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‘I did not have faith in myself’

Actor Imran Khan has played several roles over his stint in Bollywood — but nothing like the rustic avatar he will adopt in director Vishal Bharadwaj’s upcoming flick, Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola. The actor admits that getting into the skin of the character was pretty tough — so much so that he actually wanted to back out of the movie, after he failed to deliver Haryanvi dialogues in the right fashion.

“While we were doing script reading for the first time, I was unable to deliver dialogues in Haryanvi. It was not easy at all. I felt I made a mistake by agreeing to do this film. I felt I should back out,” he says. “I told director Vishal Bharadwaj that I won’t be able to do this. It was he who convinced me to do it. He had faith in me when I did not have faith in myself,” he adds.

Imran had to work on his Haryanvi and apparently, his uncle Aamir Khan advised him on how to set about this. “I remember Aamir telling me that I should go to Haryana for six months, so that I get things in a more right and appropriate way. It was not feasible. Also, during Jaane Tu Yaa Jaane Naa, he had told me to travel across India in a bus for a year. It was Abbas Tyrewala who said this would not be possible, since we had to start shooting soon,” Imran recalls.

“The role I am playing in this film is different from what I have done earlier. We prepared for almost two-and-a-half months. I feel the more we rehearse and prepare for the film, the better we perform,” he notes. Imran also praises Vishal Bharadwaj for being a calm and composed person and guiding him on his performance. “I wanted to see the character of Matru in Imran. We did several tests on his appearance and finally, got him in this overgrown beard,” Bharadwaj explains. The movie, which is scheduled to release on January 11, 2013, stars Anushka Sharma opposite Imran, besides Pankaj Kapoor and Shabana Azmi among others.

Touching on a lesser-known topic

Film-maker Shekhar Kapur says he might be tempted to make a movie on the 1915 Armenian genocide. Although this is a relatively lesser known issue, the film-maker feels it could turn out to be pretty good content for a film. “Going to Yeravan (capital of Armenia). Is there an Armenian community in India? Going to Armenia to study massacre of Armenians in 1915 and perhaps make a film on it later,” tweets Shekhar. The Armenian genocide (1915-23) saw the Ottoman regime systematically exterminating its minority Armenian subjects from their traditional homeland in the territory constituting the present-day Turkey.

Irritated by the warnings

There has been a lot of controversy regarding the issues of actors and actresses smoking on screen — which has now culminated in warnings being flashed every time such a scene comes up. However, not everyone agrees that this make sense. In fact, actor-producer Farhan Akhtar has questioned the sense of running an anti-smoking warning in a movie, especially with an adult rating. “Why can smoking in film not be dealt with in the rating given by the censor board? Why the demand for a ridiculous scroll during the scene? (sic)” tweeted Farhan.

Smoking scenes are now allowed in movies, albeit with a warning with the particular scene. But going by Farhan’s post, it would appear that not all Bollywood stars agree with the principle behind it.

Whose steps are the best?

These days, being a heroine isn’t just about acting — it’s about dancing as well. Heroines have to get their steps right for item numbers and also because dancing to popular songs at weddings bring in a lot of extra cash. Needless to say, in this regard, the competition is pretty fierce. For instance, Rani Mukerji’s belly-dancing moves in Aga Bai, from her latest film Aiyyaa, show that the actress has seriously worked on her steps — they couldn’t have come easily. “I have practiced my steps a lot,” agrees the actress, who has also worked hard on the dance movements in the film, including the lavani dance in Sava Dollar, another spicy number from the film. Not one to be left behind, Katrina Kaif — who did the lavani in Chikni Chameli, garnering praise for her rustic steps in the film — is now working on a form of dancing called Acro dancing. Acro dancing, for those who tuned in late, is a form of acrobatics and classical dancing and is very beautiful to watch. Katrina will be displaying these steps along with some breathtaking action in her next big oeuvre at the turnstiles in Dhoom 3. (Maharaja Features )

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