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June 22, 2000


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Kareena aims for No 1 slot

Kareena Kapoor Either Kareena Kapoor is over-confident or she is convinced she will not fit into the conventional heroine slot. Either of which could explain why she is walking out of so many films. Last week, it was Raj Kanwar's film. This week, it is Vicky's film to be directed by Naresh Malhotra, as well as a film opposite Ajay Devgan, to be directed by Bunty Lutharia.

Though her detractors cite the latter excuse, insiders are convinced mamma Babita, super-confident about her daughter's success, is paving the way for better heroine-oriented films and more moolah.

If producers are to be believed, though, the reason for the walk-outs was that Kareena started asking for an increment in her price, which they were not willing to accede to. And Babita is sure that, after the release of Refugee, Kareena will be one the highest paid heroines of the Hindi film industry.

Fardeen is a smart boy!

Fardeen Khan One actor who should be applauded for his perseverance is Fardeen Khan. This Feroz Khan progeny may have had a disastrous start but, unlike other star sons, he did not rush to his father for help. Instead, he called up and met film-makers who, impressed by his sincerity, started casting him in their films.

Ramgopal Varma was one of the first to do so. And the promos of Jungle are definitely helping the young actor. Besides repeating him in his next, Ramu is said to be planning a third film with Fardeen in the lead role. And that is not all.

Film-makers like Rahul Rawail, Randhir Kapoor and Mansoor Khan are also showing interest in Fardeen. And the boy is smart enough not to repeat the mistakes of his predecessors, like Kumar Gaurav. He is making very sure that Papa Feroz is nowhere on the scene when film-makers come over to meet him. That, probably, is one of the reasons why he chooses to meet the film-makers at their offices.

Mithun plans to launch son

Mithun Chakraborty Far away from the hustle-bustle of the Bombay film industry, Mithun Chakraborty has set up a world of his own in sylvan Ooty. He only acts for produce-friends who are willing to shoot their films in Ooty and areas close by.

But the management of his five-star hotel and the donning of grease paint is not what has kept him busy all this while. Mithun has also been busy training his teenage son, Mimo. Those who have seen Mimo are going ga-ga over the boy, who is said to be a tall, strapping lad, with sharp well-defined features.

And if all goes well, Mithun is expected to launch his son in the coming year. What remains to be seen is if he will do the honours himself or allow one of his producer-friends to do!

Shilpa-Akshay exhibit professional streak!

Shilpa Shetty After their split, everyone was left wondering how Shilpa Shetty and Akshay Kumar would participate in the shooting of and complete Dharmesh Darshan's Dhadkan. But there were no hiccups whatsoever!

Though Akshay tried to be his usual friendly self, in fact a bit more than necessary, Shilpa was as cool as a cucumber. She displayed none of the scars or hurt of the broken relationship. Her friends insist Akshay was trying hard to patch up, but Shilpa refused to relent.

And though the producers were worried about the completion of the film, director Dharmesh was not. He knew, say his close pals, that this is the only film Akshay and Shilpa can boast about. And neither of them is stupid enough to ruin a film at the cost of their personal emotions!

L'affaire Rani

Rani Mukherjee Poor Rani Mukherjee! Barely has she recovered from rumours linking her with Govinda and accusing her of breaking up his marriage than she is being hounded by another set of rumours. This time, of flirting with Anil Kapoor. And all of it began because she is doing more than one film with Anil Kapoor.

Though Anil was the one who recommended her name for the Sudhir Mishra film, it was director Shankar who insisted on signing Rani the other Anil venture, as he felt she was perfect for the role. "Please don't even mention this," laughs Rani, with a twinkle in her eye, "otherwise gossip mongers will be alleging I am having an affair with Shankar."

Not that it bothers Rani, who continues to nod assent to any film-maker who comes up with a proposal opposite Govinda as well.

Magnanimous Juhi

Juhi Chawla Juhi Chawla's proved she's not afraid to take difficult decisions. Though she is a partner in Dreamz Unlimited, which is currently producing Ashoka The Great, Juhi did not once throw a tantrum, put up any resistance or even sulk at the consensus that a younger, more saleable heroine like Kareena should be brought in as the heroine of the film.

In fact, Juhi was magnanimous enough to suggest, from the very beginning, that they find a subject which would work and where she is not necessarily the heroine. Neither is she insisting the company produce a film for her, which any other heroine in her place could have. Mighty selfless of the star, who has put her company even above her career!

Sushmita loves Hyderabad... and Chowta?

Sushmita Sen Guess why Sushmita Sen loves shooting in Hyderabad? The only reason one could think of is because it keep her closer to the love of her life, Sandeep Chowta. With Sushmita, there no hidden skeletons which threaten to suddenly spill out some day. Her life has been an open book even before she became Ms Universe.

As earlier, she meets and dates her friends openly. Which probably explains why Sandeep drops by to meet her at film shootings. In fact, he spent hours on the sets of D Rama Naidu's Aaghaaz.

And, good friend that she is, Sushmita goes to any length to help a pal. She is said to have agreed to do a song sequence in a south Indian film only because its music is composed by Chowta. Which could explain why her boyfriends go gaga over her.

Will Lisa replace Sushmita?

Lisa Ray Is Vikram Bhatt trying to prove a point by signing and promoting Lisa Ray? Yes, says a close pal of Sushmita Sen. The pal goes on to add that, ever since Sushmita and Vikram broke up, he has sworn he would make a star of a model.

The friend also insists that Vikram is now smitten by Lisa. The star-director relationship extends beyond the sets and the director is said to be taking a lot of personal interest in her career.

Update on Anil

Anil Kapoor Anil Kapoor was thrown out of producer Mukesh Bhatt's film Tumko Meri Kasam only because he cancelled the dates at the last minute and informed the producer that he would be reaching the foreign location three days late.

Well, Anil's is having the last laugh because his ploy seems to have worked. A member of the unit insists Anil was not happy with the way the script had shaped up and had been looking for an excuse to either postpone the shooting or walk out.

And a mere three day shifting of dates -- which happens in normal circumstances in the Hindi film industry -- has helped him achieve what he wanted to. Withoutv getting much of the blame at that. Actually, many of the film-makers are blaming Mukesh Bhatt for raving and ranting without any reason.

-- The Insider

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