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‘I always wanted to direct Rani’

Anurag Kashyap might be wearing the producer’s hat for Rani Mukherjee’s upcoming film Aiyyaa, but he has no qualms in admitting that he hopes to direct the actress in future.
Aiyyaa has been directed by Sachin Kundalkar.

The film, which releases on October 12, will see Rani returning to the big screen after a year.

“Aiyyaa is a very quirky film. I always wanted to direct Rani — but not in this movie, as it’s Sachin’s film, and I cannot take that away from him. Definitely, I will direct her in future,” Anurag says.

The movie also stars Southern star Prithviraj, who is making his debut in
Bollywood with this. Kashyap’s other production venture is Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana, directed by debutante Sameer Sharma.

The movie stars Kunal Kapoor and Huma Qureshi in lead roles and will release on November 2. “The script (of this film) is a very nice, gentle comedy — the kind which we haven’t seen since Hrishkesh Mukherjee and Basu Chatterjee stopped making films,” says Anurag.

He adds that he does his homework well before signing on an actor or director, and does not mind taking the risk of casting a debutante.

“If you do your homework, there is no risk. The problem is that people don’t do their homework, they make films for the wrong reason. And people make films for debutante directors who have been associated with big directors.

A film is made by a director and I need to make sure that he can make the film. On the basis of this, I bring new people,” he states. Kashyap, whose Gangs of Wasseypur was also in consideration for India’s entry to the Oscars, feels the Ranbir-starrer Barfi! is the most deserving film to represent the country at the Oscars.

“It is a beautiful movie and well deserves to be named India’s entry to the Oscars,” he sums up.

Plans for a sequel?

Offbeat film-maker Sudhir Mishra is making a sequel to his film Iss Raat Ki Subah Nahin.
The 1996 film, a thriller, featured Tara Deshpande, Smriti Mishra, Nirmal Pandey, Saurabh Shukla and Ashish Vidyarthi among others.

“We are making a sequel — we are relooking at the story. The film was liked by people and I want to get back to the space of thriller,” Sudhir says.

Reportedly, the sequel will have Chitrangada Singh, Irrfan Khan and Arunoday Singh.
“We would like to take it ahead as Iss Raat Ki Subah Nahin one, two, three,
four,” Sudhir adds, without divulging further details about the sequel.

Sudhir’s other upcoming ambitious project is Mehrunissa, which will star Amitabh Bachchan.

“The script of Mehrunissa is almost finished. It is a big budget film. We will make an announcement soon,” he says.

The grapevine has it that Mehrunissa is the story of a woman who acts as catalyst in bringing together two estranged friends, and besides Rishi Kapoor, actresses like Chitrangada Singh, Deepika Padukone, Vidya Balan, and Katrina Kaif are being considered for the film. Sudhir’s soon-to-be-released Inkaar deals with the subject of
sexual harassment and stars Arjun Rampal and

Chitrangada Singh. “It is a great story. The film is in the post-production stage and we will release it in January 2013,” Sudhir adds.

Making a mark in B-town

Kristina Akheeva, a Russian-born model who has lived in Australia, has snapped up a leading role in Sunny Deol’s upcoming film Yamla Pagla Deewana 2.

She says, “I am very excited. I have always wanted to act — ever since I was a little kid, so it’s not completely a surprise as it’s something I’ve always been working
towards. I wasn’t sure if Bollywood was for me because it was very different from what I was used to. But in the span of one year, I started to fall in love with it — especially the colours and the music.”

Kristina also admits to being an ardent fan of Aishwarya Rai. She says, “I think she’s absolutely stunning and is the total package. I’ve seen a lot of her films.”

While the Yamla Pagla Deewana 2 cast-crew is currently busy shooting the major portion of the film in Leicester (United Kingdom), Kristina is facing a new challenge every day as the whole environment is new to her.

However, one of her biggest challenges is to learn Hindi. “I don’t speak Hindi very well yet — but I’m learning and I do know the basics and obviously, I’ve read the script. By the end of the film, I’m hoping I’ll be a lot better,” she adds.

Staying true to her principles

Actress Vidya Balan, who was a part of Lage Raho Munnabhai, a film that gave birth to the term Gandhigiri, says she tries to practice Mahatma Gandhi’s preachings in her day-to-day life.

“It may or may not be alive in my surroundings, but I try to practice Gandhigiri. I am not always successful in doing it, but I keep trying,” she says.

Director Rajkumar Hirani gave a modern twist to Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violence lessons in his 2006 hit film Lage Raho Munnabhai.

In the movie, Sanjay Dutt, who plays a goon, adopts Gandhigiri to deal with all his problems.

“All of us should try to do it and not wait for others to take the lead,” adds the
actress encouragingly.

‘We were ridiculed’

The critically-acclaimed Tamil film Moondram Pirai (Sadma in Hindi) may have earned Kamal Hassan a national award and his colleagues a lot of fame,  but the actor admits that the team was “ridiculed” when the movie was being produced.

However, post the release of the movie — which deals with the love story of Kamal Hassan and a mentally ill Sridevi — all the people in the film were treated like heroes.

“During the making of the film Moondram Pirai, (it was) ridiculed.  But all those involved in the film became heroes — including producer G Thiagarajan (after it released),” he says.

Directed by the veteran cinematographer-director Balu Mahendra, Moondram Pirai (meaning ‘the crescent’) went on to catapult Hassan, his co-artiste Sridevi and Mahendra to fame, even as the songs by Illayaraja became chart-busters.

The movie, which ended on a tragic note, earned Kamal Hassan and Mahendra
national awards.

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