Director Karan Johar can't stop raving about Shah Rukh Khan, who he says has been voted the "sexiest man in the world."

For all those who wonder if SRK will be cast in the film Johar is scripting for Nikhil Advani, an affidavit of affection from the director: "You cannot explain him. You just experience him. He makes himself so indispensable that you can't imagine you will be on a film set without him. He will spoil you. He will offer 15 suggestions and expend all his energy into the film he is working on. Films for him are even important than his wife [Gauri] and we all know how much he loves her!"


Suniel's the 12th man!
I may not have cancelled a shoot in the last 12 years, but I am sure my producers will be nice enough to understand if I did [cancel a shoot] when a match was postponed!" Actor Suniel Shetty is so cricket crazy he has no shoots lined up on the days when India plays at World Cup 2003. He even carries the match schedule in his pocket.

Shetty got friend Mahesh Manjrekar to film the song Humko toh poora hai yakin to cheer the Indian team. "The song was meant to be on the soundtrack of our film Stumped, but we decided to dedicate it to cricket and the spirit of India," he says.

He now plans to fly down to South Africa to watch the matches. "I am especially looking forward to the India-Pakistan match [on March 1]! To watch Shoaib [Akhtar] bowl to [Virender] Sehwag or Zaheer [Khan] bowl to the Pakistani batsmen would be amazing!"

Shetty is known for loudly cheering the Indian team. "When I am not around, they say, 'Someone is missing from the team, Suniel kahan hai'?"


Of quick turnarounds
Rani Mukherji may be all sweetness and light with Vivek Oberoi, but apparently it wasn't so when they began shooting for Saathiya when Oberoi was a newcomer.

Apparently the actress ticked off Oberoi when he offered a few suggestions, saying, "I have acted with Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Aamir Khan. Who are you?"

Then, Company and Road released, and Vivek Oberoi became hot property.

Mukherji, known for her PR skills, quickly made politically correct statements about Oberoi and became extremely cooperative on the sets!


Picture perfect
Star photographer Daboo Ratnani recently shot a 24-leaf calendar with Bollywood's best. Those who have seen it cannot stop raving about the pictures.

Worth a mention is Hrithik Roshan who dons a sexy new avatar. He sports a black tattoo on his bare back with short, frizzy hair. Akshay Kumar is caught mid-motion, almost as if he is falling off. There's Abhishek Bachchan smoking a cigar with a guilty expression on his face.

"Hrithik spent two hours getting his tattoo done. Akshay fell down seven times before we got the perfect picture. Even Amisha's picture, holding a golf ball in her mouth, is a very interesting concept."

Daboo is sad he couldn't shoot with some of his favourites because they didn't have the time: "Preity [Zinta], Tabu were so busy. I had to use new girls like Celina [Jaitley] and Lara [Dutta] who made time to the shoot!"

How have the stars reacted? "Everyone called me to say they loved their picture most!" Daboo says.


It's all in the name
She changed her name from Anita to Natasha to "add the luck factor" for her debut in Bollywood. If you missed her, she is the girl in Kucch To Hai and Yeh Dil promos (both opposite Tusshar Kapoor).

Dressed in a sexy purple halter-neck at the launch party, she looked every bit a Bollywood veteran, even refusing to reveal her age! "I quit studying after my tenth standard because acting was the easiest way to make money." She has already acted in five movies down South and is also in Ekta Kapoor's next film.

Quiz her about her role and she says, "I play Tusshar's best friend who falls in love with him." She also has an item number -- Ding dong -- in the film. Fair enough -- it's a decent jump from the small screen to the big one.


Monika Baldwa

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