Loving and hating the camera

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 18.03.05

Saif is not a safe bet when it comes to keeping promises. He has the reputation of acting like royalty and thus putting people in tight spots. This time he was to appear as a judge for the Indian Idol show, but suddenly pulled out, that too the previous day, saying he was ill. The show went on without a celebrity judge. But later the producer found out that he wasn?t ill. What a let-down it must have been for all those who idolise him.

Mahima Chaudhary

Mahima feels the heat

Mahima is giving Piyush Kumar a hard time, or is it the other way round? Kumar?s film, Mr 100 Percent ? The Real Player is a story of a married man, Aryan Vaid, a gigolo. After most of the film was canned, including the climax, Mahima decided to opt out. She put her foot down on some scenes which, according to her, had been shot in an objectionable way. But Kumar is a hard nut. He decided to go ahead with the film, Mahima or no Mahima. The director says that halfway through the film Mahima wanted the title of the film to be heroine-oriented. A dozen titles were given to her, but she hated them all. Now what makes Mahima cry foul? Mahima says there has been a breach of faith. ?What was being shot was sleazy and vulgar. I don?t wish to be associated with this obnoxious film,? was her argument. Actually Mahima has some pretty hot scenes with Aryan, and possibly with bold films flopping left, right and centre she got cold feet and tried to sneak out of the film. But Kumar is determined not to let Rs 2.5 crore go to waste that easily. And poor Mahima is feeling the heat ? of another kind.

Rakshak Sawhney and Natashha

Need for ektaa?

The over-hyped, over-publicised new Balaji production, Kkavyanjali, that has Ektaa?s favourite gal Natashha and Amrita Singh is facing a crisis rather too early. A crisis that could cost Balaji Telefilms dearly. The ?magician? director of Balaji who has on several occassions bailed out the megas from the pits of boredom, has quit. Anil Kumar is one on whom even Ektaa depended a lot. But with Kkavyanjali getting delayed, Ektaa pointed her fingers at Anil. But the problem laid elsewhere. The hero Rakshak Sawhney turned out to be a complete dud and a non-actor, and Anil wanted a replacement. But the stubborn Ektaa stood by Rakshak for some reason. The shoots got delayed beyond measure and a frustrated Anil called it quits. But amazing, Rakshak can?t be seen anymore in Kkavyanjali. He?s been replaced by Eijaz Khan. Well, never before has any hero, on whom so much money has been spent for publicity, been removed so fast. Possibly, Ektaa is extending the olive branch to Anil. But Anil is too hurt by Ektaa?s behaviour and determined not to go back, ?not for the time being, at least,? he asserts. But who knows, things change as fast in the Balaji kingdom as in politics.

Preity Zinta

Big mouth to shut up loud mouth

Preity Zinta has a big mouth, everyone from Abhishek to Rani Mukherjee is agreed on that. Undoubtedly, the first one to open her mouth after Shakti Kapoor was exposed on India TV, was she. Shakti Kapoor did some name-dropping and named actresses like Aishwarya Rai, Rani Mukherjee and Preity Zinta who, he said, had also gone through the casting couch, naming even the alleged couchers. And soon this pretty mouth was out there to condemn him. ?There is no place for him here,? she stated. Preity gave a piece of her mind about Shakti ?truly a real-life villain?. The others have maintained a discreet silence and chosen not to ?dignify? Shakti?s blurtings on the concealed camera.


Loving and hating the camera

Priyanka Chopra is scared of the hidden cameras and the cellcams. Possibly, after the Kareena-Shahid kissing episode and now with Shaktigate, many celebs from the glam industry, who have anything to hide, are feeling jittery. Pri Chops admits that she?s so scared of these ?prying eyes? that even if she?s staying in five-star hotels, she double-checks all the windows and doors. ?If need be, I even put a cloth on the windows,? she confessed. Fiercely trying to protect her privacy she condemns these hidden and mobile cameras as a big nuisance. ?You just can?t trust anyone or any place.?

Pri might be scared of prying cameras but she?s the best bet on camera for any producer now. PNC has replaced Aishwarya Rai with Priyanka to play Chhoti Malkin in Deepa Mehta?s Sahib Biwi Aur Ghulam. With Ash gone, even Salman has moved in to play Bhootnath, to keep his commitment to PNC. Even for Vivek, who was to play Bhootnath, things just didn?t work out with PNC. Meanwhile, the director Deepa Mehta claims she will be doing what Sanjay Leela Bhansali did to Devdas ? changed and modernised it.