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Akshay, star with the Midas touch
By Nitin N. Sethi,
Mumbai, June 11 (IANS) Akshay Kumar has once again proved his hold at the box office with "Phir Hera Pheri" getting an exceptional opening.
He is increasingly proving to be the star with the Midas touch with most of his films proving to be winners for producers. His consistency at the box office can be gauged from the run of super-hit films like "Khakhee", "Aitraaz", "Mujhse Shaadi Karogi", "Waqt-The Race Against Time" and "Garam Masala".
Even his "Humko Deewana Kar Gaye" had a decent opening. He is definitely the only superstar who can match the 'Khan' factor, reports Bollywood Trade.
According to a trade analyst, "Phir Hera Pheri" has had an exceptional opening at the box office of 95 percent. And the icing on the cake is that critics are raving about his performance too.
Akshay Kumar tastes the thunder!
By Nitin N. Sethi, Indo-Asian News Service
Mumbai, May 28 (IANS) Akshay Kumar has become hot brand property as the latest Thums Up ad campaign has captivated viewers and several brands are now lining up to be endorsed by him.
Akshay is, however, being very selective about the brands he would like to endorse and does not want to dilute his brand equity. He has been turning down a slew of brands, as he does not want to compromise either on price or quality, Bollywood Trade reported.
Recently, he was offered a whopping amount to renew a contract with a liquor company, which he refused. Similarly, he also turned down a Rs. 80 million offer to endorse an undergarment company.
Says Akshay, "I would only like to endorse quality products. I prefer to be selective and it should be in sync with my brand Image. I will not compromise either on price or quality".
He has been refusing to endorse sub-standard brands, be it a cigarettes or alcohol products, as a matter of policy.
According to sources close to the actor, a huge Multi National Company has signed Akshay to be their brand ambassador in India. It is said to be a deal clinched amidst heavy competition from other biggies and an announcement of the same is on the anvil.
And what Akshay says of the whole endorsement game is - "A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do"!
Anil Kapoor associates himself with a social cause
Actor Anil Kapoor has pledged his support to the promotion of birth registration, as part of the Universal Birth Registration campaign (UBR) initiated by Plan India - a child development organisation.
In his first ever association with any cause, commercial or charitable, Anil Kapoor will be active in promoting UBR in a variety of ways, such as participating in select events of the campaign, raising awareness and visibility of the movement's mission through television commercials, reported Bollywood Trade.
His participation in the campaign is a reflection of his beliefs in upholding the basics right of a child - the right to a name, a legal identity and a nationality.
Bhagyashri Dengle, executive director of Plan India, said: "Anil Kapoor shares Plan India's vision for bringing about a progressive change in the status of birth registration in India. Anil will bring an immense amount of focus and attention with him. The UBR campaign is an excellent example of how effective celebrity partnership can assist in achieving social goals."
Plan India and the Office of the Registrar General of India (ORGI) have come together to ensure universal birth registration. A birth certificate is the first legal document that the state issues to its citizens and its possession ensures a large number of rights and privileges.
First of all, it is an affirmation of a person's identity. Secondly, it is a legal document that can be used to avail of privileges like school admission, ration card, bank account, and many other official documents.
And finally, a birth certificate ensures timely and appropriate redressal in case of a legal situation faced by an individual, or in the case of any accident where the state is involved.
I don't want to get typecast, says Akshay Kumar
By Nitin N. Sethi, Indo-Asian News Service
Mumbai, April 24 (IANS) Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar, whose recent release "Humko Deewana Kar Gaye" is reaping profits at the box office, is keen to play different roles in films.
"I would like to do a variety of roles. I don't want to get typecast. I have signed two or three interesting projects."
"Humko Deewana Kar Gaye", which is doing exceptionally well in Britain, is a triangular love story and also stars Bipasha Basu and Katrina Kaif, reported Bollywood Trade.
Thanking his fans in Britain Akshay said: "I was expecting 'Humko Deewana Kar Gaye' to do well and I am glad it has. I knew people would love the songs and the emotions in the film. It's a very real-life story and everyone can relate to it."
The film's soundtrack stayed at the top spot in Britain for nearly six weeks.
"My favourite song is the title track - the Himesh Reshammiya version. It is lovely," added Akshay.
Guild wins 'animal war' cry
In good news for filmmakers being harassed for using animals in their films, the information and broadcasting ministry has ordered that all such films ready for release need not be held up for want of clearance from the animal welfare board.
The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting issued an order to Amit Khanna, president of Film and Television Producers Guild of India Ltd, on the issue between the film producers and the animal welfare board.
It says: "By virtue of the decisions of the Ministry of Environment & Forests the functioning of the sub committee of the Animal Welfare Board on screening of films has been kept in abeyance with immediate effect until further orders.
"It is further clarified that no film, which is ready for release need be held up for want of clearance of the Animal Welfare Board of India, pending further communication from this Ministry."
The ordinance is definitely a respite for filmmakers.
I enjoyed working on 'Humko Deewana Kar Gaye': Akshay
By Subhash K. Jha, Indo-Asian News Service
Mumbai, April 17 (IANS) Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar says he thoroughly enjoyed playing his "real life" character in Raj Kanwar's "Humko Deewana Kar Gaye" as well as working with co-star Katrina Kaif.
"What makes 'Humko Deewana Kar Gaye' special is that it is based on a true love-story. For the first time I play a real-life character. So far, all my characters have been fictional. To re-live a romance that actually happened was a strange experience. I enjoyed it tremendously," Akshay told IANS.
Akshay is quite impressed by Katrina with whom he is working in Feroz Nadiadwala's "Welcome".
"She is tall, pretty and very focused on her work. People tell me we make a good on-screen pair. In fact, I am now doing my second film 'Welcome' with Katrina. The producer Feroz Nadiadwala loves to shoot in Dubai. I enjoy it too."
But wouldn't rumours of strife with Salman Khan stress Akshay's rapport with Katrina?
Akshay laughed off the rumours and said: "These are all media myths created for sensation. I have never had any problems with my co-stars. Katrina and I are professional actors. I am not here to fight and quarrel with anyone."
There's another reason why Akshay is looking forward to shooting "Welcome".
"This is the first time I am working with Anees Bazmi. He is very talented. Both of us sailing in the same boat. We need to go beyond comedy."
Akshay and Bazmi have together agreed to move out of the comic orbit. They have a point to prove. Bazmi's comedy "No Entry" was one of the biggest hits of last year, while Akshay's comic "Garam Masala" was a moderate success.
Bazmi, who started shooting for the film on Wednesday, is pretty sure of what he wants to do this time.
"'Welcome' is in no way related to 'No Entry'. It is a romantic musical, and not a comedy. A successful formula doesn't mean you keep going back to it repeatedly. Yes, there's some humour in 'Welcome'. But it isn't a comedy," said