Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Arjun to Sashaa: How come we were not linked?

Arjun Kapoor asks his 'Aurangzeb' co-star Sashaa Agha. While she giggles, Prithviraj prefers to let his eyes do the talking
  It’s South star Prithviraj’s second outing in Bollywood after Aiyyaa. While this super hot man acted cool it is Arjun Kapoor who did most of the talking (Did someone say he’s shy?). In a hour-long session, the actors indulged in some serious talk and some banter... Excerpts of their conversation with the Hitlist team.

Arjun: I play a double role in this film, it’s like ek pe ek muft. We have been saying the same things at the promotions for the past few days and trying to make it as exciting as ever. But one thing I have realised, an actor may be having a bad day or whatever but you have to put up an appearance. You are there because of these people.

It’s exactly a year since my debut film Ishaqzaade released. When I was offered Aurangazeb, I was initially keen to do the role Prithviraj has done. But Adi (producer Aditya Chopra) put me in my place ke bhaiyya tumhe double role mila hai.

Prithviraj: I play a cop... something that I have done umpteen times before on the screen. For three months, I had a Hindi tutor and even during the shoots I would rehearse the lines with him.

Arjun: But he still does all the talking with his eyes. You have to watch him.

Prithviraj: I think now my Hindi is ekdum shuddh. And unlike Aiyyaa, I have a lot of talking to do now.

Sashaa: Prithviraj and I don’t share any scene at all...

Prithviraj: In fact I met Sashaa for the first time just 10 days ago during the promotional rounds.

Arjun: Sasha was the last to be cast so she stepped in when we had almost finished the rehearsals and readings. But as I knew her earlier, there was this comfort factor.

Sashaa: I freak out when I hear loud noises. So Arjun had this habit of quietly coming near me on the sets and shout out loud in my ear and I would scream.

Arjun: Before enacting the emotional scenes, I used to crack jokes with her and when she used to start laughing I would become serious and say chalo masti mazak mat karo. Every one on the sets used to think that Sashaa is cracking jokes before the shot. Thank god we were not linked. How come we were not linked?

Prithviraj: (laughing) You guys didn’t work hard enough!

Arjun: Sashaa has this habit of giggling at everything. Even before she would crack a joke, she would laugh out loud. And how she loved applying nail polish.

Sashaa: As they did not want any fancy stuff, the only thing I could do for different scenes was to apply different shades of varnish.

Arjun: I used to wonder what she was thinking. The film’s subject is such. It was Atul’s idea to title the film Aurangzeb. It goes well with all our characters as how far a man can go to gain power. How ruthless he can be.

Prithviraj: The title has the element of intrigue. Reason enough to watch it.

Prithviraj underwent extensive workshops to prepare for Aurangazeb

Playing a cop comes easy to South superstar Prithviraj; however, the actor had quite a challenge at hand essaying his career’s 16th cop role, for his upcoming film ‘Aurangazeb’ under the Yash Raj banner since he plays a true-north Indian inspector ,for which the actor had to overcome the challenge of speaking in the local dialect.

Not only did he have to flawlessly deliver his dialogues while dubbing for the film but he also plays narrator in several parts of the film, for which the actor put in a lot of hard work to polish his Hindi diction and unlearn most of what he knew –Says Prithviraj, “When Atul (director, Sabharwal) approached me, he’d told me that giving the voiceover would be a bigger challenge than playing a cop in the film because that’s a role I have played multiple times in my films down south. I accepted the challenge and hope I’ve lived up to his expectations.”

Adding that, “Unlearning Hindi was tough. I knew how to read, write and speak the language, but my accent was different from a north Indian. So I underwent a four month workshop to perfect my accent and prepare for my role as the narrator”.

Prithviraj Sukumaran: AURANGZEB has a lot to do with megalomania

Prithviraj is coming back to the Hindi film arena with AURANGZEB. A film which is primarily an ensemble affair, it has been in news for Arjun Kapoor's double role appearance. However if one digs deeper down, it is revealed that AURANGZEB is not just there in Arjun but every actor character that the film features. No wonder, Prithviraj finds himself to be an integral part of the affair, what with the film actually being narrated through his voiceover. 

 "Yes, the title AURANGZEB is significant to every character in the film. Same holds true for my part of Arya as well. In fact in the film, Arjun and I are required to take split-second decisions without keeping our respective families in mind. We do what is right though deep inside, there is a lot to do with megalomania as well. Each one of us out there has a desire to own power and this is the reason why all of us are pretty black characters with perhaps a hint of grey," says Prithviraj who is making his second Hindi film appearance after AIYYAA, which had released last year. 

 While AIYYAA had a fantastical element to it, AURANGZEB is touted to be as real as it gets. Now that becomes further interesting considering the fact that Yash Raj Films has seldom ventured into the kind of territory that this Atul Sabharwal directed film does. 

 "AURANGZEB is a very real film and there is nothing filmy that you see in there," says Prithviraj, "The way scenes have been shot, it is obvious that an effort is being made to show people the world that they live in. No one is trying to fake anything here."

We would like to see that as well when the film releases all over this weekend. 

Prithviraj made to audition for 'Aurangzeb'

 South stars don’t have it easy, do they? After making his Bollywood debut in Aiyyaa, Prithviraj is all set to appear in the upcoming Aurangzeb. The Thiruvananthapuram-based actor interestingly bagged this particular role after going through an audition for the first time in his career. What’s more intriguing is he’s playing a cop for the 17th time!

   According to the 30-year-old who made his screen debut in Malayalam cinema in 1999, it was YashRaj Films casting head Shanoo Sharma’s idea to make him audition for the action film.

“I remember going to her place and sitting across the dining table. The next thing I know she’s taking her iPad out and clicking the record button. I had a few lines to deliver and that’s it. It was an interesting experience because I’ve done more than 70 films so far and never before had I been asked to audition or ever auditioned for a role so it was amusing as well as exciting,” smiles Prithvi.

The actor further says he wasn’t worried about repeating the police act although he has played the man in uniform for almost three dozen times now. “It’s not like you’re playing the same character again and again. Just like actors are different, cops are different too. Like in Aurangzeb, I’m playing a north Indian cop for the first time so the idea is to seek something you haven’t tried before. Similarly, every role brings with it an essence of newness. Or else, why would I agree to them in the first place?” 

Prithviraj to star in Vasantha Balan's next

As his latest thriller 'Mumbai Police' which is now running hit status, Prithviraj is very much excited.

The movie did open to some negative reviews due to its climax, but the latest reports suggests that it has hurled over the initial opinions and more and more youngsters and coming to watch it as they really loved it and the performances.

Prithvi is also eagerly awaiting the results of his second Hindi flick 'Aurangazeb' which opens next weekend. 

Prithvi will now join the new Tamil movie by Vasantha Balan who made such inspiring tales in 'Angaditheru' and 'Veyil'. Prithvi is thrilled with the subject which he rates as a fantastic one.

Was uncomfortable working with Prithviraj in 'Aurangzeb': Rishi Kapoor

Mumbai: Noted actor Rishi Kapoor says he felt uncomfortable calling his co-star Prithviraj Sukumaran by his first name -- because it is the name of his grandfather, the yesteryear thespian Prithviraj Kapoor.

"I was uncomfortable working with Prithviraj for the first two days as it was my grandfather's name. But later, it was ok," Rishi Kapoor told reporters here at the promotional event of upcoming film `Aurangzeb'.

Kapoor and Prithviraj will be playing cops in `Aurangzeb'. 

Kapoor was all praise for the co-star Arjun Kapoor.

"He is very focused as an actor. His passion towards acting was seen in his work. Passion for work is very important. Hope he does good work and make your parents proud and happy," he said.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Prithviraj offered Happy New Year alongside SRK

Farah Khan, who has roped in a dynamic cast of Shahrukh Khan, Abhishek Bachchan and Boman Irani for her 'Happy New Year' is now on the lookout for one last guy. Buzz is that she is eager to cast south actor, Prithviraj Sukumaran for this.

Apparently, informal talks are on though any formal announcement has not been made. Prithviraj made his Hindi film debut opposite Rani Mukerji in 'Aiyyaa'. His next release is YRF's action thriller, 'Aurangzeb'.

Talking to PTI, Prithviraj said, "I had an informal meeting with Farah. She told me the premise of the film she is doing. And I have not read the script yet, no concrete offer has been made to me."

"I have not said ok to it officially. So nothing is concrete and confirmed. It was a very vague premise that she told me but it was very funny and exciting," he added.

'Aurangzeb' not similar to 'Dabangg', 'Rowdy Rathore': Prithviraj

Southern actor Prithviraj Sukumaran, who plays a policeman in "Aurangzeb," says the movie is different from commercial cop films like "Dabangg" and "Rowdy Rathore".

"It's really not that kind of a film in the first place, it's not a 'Dabangg' or 'Rowdy Rathore'. It's a very real film and the story exists in a very real space. So, the effort on the character has also been to try and make him as real as possible," the 30-year-old said here in an interview.

"My endeavour has been to try and make people believe that this is someone who exists in the world that they belong to. Nowhere in the film will you see a film or cinema cop that these commercial flicks are used to portraying," he added.

Prithviraj said the main challenge for him was to convince the audience that his character is a true north Indian, Hindi speaking policeman.

"Playing a cop was not a challenge because this is my 15th or 16th cop film. The challenge for me personally was to convince whoever sees this film, that I am a north Indian policeman," Prithviraj said.

He put in a lot of hardwork polishing his Hindi diction for the Yash Raj Films' project.

"All the effort that I had to put in prior to the shoot was to get my Hindi diction right, and to speak Hindi like somebody who speaks Hindi on a daily basis. For that, I worked extensively with a wonderful diction coach (named) Vikas Kumar," said the actor, whose last Hindi project was "Aiyyaa".

Directed by Atul Sabharwal, "Aurangzeb" stars Arjun Kapoor in a double role besides actors like Rishi Kapoor, Jackie Shroff, Amrita Singh, Swara Bhaskar and Sasha Agha.

It is slated to release May 17. 

Prithviraj to offer a script to Big B

Southern superstar Prithviraj Sukumaran, who debuted in Bollywood with "Aiyyaa", has bought the rights of his hit Malayalam film "Ayalum Njanum Thammil". He plans to make it in Hindi and approach Amitabh Bachchan with the script.

"Ayalum Njanum Thammil", directed by Lal Jose, released in October last year. Also featuring Narein, Prathap Pothen, Samvrutha Sunil and Remya Nambeesan, the film was a medical drama and critics appreciated the film as well as Prithviraj's performance in it.

"I have taken the first step and bought the film. Now, the rights of the film rest with me, so I can be assured that nobody else is going to do it. That's the first step to ensure that the project has somehow shaped up," Prithviraj told IANS.

"I have started showing the film to few people over here. Let's hope that they have the same kind of interest that I do and hopefully, I get a draft written in English that I will take to Mr. Bachchan to read it," he added. 

Prithviraj to direct a Hindi film soon

Southern superstar Prithviraj Sukumaran says he is all set to wield the megaphone for a Hindi film soon, but has no plans to produce.

Gearing up for the relase of his second Hindi movie "Aurangzeb", after "Aiyyaa", Prithviraj would like to go behind the camera.

"Direction is definitely on the cards. I definitely want to make my own film in Hindi one day and that's my dream," the actor told IANS.

One of the popular actors down south, Prithviraj also produces films there, but says he has no intention of doing it here.

"With production, I just realised that things work very differently here (Bollywood). It is not like in South. It's a new ball game. Until I am sure that I have authentic knowledge about how to put things together for a project, I don't think I should venture into production. Direction is something I want to do soon."

"I had written a few things long back. I don't know when it will happen, but let's see. I am hoping it happens soon," he added.

Keen to make it big in the Hindi film industry, the actor is hunting for a house in Mumbai.

"We have been searching for the house for the longest time. I have realised that it's easier to find a house on Mars or somewhere else, but very tough here. Hunt is still on," the 30-year-old said.


Prithviraj not banking on physicality with 'Aurangazeb'

Southern superstar Prithviraj Sukumaran, who debuted with "Aiyyaa" in Bollywood, wants people to appreciate his acting skills in "Aurangzeb", not his physical appearance, which was in focus in his first Hindi movie.

"Unlike 'Aiyyaa', I am not banking on my physicality with 'Aurangazeb'. It's something else. More than people telling me that you look good or have a good body, I would love it if people would say you are good at what you do," the actor told IANS.

He admits in "Aiyyaa", which bombed at the box office, his sculpted body was in focus, but adds that "Aurangzeb" is a "real film". "All the characters are real. I play a cop in the film."

Set in Delhi, "Aurangzeb" is about real estate mafia versus cops and two seasoned actors - Jackie Shroff and Rishi Kapoor will be seen clashing with each other on-screen. Director Atul Sabharwal's crime thriller also stars Arjun Kapoor in double role.

It is releasing May 17.

Prithviraj makes me feel like an illiterate

Swara Bhaskar, who played Kangna Ranaut's friend, Payal, in the hit Bollywood movie, Tanu weds Manu, is excited about her next two releases in B-Town รข€”Aurangzeb and Raanjhnaa. Swara is paired opposite two of the leading stars from the South in both the movies. While she plays Prithviraj's wife in Aurangzeb, she essays the role of a girl in love with the character played by Dhanush in Raanjhnaa. 
 "Aurangzeb is an action drama. Though my character is projected as a soft-spoken person, as the story unfolds you realise that she is perhaps the strongest of them all," says Swara.

Talking about her experience working with Prithviraj, the actress says, "He is not just a good actor, but also a good human being. He is very friendly and I had a great time working with him. He knows a lot about the technicalities of film making. I used to tell him that he makes me feel like an illiterate," says Swara. The actress also feels that he has a good screen presence. "He looks so good on screen," she gushes.
 The Delhiite does have a South connect as well; her father is from Andhra.

After working with three South actors, including Madhavan in Tanu Weds Manu, Swara is full of praise for them. "Film actors from the South are very professional and they know their job really well. They are not just good actors, but are also disciplined. But the most interesting thing about them is that, they have an in-depth knowledge of the technical know-how of filmmaking," she says.


Monday, March 18, 2013

South idol Prithviraj is ok with dumbing down

Actor defends his Bollywood debut Aiyyaa, where his looks, rather than his acting chops, took centrestage.

Dubai: It’s almost impossible to envision a scenario where Bollywood superstar Salman Khan makes his entry into South Indian films by playing second fiddle to an established Southern actress. Some may even call such an event sacrilegious, but something similar happened in Bollywood a year ago. One of Malayalam cinema’s biggest stars, Prithviraj, made his Bollywood debut in Rani Mukherji’s exaggerated, wacky comedy ‘Aiyyaa’. All that was asked of Prithviraj was to brood and then brood some more — shirtless. His fans got a taste of some of his smouldering sexuality, but the film was a big letdown for those who hoped to see Prithviraj flex his celebrated acting muscles too. However, the 30-year-old southern heartthrob defends his choice.

“As a debutant, I can’t be complaining. Regardless of how it [Aiyyaa] went, I am now in the process of signing my third Hindi film. That should say something about me then, right? It got me noticed in the right places,” Prithviraj, the face of retail store Kalyan Silks, told tabloid! during a recent visit to Sharjah to inaugurate a new showroom.

The son of legendary Malayalam actor Sukumaran is now in talks with ace director Farah Khan for her project ‘Happy New Year’, starring Shah Rukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan, and has just finished work on his second Hindi film, ‘Aurangzeb’ with Yash Raj Films, in which he plays a cop.

‘Aiyyaa’ represented all things new and he was in a stage of his career where he could afford the luxury of experimenting with roles.

“For many, ‘Aiyyaa’ was my first Hindi film. But for an actor in me, it was my 76th film and ‘Aiyyaa’ represented something new. I hadn’t heard anything like that in my career before. I was OK with the reception it got. I am OK with the fact that the film didn’t do too well… it was just refreshing to do that role,” said Prithviraj of the box-office flop. If all this had come from a lesser-known star, this logic would have been understandable. But coming from a star who’s known for his character-driven, content-rich films, it’s almost unpalatable.

Comments on his body

“I got a lot of compliments for my first Bollywood film. But most comments that came my way were about my body and to be frank, I enjoyed it. Down south, people look at me as a serious actor,” he said. He had a point.

In just over a decade, Prithviraj single-handedly broke the monopoly that veteran actors such as Mammootty and Mohanlal held over the Malayalam cinema industry. Not so long ago, most films were made keeping these two incredibly talented, but ageing actors in minds. Their bankability was a surety, even if it meant watching those 50-plus heroes romance 20-something waifs like Katrina Kaif.

With roles such as the one in the award-winning ‘Indian Rupee’ — where Prithviraj played an ambitious real estate agent — or the distraught doctor act in ‘Aayalum Njanum Thammil’, he changed the dynamics of the Malayalam film industry. Released on Thursday, his latest Malayalam film is a biopic, ‘Celluloid’, about Kerala’s cinema pioneer J.C. Daniel. The film won seven awards at the prestigious Kerala State Film Awards, including Best Film and Best Actor for Prithviraj.

So, such dumbing down of talent to penetrate the glitzier world of Bollywood may not make sense, but he’s loving the space that he’s currently occupying.

“The best thing that an actor can hope for is to keep doing good things and do good characters… I feel as if I am in a dream and that I may wake up any moment,” said Prithviraj of his glorious reign down south. Any resistance in accepting him in the same league as his long-enduring seniors is worn down with each film he rolls out.

No fear of failure

“The aesthetics regarding how cinema is perceived has changed and [what] they like to see on screen has changed. Filmmakers can now function without the fear of failure. It’s heartening to see films like ‘Celluloid’ attain commercial success. The fact that it has got such critical acclaim is great but the ultimate vindication for any artist is when people come, pay money and watch the film,” said Prithviraj. He may be modest about his stellar achievements but the director of ‘Celluloid’, Kamal, doesn’t shy away from heaping praise.

“Prithviraj is so talented and involved that he has this ability to grasp any character. I need to tell him just once and he gets it. He plays J.C. Daniel in different eras of his life — where he’s 28, 35 up to 80 and the consistency he brought on screen is amazing,” said Kamal, in a separate interview with tabloid!.

Nine years ago, they made ‘Swapnakoodu’, an unapologetic masala entertainer about three bachelors in Goa who learn about love and loss. Both agree that Malayalam cinema has evolved, giving way to a new wave of young actors.

“Earlier, ‘Celluloid’ would be considered an art film. But when actors like Prithviraj accept roles and that film gets commercial success, it’s always good news. There’s now a change in the ‘hero image’. Nowadays, it isn’t all about being the sacrificial do-gooder heroes,” said Kamal. Avant-garde films such as the revenge drama ‘22 Female Kottayam’ and the oddball drama ‘Chaapa Kurishu’ are being accepted with open arms.

“We [Malayalam cinema] were going through a lean patch in terms of creativity. But over the past couple of years, there have been some heartening finds. Even actors are taking a conscious decision to be a part of films that have not been told before. We are entering a serious phase of experimentation. We are now progressing towards what could be the best phase in our industry,” said Prithviraj.


It’s interesting to hear Prithviraj voice his opinions in such a responsible, articulate manner. In the past, this firebrand star has unwittingly been pulled into controversies. Any remark that he makes of his seniors — specifically Mohanlal and Mammotty — gains instant scrutiny and widespread analysis. Some of the allegations include brash remarks insinuating that senior actors weren’t too supportive when he entered the film industry.

“Have you ever heard me say it? It’s a figment of somebody else’s imagination,” said Prithviraj. He put the record straight with: “I never had to go through any kind of unacceptability or whatever you call it. I owe it to them for including me in their first films and looking at me as a serious actor, I have never felt that the seniors in the industry have ever done anything to not let me have any opportunities,” said Prithviraj. His career catalogue filled with hits underlines his thoughts.

His top tip? “Showbiz should not be the reason why you are in cinema. That is the biggest lesson of it all. You know the whole thing abut money, glamour will lure you for the first year… After a while, fame and money will cease to matter. All that matters is if you are happy with yourself.”
Did you know?

Prithviraj doesn’t subscribe to lucrative brand endorsements. But he accepted to be the face of Kalyan Silks based on their goodwill and humanitarian corporate policies.

“In 12 years in this industry, Kalyan Silks is my first endorsement... I was getting exciting films and I didn’t need money from endorsements. Usually what happens, all these brand endorsement offers come through a PR agency, it’s all about numbers and arithmetic. But with Kalyan Silks, they met me personally and explained what their brand stood for. They made it more personal than business.”

First Look: Aurangzeb

Gurgaon 2013.

A family of policemen…

A family of gangsters…

To bring down a criminal, the law will have to think like a criminal!

This summer, there will be only 1 Emperor…

Directed by Atul Sabharwal and produced by Aditya Chopra, AURANGZEB stars Arjun Kapoor, in a double role, along with Prithviraj, in lead roles in this intriguing and gripping drama. The film boasts of an enviable and dynamic ensemble star cast of Rishi Kapoor, Jackie Shroff, Sikandar Kher, Amrita Singh, Deepti Naval, Tanvi Azmi, Swara Bhaskar and also launches Sasha Aagha.



17th May 2013… you are a king, or nothing!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

I don’t take my shirt off for every film!

From Malabar to Mumbai, Prithviraj’s robust entry has left Bollywood gaping. Agreed, he didn’t have much to do in Aiyyaa, but those bulging biceps, that searing intensity and an assurance that he is a very good actor down south, have been enough to make everybody go gaga over him. But sorry, girls, he’s taken and totally smitten – by Supriya Menon, a journalist with BBC!“I AM very intrigued that my body is the topic of discussion,” says the well-spoken and vastly amused good looker. “But I understand it and am completely enjoying it actually. I have never been categorised as an actor in that slot, probably because it’s the only place I have not been as an actor (in the south). And my first Hindi film has done that for me. Oh, fantastic!”

So is he Kerala’s Salman?

“I am not, I am really not. You know, I am doing a second Hindi film already (Yash Raj Films’ Aurangzeb) and I have not taken my shirt off. It is not even that kind of film. And see, in Kerala those things tend to matter a lot less. If you have a great body, it could make you Kerala’s most wanted model but to be in the kind of cinema or to be the kind of actor that Malayali aesthetics would accept, is not so dependent on your physicality. So, strangely suddenly this new thing is happening around me and I’m loving it!”
What? No 6-pack demos on screen? What has Prithviraj been up to as an actor?

“I have done everything,” he replies, still amused. “I have done crazy stuff with my body. I have eaten non-stop; I have woken up at night and eaten cheese to put on weight for a role. In fact, last year for the National Award winning Indian Rupee which I also produced, my director told me, ‘Unless you have a paunch, I will not shoot the film’. He is the same director who introduced me in my first film, so with him, I couldn’t even argue. And this was just after Urumi where I was looking like this 13th century warrior! So all this is not new to me. But so much attention definitely is!”

With such weight-swings, does he have a regular regimen which he follows?

“I am blessed with a physique that is good and I have always taken care of myself. I am from an army school and from a very young age, the fact that you should be fit and disciplined was always there in me. But no, I don’t take my shirt off for every film!

“Unfortunately, being an actor who does one film after the other, there is no lifestyle routine that I follow. As I said, some films require me to put on weight while for some I have to be underweight. I loved it when I was doing Aiyyaa because I was eating so much. I had to be on a 6000 calorie diet. In the song, ‘Aga bai’, yeah, in the bare-bodied one, I was 94 kg. Right now, I maybe 87-88. I have even been 106 kg and then 76 kg. I know it’s not healthy but I did it for my films.”

Aiyyaa didn’t do well, plus his role was minimal except to flaunt his body. Why did he choose such a film for his debut?

“See, at that point of time, I couldn’t bring myself to think like that. For me, it was my 81st or 82nd film and I was looking for some new stuff to do, some experiments, and this was like, ‘Wow! I have not done anything like this before, I have not even been offered anything like this before. So let me do it.’”

After its release, any regrets?

“I would’ve done Aiyyaa regardless of it being in Malayalam, Hindi, Tamil or Telugu. I was, of course, disappointed that Aiyyaa didn’t do well but, in retrospect, I can’t be complaining because of the kind of buzz that Aiyyaa created for me. I have already almost finished shooting my second film in Hindi and I have listened to a lot of scripts. I don’t know as a debutant if I could ask for anything more, especially one who has absolutely no connections with Mumbai. I have not lived here, I am not even some struggling actor in Hindi. I’m just a completely new entity who did this one-off film, and suddenly there is this interest around me. So I can’t be complaining about it.”
With Aurangzeb, his next in Hindi, getting ready and the general buzz around him, is it adieu to the south?

“I am not going to shut shop there because obviously, Malayalam and Tamil cinema are what made me who I am today and the fan base there is just too big for me to suddenly say that I am not going to do films here. They have watched me grow and they have supported me all these years.
“But now is the time when I don’t have to work there for money. I can really think, sit back and do only the cinema that I really, really think should be done. Then I want to make a successful production company and I want to see youngsters coming and making films.

“Finally, I want to be in that space where I do only one or maybe maximum two Malayalam films as an actor. That would mean about three to four months of work which will leave a good part of the year free for me to invest in Mumbai.

“Also, regardless of whether Bollywood happens or not, my move to Mumbai was something that my wife and I have been dreaming about for a long time because this city has played a great role in our love story when we were dating. She is from Mumbai. We had always planned that once I slowed down, we would find a place in Mumbai and live here. We obviously have places in Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and different places in Kerala. So yes, I am looking to get a place in Mumbai.”

Bollywood is indeed welcoming, but does Prithvi have a language or accent issue?

“Not really. I have learnt Hindi in school. In fact, I can’t read or write Tamil or Telugu. I can only read and write English, Malayalam and Hindi. So it’s not a language that I don’t know but obviously it is not the language that I am used to conversing in daily. That’s what I need to get used to. Hindi cinema definitely has a wider reach. I am sure more people would have seen ‘Dreamum wakeupum’ than all my 80 films down south put together.”

And finally, Prithviraj doesn’t just do films. Isn’t he a big movie buff too?

The son of late veteran actor Sukumar who curiously discovered his love for cinema as an IT student in Australia, grinned widely and twinkled, “I am a big film junkie. I have my own theatre at home and I don’t mean a home theatre; I mean a real digital projection theatre. When any film releases in Kerala I can see it at home whenever I want to. So I just watch films, film after film, after film… Every day after shooting I end up watching a couple of films.”

So that’s it, folks. A New Year, a new industry and a new house in Mumbai this year. A very Happy New Year, Prithvi!

Priyanka Ketkar

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Farah Khan was all praise for Prithviraj’s performance in Aiyya

Farah Khan’s directorial venture Happy New Year has been in the news for a very long time now and speculations about the film’s casting are still on. While Shah Rukh Khan and Abhishek Bachchan are the only two actors who have signed on the dotted line, there were rumours that John Abraham might enter the fray. However, there was no confirmation from the director’s end.

But now, it seems the makers have made some progress. Word has it that Malayali superstar Prithviraj has been roped in by Farah to play the third lead in her film. “HNY is a film about three friends. So, SRK, Abhishek and Prithviraj will be playing the key characters. But the makers are yet to zero in on a heroine,” says our source. A while ago there were loud whispers about Priyanka being considered for the part but Farah and her team have denied it. The film tells the story of three friends who participate in a dance competition without realising the gravity of the consequences.

Sources close to Farah say that she was all praise for Prithviraj’s performance in Aiyya. “To be able to justify yourself in a frame with SRK and Abhishek, you need to have a certain screen presence and Prithviraj is capable of pulling it off. Moreover, even the YRF camp has been raving about his performance in Aurangzeb,” says our source. Now let’s hope he makes the most of the king-sized chance.

Prithviraj's Celluloid on January 25!

Happy news for all Prithviraj fans. His upcoming film Celluloid directed by Kamal of Khaddama fame, is expected to hit screens on January 25. The film also stars Mamta Mohandas, Sreenivasan, Nedumudi Veni and Siddhique in lead roles.

The film is a biopic of J.C. Daniel, the first film maker of Malayalam cinema. He directed the first Malayalam film Vigathakumaran released in 1928. Prithvi plays the role of the director Daniel in the flick.

Lal Jose's one of those few people who I could call at 2 am, says Prithviraj

Working with Lal Jose has always brought out the best in Prithviraj and the two movies, Classmates and Ayaalum Njanum Thammil, have been landmarks in the actor's career.

Now, Prithviraj tells us that their offscreen friendship has a lot to do with their onscreen success. "It's definitely got to be more than a coincidence that I've done two films with Lal Jose and both turn out to be my biggest hits," says Prithviraj.

On the team's success, the actor says it's probably the bond they share that translates into the cinema they make. "We're such good friends. He and I share a relationship that is the least publicised in the industry. He's one of those few people who I could call at 2 am and say I'm coming over," says the actor.

Prithviraj also tells us that because they know each other so well, it becomes easy to work with and bring out the best results.

While Prithviraj is making waves in Bollywood, ask him about Malayalam directors, especially Lal Jose, venturing up north and he says, "Everybody knows he is one of the most talented directors in the country and I hope he gets a much bigger canvas to showcase his work."

With the duo scoring two out of two, he says, "It now puts a lot of pressure on our next project together and we've to be really judicious about what we're going to do next."