'Films are my main focus'

Filmi Fundas
Last Updated 19 January 2010, 12:08 IST

Actress Genelia D’Souza says she has become more aware of the extent of poverty in India after hosting the reality TV show Big Switch, which featured ten rich children, who gave up their comfortable lifestyles to fulfil the dreams of slum children. “Big Switch was about a rich dreamer giving up his dreams to make another dreamer’s wish come true — helping someone who couldn’t afford to realise his or her dream. I have seen some of the most emotional moments between the rich and poor kids, which has given me a serious reality check in life,” said Genelia.

“There is so much poverty in India, yet the people in slums have the courage to dream. I took up Big Switch simply because it was a reality show in good light. The concept exuded positivity, and the soul of the show was very clean,” she added. The show, which aired on UTV Bindass, had its finale last weekend.

Genelia played a host, a friend and an advisor to all the children throughout the show. She says she was extremely touched during one episode.

“I have seen the rich kids do some of the sweetest things for their slum friends. I have seen them going to the extent of collecting cow dung with bare hands, and all this for someone they have no relation with. I had tears in my eyes that day and it really gave me a reality check,” said the 22-year-old said.

Though Genelia is happy with the way her small screen debut turned out, she isn’t too sure if she will be seen on television again soon. “I haven’t really thought about doing any other shows on TV. Films are my main focus at the moment. I have been working very hard on them,” she said.

Genelia has been juggling between the Southern film industry and Bollywood for
the past five years but it was Imran Khan-starrer Jaane Tu...Ya Jaane Na that brought her to the forefront of Hindi movies.

Her latest movie Chance Pe Dance, which paired her with Shahid Kapoor, released to average reviews Friday. Genelia is now working with the likes of Anees Bazmee in It’s My Life and David Dhawan-John Abraham in Hook Ya Crook. “I have never planned my career. Whatever comes my way, I try and make the best of it.”


Coming together of two divas

They were both on top of the charts in the 1970s and 1980s, but not once did the two gorgeous ladies — Hema Malini and Rekha, share screen space. Now after spending over three decades in Hindi films, the two actresses will come face-to-face on camera in Raj Kanwar’s Sadiyaan, a drama set in the 70s. “Both of them were thorough professionals and had no ego problem,” says Kanwar.

Aamir enthralls children

Aamir Khan addressed students at the Golden Jubilee celebration of a school. The students listened in rapt attention but broke into screams and shouts of appreciation when he had his guard down. The students presented a special project named Project Aamir Khan which included a slide show on his journey so far.

They also gave information about his likes — his favourite colour, movie, flower etc.
A few students were dressed up as characters from his movies, his avatars from Ghajini, Lagaan, Mangal Pandey, the latest hit 3 Idiots were brought to life. Aamir motivated the students and gave them a brief about a career in the film industry.

Aamir said, “It’s time we create a culture of allowing young people to ideate and help them realise their ideas. This is important to bring about the change in society.”

The students also presented a cultural program based on Rajasthani folk music and performed skits based on important world themes such as global warming, waste management, female foeticide, and highlighted several issues plaguing today’s society and youth.”

Mithun upset  

The stories surrounding Veer refuse to die down. This time, it is the turn of veteran  actor Mithun Chakraborty to show his displeasure at the treatment meted out to him by the film-makers. Mithun is playing a pivotal role in the film but he has not been included even in a single poster or frame which has been used for publicity. Most people are not even aware of his presence in the film.

Reaping benefits of hard work

From TV anchoring to political reporting to modelling, Jacqueline Fernandez has done it all. The former Miss Sri Lanka has now, finally fulfiled her childhood dream of becoming an actress.

She debuted in Aladin alongside veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan and Riteish Deshmukh — the results of which won Jacqueline the ‘Exciting New Face’ at the Stardust Awards 2010. Reveals a source, “Jacky debuted with Amitabh Bachchan in her first film. Very few get the opportunity to work with a Bollywood legend this early in their career. Jacqueline has a unique face, very Malaysian yet very Indian. The screen loves her.” Says a thrilled Jacqueline, “This is the first award I’ve received and I will cherish it. I will only strive to work harder now.”

With her beauty and effortless performance, Jacqueline Fernandez has managed to make her mark in Bollywood. The lady will soon be seen alongside Riteish Deshmukh yet again in Jaane Kaha Se Aaye Hai.

(Published 19 January 2010, 12:04 IST)

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