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|May 29, 2001||
'Hrithik is a bit girly!'
Renowned British-American entertainer Ruby Wax is making a television programme about Kabhi Khushi, Kabhie Gham, it has been confirmed.
The American-born comedian, whom the British have taken to their hearts, is best known for her tongue-in-cheek depictions of popular television and film shows and alternative style interviews.
She has now decided to focus her attention on the art of Hindi cinema.
Wax's programmes, which usually air on BBC Television, have included a notoriously comic interview with Pamela Anderson of Baywatch. A spokesperson for the BBC said it was too early to say where and when Wax's new programmes would be broadcast.
But the production crew and stars of Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham have told India Abroad how funny woman Wax spent a day with them as director Karan Johar was filming key song and dance sequences at the Duke of Marlborough's palatial Blenheim Palace residence near Oxford.
Blenheim Palace, birthplace of the late Sir Winston Churchill, is used as the setting for a famous English college where Hrithik Roshan is enrolled as one of Amitabh Bachan's two young sons.
At Blenheim, Hrithik is introduced to Kajol, one of the two young beauties who crisscross his life and destiny.
Wax, who has a small walk-on part in the film, was one of two foreigners invited to watch the shooting at close quarters in Blenheim's spacious grounds.
The other outsider with a ringside view was the Marquess of Blandford, who is next in line to inherit the magnificent estate with its several hundred acres of surrounding parkland.
Both Wax and Blandford were said to have been left breathless by the Indian film music routines that are so totally different from their own personal experiences of Western art and culture.
But Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham also gave Wax an opportunity to show off her sly wit. None of the superstars was spared her waggish humour. Even Hrithik walked into her line of fire when she commented that the top he was wearing was "a bit girly".
As Hrithik then walked off the set, the production crew held their breath and wondered if he would return. But the good humoured heart-throb was back within a short time although dressed in a different shirt.
"With those biceps there is no way Hrithik could ever be described as girly," one of the English security guards said afterwards. "Ruby Wax needs her head examined."
Hrithik laughed off the incident and told me he was not in the least offended by Wax's teasing. He was responding to my question at the lobby of the luxurious London hotel where he has been based for the duration of the filming.
"Why should I be offended?" he answered, before sauntering off on a shopping spree at London's West End with wife Suzanne on his arm.
Meanwhile, insiders told India Abroad that out of the the enormous Rs 400 million budget for Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham some Rs 170 million have already been recouped by selling the hit songs and music in advance of the premiere.
Hindi film industry sources claim another Rs 250 million have been secured in advances from distributors both in India and abroad.
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