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Akshay Kumar
Akshay Kumar has once again proved his hold at the box-office with “Phir Hera Pheri” getting an exceptional opening. He increasingly looks to be the star having the Midas touch with most of his films proving to be winners for producers. Kumar’s consistency at the box-office can be gauged from the success of his films such as “Khakhee,” “Aitraaz,” “Mujse Shaadi Karogi,” “Waqt-Race Against Time,” “Garam Masala,” etc. Even his super flop “Humko Diwane Kar Gaye” had a decent opening. He is one star who can match the 'Khan' factor at the box-office, with “Phir Hera Pheri” receiving an exceptional opening. The icing on the cake is that the critics are raving about his performance in the film as well.




Amisha Patel




Amisha Patel's performance in “Ankahee” has been well appreciated. She has been inundated with calls and instant messages about her understated performance and de-glam look in the film. The heart-wrenching performance in the scene where she confronts Esha Deol behind closed doors would have melted even the stonehearted, scream all the reviews. Says a visibly excited Patel, “I feel so overwhelmed by the calls I have been receiving about my performance in the film. In fact, for that much talked-about scene, which was OK’d in just one take, I didn't use glycerin at all. Everyone was stunned and even director Vikram Bhatt forgot to say cut. It was very touching. I put so much of myself into that scene that whenever I see it now, I get emotional. It was a satisfying experience and all my producers called up to congratulate me.” Patel is now awaiting the release of Farhan Akthar's “Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd” where she essays a lighthearted character.



Akshaye Khanna, the thinking woman's sex symbol, is undoubtedly one of the most talented actors we have in Bollywood. With his charismatic swagger as a detective and magnetic brooding sensuality and expressive face, Khanna has captivated the heart of the audience in “36 China Town” and single-handedly carried the film on his shoulders. With Ratan Jain's “Aap Ki Khatir,” Nikhil Advani’s “Salaam-E-Ishq” and Anil Kapoor’s “Mahatma v/s Gandhi” due for release in the near future, he is set to rock and roll this year. Khanna seems to be the blue-eyed boy of all his producers. First, we have Ratan Jain who has repeated him since “Humraaz” and Subhash Ghai had done the same after “Taal.” The latest to join the bandwagon is none other than Anil Kapoor, who, after seeing the rushes of his performance in his home production, is following the growing list of producers repeating Kumar by signing him for another 'biggie' with a huge leading actress. With “36 China Town” hitting the bulls-eye at the box-office, this talented actor is indeed on a roll …



Naseeruddin Shah

Naseeruddin Shah's much-awaited directorial debut “Yun Hota Toh Kya Hota” slated to hit theatres in July is being produced by Shabbir Boxwala who had earlier produced “Dil Ka Rishta.” The stars of 'Yun …' are mighty kicked about its unique concept, which has four plots running parallel to one another. Various twists and turns in the story make them blend together toward the end. The film has been shot extensively in Mumbai and New York. Ayesha Takia feels she is lucky to be working with a veteran such as Naseeruddin Shah at such an early stage of her career. “Working with a versatile and accomplished actor like Naseeruddin Shah is a privilege available to very few actors. Naseer is a perfectionist." Takia plays the character of Khushboo, a college girl and daughter of a rich industrialist who helps her colleague to go to the U.S. for higher studies. The film also stars Paresh Rawal, Jimmy Shergill, Irrfan Khan, Konkona Sen Sharma, Ratna Pathak Shah and Suhasini Mulay. It also marks the acting debut of Shah's son Imaad Shah and the ace choreographer Saroj Khan.



Urmila Matondkar, left, Sanjay Suri and Juhi Chawla star in “Bas Ek Pal.”

Juhi Chawla and Urmila Matondkar are coming together for the first time in Onir’s “Bas Ek Pal.” Producer Shailesh Singh says, “The two actresses work in such radically different ways whenever they both are together on the sets the atmosphere is filled with joy and fun.” Adds Onir, “Although it is for the first time they are working together they both have got along well from the first day of the shooting. They both have built a friendly yet professional relationship with each other. “People will definitely like them because they are fresh and have never shared screen space.” The movie also stars Sanjay Suri, Jimmy Shergill and Rehan Engineer. It has special appearances by Yashpal Sharma, Purab Kohli and Chetan Pandit. Styling is by Anita Dongre, who has given a distinctive and unique look and color to each of the cast, which personifies the roles they are playing in the film. Sanjay Suri changes his looks thrice in the movie and Matondkar has been given a sophisticated short hair look for her role.

Jyothi Venkatesh, a veteran film journalist and friend of Khaas Baat, is based in Mumbai, India.


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