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28 Apr - 04 May , 2012
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The Dashing Dude John Abraham, known more of his shirtless scenes than acting skills, is turning producer with Vicky Donor

I know my physicality is always going to be a talking point. But with Shootout At Wadala, it's all about the character, and people are going to forget about John Abraham," said the actor. In Shootout At Wadala, tipped to release in December, Abraham plays dreaded gangster Manya Surve who was shot down by police in an orchestrated encounter in Mumbai.
His bid to shrug off the beefcake tag has also seen him venture into production. Billed as one of the hottest men in the industry, the self-made actor, born to a Malayali father and a Parsi mother in Mumbai, will debut as a producer with Vicky Donor. "Many actors when they turn producers cast themselves as the lead hero in their film to power the production and to make it centric towards them. I have often been asked – is it a safe proposition?"
In a rather unconventional step, Abraham – who made his debut with the racy thriller Jism in 2003 – has chosen to showcase new faces in his debut production: TV anchor-turned-actor Ayushmann Khurrana and soap queen Yami Gautam. Even in his second production venture, Kala Goda, Abraham plays a supporting role. The spotlight will be on Kunal Roy Kapoor of Delhi Belly fame in the satire about two policemen.
"I want content to be the hero. Let me give you the best example – if you see George Clooney's The Ides of March, who's the hero in that? It's Ryan Gosling and it's a brilliant film. So I believe that you should support the casting process and you need to support the script."
His ultimate aim is to marry content with commerce: Enter a shirtless Abraham – his nod to the commercial aspect of filmmaking. In Bollywood, inserting a titillating song-and-dance number with a big star has proven to be a major box office draw. "I see nothing wrong with it. When we heard the song, it was so male in its DNA. We knew instantly that we need a male rather than a female to drive it. So everybody was like, 'When you have someone in-house, why not use him?'"
Abraham added that his war cry is all about making commercial entertainers and not documentaries. In his item song, Abraham is splendidly commodified and is seen writhing and gyrating with dozens of unknown but dazzling girls. "If I have to drive the film forward in the capacity of an item boy, then why not? And if I have to drive it with my MBA background, then why not? The fact that I was a media planner, if I have to drive the production forward with that, then why not? I am using all my facets here – I am getting my entire arsenal out there," says Abraham.

"I don't feel insecure" Shazahn Padamsee
She may be new to Bollywood, but confident four-films-old Shazahn Padamsee says shooting ensemble comedy Housefull 2 was a working holiday for her in Housefull 2: The Dirty Dozen, Bollywood actress Shazahn Padamsee needs to compete with lots of talented stars to grab eyeballs. But she isn't worried. For the four-films-old star (counting her two South Indian outings), being a part of the mad house is what counts. "Housefull is a brand more than a film. To see myself on that poster is a dream come true. I can't believe I am a part of Housefull 2 – I have seen the original at least five times," said Padamsee. "I don't feel insecure at all. Look at the actors they have me up against – they are some of the biggest actors in our country and just to be a part of all that madness on screen is a lucky thing for me."
"I love Bollywood set-ups like Housefull – it's a big production, there's lot of comedy and masti," said "I don't feel insecure" Shazahn PadamseePadamsee. Born to famous theatre personality Alyque Padamsee and pop star Sharon Prabhakar, Padamsee made her debut in the Ranbir Kapoor-starrer Rocket Singh: Salesman Of The Year in 2009. The film, which was given a nod by the critics, didn't create ripples at the box-office and her debut role was not a stand-out either. Two years later, she did marginally better in Madhur Bhandarkar's romantic comedy Dil To Baccha Hai Ji.
"I know that I am yet to get a film that showcases my talent in the truest sense. But I have always believed that there are two kinds of success stories in Bollywood – the one who becomes an overnight sensation and the other who works their way up steadily. I belong to the second category." But ask her if an ensemble comedy revolving around nit-wits such as Housefull 2 was an apt route to be taken seriously as an actress and she says it's all a part of the learning curve. Having fabulous co-stars always helps.
"Akshay is that poker-faced funny guy. He cracks the best of jokes with a straight face. And he never throws his weight around while John is the warmest person I have known. He has been so helpful in terms of fitness tips. I am a gym person, it's a passion for me and he gave me tips on which part of my body I should work out on," said Padamsee. She dubs her shooting stints for Housefull 2 as a working holiday. In the film she played Parul, a sweet-natured Gujarati girl against actor Shreyas Talpade. "Shreyas is the sweetest guy I know and he has this impeccable comic timing. And, people just assume that there will be cat-fights and diva attitude when there are so many female co-stars working together. But in our case, we were like a happy family. We shared our food and after a day's work, we gossiped, and joked just like normal colleagues." While it was all hunky-dory with all her colleagues, it was Deshmukh that rubbed her the wrong way – at least initially.
"During our London shooting schedule, I thought he had loads of attitude but on a flight to Krabi we just bonded so well. I think I have a found a friend for life in Riteish now. I will never forget the fun times we had shooting Housefull."

 
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