Lucky lucky me, I got a chance to sit down once again with Raj and Pablo at the IIFA Weekend in Toronto. What did the fabulous guys have to say about the IIFA Awards Green Carpet?
Hello again Raj and Pablo, wonderful getting a chance to chat with you again. Ok, so you have both been to many IIFA Weekends in the past, how does IIFA 2011 in Toronto stack up?
This has actually been the most successful IIFA Awards yet!
Really? How so?
Financially it has been amazing, but more than that the support and love from the South Asian community here in Toronto is overwhelming. The Canadian government as well has been extremely accommodating, especially premiere Dalton McGuinty. We have never seen a stadium that big filled to capacity, the popularity of Bollywood here is incredible. It is clear that Hindi cinema is getting recognition in the West, from Indians and non-Indians alike.
It is! With India emerging as a world power the two biggest priorities at the IIFAs this year were business relations and charity, both of which have flourished. Many connections have been made. It wouldn’t be surprising to see more Indian cinema events happening in Canada, whether its movie premieres or film shootings.
Tell me a bit about your Green Carpet experience last night at the awards. Did you speak with Shah Rukh Khan?
We did. He was grateful for all of the love but was clearly in pain due to his knee. He will be going to London next to rest up.
How about Best Debut winners Ranveer and Sonakshi?
Ranveer was excited to meet us in person and put a face to the voice. He told us we need to hang out with him when we’re in Mumbai. A real fun-loving guy. Sonakshi looked beautiful but more than that she is extremely humble. We wish them both all the best.
I saw Mallika Sherawat walking the carpet with her Hollywood co-star Brian White.
Yes. We have so much respect for her. She is balancing herself in two different worlds both the East and the West and doing a very good job of it. She knows exactly what she’s doing and is working with everything she’s got to be the best that she can be.
And how about the other Mallika, Mallika Arora Khan?
She was telling us that at first she was a bit unsure about the Munni Badnaam song, but as soon as they started filming and she started practicing Farah Khan’s choreography she knew that the song would be a huge hit.
Shilpa Shetty looked gorgeous, didn’t she?
She did in her black Dolce & Gabana dress. IIFA gave her a chance to reconnect with Jermaine Jackson after Big Brother. She also walked the carpet with her husband Raj Kundra and they looked very happy together. Shilpa told us to watch her first fitness video before she makes another.
Asha Bhosle traveled all the way to Toronto to accept her Lifetime Achievement award and Priyanka Chopra came down to perform a tribute for her.
Yes, it was fantastic! We love Ashaji. When she saw us she said “Raj and Pablo, tumhare muh mein ghee shakkar”. Priyanka herself was surprised that Ashaji came but felt extremely honoured to be able to pay tribute. She had trouble deciding which songs to dance to because Ashaji has so many classics to choose from. Also, she said she could never in her life imagine herself being able to share a stage with Ashaji to sing together.
What was the mood of the stars on the carpet? Happy, excited, nervous?
Generally very happy, especially with the reception the crowd was giving them. Arjun Rampal and his wife Mehr were definitely a little mischievous with us and very jovial. Award winner for Best Story for My Name Is Khan Shibani Bathija was a bit nervous but still delightful.
Speaking about My Name Is Khan, director Karan Johar must have been over the moon.
Anushka Sharma, who hosted IIFA Rocks with Karan, told us that he was so silly. She had a great time hosting with him. Karan came by and chatted with us for a bit and told us that the only part of his outfit he had designed were the tie and hanky, which we personally thought were the most glamourous parts.
The fashion choices on the carpet were most definitely glam. Any favourites?
We loved Esha Deol in her Manav S. sari and Zayed Khan in his white tuxedo. Both are excited for the release of their upcoming films Tell Me Oh Khuda and Love Break Ups Zindagi, respectively. Zayed also said he would love to work in a film with cousin Fardeen Khan and gave him a big hug when he saw him on the Green Carpet. Of course Priyanka looked gorgeous in a Manish Malhotra ghagra choli and Anushka looked wonderful in Sabyasachi sari.
There was more brotherly love with Sunny and Bobby Deol.
They were a riot! Sunny told us that Bobby is the naughty brother and that as the older brother he has to look after him and take care of him. Also, Ghayal Returns is going to be an intense sequel.
Both Irrfan Khan and Anil Kapoor were getting a lot of love here in Toronto.
Yes, our two crossover stars. Irrfan will be seen next in Spiderman and the film adaptation for Life of Pi. Anil shared a lot of love and was thrilled at how the IIFA Awards had turned out. He says it is very important for the West to acknowledge the East.
Last but not least, Raj, I know that Zeenat Aman is your favourite.
She is the best! It was a pleasure speaking with her. She feels honoured to be a part of the RK Tribute as Raj Kapoor is her idol and was one of her mentors. Also, very few know that she has her very own perfume brand. She told us that she only owns one bottle of her own perfume.
Thank you once again Raj and Pablo for sitting down with me and giving Bollyspice the scoop, straight from the IIFA Awards Green Carpet!