Will Ash rush in?

If everything goes as planned, you may be able to see Aishwarya Rai in the Hollywood action movie Rush Hour 3. To be directed by Brett Ratner, the movie is to be released in August 2005.

In an interview with an American television host, Ratner expressed a desire to cast Ash opposite Chris Tucker as his love interest, after the host told him that Aishwarya Rai was the most beautiful actress in Bollywood.

According to Ash’s Hollywood agent Simone Sheffield, they have received a copy of the recorded interview. After Ash reads the script, which is yet to be received by them, the producer will make an offer. If the dates work out, and all is acceptable to both parties, a formal announcement will be made.

The family comes out

In the presence of his family: wife Jaya, son Abhishek, grand children and ‘brother’ Amar Singh, Amitabh Bachchan launched his latest film, Family, under the banner of his A.B. Corporation.

The film, with Rajkumar Santoshi as the director and Keshu Ramsay as the co-producer, has a star cast comprising Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Gulshan Grover and Aryeman Ramsay. The latter, incidentally, is the son of Keshu Ramsay.

The film, rumoured to be based on The Godfather, has Bachchan as an underworld Don. Akshay Kumar and Aryeman are brothers in a family at loggerheads with the Don’s family.

At the launch party, a female journalist complimented Bachchan, who had his grandson on his lap, by telling him that he looked sexy in his goggles. Bachchan swiftly retorted by asking her whether she was free for a date with him in the evening.

Also present on the occasion were Tusshar who sauntered in late after the inaugural shot and Katrina Kaif who looked like she was a working girl from Bandra in a cotton shalwar-kameez.

Hayden shows off Hong Kong

Miss World 1997, Diana Hayden (left), has been picked by the Hong Kong Tourism Board to play the anchor in a TV programme. It will take viewers to Hong Kong locations and landmarks that have been featured in Bollywood movies.

These include Victoria Harbour, The Peak and Central, locations that have been seen in popular films such as Company and Gumrah.

The Hong Kong Bollywood Movie Odyssey has been produced by AXN and will air on November 27. Ajay Devgan, Zayed Khan, Amrita Arora, Priyanka Chopra and Tusshar Kapoor will also present new insights into Hong Kong in this special half an hour programme.

“It is my privilege to have been selected for this show where I pay my homage to some of the world’s biggest action stars such as Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and action movie director John Woo,” said Diana at a press conference in Mumbai.

It was also attended by David Leung, regional director, South & Southeast Asia, Hong Kong Tourism Board and Gregory Ho, vice president of marketing and creative services, AXN Asia.

Nausheen set for film debut

Nausheen Ali Sardar has at last signed a film as a leading lady. Producer Vinay Sinha has cast her to play the lead in his film Accident opposite Khalid Siddique.

Siddique was earlier seen in Jogger’s Park and is currently acting in The Film and Ho Sakta Hai. Shadaab Khan, the talented son of the late actor Amjad Khan, will write and direct the film.

Shaadaab Khan has acted in movies Raja Ki Aayegi Baraat, Hey Ram and Bharat Bhagya Vidhata. He has also written for Jackie Shroff’s home production Sandhya directed by Shashilal Nair. The film, unfortunately, is yet to see the light of day.

Nausheen Ali Sardar confesses that she is excitedly looking forward to the launch of her film in January 2005.

“Naseeruddin Shah plays a very vital role in the film. I am glad that I have been teamed in Accident opposite Khalid. By the way, it was with Khalid that I had done my first ever music video for Altaf Raja’s music album Pehle To Kabhi Kabhi.

“Ekta Kapoor was impressed with my looks in the video and asked me to play the role of Kusum in her serial Kkusum. The rest is history.”

Nausheen admits that she is practical when it comes to taking up work in films. “People ask me why I did not wait till a Yash Chopra or a Subhash Ghai offered me a film. I do not harbour any illusions about myself.

"I know I am not drop-dead gorgeous like Aishwarya Rai. Nor am I ready to drop my clothes at the drop of a hat like say Mallika Sherawat or for that matter Neha Dhupia. I do not have a sexy image. I agreed because I liked the role.”

While Nausheen has showcased her talent enough through advertisments (modeling from the age of 16), music videos, plays and serials, she’s looking forward to some “great films”.
She is excited about the opportunity to work with a theatre stalwart like Dinyar Contractor. She will play a triple role for the first time in the serial, Kaal Chakra.

New films on DVD

Keeping with the trend of having new movies available on home video shortly after the cinema release, Shemaroo Video has released two recent hits.

Dil Bechara Pyar Ka Maara directed by Omkarnath Mishra and Kis Kis Ki Kismat directed by Govind Menon are out on VCD and DVD, just two weeks after their theatrical release. The short interval is part of a move to curb piracy and to set higher standards for the industry.

In India, the DVDs with 5.1 Dolby Digital Sound and English sub-titles costs Rs349 (Dh28) and the VCD costs Rs149 (Dh12). Dil Bechara Pyaar Ka Maara has first-time producer M.C. Pandey, who was not keen on a star cast for his film and so experimented with new actors.

The film marks the debut of Aman Sondhi, Mallika Kapur and Jonita Dodo. Kis Ki Kismat meanwhile was termed Dharmendra’s comeback film.

Silent play begins run

For the first time in the history of Hindi theatre, a full-length silent comedy play is being presented. Called Chaplin In Love and directed by Sanjay Srinivas, the play features Rajesh Puri, Alekh Sangal and Preeti Mehra.

It is styled around the silent-era comedies of Charlie Chaplin and has a running time of around two hours. Unlike Chaplin films in which a placard would convey a thought or dialogue between scenes, Chaplin In Love has Malaika Arora Khan to narrate the in-betweens.

An additional treat will be the tap dance choreographed by Oscar Unger of Vijay-Oscar fame.

Spreading a smile

As part of its oral health activities Colgate unveiled a music video following a month-long song writing competition among school children. Over 200 schools across seven Indian cities - Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Pune, Kolkata, Bangalore and Hyderabad - took part and 33,587 school children from Class I to X submitted their songs.

The top three entries from each school were reviewed by Javed Akhtar, who zeroed in on 36 winning entries. The essence of the final 36 was captured in the Spread A Smile song written by Akhtar with music composed by Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy.

Child artist Hansika Motwani compered an event held at Hilton Towers at which the single was released.