Tuesday, December 27, 2016

"After hearing the story of Secret Superstar, I wanted to cry"- Aamir Khan
After DangalAamir Khan's next film is going to be Secret Superstar, which is directed by Advait Chandan.  Aamir just launched the film’s teaser. When quizzed about his role, he said, “My character is very interesting. Daal mein jo tadka hota hai na? Mera kirdaar is film mein tadka hai. Yeh bahut alag role hai. Aisa role maine aaj tak nai kiya hai."


The story of the film revolves around a mother and her daughter, who wants to become a singer. Aamir will be an integral part of the story.


Aamir said that he wasn't sure about doing the film. “This character is very different from me. So I asked Advait to do my screen test. When I was sure that I could do it, only then did I decide to do the character," said the superstar. He further added, "After hearing the story, I wanted to cry. So I went into the washroom… I asked Advait when he wanted to start the film."


The film releases on August 4, 2017
A perfect occasion to thank my stars...
-Mukesh Chhabra

Firstly, I would like to start with this year marking a success for the field of casting. The process is glorified by films like - Neerja, Pink and Udta Punjab. Personally, I think that the casting of these particular films were extremely effective. Kudos to my colleagues and fellow casting directors for putting together the cast of these films. I am glad that the casting department is identified in an important way. Many film school students joined our little MCCC family as interns to learn the process of casting and wanting to be casting directors in the future; making me understand that now this is a mainstream profession. This would not have been possible without the love and support of the lovely filmmakers, studios and producers

The directors trust us and put their faith in us with their films. For us every film is special. Would thank every director who has given us an opportunity to cast and bring some beautiful stories to life. The gratitude that I feel towards - Imtiaz Ali, Rajkumar Hirani, Vishal Bharadwaj, Vikas Bahl, Vikramaditya Motwane, Sujoy Ghosh, Rakesh Mehra, Abhishek Kapoor, Nitesh Tiwary, Nishikant Kamath, Nikhil Advani, Karan Johar, Dinesh Vijan, Soojit Sircar, Shakun Batra, Kabir Khan, Sriram Raghavan, Vinnil Mathew, Jackie Chan, and everyone who has given us a chance to cast. And special mention to Anurag Kashyap without whom I wouldn't have been who I am. Thank you.

Feels like life has come a full circle, from a rank outsider who got the opportunity to be an assistant casting director for Aamir Khan's 'Rang De Basanti,' to now being an integral part of this amazing film or as I like to call it; a movement called 'Dangal,' brought to life by director Nitesh Tiwary. I think this is a perfect occasion to thank my stars - not just the ones on celluloid, but also those celestial ones too, who have brought my journey to this new landmark. The moment I was on board the 'Dangal' team as a casting director, I knew this would be something really special, something I will cherish for a lifetime.

It has been a long journey, and I have had the privilege of working with one of the most celebrated, talented and creative artists in the Hindi film industry. With all the overwhelming appreciation and love coming my way for our work in 'Dangal,' I am feeling like a young guy off the block yet again - the same me, when I came to this city of dreams with stars in my eyes, and passion in my pocket to make my mark here. Along the way, I have been helped and encouraged by many kind souls in the film business, because of who I have reached this far. I would like to specially mention Mandar Gosavi who proved to be the backbone of the MCCC team working towards this film. Words will never be enough to convey the gratitude that I feel today towards the mentions in the reviews, the media, the makers and my team.

Also I want to thank my team. The films would never look the same without them. Again, I think it's my stars and theirs that brings us together to combine our energies and bring life to our characters. When I think about the process of putting together a cast, I wonder how would a Dangal look without Mandar, Chillar Party without Aakash, Hasee Toh Phasee without Vaibhav, Masaan without Shreedhar, Bajrangi Bhaijaan without Shoumie Mukherjee, Bhootnath without Dabas, Kahaani 2 without Indu, Gangs of Wasseypur without Pawan, PK without Rakesh, Highway without Balwinder, KaiPoChe without Aakash Bhojwani. And awaiting films like Rangoon which wouldn't have been possible without Anuja and Begum Jaan which wouldn't have been possible without Mahesh. They formed a foundation for MCCC.

I would also thank all the lovely actors for coming in and auditioning with us and never letting us down. Thank you for putting your trust in us and believing with us that no role is big or small and treating your characters with respect.

I will remember every little gesture, big and small, by everyone reading this - you all are my stars, and I just can't thank you all enough. Please keep the love and support coming, as it means the world to us. Thank you once again.

Monday, December 26, 2016

“I don’t get a kick when you call me a celestial body’ or a ‘star’- Sushant Singh Rajput
-Raghuvendra Singh

The success of MS Dhoni: The Untold Story is unprecedented. Has it changed things for you?
Nothing has changed from my point of view. I meet the same people, eat the same food and I live in the same place. As far as work is concerned all the films that I’m doing right now are the films I had signed before Dhoni. Where the industry is concerned, I don’t know what they think of me. I can only tell you what’s happening around in my environment.
A compliment that came your way for Dhoni?
Sakshi (wife of cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni) said that it’s difficult to understand Dhoni but the fact I could do so in such a limited span of time is remarkable.
As an actor have you hit the big league with Dhoni?
I don’t understand what big league is! Am I getting the money I want? Fuck, yes. I’m investing that money in forming a team and making small-budget films and short films for the digital platform. (Laughs) Yeah there’s a certain amount of money that I need for myself every month. The rest I can invest. This is the biggest league one can be in. If you want 100 crores and you earn only five crores you’re doomed. But if you want five crores and you make five plus crores, you are in a big league. Guess, I’m in the biggest league that I could be in right now.
What actually made you turn to production?
You may equate money with psychological security. But after a point when you have enough for your needs, it loses its relevance. You don’t know what to do with it. So if money flows from irrelevance to relevance, it’s a good idea. You can take the risk believing that it will come back. Even if it doesn’t, I don’t care because I have the ‘relevant’ money. When I was growing up, we were a big family. I wanted study in a university but could not afford to because we didn’t have that much money. I thought it was unfair. But once you have it, money becomes relevant only when it resonates. I will have a setup that can make some money. But even if it doesn’t, I don’t care a f**k. So I’m just screening out the best film I can find and funding those people who don’t have the means to make it. It has nothing to do with ‘Oh I want to be the torchbearer of good films’. Make shitty films I don’t care a fuck, I swear. I enjoy reading scripts. That is excitement for me. I’m just a conversion machine that exchanges money to excitement.
Despite success is it difficult being accepted as ‘a star’?
I don’t care about stardom. Whether they consider me a star or not a star it doesn’t change anything. Right from 2013, I’ve been offered films that I wanted to do. It’s not that I’m choosing the best from the options offered. So, I don’t believe they are having trouble accepting me. I don’t get a kick when you call me a ‘celestial body’ or a ‘star’. It doesn’t do anything for me.
Apparently, you weren’t invited for any of the big Diwali bashes in the industry. Were you hurt?
Someone asked me on Twitter which party I’d be attending out of the three happening. (Laughs) I replied that I wouldn’t be attending any as I wasn’t invited for any of them. It was not that I was craving to attend them. If I wanted to light firecrackers and I could do it by only attending parties then it would have been a big thing. I watched Pink on TV instead. I enjoyed it. I had chicken biryani, jalebi-rabdi and a glass of wine. Can you think of anything else better than this? I don’t have any complaints.
Why didn’t you throw a success party after Dhoni as is the norm?
Because I didn’t do it after Byomkesh Bakshi. When I read the script of Byomkesh, I found it brilliant. When I read the Dhoni script, it was again brilliant. When I started working on Byomkesh I did my best. For Dhoni, I did my best too. The parameters in between are not in my hand. So Byomkesh did a certain business, while Dhoni did a different one. If I don’t give a party after Byomkesh and if I give a success party post Dhoni, it means I’m celebrating those parameters that I can never control. It doesn’t make sense to me.
If an actor believes that he’s the sole reason for a film doing well at the box-office then he’s actually a good actor because he’s simply acting. (Laughs) He doesn’t know he’s is liar. Of course, he can claim that this was his best. But he can’t claim that his existence in the film is directly in proportion to the box-office numbers.
Are you in a happy space in your life and career right now?
In childhood the conditioning was ‘one day I will become happy and for that I need to work today’. But with experience I realised that what comes closest to happiness is excitement. It can be playing a video game or it can be talking to you at this point of time. If I’m excited it means I’m closest to the sense of happiness. Am I excited today? Yes, I’m damn excited. You can take away each and everything I have but you cannot take the excitement within me. Give me films and I’ll be excited. If there are no films, I’ll do plays and be equally excited. You cannot take away that excitement from me.
Okay there a sense of security now?
My tweet the other day was something to the effect – the fear of not being successful is less than the fear of losing it after being successful. So success does not give you security. It can only make you more insecure if you keep thinking about the future. Because you now want to hold on to things and you are not hundred percent sure why you got them? You can manufacture reasons but you are not sure. If you’re a struggler you’ve got nothing to lose in that sense. Right now, I have four films and I wonder what if the first one of those doesn’t do well. Then the other three producers will run away. So security doesn’t come with success. Rather obsession with the future causes insecurity. Thankfully, I’m not obsessed.
Apparently, ex-girlfriend Ankita (Lokhande) called you after watching Dhoni and you both still share a cordial relationship. Comment.
Four years back I made my debut when a story in a leading newspaper said that I had slept with a guy to get that film. I still haven’t reverted back on that. That backlog remains. There were many stories after that as well – like the allegation that I was ‘slapped’. By the time I come to commenting on this report, it will take two-three years. Firstly, I will have to name with whom I slept. I need to ‘find’ that guy first. Story bhi banayi to male ke saath. (Laughs) Had it been an actress, I could have flaunted it before my friends. These people should consider writing scripts because such spicy inputs make for good stories.
Are you enjoying your single status?
I always enjoy whatever shit I have. Whatever state I am in is because I’m enjoying that. If I lose something or if I gain something it’s because I want to remain excited in life.
Dinesh Vijan’s Raabta is your next release. Are you excited?
We’re done shooting that film. I enjoyed the experience. When I read the script I liked it. When I was shooting for it, I loved it. It’s similar to the feeling when after starving, you enjoy a good meal and then you start burping. Full on satisfaction!
Your onscreen and off-screen chemistry with co-star Kriti Sanon has kept the rumour mills busy…
Of course, our pair needs to work otherwise the film won’t work. We will see that on that particular Friday. Questions like why it didn’t do well only happen on a Saturday. Yeah, it was a requirement that my chemistry with Kriti be so good that we’re able to sell an idea that normally people don’t believe in. We did our best. Time only will tell.
 There’s a buzz about you doing Omung Kumar Five and Anurag Kashyap’s Nishanchi?
In the past, there were films that I claimed I was doing and they never got made or somebody else did those films. So until it’s final, you can’t say anything. It doesn’t make sense.

“2016 was a hatke year for me.” - Arjun Kapoor

Arjun Kapoor looks back to 2016 and sees it as a year of achievement and fulfillment...
-Raghuvendra Singh
Arjun Kapoor made a lot of difference in 2016 by choosing unique and different paths and making important decisions. He began it on a positive note with making his television debut as the host of Khatron Ke Khiladi. Then his film Ki & Ka with Kareena Kapoor Khan won audience’s attention and earned good money at the box-office. It was not an easy film to do but the actor made a brave choice and it became the first of its kind film. Talking about the past year with Filmfare, Arjun Kapoor says, “It was really good. Khatron Ke Khiladi was starting point for me. For me it was a big decision to bring the change because I never believe playing by the rules. So I wanted to break the rules and change the rules in my own way. I thought this was a nice way of me being able to do something unique as a young actor and to connect with a lot of people. Thankfully, the result was very good. People were happy, the channel was happy. That was a great start of the year followed by of course, Ki & Ka which again was something different. And it worked.” He adds, “Before the release people thought it was such an off idea as Indians don’t necessarily accept a man sitting at home, running a home that kind of thought. I was happy that it got accepted.

On his way forward, the young star says, “I have completed Half Girlfriend. It was a fantastic experience to shoot with Mohit Suri with whom I always wanted to work. I have never done a pan-India passionate love story. It was exciting play a character from Bihar.”

And finally this year Arjun got an opportunity to work with his chachu, Anil Kapoor. He says, “I always wanted to work with Anil chachu and to do it with a comedy film, which was again unexplored by me. I have never done a proper out and out family entertainer. We always end up doing films that are more multiplex films. I feel Anees Bazmi’s Mubarakan is one of those films that’s all India friendly again.”

Arjun sums up his enthralling year in a short and sweet way. “So I think 2016 was a year of me doing genuinely making different decisions and seeing results. It was hatke year for me. It all worked out well for me this year,” smiles Arjun.