Once under fire for not doing enough for its impoverished Indian child stars, the makers of “Slumdog Millionaire” said on Wednesday they had bought a flat for one of them whose Mumbai shanty home had been demolished.
Director Danny Boyle and producer Christian Colson flew into Mumbai after pictures of Azharuddin Ismail and Rubina Ali picking ACthrough the debris of their homes — torn down by the civic authorities as illegal — were splashed in the media.
Smiling and hugging the children, Boyle said a home had been bought for Ismail, 9, who played the character of Salim as a child. He added they would soon buy one for Ali as well, who plays the young Latika.
Boyle, who came under fire for not doing enough for the children who lived in squalor despite the film’s success, blamed the media for raising the families’ expectations.
“Inevitably, the tension and pressure is media generated,” he said, after greeting Ali and Ismail with a hug.
“They were given access to a world, an extraordinary and glamorous world, and they understandably want their lives to be completely transformed,” said Boyle.
“The homes are a concern. That is one of the reasons why we built the trust,” he said.
The “Jai Ho” trust, named after the film’s award-winning track, and set up by Boyle and Colson, is meant to pay for the education and basic living costs of Ismail and Ali until they turn 18.
Boyle, whose rags-to-riches romance about a poor Indian boy competing in a TV game show scooped eight Academy Awards earlier this year, said he was pushing the trust to find a place for Ali before the monsoon rains, due around June 10.
A director for the trust said the apartment for Ismail was “comfortable, in a good neighbourhood (and) near his school” and cost “upwards of 2 million rupees” ($42,000).
“We have been trying to accelerate the process of re-housing the families, and one of the reasons we set up the trust is to deal with emergencies like this,” said Colson.
Boyle and Colson last month also donated 500,000 pounds to a non-profit organisation to support a programme for children in a slum in central Mumbai, where the film was largely shot.
In February, the state housing authority said it would give the two children apartments, but the families have not heard from them, said Rafik Qureshi, Ali’s father.
“The kids have done such a good job. They haven’t got anything. See where the kids are staying,” he said.
Nobody has the passion and heart to buy a stake in Kolkata Knight Riders,” declares Shah Rukh Khan, defying the claim made by mystery blogger Fake IPL Player that the star had found investors for the team. To HT City’s request to comment on Fake IPL Player, SRK simply replies, “I don’t do fake.”
When he returned from South Africa almost two weeks ago, Shah Rukh had sounded dejected over KKR’s performance. But his passion for his team and the game seems to have become even stronger. “You don’t need just money to run KKR — we have our wonderful sponsors for that — what you need is love, and in that department I am the king,” he states.
Rumours that he wants to wash his hands of cricket are just that, he contends. “The pressure to perform is greater now, but when you see Deccan and Bangalore turn it around in a year… I’m sure so can we.” UK-based brand valuation firm Intangible Business, in collaboration with MTI Consulting, has declared KKR the richest IPL team valued at $22 million.
“The valuation makes me smile a bit, [but] it will make me happy when our team provides value to our supporters on the field and makes them proud to be with KKR,” says Shah Rukh. He has a special promise for kids: “I want to promise them again this year… that the KKR shirts will be smaller for them in 2010, but they will never feel small wearing them as supporters.”
As for the performance, he takes the entire responsibility upon himself. “We don’t hate failure enough,” says the man who has seldom failed as a star. “The blame should completely rest on my shoulders. It’s my duty to overcome this year’s performance… how, when, who… too many details for an interview… I don’t like being a loser and I’ll pragmatically and passionately turn this around. Inshallah.”
As of now, it’s back to being Rizwan Khan in Karan Johar’s My Name is Khan, and SRK calls it one of his most intricate roles so far. “It is an exercise in bringing technique and emotions together.”
Every now and then, big names are being tossed around as being nearly signed for this role and now the latest rumour is that Shah Rukh Khan will feature in the role in this action thriller.
A source who claims to be in the know swears, “Yash Raj Films have been going through a lull period as none of their on-the-floor movies or their completed ones are generating any curiosity from the buyers as well as the audiences. SRK has always been a quick-fix solution for the Chopras.
When- ever their mega boat is rocked, good friend Adi Chopra calls on SRK and the actor steps in to bail out his dost.” This last happened with Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi.
Now an insider claims claim that SRK has been approached by the banner to play the main villain in Dhoom 3, “Last week, SRK was called in for a tentative one-line narration; he was impressed and agreed to be part of the film.”
Although one wonders when SRK will find the time to finish this film, which reportedly starts some time next year. SRK is very charged about his superhero flick and Don 2, which he wants to finish in 2010, along with his home production Happy New Year, to be directed by Farah Khan, so where is the time to fit in Dhoom 3? It is also not clear who will direct D:3 as Sanjay Gadhvi has had a fallout with YRF.”
Slumdog Millionaire child star Rubina Ali had to spend a night sleeping on the floor of an Indian hospital after her slum home was bulldozed. The nine-year-old star suffered from flu after spending two days homeless on the streets of Mumbai. She was taken to the nearby Bhaba hospital, but because there were no beds left she had to lie in the arms of her aunt Mohidin on the floor.
“Rubina was out in the hot sun when they knocked down our home and then was exposed to the humid night,” the Sun quoted dad Rafiq Qureshi as saying. “It was extremely stressful for all my family and I am not surprised that this caught up with my daughter,” he added. However, Rubina has been discharged from hospital and is currently staying in a cramped House.
Shilpa Shetty’s cricket team Rajasthan Royals may be bowled out of the ongoing Indian Premiere League in South Africa
but the glamorous actress is not packing her bags. She will join R&B sensation Akon, as he sings his Grammy award winning song “Smack That” at the closing ceremony of the IPL2 at the Wanderers on Sunday, May 24.
It is said that Katrina Kaif too will perform to the Oscar-winning number “Jai Ho” from Slumdog Millionaire composed by A.R. Rahman. She will perform with a troupe of dancers from Indian and South Africa, and choreographer Shiamak Davar is taking care of the moves.
IPL2 finale will also witness Caribbean music legend Eddy Grant performing his popular numbers “Walking on Sunshine” and “Gimme Hope Jo’anna.” Renowned percussionist Shivamani and a group of Indian and South African drummers will present a synchronised piece.
The Miss Bollywood IPL South Africa finalists will also be introduced to the audience at the IPL2 grand finale.
Bollywood superstars Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan came together on the same platform to raise the issue of the tiff between the film producers and multiplexes over revenue sharing. And both advocated a partnership of equality.”It should be a partnership of equality. Fifty percent sharing is fair. Distributors and exhibitors have to find a way to make it a viable business within their fifty percent. Within my fifty percent I have to make it profitable,” said Aamir at a press conference in Mumbai. “This is one industry and we all can survive only when each sector will earn a healthy share. We are here to find a solution to this,” added Aamir.
Apart from Aamir, industry veterans like Ronnie Screwvala, Mukesh Bhatt and Karan Johar were present, among others.Shah Rukh Khan, however, stressed that the press meet should not be seen as a “power show”.”This is not a power show. We haven’t gathered here to threaten multiplexes. It’s a show of coming together,” said Shah Rukh who also felt that there should be equal sharing of revenue. “We are here for fair rights for Friday nights,” he asserted.
The tiff between the producers and multiplexes started early February. And after several failed discussions, the producers decided to go on strike. From April 4 they have stopped giving release rights of new big-budget movies.
Freida Pinto, the star in the Oscar-winning film, Slumdog Millionaire, has leaped ahead of her Indian rivals to become the highest paid actress in Bollywood, a news report said.
Following the success of Slumdog, which took home eight Oscars and whose worldwide box office receipts so far are estimated at over $ 270 million, the Indian model-turned-actress has landed a series of lucrative roles with top directors, including Woody Allen and Julian Schnabel.
According to a report in the Daily Telegraph, she has pushed ahead of her colleagues Kareena Kapoor,Katrina Kaif and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, to become the highest paid actress in India.
Freida is currently in Israel to shoot for a new film that focuses on the interwoven lives of a Israeli and Palestinian women from the early years of the state through the early 1990s.
The British daily, quoting sources close to the Indian star, said her earnings have now topped 2 million pounds.
‘Freida is fast reaching the top status in the international arena. The actress’ projects with big filmmakers like Woody Allen have helped her join a league which no other Indian actress has achieved so far,’ said a film analyst.
‘Freida can’t be compared to Aishwarya because we’re not pitching her as an Indian girl in international films. Freida is a true global face,’ Anirban Das, CEO of her management company, was quoted as saying in the report.
Freida Pinto-The Next Bond Girl
N Yaa…Freida Pinto has also been invited to a screen test for the next Bond movie, reports UK’s The Sun.
One of Hollywood’s hottest properties, the 24-year-old Mumbai model could become the new Bond girl.
Freida was first spotted by producers during the casting for Quantum of Solace but has most recently been swept up in Slumdog mania — eight Oscars, seven Baftas and four Golden Globes!
A source said: “She was too young at the time to have a part as a love interest for a secret agent. But she has blossomed into an incredibly stunning young woman and would look perfect on Daniel Craig’s arm. [Slumdog director] Danny Boyle is favorite to take the helm of the next movie, which would increase Freida’s chances of a starring role.”
DO YOU THINK Freida Pinto would be a good Bond girl — Yaa or Naa?
I don’t think she would be suitable for the role. The only flick we know her from is slumdog and that was a little feel good movie with a predictable ending and a senseless bollywood dance to conclude the movie.Besides she was lousy in the movie, not a good actress. As for her exoticism… hardly the case. She is just “exotic” enough to fit perfectly well into western beauty standards. That’s how exotic she is. Interesting how colorism is applied not just to women of African American descent.
The actor has reportedly signed Hollywood’s famous writer-director David Benullo for the film being directed by Anubhav Sinha.David is best known for writing the screenplay of much appreciated ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ and the script for Hallowed Ground, Cupid and Shadow Man, which had won him accolades.
And now he has been roped by none other than King Khan for his next venture ‘Ra.1’, which is reportedly an SFX film.An industry insider said, “‘Ra1’ has loads of special effects, which is why it is to be made differently from the usual commercial Hindi films.
SRK wanted a writer who would do justice to the film. So he got David Benullo to work on the script.”
Confirming the news, director Anubhav Sinha said, “Yes, David Benullo is one of the writers working on the script.” Reports reveal that the writer has already started working on the film when he was he was in India recently.‘
Ra.1’ is slated for release early next year.
After releasing Don – The Chase Begins as one of the mega Bollywood Diwali releases in 2006, director Farhan Aktar is planning to release the sequel Don 2 in a Diwali bonanza in 2010.
When asked about the delays in shoot Farhan replied, “Don 2 requires a summer shoot and since in the summer of 2009 both me and Shah Rukh, being both busy with our acting assignments, the shoot for our film will only begin next summer which is of 2010.”
Sources however have revealed that Priyanka Chopra will also be starring in the sequel opposite Shah Rukh Khan when the film goes to floor in April 2010. The director/actor/singer, who has recently led a full diary due to films Rock On!! and Luck By Chance, has no time to sit in the director’s chair until the summer of next year.