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Wanted: Smash Hit

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Wanted: Smash Hit • Jab She Didn’t Know Her Co-stars • Covered Girl

Bollywood stars are an insecure lot. After the unprecedented success of Aamir’s 3 Idiots, and Salman’s surprise smash in Dabangg, Shah Rukh Khan is reportedly hungry for his own epic hit. The actor had hoped My Name Is Khan would be that film. It had the pedigree: it starred Shah Rukh opposite his most popular leading lady Kajol, and was directed by Karan Johar who had delivered blockbusters with those stars previously. And while Khan did respectable box-office business both within India and in overseas markets, its numbers still didn’t come anywhere close to 3 Idiots’ or even Dabangg’s.

No wonder there is talk that Shah Rukh is personally looking over every little detail of his superhero film Ra.One that he’s producing himself. Visitors on the set have returned with stories of SRK’s complete involvement in the filming of action and stunt scenes, while director Anubhav Sinha busies himself with mundane responsibilities. Ra.One is currently scheduled for a Diwali 2011 release, but Shah Rukh, apparently, is taking no chances. The actor is already meeting filmmakers to discuss future projects once he’s done filming Farhan Akhtar’s Don 2. An adaptation of Chetan Bhagat’s 2 States to be directed by Vishal Bharadwaj is more-or-less confirmed. And now, the grapevine has it that SRK has set his sights on an Abhinav Kashyap project.

I have it from well-placed sources that the actor invited the Dabangg director over to his Bandra home recently. The brief was simple: write me a masala potboiler that has the potential of reaching out to a large mass audience. Kashyap, who burnt his fingers with Dabangg —Salman allegedly took over the film midway and changed the script on set—has told friends he’s wary of working with big stars again, but was suitably floored by Shah Rukh’s spiel.

Jab She Didn’t Know Her Co-stars

She’s Bollywood’s most spoilt diva, and does little to alter that reputation. Far from being friendly, Kareena Kapoor isn’t even particularly polite when it comes to junior artistes or film crew. She did little to ingratiate herself to the little tykes who played her step-kids in We Are Family, and she was allegedly plain cold to one of the tots who’d earlier declared that she was a fan of Priyanka Chopra. “She’s going to get the silent treatment now,” Kareena is believed to have said when she learnt the young girl idolised her arch enemy.

While shooting in Pune last week with Salman Khan for a remake of the Telugu hit Bodyguard, the actress is believed to have spent most of her free time on the set locked up in her make-up van. Salman, meanwhile, hung around in his vest chatting with unit hands and the occasional fans who dropped by. On the last day of the schedule, a nervous production assistant followed by a group of teenagers approached the actress to request a photo opportunity. She dismissed the assistant at first, until he said the group had been waiting around all day for her. Mumbling under her breath about not being in the mood to chat with fans, the actress demanded to know who the group was. Gently, the assistant told her they were the junior artistes who played her college friends in the movie, and with whom she’d shot the whole week. Embarrassed at having failed to recognise them, Kareena had the picture taken right away and made some polite conversation too. But the kids appeared shocked on realising they hadn’t even registered in her scheme of things despite working together so closely all week.

Covered Girl

A leading actress, while participating in a photo-session for a prominent men’s magazine recently, developed cold feet when she saw some of the references and outfits that were laid out before her. She asked for the revealing dresses to be replaced by more conservative ones, and begged for the shoot to be styled differently. The team from the magazine were shocked at her sudden change of heart, given that she’d approved the costumes herself. Moreover, the actress was no stranger to raunchy photo-shoots, having appeared in her itty-bitties on more than a few magazine covers.

Eventually, they arrived at a compromise. The revealing outfits were dumped in favour of trendy ones; and in return, the actress agreed to make all sorts of naughty expressions. The magazine wasn’t thrilled, but there’s little that could have been done. You’ll know the pictures when you see them!