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And Abhishek Bachchan, he adds, is the perfect brat. “There are three main characters — me, Abhishek and Aishwarya. I’ve done a lot of torturous sequences in the past. But this one takes the cake and the ache. And Aishwarya suffered all the wounds, pain, fever and insect bites heroically in the forests. For all the dangerous scenes, she hardly ever used a duplicate. She was totally up to the task,” said Vikram.

The 44-year-old actor endured quite a bit of pain too. “Bruises, wounds, sprained ankle...you name it. During the climactic fight, I had a catch in my back. I couldn’t walk, let alone fight. I had my physiotherapist with me to relieve my muscle pain,” he said. But Vikram can't stop praising Aishwarya, specially her dancing skills. “I always felt Madhuri Dixit was the best dancer ever. But then I saw how Aishwarya held her own in Devdas. I thought it fantastic. Every hero from the South wants to work with her at some point in his career. I got my opportunity finally. It’s wonderful that I'm making my Hindi debut with her. She has some kind of an enduring aura. Over the years, she has really evolved as an actor,” Vikram said.

In the Hindi version, he will be seen in a positive role as Aishwarya’s husband while in Tamil he will play Beera, a negative character being essayed by Abhishek in the Hindi version. “I had to do two characters. But she had to play the same character twice in two languages one after another.”

And what about Abhishek, who helped Vikram with his Hindi? “Abhishek is one of my best friends. I am known to be the prankster. But with Abhishek around, I had to withdraw from the brat race,” he laughed.

Vikram has taken his time to make an entry into Hindi films. “I didn’t want to enter Hindi cinema until I was ready. The work in Mumbai is so exciting. When I saw Rang De Basanti, Lagaan, 3 Idiots and My Name Is Khan, I wanted to be part of them. I wish we could make films like that in Tamil. Most Tamil films are rustic, rural, rugged and violent. Many of them are set in Madurai, which is known to be an aggressive city.”

Vikram's wife Shailaja is a psychology teacher and the couple have two children. “My daughter is 12 and my son is eight. My son is totally hooked to cinema and wants to be an actor. But I’d rather he concentrated on his studies. I’m sure he’ll do great in movies some day. I’m also moving towards direction with every movie. I’m learning on the sets all the time,” Vikram said.

Now Vikram’s family is fighting over which version to watch first on release. “Tamil or Hindi is a toss-up. But I’m not leaving Tamil cinema for Hindi. I’ve four films to shoot in Tamil. I’ve already started my next Tamil film, a psycho-thriller, where I’ve three roles. I’ve a film about a stage actor from the 1930s. Even if I do Hindi films, I want to be Chennai-based, always.”

IANS

A firm no

Sherlyn Chopra is one of the most downloaded and searched for actresses online and is often known for her non-apologetic dare to bare image. However, the siren turned down Playboy’s offer to feature in the magazine since the shoot involved nudity.

Sherlyn, who has made no qualms about shooting for daring bikini photo shoots, was offered a spread in the world’s largest-selling men’s magazine after their chief photographer Bob, saw Sherlyn’s pictures on the Internet. Reveals an inside source, “Bob happened to think that Sherlyn would be fabulous in Playboy after seeing some of her pictures online. He got in touch with her US agent and details of the shoot were being sorted out until Sherlyn developed cold feet.”

We come to hear that Sherlyn was comfortable doing some bold pictures in a two piece but wasn’t too keen on going nude and finally ended up turning down the offer.


Homecoming after hiatus

Raveena Tandon is back with a bang after a long time. Producer V Kumar and debutant editor — director Raajeev Walia, who has worked with directors like Mukul S Anand, S Raamanathan and David Dhawan, have joined hands with creative director Sameer Pandey for a magnum opus The movie titled, Agni — The Fire, stars Raveena Tandon in the title role. The film is being made under the banner of V G Productions.

Raveena plays the role of Agni, a crusader who fights against injustice to the women. V Kumar intends to launch 12 more movies in a few months’ time. And that’s not all. As there are six more serials too in the pipe-line. Besides Raveena, the film also has newcomers Jeetendra Modi and Archana Gupta, besides Eva Grover, Manoj Varma, Rajesh Puri and Mukesh Rishi.

Maharaja Features

Living life to the fullest

Whatever Bollywood’s box office king does, he does in style! Akshay Kumar and his close friends were the cynosure of all eyes at the Kensington Oval in the sunny Barbados where they sat to enjoy the T20 finals. Akshay, whose schedule has been hectic as ever, for the last couple of months decided to take a much-needed break and head to Barbados with some close friends to catch the T20 cricket series. But made a quick exit to London where Patiala House is being shot.

The star also booked the best seats in the house — the President’s Suite. Reveals a source close to the star, “Akshay flew his friends down in a private charter for a four-day long ‘all guys’ vacation where they stayed at a friend’s bungalow on Bridgetown Beach. Seated in the most expensive seats in the stadium, they cheered their hearts out at the England Vs Australia final at Barbados and were seen having a riot of a time.”

Akshay, an ardent cricket fan, is currently working on Nikhil Advani’s Patiala House, Farah Khan’s Tees Maar Khan and Anees Bazmee’s Thank You and decided to take time off from his schedule after much coaxing from his friends to catch the matches and celebrate the success of his last release Housefull.

However, Akshay Kumar being the workaholic that he is, flew to London in a private jet immediately to shoot for Patiala House since all flights to and fro to London were cancelled due to the volcanic ash. Confirms Akshay’s spokesperson, “Yes. Akshay did take a private jet since he wanted to reach London on time for the shoot schedule. He has always been a thorough professional.”

Stuck in snarl

The disturbance and curfew in Bangkok has affected a lot of travellers and tourists. Many Indian celebrities are stuck there due to their shoots as well. One such celebrity, who reached Bangkok just before the riots broke out, is the sexy Shillpi Sharma, who went there to shoot for Chandrakant Singh’s Be Careful along with Rajneesh Duggal.

The shoot has been cancelled as the curfew has been extended. Mentions Shillpi, “It is complete chaos here and we are not allowed to step out of our hotel.”

“All we do the whole day is roam around in the hotel without a clue about the actual situation outside. We were supposed to finish our shoot in seven days and now, we are stuck here till God knows when. More than anything else, we all just want to come back to India safely,” she adds.

We also hope that the riots cease soon and the people stuck there are able to return to their abodes.

‘I’d love to do comedy’

After playing a negative role in Kkusum and a typical Indian bahu in Bhabhi, television actress Rucha Gujarathi now wants to do comedy. “I would love to do comedy. It is difficult to make people laugh. Your comic timing and punch lines have to be absolutely right and this is what helps you prove your potential as an actor,” said Rucha, who returns to the small screen after two years, with Star One’s new show Rang Badalti Odhani.

Rucha’s character Natasha is completely positive. Yashashri Masurkar is playing the protagonist Khanak in the show. “I was busy enjoying time with family. I worked continuously for eight years and was desperately looking for a break. I went to Hong Kong and Goa and had lots of fun. I am also doing a fashion designing course simultaneously.”

Rucha started her career as a child artist and featured in movies like Dancer, Hum Hain Kamal Ke, Kanyadan, and Shikari. She was also seen in the music videos of Gurdas Maan, Pankaj Udhas and Vaishali Samant. She rose to fame with her role as Kali Kapoor in Ekta Kapoor’s popular TV soap Kkusum. She later went on to play the lead in Bhabhi.

Making place for herself in showbiz was not an easy task for Rucha. “I don’t come from a family of actors and had to struggle to earn my place. My parents always supported me. I feel my hard work has paid off and I am enjoying the way my career has shaped up. It’s been a wonderful journey so far," she said. The actress also made her big screen debut last year with Lottery alongside singer Abhijeet Sawant.

Although the film didn’t do well, it hasn’t deterred her from trying her luck in Bollywood again. “I would love to do Rani Mukerji’s role in Black or something like what Kareena Kapoor did in Jab We Met,” she said.

IANS









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