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Rani's secret weight loss formula
So how did Rani Mukherji lose all those extra kilos?
Here's the secret: "My normal fitness routine involves walking on the treadmill and sticking to definite timings for food," the actress says. "I eat everything and work out to remain fit."
Rani works out at IDEA, the brainchild of Anita Shivdasani and Sunita Kapoor (wife of Anil Kapoor).
Gulshan Grover's balancing act
Gulshan Grover newest project is Dan Cracchilio's [of Matrix, Lethal Weapon fame] next film, where he plays a villain, "I've known Dan for a while and was thrilled when he offered me this role. The cast for the rest of the film is yet to be decided. We begin a two-month schedule in October 2003."
The actor is quite happy with his mixed bag of English and Hindi films. "I have got Ek Aur Ek Gyarah and Chura Liya Hai Tumne, where I am the bad man. I've also got Beeper [costarring Harvey Kietel] and In The Shadows Of The Cobra [costarring Sean Young and Rutger Hauer].
"I have finally convinced directors that acting in Hollywood is akin to acting in the South. Only, the flight is longer. I am also trying to make the West aware of the talent we have. I had a film earlier for Shah Rukh Khan and Akshay Kumar, but it did not work out. There are more films coming our way. I just hope other actors don't screw it up for us!"
Now shooting for a National Film Development Corporation film with Atul Kulkarni, Rati Agnihotri and newcomer Masoomi, he says he is playing a filmmaker who falls in love with a new actress while directing a film. "Then Rati [who plays the girl's mother] seduces him! The film is about relationships and emotions. It's quite bold."
Grover admits being upset after losing The League Of Extraordinary Men to Naseeruddin Shah. "But now, with appreciation and different roles in films like Jism and Leela, I am quite happy!"
The actor cannot get over Hollywood's reaction when he does his own stunts. "In Jungle Book, I had to trip and fall down. It's a very routine thing in India. In fact, we do tougher stunts. But they refused to let me do it because they thought I would get hurt!"
On a different pitch
Asif Kapadia, whose BAFTA winner, The Warrior, may have a theatrical release soon, has started his second film.
"This will be different from The Warrior, but on a similar epic scale. I have begun scripting it. It may not be shot in India. I hope Indians will watch The Warrior because I think Irfan Khan has done a great job. He is one of the finest actors around."
The Warrior flogs the century-old theme of Indian feudalism and mystical spiritualism, through desert heat [evil] and Himalayan cool [redemption]. "It is a film that touches everyone because it is told only via pictures. There were only seven minutes of dialogue in it."
Kapadia, who was here as part of the Indian Diaspora Festival, says he loves the magic of India. "I like filmmakers like Mani Ratnam and Mira Nair. I saw Dil Se... and Bombay and enjoyed both. I am influenced by Bollywood, just as I am by Japanese or Chinese or any cinema. It isn't very different."
Milind's new avatar
Milind Soman is looking closer home with his first home production: Rules -- Pyaar Ka Superhit Formula, which revolves around a supermodel played by himself. Meera Vasudevan and veejay Namrata Baruah will debut in the film.
Music composer Sandesh Shandilya, who composed You are my Soniya in Karan Johar's Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, also debuts as producer with this film.
The story, according to Soman, takes a light but touching look at the game of love. "The heroine has an immense crush on a famous supermodel. She meets him but her world turns upside down as she knows no way of winning this man. This is where her grandmother [played by Tanuja] enters the picture and gives her a few lessons on the art of attraction!"
Love In Simla, anyone?