre in Indian cinema and internationally. That is the vision with Krrish 3, to present a superhero entity that will appeal to all audiences globally, in the same zest and fervor that they appreciate other superhero films like Superman and Batman. I am very sure that regardless of the language Krrish 3 is shot in, the performance, narrative and overall content will help extend the film’s appreciate to audiences over and beyond the Indian market and global South Asian Diaspora. We have already seen this happening with the phenomenal appreciation we received for the film’s trailer which set a benchmark, garnering more views than that of Hollywood film trailers like Thor and Avengers. We are very excited to see the audiences’ response.

4.   People like Hrithik as a dancer, the dance seems to be missing in his movies these days, is it intentional?
Not at all! However clichéd this sounds, I guess the scripts I’ve currently been working on just haven’t demanded any breakthrough dance sequences. But never say never though! Krrish 3 does feature some notable iconic moves which will become synonymous of Krrish 3.

5.   Filmmakers from Bollywood have tried to make superhero movies before and they haven’t been as successful, what are you doing that is so different?
I feel the Krrish franchise has worked as we have listened to the audience, not just in India but globally. We always aim to deliver a film to them that we hope will appeal to their tastes and aspirations. I never like to operate with an insular mind-set. To produce a superhero film, one key factor to remember is that the focus should be on creating a connectivity between the narrative, the characters and the audience as the story of the superhero him the person. There is a hero in everyone. The focus should not be to make a superhero film that boasts style through special fx and never before seen technology but no substance. A balance needs to be met.

Also Krrish is really not about me. To make a film like this you need a team. An actor is nothing, he is a tool, he is the paint, but you need the painter to make it work. Our team is so strong on Krrish 3 and this is the key to our success. You cannot simply rely on the fame and popularity of an actor to make a film such as this.

6.  With the huge amount of excitement generated from the trailer for Krrish 3 expectations are very high, how do you deal with that?
I am very ecstatic and truly humbled by the views the trailer has generated. For me I am glad that the expectations are high as when audience have high expectations it only pushes you to stretch yourself to do more for them. I enjoy a challenge and I think that Krrish 3 presented us with a lot of difficulties, but you only get out what you put into a film and I am very happy with the finished product.

7. Krrish 3 will be the third time that you have played the superhero, do you feel that you have many similarities to Krrish in real life?
A superhero is about values, not about the costume or the powers. A superhero is someone who never gives up and is in service to others. I think I have the right attitude to be a superhero, to try and come through for those that depend on me.

8.  Some of the special effects that we saw in the trailer are truly breath-taking, how much time was devoted to making these sequences?
My father wanted to do all of the special effects in India, it is common in Indian cinema to outsource the special effects for a film to other countries, but my father and I believe that we have the talent in India and that we just need to give them the support and time they need to make a polished and believable finished product. The sequences that you have seen in the trailer are the result of this and I think they look fantastic.

 

9.  We hear that Krrish 3 has several market firsts. Please elaborate.
Yes! We have initiated key brand extensions for Krrish 3 which is really going to help create a greater connect with audiences. From animation, merchandise, digital and comics, we have a full breadth of products to deliver to audiences. We launched Kid Krrish recently, a series of 4 animated features being aired on Cartoon Network. Kid Krrish is the story of Krrish in his childhood who sets out on an adventure with his set of friends. Kid Krrish along with adventure and action also imparts life lessons of friendship and loyalty. It is the first Indian film / character to be adapted in an animated form. It is also the largest television deal in the animation space. On the merchandise front, we have Krrish live Action which will have unique merchandise ranging from Krrish Masks, wrist bands to first of its kind Consumer Electronics like Walkie Talkies, Music accessories and RC toys (Flying Krrish). The way we have structured the deal is market first in India and will be a more sustainable merchandising programme with a more longer term mind-set. We also have an extensive digital activation plan which will help our fan base be closer to the film and Krrish himself, more than ever before. I am also extremely excited about our forthcoming comic book series, Krrish: Menace of the Monkey Men, which will be released as a comic book magazine available in stores later this year.
10.  We hear that Krrish 3’s filming schedule was pretty testing. Could you elaborate please?
Krrish 3, is one the most difficult films of my career. I play various characters. If I wanted victory again, I’ll have to go through the battle again. The finest steel must go through the hottest fire was my modular during the shoot. It Was Difficult Playing Many Roles In Krrish 3. The script has been such that it challenged each and every character and department from the production to the creative.

11.  What else would you do if you weren’t a Bollywood actor?
I cannot imagine doing anything else than being a profession that allows me to develop and expand my creativity. I know it sounds clichéd but I love what I do and I do what I love! It really is in my DNA and whatever my parents, grandparents, uncles achieved in this industry is an intrinsic part of my make-up. I have had the opportunity to live multiple lives in one lifetime and through the power of cinema did my small bit to touch a chord with the world and form an indescribable bond.

12.  Being the superstar that you are, how difficult is it finding the right balance between your personal life and filming?
It can be extremely difficult being away from family when I’m at work, but I do try and see my family as much as I can as they mean a lot to me. I guess it’s crucial to prioritize time accordingly. It doesn’t matter how much time you spend with your family, it’s never really enough. But coming from a family where filmmaking runs through our veins, we do understand the pressures associated with work thus the understanding between us as family and for our work always helps us to strike that important balance.

13.  Your body is obviously very important to you, as millions of women have probably noticed. Do you have any tips for our readers trying to fight off the Christmas weight?
I work out a lot and have a strict diet and exercise regime that I follow religiously. Being fit isn’t just about being physically strong but also mentally. My fitness workout is a major release for me, in a way it’s my way of chilling out!

14. You have millions of fans the world over, whom are you the biggest fan of and why?
It’s going to be difficult to pinpoint a particular place. All the fans around the world have been so supportive and loving; I just can’t thank all my fans for the ongoing support.

15.  Being at the top of the industry, how do you keep yourself so friendly and approachable?
I have always believed in being a good human first and foremost. My parents have brought me up with great morals and values; life is too short to create negative surroundings and feelings. Like they say ‘treat others how you’d like to be treated’. Furthermore, the persona I have has only been created by my adoring fans – I am here in this industry and now presenting Krrish 3 only because of them.

16.  What else can audiences look forward to seeing from you?
2013 was a busy year with Krrish 3 and the filming of Bang Bang with Katrina. 2014 is another year packed with lots of exciting projects including some other ventures outside of the film industry.
‘Krrish 3’ releases on 1st November 2013.

@asimburney

Enhanced by Zemanta

Akshay Kumar Boss Media Interview

There is always a slight reluctance on my part to post these PR- Media interviews with actors. On the one hand it keeps feeding the PR bullshit machinery which none of us really want, but having done enough interviews I also realize that most of the actors are so coached anyway that it’s hard to get any honest moments from them anyway.

So here is a media interview done with Khiladi Akshay Kumar for his forthcoming Boss, which I am honestly looking forward to.

(also I am loving the Party All Night Track)

     Q: How would you define your character in BOSS? And what made you sign this movie?

           A: ‘BOSS’ is a very colourful Haryanvi character and that’s exactly what appealed to me.

He is a larger-than-life figure from Haryana with his own distinct style and attitude.

That forms the Masti [fun] part in the film. But there are some things he will neither

forgive nor forget, highlighted in reference to a particular situation involving the most

dearest people in his life. You don’t mess with BOSS and that message is very clear.

When Ashwin (Varde) and Tony (D’Souza) came to me with the film’s concept, I loved

it. BOSS is about fun, high octane action sequences and stunts and a good sprinkling

of romance (not for me though!).

 

       Q: How is BOSS different from other action movies?

A: It’s different in many ways. The main reason is that we are offering the audience a different type of action movie that has a unique panache and style. Every action sequence is designed differently. BOSS is an intense film with a strong action backdrop, needed to drive a powerful story forward.

      Q: You shot some major parts for BOSS in Delhi and Bangkok. How was it returning to these places that played such an important role in your life’s journey?

A: I grew up in Delhi and worked as a chef and learnt Martial Arts in Bangkok, so both places mean a lot to me. It was emotional returning to Chandni Chowk in Delhi especially though as we were barely 200 meters away from my old house. Due to the excitement around the film I was unable to go and visit my old house during the day, but managed to drive past in the early morning recollecting my happy childhood memories.

When I was shooting in Thailand, where I studied Martial Arts on the streets of Bangkok, I was also accompanied by my family. I took my son (Aarav) and niece to the kitchen I used to work, eat, sleep and train at in Bangkok when I was 17. Just seeing the small room where I used to rest my head after a tiring day of street fighting for extra money brought back so many memories. I had to fight back the tears in front of my son when I stood in the doorway of the kitchen I once worked so hard in, wondering how different my life is now. One day I was frying noodles, the next I was frying my brains over learning lines for my first film. Never say it isn’t possible. I’m proof that there is nothing more powerful than fate itself, even when the world thinks you’re just a plain boy wiping tables and cleaning dishes.

      Q: It took a little while before the industry and the audiences started taking you seriously as a star. How would you describe your journey?

A: My journey has been both difficult and fantastic at the same time but I guess that’s part of life. It may have taken time for people to accept that I was more than just a struggling actor. I was also very determined to succeed and you can never achieve success without working towards it and adopting a diligent, positive and honest approach to this. I was Akshay Kumar, born with nothing but good parents and God’s hand on my shoulder!

      Q: You worked with Ronit Roy way back in Sainik. How was your experience and how far has he changed now in BOSS? 

A: When Ronit and I worked in Sainik, we were both very young. There was a lot of affection and respect for each other even then. Working with him again in BOSS after so many years was a wonderful experience. He is a fantastic actor and BOSS will showcase him in a different way. He has worked very hard on his role in BOSS and the audience will be nicely surprised by his performance.

      Q: You are perhaps the first actor to ever play a Haryanvi character. What are your thoughts on this, was it a fun role to play?

A: Every character comes with its own identity. I was excited about playing a Haryanvi character in BOSS because that’s something I haven’t done before. And I always like to re-invent myself and present to fans a side of my persona they may not have experienced before. The character fitted so well with the story. It was a great experience.

      Q: How was the experience of doing action scenes at 47° Celsius? Is BOSS your best action film according to you?

A: I would say it was my toughest shooting experience when we shot in 47 degrees. But full marks to the entire unit for bearing it and giving the best results. I would like to believe that in every film, I try to give my best shot. As far as action is concerned, I like to set new records every time. BOSS features a variety of high octane action sequences – the best part is that some of the scenes were very new to me and I haven’t performed these in any other films before.

Q: Which is your favourite song from BOSS?

A: Please don’t ask me to pick out just one favourite track because I simply love them all. I genuinely believe that the BOSS soundtrack is a complete package. Each song has been shot in a unique way. But yes, the Pitaah song is somehow closer to my heart because it’s about a father-son relationship. Har Kisi Ko’ is another classic treat for everyone who grew up in the eighties.

BOSS, releases on 16th October 2013.

 @asimburney

Enhanced by Zemanta

Besharam Media Interview and New Song Promo

We’ve been having a hard time understanding what Besharam is all about. From the throwback promo to having Abhijeet sing Dil Ka Jo Haal Hail, it seems the team has been stuck in some sort of time warp where the 90’s never ended.

 

Here is the new Song Promo:

The entire Cast inluding Ranbir Kapoor and new comer Pallavi Shadra as well as Mom and Pop Kapoor and direct Abhinav Kashyap did a Media Q&A in India, and here is hoping to shed some light on what this movie is all about. Be warned though the interview is so generic that your eyeballs might fall asleep whilst reading it.

Ranbir Kapoor Q&A

What prompted you to sign Besharam?
It was several things that made me sign for Besharam. I am a big fan of director Abhinav Kashyap’s work. Abhinav knows how to tell a simple yet very interesting story. This film has it all; it has romance, action and comedy. It tells a simple yet effective story. I was also drawn to my character. It is a very different type of character to play and it allowed me to express myself in a new and creative way.

Were there any particularly special moments whilst making the film?
The entire film was a blast to work on. My character ‘Babli’ has very few hang-ups and inhibitions, he more or less does as he wants and so this was fun to portray. Also, I had fun working with my co-stars and my parents.

What was it like working with your parents for the first time?
It was fantastic working with my parents. I am a great admirer of my father and I’m in awe of my mother. They are both such professionals and great actors. They never once dictated to me during the shooting of this film, in fact I gave them suggestions on how I thought their characters should be portrayed. We had a lot of fun working together and it helped me to overcome a lot of inhibitions.

Do you feel pressure to have the same success as your famous parents?
Overall, I don’t feel that it has been a hindrance to come from a famous family. I have been exposed to cinema from a very young age and I absolutely love watching my family’s films. I wouldn’t say I have pressure on me to succeed, but it has been a bit of a struggle at times because of who my parents are. There is a ‘celebrity kid’ label attached to me that I have had to overcome to prove myself as an actor and as an individual.

Tell us about your character in Besharam?
I play a character called ‘Babli’, who is an orphan and petty car thief. He is a guy with no inhibitions; he lives life by his own rules. Babli is a very flamboyant and loud character, but underneath it all he is a good hearted kid. His main priority is to get money to help the children in the orphanage. It was an amazing experience to play this type of role, as I could take the character to new depths and have fun with it too.

Did the film allow you to let loose and have some ‘Besharam’ moments?
Of course! There are certain things that I could get away with that I wouldn’t normally be able to. My character is really shameless and so he does some pretty weird and gross things. One example that comes to mind is that in the film my character is obsessed with playing with his chest hair all the time, this isn’t something that I’d normally do in real life!

The film has a powerful message about doing good for others. Do you support many charitable causes?
I strongly believe that charity comes from within you. You can be charitable wherever you travel to; charity comes from the heart and soul; it is found in the little things we do every day to help someone and make their life a little better. I do support some charities, but I still feel that there is much more I can do and so I intend to support more charities in the future.

In Besharam your character loves football. Are you a football fan?
I’m a big football fan! I have always loved football from childhood and used to play when I was in college. I am the Indian brand ambassador for Barcelona Football Club and I’ve been lucky enough to see them at different stadiums. In the film I insisted on my character playing football whenever possible! If I wasn’t an actor I would have been a football coach I think.

Bollywood recently celebrated its 100 year anniversary. How do you think the industry has developed?
I think it is a very proud moment for the Indian film industry to celebrate such a milestone. I feel honoured to be a part of the Indian film industry. My family has been in the industry for 80 out of the 100 years and this is a wonderful achievement. I think Bollywood is now attracting global audiences in a more engaging way. There is a healthy blend between the typical ‘Masala’ film and mainstream elements. An example I would give is the film Barfi, which was India’s official entry in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the Oscars.

Is there a set format for a successful Bollywood film?
There is no set format. People just want good entertainment. A Bollywood film entertains you; it is three hours of music, drama, romance, action and comedy.

Who are your role models within the Indian Film Industry?
There are so many people I admire. I look up to Amitabh Bachchan. I also think Shah Rukh Khan is a good ambassador for the industry.

Do you see yourself making the transition to mainstream/Hollywood cinema?
At the moment I am very happy doing what I’m doing. I think the Indian film industry is booming and is a great thing to be a part of. I truly enjoy my work and the roles I’ve played so far. A good film is often one that takes elements from its own culture and tradition rather than trying to just incorporate a mainstream/Western format. For example in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Ang Lee took inspiration from his own culture and created a fantastic film.

***********

        Rishi Kapoor Q&A

Did you enjoy acting together as a family?
Yes very much so. We are all very busy people and do not always get time to spend together due to our separate professional schedules, so it was great to be able to spend time together on set and to work together.

How did you end up being cast for your role?
It was actually Ranbir who suggested to Abhinav that I play the role. After confirming his own commitment to the film Ranbir was discussing who could play a middle aged cop with Abhinav and he suggested me as I have rarely done it before.

The film’s trailer has received excellent comments, why do you think this is?
The trailer really captures the spirit of the film and manages to tease audiences with short clips showing the diversity of the action and comedy.

How much influence do you have over Ranbir’s choice of films?
He is an actor who has taken a less travelled route. He is choosing different films and doing films that are not the staple diet of film heroes. For that I give him credit. The choice of his films are totally his, all creative decisions are his, I have no contribution to that at all. People feel I chose his films, but it’s not so. I am just his father, not his manager.
***********

 

   Neetu Singh Q&A

How did it feel to act with your husband and son in a movie?
I was overwhelmed when I heard we were going as a family to act in Besharam. My acting scenes came naturally from the start, as it was easy to act and be myself in front of them.

Can you tell us some details about the film’s narrative?
Of course. Babli (Ranbir Kapoor) is a street smart car mechanic living in a Delhi orphanage. He is charming and lives life to the fullest. He also steals cars to support his orphanage. He has no sense of right or wrong until he unwittingly hurts the love of his life, Tara (Pallavi Sharda). Babli realises that there is no right way of doing the wrong thing. Babli sets out to fix all the wrongs in his life and he continues to be shameless about it.

Your son, Ranbir Kapoor plays a very different role to his previous films, why do you think he was interested in playing Babli in Besharam?
I think Ranbir has done a fantastic job in his previous films and has managed to win many awards for his portrayal of a traditional Bollywood hero. However, I think he was keen to stretch himself as an actor, to explore new territory and to challenge himself rather than become too comfortable. His role as Babli is a very diverse role and requires a portrayal of many different emotions on screen, I think this appealed to Ranbir as he is always keen to try something new.

Is there a scene in the film that is particularly close to your heart?
I think the performance of the title track was a lot of fun for the cast and crew and is definitely a highlight for me. Ranbir suggested that we include the director and choreographer in the sequence, and even choreographed the sequence himself. It was a lot of fun to see Abhinav Kashyap get involved in the film in front of camera for a change. I think everyone got the chance to be a little Besharam that day.

What role do you play in Besharam?
Myself and Rishi play bumbling cops on the trail of Babli, trying to deal with his shameless acts.

**************

Abhinav Kashyap Q&A

Talking about the film’s songs, why did you pick Ranbir Kapoor to take the lead in singing?
When the concept was formulated, there were no second thoughts about Ranbir singing this song as it is almost in verse form and no other sound would have worked.

What are your Box Office predictions?
Of course I do hope the film enters the new ‘Crore club’…but this isn’t my sole motivation.

As a director could you have changed a few things in Besharam’s production?
No, this film turned out exactly as I would have wanted it too. I’ve written over 14 drafts of scripts before finalising the last piece and undergoing production

If you don’t mind me asking, why so many drafts?
I’ve worked exceptionally hard on this film. But it isn’t like I had a hardbound script. I wrote 14 drafts because every time I gave the script to a friend, to my star cast, or even to my brother Anurag, they all made suggestions towards it. All of them asked questions. I incorporated all those changes in my final draft. I believe that if a script has to deliver then it has to answer the various questions that people who hear the script ask. A good script has to flow smoothly. And since I have followed that philosophy, I’m confident that Besharam will deliver.

Is it true you will feature in your own movie?
Yes, but only as a cameo appearance, as it was Ranbir’s idea to have both me and choreographer Remo D’souza to groove on the title track with him. Not only did the young actor suggest this idea to me, he also choreographed the dance routine. We had an amazing time shooting for the song. Ranbir told me he thought that featuring me and Remo would just enhance the fun quotient of the song. And I totally agreed with him.

*********************

Pallavi Sharda Q&A

Before the TV industry, what were you doing?
I was a famous Indian dance instructor in Australia then I changed paths when I came to India.

What was your experience of working with director Abhinav Kashyap?
It was great working with Abhinav; he’s put his foot down to choose me for this role and so I wanted to do my best to impress him while we were on set.

What was the hardest element to shoot for this film?
The hardest element during the shoot of the film for me was the dancing parts of the film, as we did so many takes until Abhinav was happy with what we had. Also, I had to really get in close contact with Ranbir during our dance scene and it was really hard to keep those same emotions throughout that many takes.

Why should audiences see this film?
Audiences will want to see Ranbir’s new side, as an on-screen Besharam!

—-

zzzzzzzzz zzzzzzz

God that was boring…The Besharam team is coming to the UK to promote the movie so we hope to be able to ask some sensible questions. I wonder if the jounalists asking these questions have any sense of sharam….

Besharam releases in theaters  worldwide on 2nd October 2013.

@asimburney

Enhanced by Zemanta

Chennai Express Upodcast Interviews

We’ve kept you waiting but finally our Chennai Express Upodcast Episode is finally ready! Shahrukh Khan, Deepika Padukone and Siddarth Roy were in town promoting their biggest Eid release which has also become the biggest box office earner in the history of Hindi Cinema.

How long it will be able to hold that position is another story with Dhoom 3 and Krish 3 (I refuse to learn how to write the title of this movie) releasing soon.

So being in the unique position of attending the Press Conference, the journalist round table as well as doing a 1-2-1 interview, we had so much content for our listeners, it took us a while to find the right format since none of us are genius editors as the listeners of our shows know too well.

If you want the Video interview head over to HeyUGuys by clicking here.

For all the other, Listen/Download/Share our chat with SRK and Deepika as well as our “5 things we learnt” by clicking below:

@asimburney

Enhanced by Zemanta

Girish Kumar Talks to Upodcast About Ramaiya Vastavaiya

Is he a star in the making or just another producer’s son getting a huge launch? Girish Kumar talks to Upodcast with the release of Ramaiya Vastavaiya which is in theaters today!

Truth be told we give him quite a few tough questions to answer and he keeps his charm and smile which wins him points in our books. So I hope you enjoy our podcast interview you can find below.

The movie is out in theaters and if you haven’t yet seen Girish in action here he is shaking his money maker.

 @asimburney

Enhanced by Zemanta

Ranbir Kapoor Upodcast Interview for Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewaani

Tied in with the release of Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani in theaters everywhere, we bring you a very special interview with did with the one and only Ranbir Kapoor right here in London during his press tour.

As usual we have our set of quirky questions to ask our guests and I am pretty sure you will enjoy our chat.

For the first time as an intro we are also lifting the veil on what goes on behind the scenes of these press tours and give you “5 things I learnt when meeting Ranbir Kapoor” where I drop the guise of any journalistic integrity you might have thought i had.

If you like this segment do drop us a line in the comment section or on twitter and we will definitely do more of these.

 

"Happiness is real, only when it's shared"-Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani

For the meantime enjoy our interview by downloading, streaming or subscribing in iTunes.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Are You Indian? Author Sanjit Singh aka Bad Swami talks to Upodcast

Sometimes you come across a book that comes so close to your personal experiences growing up that it feels like the author has been following you your entire life in a Truman show kinda way. But rarely is there a book that combines that personal journey for Asians with such humor and insight.

Sanjit Singh, who a lot of people might know his from his twitter alias Bad Swami or comedy website, has just written “Are You Indian? A Humorous Guide to Growing Up Indian in America” and he was our guest on this episode of Upodcast chatting to us about growing up as an Asian kid in America and how it differs from growing up in Europe, how he came about writing his book and a host of other topics in this hilarious yet soul searching chat.

 

You can head over on to amazon or his website to see some of the amazing reviews he has been getting, and his book is definitely a strong recommend by the Upodcast team.

 

Listen/download/ subscribe to our chat below!

@asimburney

Enhanced by Zemanta

Amir Khan And Rani Mukherji Interviews for Talaash

Tomorrow sees the release one of the most awaited movies of the year Talaash, starring Amir Khan, Rani Mukherji, Kareena Kapoor and Nawazuddin Sidiqqui.

We have been covering the movie extensively with promo songs, trailer, an exclusive interview with director Reema Kagti (click here) But we have truly saved the best for last and that is 2 interviews with massive stars squeezed into a single podcast.

Your ear buds might just explode with awesomeness as we chat with Amir Khan and Rani Mukherji about Talaash.

 

We have been massive fans of both these actors for decades and the chance to speak with both of them was quite daunting but it happened and we can now share it with all our lovely listeners.

 

Do share your thoughts with us in the comment section and drop us an email, tweet or a rating on iTunes.

 

Talaash Releases tomorrow and hopefully we will be reviewing it for you too!

Stay Tuned

 

@asimburney

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Reema Kagti Director of Talaash Interview Upodcast

From AD, to script writer to director of HoneyMoon Travels ltd., Reema Kagti has been slowly working together with her partners at excel movies towards giving us this year’s Amir Khan release, Talaash.

Tagged as a Suspense drama and starring Rani Mukherjee, Kareena Kapoor and Nawazuddin Sidiqqui, we had the chance to speak with the passionate film director about how she became a film maker, her cinematic influences growing up, her journey with Excel movies and if Amir Khan really does have a halo above his head.

 

So Check out our Upodcast Exclusive interview with Reema Kagti and stay tuned for the chat we had with Amir Khan, which we will be posting in a couple of days too!

 

Talaash Releases in theaters, 30th of November

@asimburney

Related articles
Enhanced by Zemanta

Karan Johar and the cast of Student Of the Year Upodcast Interview

For the promotion of Student of the year, Karan Johar accompanied by Sid Malhotra,Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt flew over to London to talk to the UK press and Upodcast was invited.

If you have ever seen a full press conference it’s pretty hard to get a non rehearsed answer out of the celebrities especially so if they have the quick wit and verbal prowess of Karan Johar, nevertheless we had a 1 one 1 interview where we could ask a few more personal questions.

Student of the Year is in theaters from today and I hope you enjoy our interview with Karan and the rest of the cast.

 

Listen or download below or subscribe to Upodcast in iTunes and never miss a show!

 

@asimburney

Enhanced by Zemanta

Karan Johar and the cast of Student of the Year Upodcast Interview

For the promotion of Student of the year, Karan Johar accompanied by Sid Malhotra,Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt flew over to London to talk to the UK press and Upodcast was invited.

If you have ever seen a full press conference it’s pretty hard to get a non rehearsed answer out of the celebrities especially so if they have the quick wit and verbal prowess of Karan Johar, nevertheless we had a 1 one 1 interview where we could ask a few more personal questions.

Student of the Year is in theaters from today and I hope you enjoy our interview with Karan and the rest of the cast.

 

Listen or download below or subscribe to Upodcast in iTunes and never miss a show!

 

@asimburney

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Q&A with Hollywood Actor, Faran Tahir for DALLAS (New Series)

Faran Tahir may not be considered a household name yet but he has a face familiar to millions around the world. The talented actor has appeared in a number of big Hollywood films and has guest starred in the many American household television shows like Warehouse 13, Blue Bloods, NCIS: Los Angeles, Supernatural, Charmed and Lost, to name a few. Faran will now be seen guest starring in the resurrected drama series, Dallas, where he plays the character, ‘Smiling Frank’ who is Cliff Barnes, driver and right-hand man.

“Dallas was a phenomenon in its time. I didn’t get to watch it regularly but I definitely knew who was who on it. The resurrected Dallas has already proved to be a hit in the US and I hope it has the same impact with the British audiences” said Faran.

Faran made his first debut in 1994 as Nathoo in Disney’s live action version of The Jungle Book. He has since gone onto star opposite Hollywoods A-list, Tom Hanks in Charlie Wilson’s War, as the evil sadistic Raza in Iron Man opposite Robert Downey Jr and the heroic Captain Robau in J.J Abram’s reboot of Star Trek in a brief but momentous role.

Next year Faran will be seen starring in ELYSIUM, a sci-fi thriller with Matt Damon and Jodie Foster directed by Neill Blomkampthe director of DISTRICT 9. THE TOMB, a prison break action movie with Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger.JINN, a supernatural thriller and TORN, a drama about two families dealing with the untimely death of their teenage sons in a shopping mall explosion.

The new 10-part series of Dallas will be shown in the UK on Channel 5 starting 5th September at 9pm.

Here is a Q&A he did with some press people:

Did you ever watch the original series of Dallas?
Dallas was a phenomenon in its time. I didn’t get to watch it regularly but I definitely knew who was who on it. The resurrected Dallas has already proved to be a hit in the US and I hope it has the same impact with the British audiences.

What was the first day on the set of Dallas like?
On the first day we were all in the same boat. We were resurrecting an old classic with the old cast alongside a new generation of Barnes and Ewings. Everyone was nervous yet focused.

Were you given any advice by the original cast?
No. They were all praying that we wouldn’t screw it up!

You play the character ‘Smiling’ Frank Ashkani, who is he?
Frank is a mysterious man. Definitely not someone you want to mess or cross paths with. His real name is Raheed Durani and is Cliff’s right hand/driver and designated disposer of dead bodies. Sometimes referred to as ‘Smiling Frank’ but he doesn’t actually smile.

How does it feel working for Cliff Barnes?
It’s great working for Mr Barnes. All in days work.

Since starring in Dallas, have you felt the urge to shoot JR?
For those that have watched the old series will recall JR as a schemer with cut throat tactics. So, of course! Could you imagine the audience being left with another ‘Who shot JR?’ cliff-hanger.

So when did you first fall in love with acting?
My love affair with acting started when I was a little kid. I would often secretly stand in front of the mirror and act out scenes.

You have done film, television and theatre. What has given you the greatest satisfaction?
I get equal satisfaction from all three. There are stories that need the intimacy of live theatre to have the emotional impact. Then there are other stories that require the expansive canvas of the film screen and the sensitive eye of the camera to give the audience a window into characters and story. And sometimes, the freedom television affords to create a story and character over many hours can be priceless. I always say that a painter can paint in oil or water-colour or do a pencil sketch. It all depends on what story he or she is trying to tell. It is the same idea for me. It just needs to be interesting and challenging.

How did you feel when you landed a role in Star Trek?
I felt like a 10-year old boy. I have always liked Star Trek. I grew up on Star Trek. It was awesome. I have always been big fan of the original series with William Shatner and the Next Generation and respect the philosophy and its message of hope it portrays.

What was the whole experience of working in the film like?
You start off with complete awe but very quickly realize that you have a job to do and you better not screw it up. It was challenging and I wanted to show competence dignity and strength in a short amount of time.

Did you ever in your wildest dreams think you would become Captain of a Federation Starship?
A kid can dream, right? Sometimes even your wildest dreams can come true and the first time I walked on the set and the set of the ship I was like, “wow, I’m captain of a federation ship.”

How did the role of Raza in Iron Man come about?
It wasn’t easy! It involved a lot of readings with the casting director, the director and Robert Downey Jr. It also involved meetings with all the producers, a process which took almost three weeks.

What was your favourite scene in Iron Man?
I would most probably say, when I first encounter Tony Stark in the cave. I play an evil sadistic character of Raza, where it involves me or should I say Raza, putting a piece of burning coal in someone’s mouth, that’s fun right!

How did it feel getting beaten up by Iron Man?
Legendary. Growing up reading Marvel comics, never in my life did I imagine, that one day I would actually be getting beaten by Iron Man on the big screen.

Is it now easier for Asian actors in Hollywood or do you still get offered stereotypical roles?
There will always be stereotypical roles but I think that things are slowly changing. Hollywood is a tough place and not for everyone. Egos can be fragile and the business is tough. People with glass chins won’t survive. You need to be able to take a few punches and still be able to get back up.

What advice would you give young Asian actors?
Never give up on your dreams and work hard to achieve them. Complacency is death. When you find failure, be brave and when you find success show humility.

What else can we look forward to seeing you in?
I have some interesting stuff coming out in the next year. ELYSIUM, a sci-fi thriller with Matt Damon and Jodie Foster directed by the director of DISTRICT 9. JINN, a supernatural thriller and TORN, a drama about two families dealing with the untimely death of their teenage sons in a shopping mall explosion. THE TOMB, a prison break action movie with Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

@asimburney

Enhanced by Zemanta

Abhishek Bachchan Press Q&A and Exclusive Stills for “Bol Bachchan”

Hey Guys, here are some media type questions that were asked to Abhishek Bachchan at a recent media Q&A as usual they are as generic and harmless like kitten wrapped in a silk blanket wathching day time TV.

The pictures are kinda sweet though. Check it out!

1.     One can see from the photograph and trailers that there’s two of you in Bol Bachchan. That must have been fun?
If my memory serves right, this is actually my first ever double role. I have done films in which I have had one character donning various avatars, like I did in “Bunty Aur Babli” (2005), in which I played a con man. But “BB” is the first bona fide double role that I have done. It was a challenge.

2.     Director Rohit Shetty has enjoyed huge commercial success.  You have worked with him in his debut film Zameen (2003). What is the difference that you see in him since he directed you for the first time?
I think Rohit has become more confident now. He is as hard working and humble as he was when we were making Zameen. He is one of the most successful directors that we have in our industry and his track record speaks for itself. He is like a machine who works for like 20 hours a day.

3.     Abhishek Bachchan or Abbas Ali – which character was more challenging?
Both Abhishek and Abbas Ali have unique characteristics. They couldn’t overlap in any which way. Keeping the divide was difficult as they are poles apart. They are not identical twins with similar traits and I have literally played two separate characters. If you must know, between Abhishek and Abbas, the most demanding was Rohit Shetty.

4.     This is your second song with your dad after ‘Kajra re‘. Are you nervous at all around him?
It is weird, but dad is the one co-star with whom I have done the maximum work. We’ve done “Bunty Aur Babli”, “Sarkar”, “Kabhie Alvida Na Kehna”, “Sarkar Raj“, “Paa”, “Buddha Hoga Tera Baap”, “Jhoom Barabar Jhoom” and now this song in “BB”. Coming to the bit about my not being nervous around him – actually I was not nervous around him even when we did our first film together. It is every actor’s dream to work with Amitabh Bachchan. And dad’s greatest quality is that he puts you at ease. Being an actor and having the kind of experience he has on his side, he understands that for an actor to perform at his/her optimum, he has to be completely at ease. If there is any tension, an actor just folds up and closes in. He is aware that people get gobsmacked in front of him, so he goes out of his way to make them feel comfortable. He does it for the sake of the film. Also when he is shooting a song, he likes to have a lot of fun.

5.     How would you define your style of comedy?
My style of comedy is more deadpan and straight-faced whereas the comedy that I did in the film was very demanding, as a lot of energy was required. We all had to keep our energy levels high all the time. It took me a week to adapt to Bol Bachchan. The first week of shooting was really tough for me. I came with a particular mind-set for the film and Rohit wanted something exactly opposite to it. I thought this will be the easiest film to do and it turned out to be the most difficult film of my career. It looks like a fun film and I thought it is a comedy film where I will enjoy, but I was proved completely wrong. I have told Ajay if the film does well he has to send me on a holiday (Laughs).

6.     Ajay Devgn said that they literally had to groom you into their style of comedy. What was that experience like?
Ajay and Rohit taught me that there is a pitch behind every film and you have to match it. I cannot repeat my characters as it will not suit the script. My style of comedy was very different from what Bol Bachchan required me to do. The two literally made me unlearn what I already knew and adopt a different style of comedy, which was very difficult for me.

7.     How are you doing post your accident on the sets of BOL BACHCHAN?
These things keep happening. I had a small accident…cut my eye and injured a finger. But I am okay now. All good!

8.     On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your performance in Bol Bachchan?
I’d give my final performance a five. I’m very harsh with myself 🙂

‘Bol Bachchan’ produced by Ajay Devgn Films and Shree Ashtavinayak LFS Infra Ltd and presented by Twentieth Century Fox hits screens on 6th July 2012

@asimburney

Enhanced by Zemanta

Anurag Kashyap chats with Upodcast at LIFF 2012

Anurag Kashyap, the firebrand director, was at the London Indian film Festival which is going on this week and took the time to speak to Upodcast! Sujoy discusses the differences between his brother and his approach to masala cinema, the music of Gangs Of WasseyPur and much more in a pretty short chat!

The movie as well as the Festival which runs until 3rd of July has been setting the city in a blaze of excitement with celebrity appearances and the whose who of Londontown.

You can head over to the Official website for more information as well as the programme of amazing movies they are showcasing by clicking here.

Here is an excerpt from the Press Team about what went down at the premiere!

The third edition of the hugely popular London Indian Film Festival (June 20-July 3) got off to an explosive start with the sold out UK premiere of director Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur. It was standing room only at the Cineworld Haymarket as film buffs from across the world jostled for space at the glittering red carpet arrivals. Anurag Kashyap arrived looking natty in a Narendra Kumar creation. Actress Tannishtha Chatterjee, whose film Dekh Indian Circus plays June 23 at the Watermans Arts Centre and June 24 at BFI Southbank, glittered in a Khubsoorat outfit as did Rang Rasiya (Colours of Passion) stunner Ferena Wazeir.

The celebrity wave continued with acclaimed British Asian actors Riz Ahmed (Ill Manors, Trishna), Upen Patel (Namastey London) and Shiv Jhala (whose Arjun & Alison will enjoy its World Premiere at the festival on June 30), walking the red carpet and obliging screaming fans with photo opportunities. Directors Asif Kapadia (Senna), Michael Winterbottom (Trishna) Q (Gandu), Sidarth Sharma (Arjun & Alison), Devanand Shanmugam (whose Tooting Broadway will World Premiere at the festival on June 22) and Sarovar Banka (A Decent Arrangement) were just some of the high-octane talent present on the occasion.

Bollywood royalty arrived in the shape of Pamela Chopra, the legendary Yash Chopra‘s wife and the Associate Producer of one of Indian cinema‘s all time biggest hits Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. Anushka Sharma who is currently filming in London for Yash Chopra’s next, along with Shah Rukh Khan, sneaked into the cinema anonymously. She enjoyed Gangs of Wasseypur enormously and is looking forward to working with Anurag in Bombay Velvet.

 Anurag Kashyap said: “The London Indian Film Festival is lucky for me. My Dev D played in year one. That Girl In Yellow Boots premiered in year two and got UK distribution and now I’ve opened the festival. It’s a great platform.”

Festival Director Cary Sawhney said: “We are delighted that this year’s London Indian Film Festival has opened to such a tremendous response. We have a diverse range of events scheduled for the next two weeks, including the brilliant collaboration of director Q’s Gandu Circus along with Susheela Raman and the Asian Dub Foundation’s Steve Chandra Savale at BFI Southbank on June 21, and many World and UK film premieres. And for those who couldn’t get tickets for Gangs of Wasseypur, there are two more screenings scheduled on June 28 at the ICA and on June 30 at Cineworld Shaftesbury Avenue.”

Here is a short podcast interview with our good friend Sujoy Singha (@9e3k)

Let us know what you thought of our chat in the comment section below!

@asimburney

Enhanced by Zemanta

Adit Rao Hydari Talks to Upodcast About London Paris New York

Part 2 of our interviews about London Paris New York, we chat with the wonderful Aditit Rao Hydari.

Dancer and actress Aditi Rao Hydari made her acting debut in 2007 in Sharada Ramanathan’s acclaimed film ‘Sringaram’. She is best known for her role in popular film ‘Yeh Saali Zindagi’, and also in Rockstar and Dilli 6.

We’re posting both chats here in separate podcasts, let us know what you thought of the movie or our interviews in the comment section below. And do go back to check out our conversation with Ali Zafar.

As usual Upodcast tries to ask different questions and create a conversation with our guests, so we really do hope you enjoy it!

 

London, Paris, New York releases in theaters today!

 

@AsimBurney

Enhanced by Zemanta

Ali Zafar talks to Upodcast about London Paris New York

We’ve got quite the exclusive for you again, we got the chance to speak with 2 exciting up and coming actors Ali Zafar and Aditi Rao Hydari for their release London Paris New York.

Ali Zafar has lit up the screen in Tere Bin Laden and supporting Katrina Kaif and Imran Khan in Mere Brother ki Dulhan and now is all set to star in this rom com spanning 3 stages in life and 3 cities.

We’re posting both chats but in separate podcasts, let us know what you thought of the movie or our interviews in the comment section below.

As usual Upodcast tries to ask different questions and create a conversation with our guests, so we really do hope you enjoy it!

 

Here is our chat with Ali Zafar

 

 

London, Paris, New York releases in theaters today!

 

@AsimBurney

Enhanced by Zemanta

In conversation with Mela.com

This week’s Upodcast is slightly different; instead of talking about a specific we talk about HOW to watch movies. We had the opportunity to talk to Anisha Jhaveri, the marketing coordinator at Mela.com, the brand new South Indian Movie Streaming platform tied into their exclusive release of The Dirty picture.
We talk about Mela’s goals to bring South Asian entertainment to a new and global audience,  we talk nerdily about the perils of subtitling and some of the challenges they face concerning piracy and much much more.

For more of information on Mela’s services go over to their website or the following links:
Facebook
Twitter

Get Mela:  www.mela.com/roku
www.mela.com/ipad
www.mela.com/get-mela

 

Take it away Vidya Balan!

 

Let us know what you thought of the show in the comment section below!

 

Amy Jackson UPodcast for Ekk tha Deewana

Today we have a Podcast interview with the lovely Amy Jackson, award winning (runner-up miss Britain and miss Liverpool 2010) British model now making her Bollywood debut in Ekk Tha Deewana with Prateik, releasing the 17th of February.

We speak about how welcoming Bollywood has been to her especially being a non indian and by some of the other actresses and the differences between working in the South Indian and Hindi Film industry. Amy was very gracious with her time, lovely to speak with and has the cutest pronunciation of the word “Chennai”

 

We will be posting a chat we did with her co-star and close personal friend Prateik very soon, so keep your eyes out or subscribe in iTunes (click here) so you don’t miss any of our exclusive podcast interviews! ( and while you are there, leave us a review please!)

Here’s the trailer:

 

 

I hope you enjoy and don’t forget to catch her in theaters on 17th of February!

Leave us a comment below if you liked the show!

 

@asimburney

 

Listen or download here:

Enhanced by Zemanta

Ep 38 RDB Interview with Kuly for Sheera Di Kaum

We had a chance to speak with Kuly, one third of the biggest Bhangra band of the moment RDB or Rhythm Bhangra Dhol known for their massive songs, international collaborations with acclaimed rappers like Snoop Dogg and Ludacris and their total domination of the Bollywood charts since working with Akshay Kumar on movies like Namaste London, Singh Is King, Kambakth Ishq and now Speedy Singhs/Breakaway.

Now Upodcast is not well versed in music ( unlike or friends The CurrySmugglers who are back with an amazing season!) but we had a chance to ask some interesting questions about the state of bhangra, the new found international audience and some behind the scenes gossip on how the industry works.

Above all Kuly was a very nice guy to speak with and although he was in the backseat of a car, he really took the time to answer all of our questions.

It’s a fun listen, check it out below and don’t forget to leave us a comment!

Here are some of the tracks RDB is famous for

You can find more info on their website and also their forthcoming album WorldWide.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Ep 37 Vidyut Jamwal Interview Exclusive – playing the villain in Force

Force is this week’s big Hindi release and we had a chance to have a conversation with Vidyut Jamwal, the surprise package and debutant villain pitted against a very buffed up John Abraham, in the remake of South Indian Kaakha Kaakha which originally starred Surya and Jyotikha (find our review here).

 

Force is already getting rave reviews (our review will be up shortly) and this is probably due to a large part to Vidyut’s performance. And I am sure as soon as the ladies (and some gents-apparently 10-12% of the male population) will get a look of Vidyut’s six-pack, they will turn into goo.
Vidyut was raised in an ashram and has been training in various different styles of martial arts since a very young age so he is definitely a good match for John’s bike lifting shenanigans.
Check out some of the stunts he did for the media at a press event.

 

 

Source: Fox Star India
We had a very nice time speaking with Vidyut, he seems like a genuinely nice guy and has that gusto that new comers have, plus he complimented me a few times so that always gets you brownie points.

The interview happened on the phone so there are a few things that gets lost in translation but I am sure you will have a great time listening to our chat.
Let us know what you thought of our interview in the comment section below (or even better leave us a review on iTunes)

Enhanced by Zemanta

Ep 36 Speedy Singhs/BreakAway Q&A with Russell Peters, Vinay Virmani and Ghuggi

Upodcast attended a Q&A with the cast of Speedy Singhs/ BreakAway in London who were in town to promote their Ice Hockey Underdog crossover film releasing in the UK on Friday 30th September 2011. International comedy sensation, Russell Peters, and rising star of cinema, Vinay Virmani, joined fellow cast and crew members including much adored comedian/actor Gurpreet “Ghuggi” Singh and co-producer Ajay Virmani as they addressed the audience and conducted a Q&A session with media in attendance.

We had a chance to pose some of our questions in typical Upodcast fashion and tried to get some clarification from Russel Peters about the statements he recently made about Bollywood.

A lot has been said in the media and even more so has been pulled out of context but you can listen to the entire press conference here and make up your own mind.

From the Press Release:
Directed by Hollywood filmmaker Robert Lieberman (‘D3: The Mighty Ducks‘, ‘Table for Five’) and produced by First Take Entertainment and Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar’s Hari Om Entertainment, ‘Speedy Singhs’ is a gripping, cross-cultural hockey drama set in the Indo-Canadian community of suburban Toronto, Canada. Other stars in the film include Hollywood heartthrob, Rob Lowe; the demure Camilla Belle (‘The Lost World: Jurassic Park‘, ‘10,000 BC‘); and veteran of Indian cinema Anupam Kher (‘Bend it like Beckham’). A galaxy of other exciting cameos are provided by the likes of recording artist and actor Aubrey “Drake” Graham and Grammy Award winning rapper Chris “Ludacris” Bridges. Ludacris added his vocals to the cross-urban music track of the year, “Shera Di Kaum”, the promotional song for ‘Speedy Singhs’, where he also features in the video.

‘Speedy Singhs’ releases in cinemas across UK and worldwide on 30th September 2011


Enhanced by Zemanta

Salman Khan’s BodyGuard Interview for Upodcast!

Indian stars command a different level obsession than their western counterparts. The love and adulation we feel for “our favorites” combines the passion for a sportsteam with the myth of a rock star. We tailor our personal style, conversational idioms and day to day jokes towards them and every generation (even if they won’t admit it) has that one star that just sends them into a frenzy. My parents had Dilip Kumar, growing up we had Amitabh Bachchan but from adolescence there was only one name for me and that was Salman Khan.

The release of his Bodyguard is just around the corner (31st of August) and we had a podcast planned with him but then got diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia, a very painful nerve disorder for which he had to fly out for treatment for the US. But Salman Khan “ne ek bar jo commitment kardi, toh phir woh apni bhi nahi sunta” (once he makes a commitment, then he doesnt even listen to himself) and  he took to answer some of our questions via email  just before he flew out. And truth be told, I don’t know if I could have contained my excitement if I had gotten a chance to speak with him. (Clearly Upodcast is a place for fans more than journalistic professionalism)

Sabka hai Ek Bhaijaan, here is the one and only Salman Khan in his inimitable style answering questions from yours truly.

Photo Credit: www.SalmanOnline.net

Sorry to hear about your ailment through the news. I hope you are well
and that it doesn’t hurt too much? How were you able to cope with it
through shooting?

Ya, did get unbearable at times… I had planned to get myself treated
after the shoot, post productions and promotions for Bodyguard are
completed. But now pain has become unbearable.

You have had a time honored equation with music over the years? Is
that just luck or do you have a musical ear? Did you sit down with the
music directors of Bodyguard and discuss what was needed?

Na I have been lucky… my music directors do a good job.

I have been lucky enough to have all the talented music directors
composing music for the songs that I dance to on screen. I had given
certain inputs in the song ‘Teri Meri’ but it was entirely Himesh’s
creative efforts that the song a creating a buzz among people.

Desi beat has a slight tinge (maybe a sample) of “Kabooter Ja Ja” from
Maine Pyar Kiya. Do you reminisce about some of your earlier roles? Do
you rewatch any of your older movies?

All I can say Desi Beats is a big success in India and overseas. I do
recall my roles at times as I did them because I liked the role but
now I am always looking forward to do something new and exciting.

Did you bring any of those sensibilities from older movies to
Bodyguard? Is there a Jaagruti -style jungle
training scene?

Bodyguard is a very different film. I think it is an innocent love
story. It is a good balance of emotions, romance action and drama. As
far as action in the film is concerned the entire credit goes to
Vijayan Master. He directed my wanted and dabbang and wanted to push
limits with this one too.

What were the roles you think you nailed but maybe didn’t work with
audiences as well? How do you deal with a movie when it doesn’t work?

Yes, film is to be approached with new enthusiasm and more motivation.
If the film turns a blockbuster it’s great and if it doesn’t you have
to move on. The number of people watching your film is directly
proportional to how good the film is. The intension is always to make
a good movie and positive responses definitely make me feel good.

Are there times whilst shooting that you know it’s not going well? And
if so is there sometimes you pull back?

There are hardships everywhere. Facing the obstacles is the only way
to overcome them. If things don’t go well at times you just have to
work your way around it rather than pulling back.

You have been doing action movies since the start of your career but
now since Wanted it had taken another level. What has changed in your
mind?

Wanted has certainly added a lot to my performance and enhanced my connect with the viewers. But every role brings something new to me intensifies my ability to act.

Is it the effect of your TV presence that you have created a closer
bond with your audience?

Television is definitely a vibrant medium and reaches to masses far
and wide. It has been a platform to reach the audience who probably
miss out on catching me on the larger screen.

From Baaghi to Veer and of course your much respected
father (Salim Khan), writing has been a part of your life. You have taken on
painting since a few years too. Do you feel that these are ways you
communicate with your fans and audience or is it more of an internal
process where you deal with your own thoughts?

Just as everyone develops certain interests at different points in
their lives I am drawn towards painting. I am interested in painting
as it is an art form that helps me to express myself.

What type of creative input did you have in Bodyguard as the
production team is family?

My first responsibility is with my audience then it is to producer.
Who is the producer is not important. Atul (Agnihotri, producer and Salman’s brother in law-ed) came with this script
before the Malayalam bodyguard was made. And we had decided to make it
in Hindi whatever may be the faith of Malayalam.

You started the trend of South indian remakes with Tere Naam. What do
you think needs to be adjusted or tweaked when remaking a South Indian
movie to North Indian audiences?

I have loved the subjects of all the remakes I have done so far. Tere
Naam and Wanted fetched quite good results this only indicates
audiences liked the concept and the films at large. I believe it is
entirely the film maker’s call. Bodyguard which is a remake of the
Malayalam version had drastic changes in the characterization and
these were Siddique’s efforts to bring the film in a fresh form to
Bollywood’s audiences.

Are there any South Indian stars or movies you are particularly fond of?

Rajnikanth with out doubt…

Would you ever consider making a work-out dvd for all your fans that
want to be buff like you?

Have not thought about it…

So I hope you enjoyed reading some of his answers. For more BodyGuard goodness you can check out our Podcast interview with Kareena Kapoor, his co-star.

Or of course catch Bodyguard in theatres in a couple of days in a theater near you!

 

Let us know what  you thought of Bodyguard after the jump!

Enhanced by ZemantaAnd thanks to our good friend Amaluu from Bollystalgia, a fellow Sallu fan who helped us out with some of the questions!
You can follow us on twitter or Facebook by clicking links on the left!
EID MUBARAK!

Ep 34 Kareena Kapoor Bodyguard Interview

The one and only princess of Bollywood Kareena Kapoor graced us with her presence when she was in London promoting Bodyguard, her forthcoming movie with Salman Khan. And we got a chance to interview her for an exclusive Upodcast episode. Check out our chat with the ever radiant Bebo after the jump! Read More

A Chat with the LIFF Program Director Cary Rajinder Sawhney

Running from June 30th to July 12th 2011, the London Indian Film Festival (LIFF) offers cinema-goers  a new wave of Indian  films from film makers across the region.

Organised by Cary Rajinder Sawhney the LIFF aims to showcase Indian films in a different  light; those that don’t conform to the  traditional Bollywood structures, story and direction.

Festival organiser par excellence

 

Upodcast, in yet another exclusive spoke to Cary about the LIFF and what we  can expect from it in the future.  For those who can’t quite get their heads around the all singing all dancing side of Indian cinema, the good news is that there is a great outlet for something new and challenging and it will only get bigger and more accessible.

 

The full program can be found here

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

A Conversation with Abhinay Deo, director of Delhi Belly at LIFF

Delhi Belly is already a huge box office and critical success, but Martin had the chance to attend the world premiere at the London Indian Film Festival and chat with director, Abhinay Deo‘s. In true Upodcast style we manage to ask the film maker about his cinematic influences (some surprising, some less so), the advantages of approaching Hindi movies from an advertising background and all this will the place was buzzing with the appearance of the London glitterati.

We have the inside track and as we were granted special access to the director for a quick interview.  Listen below to our exclusive!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Delhi Belly Exclusive A Conversation with Imran Khan

EXCLUSIVE PODCAST: We had a chance to catch up with Imran Khan (Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, Break ke Baad, I Hate Luv Stories) and talk about his forthcoming movie Delhi Belly directed by Abhinay Deo and co-starring Vir Das and Kunal Roy Kapoor.

This is a real treat and Imran had the chance to speak about the marketing approach, controversies surrounding the release of the movies, on Delhi Belly not being a typical  Bollywood movie, the role of censorship in Indian Cinema and what his favorite swearword is! Riveting stuff!

 

Check out the trailer of the movie!

 

Delhi Belly will be premiering at the London Indian Film festival on the 30th of June and you can find more information on the screenings and programme on their site by clicking here!

A big thanks to Ashanti for setting this up for Upodcast. You can follow her on twitter and her blog and many of her writings pretty much everywhere from Cineworld Unlimited Magazine (UK), Anokhi Magazine (Canada/US/UK), Galatta Magazine (India), Desi Hits (Worldwide)!

Also a thanks to our good friend FilmiGirl for prepping us and giving some great questions to shoot and who also did a few interviews with Imran’s co-stars in the movie Poorna Jagannathan and Kunal Roy Kapoor.

Do leave a comment below and let us know what you thought of the Podcast!

 

Enhanced by Zemanta