Jul 222017

Judges Javed Ali, Neha Kakkar and Himesh Reshammiya with anchor Aditya Narayan at an event for their music reality show, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li’L Champ. Himesh appears to be stealing 40 winks. Blame it on the busy, tiring schedule. Pic/ Sayyed Sameer Abedi

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Apr 052017

Iulia Vantur and Himesh Reshammiya on the set. Pic/Nimesh DaveIulia Vantur and Himesh Reshammiya on the set. Pic/Nimesh Dave

Leaning on a mic, her face lit by what seem like a million stage lights, Iulia Vantur lip-syncs her latest track, Every Night And Day, along with composer-singer Himesh Reshammiya. An army of shadows creeps up from below the stage and on closer look, we realise it’s a bunch of kids, each weilding a phone camera. The energy of the song as well as the performers on stage is infectious, as we start to bob our heads and tap our feet. A couple of minutes later, a booming voice declares, ‘Cut’.

We are on the set of T-Series’ latest music video, Every Night And Day, from the album Aap Se Mausiiqui, in Malad yesterday to catch up with Himesh and Iulia, the Romanian actress better known as superstar Salman Khan’s special friend. Speculation over her Bollywood acting debut keeps surfacing off and on, but Iulia first wants to see where music — her passion — takes her. “I have surprised myself too [by choosing to pursue singing]. I had no plans of working here [in Bollywood], because I have a successful showbiz career in Romania. But once I visited India, I kept coming back and people around me encouraged me to do this [singing],” she says.

Salman Khan
Salman Khan

While Iulia may not name the ‘people’ who motivated her to follow her heart, it is well known that Salman has been mentoring her. In fact, it was the superstar who hooked her up with Himesh. And the composer is delighted about the collaboration. He admits he had expected Iulia to take at least eight to 10 hours to record the song. “But it was over in an hour, and we didn’t have to use auto-tuner. Her voice is very Bollywood with a contemporary touch to it. I am glad people have appreciated our song,” he says, reminding us that a video of the track’s making has crossed two million views on YouTube. “The new one is being shot in international style.”

The video, produced by T-Series boss Bhushan Kumar with HR Musik, will have Iulia and Himesh crooning on stage. A bunch of 20 kids, all talented dancers from different parts of the country, will also feature in what is essentially a romantic number (with lyrics by Manoj Muntashir). Talking of romance, we can’t resist bringing Salman into our conversation with Iulia while apologising for invading her private space. “It should be private, but I see you asking me [questions on it] anyway,” she says, her laugh laced with sarcasm. “I understand the curiosity and am used to it [being written about]. Everybody [journalists] has to do their job, but many a time, things are created just for the sake of it.”

Iulia Vantur
Iulia Vantur

Had she imagined she’d find a family in a Bollywood celebrity’s home? “You never know what you find, where and how you find it. That’s the beauty of life.” Prod her further and she breaks into a smile. “What do I say? The Khan family is so beautiful. I really admire them; they are united and welcoming. Their doors are always open for everyone.”

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Mar 272017

Romanian actress-anchor Iulia Vantur and Manish PaulRomanian actress-anchor Iulia Vantur and Maniesh Paul

Salman Khan’s special friend, Iulia Vantur seems to be seriously pursuing Hindi music. After recording a single with Himesh Reshammiya just four months ago, the Romanian actress is ready to unveil a song with actor-host Maniesh Paul. She has not only lent her voice to it, but will also shoot for a music video featuring her with Maniesh.

Produced by Sangeeta Manjrekar, the music video is being directed by composer Sachin Gupta. Gupta tells midday, “Manish has this hidden talent [as a singer] and you will realise that after listening to the song. Iulia’s voice has an amazing texture. She has sung beautifully. Both have done justice to my composition.”

Gupta has earlier scored music for films like Mere Dad Ki Maruti (2013) and Yamla Pagla Deewana (2011). “I am returning with a single after five years and this album marks my debut as a music video director as well,” he adds.

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Dec 132012

Actor Akshay Kumar is, reportedly, all set to star in the Hindi remake of ‘Jatt & Juliet’.

Akshay in 'Jatt & Juliet' remake? (© Varinder Chawla)

Mumbai: The remake rights of ‘Jatt & Juliet’, the biggest hit in Punjabi cinema, has been secured by producers Himesh Reshammiya and Rakesh Upadhyay – the team that has just released the comic romp ‘Khiladi 786’.

It, therefore, comes as no surprise to hear that Akshay Kumar is likely to play the lead in the Hindi adaptation of the film.

The all-time blockbuster of a Punjabi romance starred Diljit Dosanjh and Neeru Bajwa as a rustic Punjabi and a sophisticated fashion designer who keep bumping into one another in Canada.

The Punjabi film has been itching for a Bollywood interpretation. We now hear that following ‘Khiladi 786’, Reshammiya and Upadhyay have joined hands to do ‘Jatt & Juliet’ in Hindi.

The Hindi remake would be directed by Anurag Singh, who directed the Punjabi smash hit.

Upadhyay, while admitting that the ‘Jatt & Juliet’ remake would start early next year, refrains from commenting on the cast.

“At the moment, I wouldn’t like to comment on the cast. But yes, Himesh and I are going ahead with two projects. One of them is a thriller and the other is the remake of ‘Jatt & Juliet’. The Punjabi film was also produced by Himesh and me. We’ll do the remake on a much more lavish scale. But the basic plot of ‘Jatt & Juliet’ is so endearing it needs no embellishment in Hindi.”

Press him about Akshay Kumar’s presence in the remake, and Upadhyay laughs: “We’ve just delivered a film that has been immensely liked. So Himesh, Akshay and I would definitely not like to break the team. Like I said, until all the formalities are completed it would be unwise to talk about the casting.”

Reshammiya and Upadhyay intend to continue producing films together.

“After ‘Khiladi 786’, Himesh has 10 hardbound scripts ready. We’re both workaholics. We’ll continue to collaborate on mass-entertainment films. We want to make the kind of films that make people smile and laugh.”

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