Director Sooraj Barjatya, whose Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon will hit the marquee this Friday, is the man of the moment.
Whether it is Kareena Kapoor, who cannot stop gushing: "God and Sooraj are my only friends", or Hrithik Roshan, who is trying hard in Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon to live up to "Soorajji's Prem Salman Khan", or Abhishek Bachchan, who says, "Sooraj is the kind of guy who takes a lot of pain over what he does."
Bachchan Jr, who recalls being fired by Barjatya during the shooting, says, "He is the real hero of the film. On and off the sets, he is so nice, warm and humble; you learn so much from him. Also, Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon is a very positive film. Sooraj looks at things very differently. It is a very refreshing film because we live in a time where everything is very realistic. Sooraj's characters are positive or negative. A yes or no.
"All three of us were very busy when we started this film," he continues. "But it was never tough to get back into the film despite schedules separated by weeks because he was on cue all the time. You just had to sit with him. He knew each character like the back of his hand."
All three also claim that Barjatya has managed to extract extraordinary performances out of them.
Stumped? Not quite
So what if Stumped tanked at the box-office? Writer-director Gaurab Pandey's career seems to be on the upswing.
Pandey is reportedly scripting his next two films, both to be directed by him. The first will be in Hindi and the second, an English venture for a foreign production house.
Pandey claims that Geraldine Chaplin, daughter of the late Charlie Chaplin, will act in the English film along with an international cast that is yet to be finalised.
Pandey intends to bring Kajol and Shah Rukh Khan together for his third film, said to be an adaptation of a play by Vijay Tendulkar. Pandey says he narrated the script of the film to Kajol last year and she seemed excited about the project.
Dino Morea has five films on the floors, all of which are expected to release this year.
The first is Pawan Kaul's Sshh... with Tanisha, Kajol's sister.
Morea, who recently met with an accident while shooting for the film, seems to be over it. "I am perfectly fine. I think God saved me so I could have a great life ahead," he says.
All that he is willing to say of his co-star is, "She looks nothing like her sister. As for whether she is a good actor, you have to wait and watch. I don't want to give anything away."
Plan, Ishq Hai Tumse, Dhaar -- The Edge, and Insaaf -- are the other Morea films in the pipeline.
Back to reel
Filmmaker and designer Muzaffar Ali (father of Shaad Ali, who directed Saathiya) is working on a film based on the life of the 13th century Persian poet Jalaluddin Rumi.
The filmmaker is now in Turkey working on the project. He is also scouting for an international cast and crew.
Ali had earlier made films like Awadh and Gaman, besides the acclaimed Rekha-starrer Umrao Jaan.