Bollywood boys bond too

MUMBAI: The men in Bollywood movies were never more macho... and more bonded. On the sets of Sanjay Gadhvi’s Dhoom, Abhishek Bachchan, Uday Chopra and John Abraham whoop it up like there’s no tomorrow. “My co-star in Dhoom is my motorbike, and of course Uday and Abhishek,” grins John. It looks like 2004 is going to be the year of celebrating machismo.

Says Bipasha Basu, “Although Anees Bazmi’s No Entry has a lot of prominent male stars I’m part of the main conflict and not there just to provide oomph and glamour.”

From grim to grin

MUMBAI: The comic mode is getting infectious. Having reaped the rich harvests of the grim in Bhoot, Pinjar and Tehzeeb last year, Urmila Matondkar now wants to try out the grin. Her performance in Ek Hasina Thi was, to say the least, outstanding. But now Urmila wants to let her hair down. “I want to do something really zany next. I want to do a comedy.” Talks are on with M F Husain for his next film, where Urmila gets her comic wish. It’d be interesting to see what she does with her fine aptitude for fun and mimicry. Apart from Sridevi, Aroona Irani and Juhi Chawla, not too many Bollywood actresses have displayed much comic talent.

Sanju, Ash changing tracks

MUMBAI: Sanjay Dutt and Aishwarya Rai seem to have gone into an experimental mode. First the whacked out pseudo-medico in Munnabhai MBBS, then the mind-reader in Rudraksha and now he has been signed on to play an extremely unusual role in Pritish Nandy Communications’ Shabd. The project to be directed by debutante Leena Bajaj was in the news when Aishwarya agreed to star in it. Zayed Khan was finalised for one male lead.

But the hunt was on for the main male protagonist. Ajay Devgan and Akshay Kumar were under consideration. But the prized role of an author caught in an extremely bizarre and delectable predicament has now gone to Sanjay. Confirming the casting coup, director Leena Bajaj says: “When I narrated the subject to Sanjay, I could see the pain and maturity of experience in his eyes. These are the qualities I needed for my hero. I couldn’t have hoped for a better actor.” The shooting will begin in June.

Lara does not come cheap

MUMBAI: Lara Dutta denied rumours that she was just charging Rs 15 lakhs for a film and hence had producers and directors tripping all over to sign her. “I have been paid more for my first film. So, why would I charge less now,” she said. Lara has quite a few films on hand including the about to be released Masti, where she plays a glamorous woman who happens to meet Vivek Oberoi. “It leads to funny situation,” she smiles. Lara has just completed a major schedule of Vikram Bhatt’s Elan in Switzerland. She has also signed Satish Kaushik’s Phir Hera Pheri with Akshay Kumar and K Subhash’s Sipahi with Ajay Devgan.

Vivek is the first choice

MUMBAI: Rakesh Mehra’s film with Aamir Khan is the talk of the town. The film will hit the floors by the end of the year. Here’s some dope we thought we could share. Apparently Aamir was not the first actor to be approached for the role. Mehra had first approached Vivek Oberoi. But he could not convince Vivek about the character that he had to enact in the film. Mehra then approached Aamir who immediately said yes.

Bips makes new plans

MUMBAI: Though Bipasha’s current films Ishq Hai Tumse and ‘Aetbaar’ haven’t fared well at the box-office, the Bollywood seductress doesn’t seems to have affected by the fact. If the grapevine is to be believed, Bipasha is all set to launch a restaurant in the lines of Bollywood stars Suniel Shetty, Amisha Patel and Celina Jaitley. Also it’s heard that Bipasha is learning photography these days. Now that makes one wonder what’s exactly on her mind. Is she planning to quit Bollywood? For the sake of her fans we hope no.