The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This Page
Whoosh! Brangelina storm’s raging

Mumbai, Sept. 29: Brangelina is about to sweep through Mumbai and the city’s jet set are all agog, though few would care to admit it.

Hollywood’s hottest couple — Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt — will be in the neighbourhood for a month, babies, nannies and all.

“We hope to meet them and show them some of our collection. Angelina would be a dream to dress up,” a well-known designer duo gushed.

The actress is playing Marianne, the widow of journalist Daniel Pearl kidnapped and killed by terrorists in Pakistan in 2002, in a film on his life.

Part of the film, based on Marianne’s book A Mighty Heart: The Brave Life And Death Of My Husband Danny Pearl co-written with Sarah Crichton, will be shot outside Pune where hotel rooms have been booked from next week. The couple are expected to arrive in the country on Sunday.

“I know they are coming to Mumbai. Since they are going to be in this part of the country for a while, I am sure Arti will throw a party to introduce them to her friends,” said a model caught in a wardrobe malfunction.

Arti Surendranath, an actress-turned-ad-film-producer, and husband Kailashnath are line producers for the film, being produced and distributed by Paramount Vantage. Pitt is part-producer through Plan B, the company he co-owns with ex-wife Jennifer Aniston who was to play Jolie’s role.

“I don’t think it would be proper to talk about the project at this stage. Right now, I am busy with pre-production work for the film, which will be partly shot here,” Arti said.

But a source in Kailash Picture Company, owned by the Surendranaths, said the shooting will be in Aundh, a former princely state 10 km from Pune and four hours from Mumbai on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.

“We have blocked 40 rooms in Taj Blue Diamond in Pune apart from 18 rooms in a super-luxury serviced apartment in Aundh. It is yet to be decided who will stay where,” the source said.

Roland, the sales manager at Season Serviced Apartments, Aundh, confirmed: “We have set apart 18 double rooms. We have been told they would be used by the crew.”

Five luxury suites have also been booked in Pune’s Le Meridien. “The suites are more luxurious, but the actors may choose to stay in Aundh to avoid travelling,” the source said.

The couple’s personal security staff have been here to see the hotels, which won’t breathe a word on their preparations. Understandably so, because a popular shooting location — the house of a Pune builder — was scrapped after they gave interviews.

“It is a top international project that we are handling. We have strict instructions from their security personnel to keep their schedule under wraps,” Kailashnath said.

The Surendranaths, who have worked with the director Michael Winterbottom and producer Andrew Eton on an earlier film Code 46, were roped in around April-May when the producers decided to shoot in India rather than Pakistan as planned.

Islamabad had denied a visa to actor Irrfan Khan, of Maqbool fame, who plays a Pakistani agent who helps Marianne in trying to free her husband. Aly Khan, the other Bollywood actor in the film, plays a terrorist.

“The producers wanted to shoot at Aundh as the landscape bears a striking resemblance to that between Karachi and Islamabad, where the incident took place,” the source said.

But it won’t be all work for Brangelina, with Jolie said to be keen to see India, and not just the elephants.

“Our aim is to give the stars and crew a fantastic Indian experience,” the source said.

Email This Page