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Saturday, January 5, 2008

Chitchat with Sonia

Sonia who played the character of Shravs in Happy Days was like any other girl in her early twenties, till she was spotted by Shekar Kammula few months back. The twenty-three-year-old IT girl is the latest find of Telugu film industry and she oozes confidence coupled with exuberant smile. Running high on success after Happy Days she shares her future plans. Excerpts:

Tell us about your background?
I am born and brought up in Hyderabad, equipped with a degree in computer applications. I have been working as a software engineer for the last three years in an IT company. I don’t have any filmy background.

How did you get into Happy Days project?
I used to participate in few events during my leisure time. Shekar Kammula spotted me during the Telugu cinema vajrostavalu. Then he called me for an audition. Initially, I was offered the role of Appu. He gave the script and asked me to understand the character and then come for the audition. After looking at my performance, he offered me the role of Shravs.

How did you interpret the character?
I was as natural as I could be. I was never into acting/dramatics. Sekhar Kammula asked me to do it my own way. My histrionics in Happy Days was my own interpretation of the character and the way I read in the script.

You seem to be the elder one among the main leads who worked for Happy Days. How did they treat you?
I am 23 and I am the oldest among the main leads in Happy Days. Initially they thought that I was dominant. Slowly all of us bonded with each other very well. I shared room with Gayatri Rao (Appu) during the shoot. We had no problems at all.

What are your favorite scenes in this film?
The scene in which Rajesh says 'ee kodento' and the other scenes in which Tyson says 'enthaina mana friend kadara'.

Are there any similarities to Shravs character and your real self?
Yes. There is Shravs in me. I don't throw much attitude around, but there is definitely attitude in me. I take some time for me to mingle with new friends.

Did you get any proposals from your juniors in college time?
I was a quite girl then. I used to wear Salwar and Kameez. After college I transformed into western outfits.

How is the response for your performance in Happy Days?
The first feedback I got was through Jeevi review in idlebrain.com. I missed all the excitement because I was in the USA for three months after the release.

How did your family respond?
They were little skeptical and anxious about it first. But they felt really happy after watching the film.

What are you hobbies?
I love reading books. Godfather is my all time favorite. I love spending time with friends and traveling. I love writing too.

What are your favorite films?
Among the Telugu films I loved Bommarillu and Pokiri. My all time classic film is 'Sound of Music".

What do you think are your strengths?
I am confident. I can bring smile to the people's faces.

How do you feel when the public recognize you as a film actress?
I feel flattered.

What kind of roles would you want to do in future?
I want to do roles that generate a positive impact with characterizations.

What are your future projects?
Since I was in USA for 3 months after release, most of the filmmakers assumed that I went to the USA forever. Now I am back and I am interested doing good roles.

What are your future plans?
I will be quitting my job soon. I keep my options open in movies. I want to do my own business in entertainment line. I might open a restaurant or a flower shop.

Reel Buzz: Why Attacks Only On Balakrishna?

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After the incident of Paruchuru the same incident took place in Ongole as well. The face of Balakrishna was taken away from the cut out of 'Okka Magadu' at these places. Why these attacks are only on Balakrishna?

There is ample fan-base for Balakrishna and it is obvious that it is the act of his antagonists who can be the fans of other hero. But such acts are hurting the sentiments of Balayya fans. No only the street-side guys but also a few learned people have made attacks on Balakrishna during the release of 'Veerabhadra' and 'Maharadhi'. Many of jokes and cartoons were circulated among the internet users those days. Now such attacks were minimized to large extent and that is a healthy change.

Balakrishna started getting this antagonism ever since the 'shooting' episode at his house. But he has been striving a lot to get back his image and to be in good books of everyone. His well-behaved manner at 75-years Platinum Jubilee function of Tollywood impressed everyone. But still there is black sheep among film buffs who are spitting venom on a few stars for no concrete reason. Let us hope that this scenario changes and all the film buffs walk from darkness to light- 'Tamasoma Jyothirgamaya'.

Snippet: Kalyanram Makes Double Role Debut!

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Actor Kalyan Ram who is almost on the brink of stardom's end has been working very hard to get back to the race.

His recent film 'Vijayadasami' failed to impress at the box office and now he is working on a new film wherein he is doing a double role. This is the first time he is doing a dual role and the film is directed by Harsha Vardhan and produced by Janaki Ram who happens to be Kalyan's brother.

While the other details of the film are not known, Priyamani will be playing the lead role as heroine. The shoot is currently on at Hyderabad.

The Man Who Deceived Pawan Kalyan

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It's not Nalla Suryaprakasa Rao who deceived Pawan Kalyan by releasing the photographs of him with BSP leaders. The man behind is Masterjee, the lyricist. Masterjee was a clerk in FCI (Food Corporation of India) who is an SC. He is a good poet in Gaddar school of thought and approached Pawan Kalyan with a few songs. He was introduced in 'Johnny' with the song 'Naraju gaakura maa Annayo..'. Then the relation between Masterjee and Pawan Kalyan was tightened. Hence he got another chance to write the song 'Killi Killi Killi..' in 'Gudumba Shankar'.

Sources say that Masterjee is very shrewd but opportunist as well. He is opportunist only in one matter. He moves close with Scs while fighting for 'rights' and joins OCs while earning a few bucks, say sources. Apart from that he is very good at heart, add sources.

Once, Masterjee took Pawan Kalyan to Gaddar. Pawan Kalyan considered Masterjee and Gaddar only as singing artistes and poets. But eventually Masterjee thought to show his mettle by saying that Pawan Klayan is behind him while talking to BSP leaders recently. They asked Masterjee to bring Pawan Kalyan to their meeting in an informal way. As usual, as Masterjee took Pawan to Gaddar earlier, he took him to BSP leaders as well. A few photographs were taken that day. And now they are used by Nalla Suryaparakasha Rao stating that Pawan came to them to join hands.

Sources also said that Pawan screwed Masterjee verbally after this incident. So, the real man behind deceiving Pawan Kalyan is Masterjee, who acted too smart and dragged him to BSP imbroglio.

Choreographer Turned Director Slapped Producer?

There is a gossip that is making rounds now in the Film Nagar. Even a TV channel reported the same saying that a director slapped the producer as a strife developed between them.

And another source said that the director was a choreographer as well. The gossip said that the director slapped his producer as the latter reprimanded him for making the film a flop despite spending big amount on that. If that is the case there are only two choreographers turned directors now those made 'not up to the mark films' despite high budget.

One is Lawrence who made 'Don' in the production of ML Kumar Choudary and the other is Amma Rajasekhar who made 'Takkari' in the production of Paruchuri Prasad. There is no confirmation in the news and the imagination is left to the discretion of people.

NRIs express confidence in Chiranjeevi

NRIs express confidence in Chiranjeevi

The members of Progressive Telugu Forum( PTF) embarked on a mission to bring in awareness of the current political scenario in Andhra Pradesh and the essence of new party with Chiranjeevi as the leader. They have started an online petition for the NRIs to offer their support by welcoming Chiranjeevi to provide Change & Hope to the state of Andhra Pradesh.

As part of its national campaign "Change & Hope with Chiranjeevi" they organized its sixth event in Los Angeles, CA on 30 Dec 07. They have conducted similar events in Dallas, Houston , Virginia , New Jersey and Bay Area. These events received tremendous support from all the cross-sections of the NRIs and everyone expressed their confidence in Chiranjeevi and extended their solidarity for the formation of new political party.

PTF would be conducting similar events in all the major cities of US. For more information on the topics discussed and upcoming events, please visit www.chiruforap.com or call Shekhar Seera at 805-754-0517 or Ram Tatineni at 214-551-2467.

Members of PTF request to provide your support to Chiranjeevi's new party by attending these meets and voicing out your opinions. If you are not able to attend, please visit www.chiruforap.com and support Chiranjeevi by signing the online petition.

Please forward this to all interested persons and encourage them to be a part of Chiru Phenomenon, which will bring new light and hope for the people of Andhra Pradesh.

Okka Magaadu – US Business Update

Okka Magaadu releasing for Sankranthi 2008 is the most anticipated and craziest movie in Telugu Film Industry in recent years. The audio of Okka Magadu became instant hit and Tollywood expects Okka Magaadu to be a Blockbuster and entertains fans & audience all over the World who are curiously awaiting for the release.

Ntertainment Unlimited thanks its exhibitors for overwhelming business response and we proudly announce that the business for the following centers has been closed:

New Jersey
Columbus, OH
San Antonio
San Jose
Los Angeles
St Louis
Kansas City
Mobile, Alabama
New Orleans
Baton Rouge
Salt Lake City
Des Moines
Cedar Rapids
Bloomington, IL
Toronto, Canada

The business is still open for the following locations:

Cary, NC
Memphis, TN
Jackson, MS
Lexington, KY
Louisville, KY
Oklahoma City, OK
Columbia, SC
Nashville, TN
Springdale, AR
Wichita, KS
Sacramento, CA
San Diego
Madison, WI
New Mexico, NM
Rochester, NY
Albany, NY

Ntertainment Unlimited
847-452-9654 (Phani)
224-622-6661 (Murthy)

Chiranjeevi Should Be Balanced While Speaking

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"Chiranjeevi should learn to be balanced while speaking. He is yet to master that, it appears. He gave arrogant answer to a question. When asked about the people those are saying about his political entry in confirmed way, Chiru said, "Are they that shrewd and great to know what is their in my mind? Are they saying that reading everything from my mind?"

This has given negative signal for many. Although there is no direct arrogance in that answer, it gives that flavor", said a TDP leader this morning in an informal discussion.

That is really true to some extent. Media is too sensitive that it highlights only such statements.

Chiranjeevi is known for indelible smile on his face. He maintained that and bagged good name. Now it is a big task for him to maintain pleasant talk all the while without becoming volatile for small things.

First time ever USA record: Happy Days 100 Days

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For the first time ever in overseas cinema history a Telugu movie ran continuously for 100 days in USA. Sekhar Kammula’s Happy Days opened on Septemeber 28th in USA ( 4 days before it opened in India on October 2nd). It opened with a bang and collected the highest opening collections for any telugu movie till date in USA. Now Happy days creates another record. Happy Days is being exhibited in Dallas, Touring Talkies Theaters with no interruption from September 28th and completes 100 days run tomorrow, the Saturday, January 5th. Typically in USA the movies are screened over the weekends and occasionally on weekdays. Even big hits run in major cities for a maximum of 4-5 weeks. But this is the first time a Telugu movie was screened for all 100 days with 3 shows per day. It is also believed that this is the first ever 100 days run for any Indian movie overseas. Melodious music, Nostalgic elements and freshness made Happy Days a clean family entertainer. It is matter of pride for every telugu person and it shows the following Sekhar Kammula has with NRIs.

Touring Talkies, thanks all the patrons for this big mile stone and invites all Happy Days fans for a FREE SHOW at 9:30 pm on Saturday, January 5th. Please come, participate in 100 days celebrations and enjoy Happy Days again !!

100 HAPPY DAYS Celebrations
Date: January 5th, Saturday
Free Show Time: 9:30 PM
Location: Touring Talkies @ Hollywood Theaters
8505 Walton Blvd, McArthur & 635 Intersection
Irving, TX 75063

Note: Festivities, Cake cutting and Hungama will start at 9:00 PM.

Genelia's 'Pepper', Raja's 'Trixy' and Neelakanta's 'Tipsy'


Well, those are the names of pet dogs. The common factor among Genelia, Neelakanta and Raja is love for pets. Out of all, Raja's 'Trixy' is a Labrador which is very well-behaved as said by the unit members of 'Mister Medhavi'. Yes, the unit members are very well familiar with Trixy. And they say about Genelai pet 'Pepper' which goes with its name. "It's hot like the heroine!!!" said a unit member.

"Pepper is always lovelorn for me. She turns red if I were absent at home for longer shooting schedules. I cannot miss her on my birthday", said Genelia.

Pepper came all the way from Mumbai for the birthday of Genelia when she was shooting for Mister Medhavi. And last but not least is Tipsy, the pet dog of director Neelakanta. Tipsy is a male and hence managed to flirt with Pepper and Trixy in a shrewd way. Obviously without letting Pepper and Trixy know about his double flirt game!!

Is that not interesting? Unit members say that they enjoyed a lot.

Chiru uses Nagendra to fire his first salvo

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Hyderabad: On Saturday, the bugle will sound. Chiranjeevi will open political fire. But, for now, he would use brother Nagendra Babu’s shoulder to do so.

A beaten-into-shape Nagendra would lead the cast in a highly-political film ‘Aapada Mokkula Vaadu’ (One who rescues the distressed, a reference to Lord Venkateshwara) to be released in as many as 15 theatres in the city. Here he dons the role of a small-time politician (ZPTC member) who takes on the political system that’s ‘off-track’.

“The movie will prepare the ground for Chiranjeevi to smoothly enter the political arena,” a close aide of director Posani Krishnamurali said. A TV interview scene is used to wish aloud Chiranjeevi’s entry into politics. “Chiranjeevi kooda politics lo vasthe prajala gundello nilichi pothadu (If Chiranjeevi enters politics, he will remain in the hearts of the people forever),” one of the characters says.

It was last year that Posani Krishnamurali had directed another political potboiler — ‘Operation Duryodhana’ — which ran to packed houses. The movie castigated politicians but so acerbic were the dialogues that the Censor Board had to step in. The director had to make 41 cuts and 20 subcuts before it was released. The latest movie also faced six-seven cuts and carries an ‘A’ certificate for violence.

“The movie is about how politics needs to change,” Posani said.

But, clearly, there appears to be a purpose in casting Chiranjeevi’s brother in the lead. Posani had declared publicly that he kept the Chiranjeevi in mind while moulding Nagendra’s character. Nagendra has been donning character roles in recent years after failing to make it big as a hero. But with his reduced flab and a role with ample opportunity to mouth powerful political dialogues, the actor, for all practical purposes, would be making the path clear for elder brother Chiranjeevi to take to the political battlefield.

Trade Talk: Experiments Won and Formulas Lost

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Experimental film 'Mee Sreyobhilashi' was released last week and bagging impressive talk from a section of audience. But due to no great conviction in drama the film turned pale for many. As the attempt to give a message is good, the film is getting better response from class circles. However, collections are poor at box office.

'Bangaru Konda' bagged flop talk and the routine formula appeal in the film killed its scope to run for a few weeks in theatres. On the other hand the film 'Don' also crippled at box office. Although many attempts were made to push the film with artificial hype, things didn't work at all.

And the experimental thrillers 'Mantra' and 'Anasuya' turned hits and bagging considerable and consistent collections even after two weeks of release.

Ram Charan's 'Chirutha' made 100 days this week in 40 centers.

Keep off politics, YSR tells Chiru


Now that it is more or less certain that Megastar Chiranjeevi will be floating a new political party, Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy has started his own efforts to prevent Chiru from venturing into politics.

On behalf of YSR, his aide and advisor K V P Ramachandra Rao went to the 10th day ceremony of Chiru's father late Konidela Venkat Rao and had a brief chat with the Megastar. Sources close to the Chief Minister say KVP had conveyed YSR's message to Chiru, which is loud and clear: "Please do not mess up the political atmosphere in the State by entering into politics."

According to these sources, YSR conveyed to Chiranjeevi that the latter would not gain anything by entering into politics at this stage, as the Congress is not facing any major anti-incumbency situation right now. In fact, the Congress is sitting pretty in most parts of the State, except in Telangana and some parts of Andhra. And if Chiranjeevi enters politics, he could only split the votes of all parties, resulting in a hung Assembly. Therefore, there is no possibility of Chiranjeevi coming to power on his own.

"So forget about politics. Seek whatever you want including land for a studio free cost. If you are interested in politics so much, join the Congress and I will see that you get elected to Rajya Sabha," YSR told Chiru. And the reply was a mere smile!!

Reel Buzz: Rajni to do Shankar’s Robot?

The hottest news that is making rounds in Kollywood is about the teaming up of superstar Rajnikanth and ace director Shankar for the second time.

According to sources the project is Shankar’s dream sci-fi venture Robot which he announced with Shah Rukh Khan a few months ago, since the subject required a national star. The project which was supposed to be produced under Shah Rukh Khan’s home banner Red Chillies was dropped for various logistic problems, which the director himself confirmed.

Now the buzz is that after the stupendous success of Sivaji, it became easier for Shankar to approach the superstar and it is believed that he also completed one sitting of the story narration. While Shankar has confirmed that talks are going on with the superstar, nothing has been finalised. The film is produced jointly by Mumbai-based Eros International and Ayngaran International, an association that was mediated by producer A.M.Ratnam.

If sources are to be believed, this could be the most expensive project ever made in the country. Shankar, who has clout in Mumbai, is trying to rope in the latest Bollywood sensation Deepika Padukone to act opposite Rajnikanth. A.R. Rahman has been confirmed as music composer for the film. Official announcements, according to sources, will be made during the silver jubilee function of Sivaji.


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