Screen On & Off

Factory fresh Head turner

By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 30.06.05

Factory fresh

What promos can do! No, that?s no title of any new arthouse flick but what Riya Sen must be thinking after Ram Gopal Varma signed her on to do an item number in his forthcoming Factory production James. ?He saw my promos of Silsiilay and that?s it,? she tells Metro, quite aware of what Varma?s previous coups, Khallas and Darna Mana Hai did for Ishaa Koppikar and Sameera Reddy.

?It?s always been my dream to work with Mr Varma. Whatever he creates, he does so innovatively and aesthetically.? The song, to be shot next week, is going to be catchy with lots of attitude as opposed to hardcore commercialism, promises Riya.

Just back in Mumbai from a 15-hour-a-day schedule in France and Italy for David Dhawan?s multistarrer Shaadi No. 1, Riya can?t get over the European experience. ?Working with people you know is always loads of fun, and when your co-stars (read hunks Zayed and Fardeen Khan) are like-minded, it just gets better,? she laughs.

Breaking new grounds in Bollywood hasn?t stopped Riya from chipping away in the south. Santosh Sivan?s Malayalee movie Ananda Bhadram has been her ?most challenging and fulfilling project till date?, she reveals. ?My last shot has me getting possessed by a spirit in the middle of a village in Kerala. People were standing all around staring at me and I had to flail my hands, scream and express fear with my eyes, all at the same time. I managed to do it in one take and the entire unit plus the villagers clapped once the shot was okayed.?

But it?s still the rave reviews for Silsiilay that is keeping Moon Moon Sen?s younger daughter smiling. ?I?m fed up of people taking me for granted. With Silsiilay, I wanted to prove to people that I?m capable of doing much more than merely flaunting a sexy image on screen.? Take that!

Head turner

She has largely been absent from the showbiz scene having done brilliant cameos and rendered stunning chartbusters in the 80s and 90s. But with Fame Gurukul all over the small screen, there?s no stopping Ila Arun the headmistress. The new reality soap opera from Sony has Ila as the head of the musical academy, where the 14 aspirants are being trained.

?It has always been my dream to have a music school of my own where one could train fresh talent to become professional singers and performers,? says Ila, who still can?t forget the Calcutta girl who couldn?t make it to the show for a bout of tonsillitis.

?I am expected to be strict but I am emotionally attached to all my students,? she adds. To catch more of Ila?s rules and how the contestants follow them, tune in to Fame Gurukul, Mondays to Thursdays at 8.30 pm and Fridays at 8 pm on Sony.