Lakshmi Gopalaswamy

Dance sequences that have heroes’ heads bobbing on heroines’ chests scares the hell out of her. Jackfruit payasam and akki roti are dishes that she roots for while out on shoots. And size-zero sets her frowning about the industry’s obsession with adolescent bodies.

From being the face behind the Lipton Taaza advertisement, a raging hit during the Doordarshan era, to winning the 2007 Filmfare for best supporting actress for her role in the Malayalam film Paradesi, popular dancer-model-actress, Lakshmi Gopalaswamy has come a long way.

“I was blissfully unaware of my nomination! It was only when a radio station called up to congratulate me that I came to know of my nomination,” says the Bangalore-based actress, breaking into a smile that lights up her almond-shaped, honey-marinated eyes.

Born and brought up in a societyconscious, south Indian Brahmin family, Lakshmi entered films more as an after thought. “I did it because I didn’t want to regret later that I hadn’t,” she says. And the gamble sure paid off. With just 18 films under her belt, this Kannada-speaking actress has already managed to lap up the Kerala state award for her role as a home-nurse in Thaniye, and the critics’ award for both Thaniye and Paradesi in 2007.

But Lakshmi’s tryst with filmdom hasn’t been a cakewalk. “When I started out, I used to have a lot of hang-ups. I was not comfortable doing intimate scenes. I was horrified of doing dance sequences that featured the hero’s head on the heroine’s chest,’’ she says, laughing out loud. The actress says, it was in fact cinema, that helped her grow up.

Though the trilingual actress, who didn’t know a word of Malayalam when she started, has become less cautious and more experimental with her roles these days, she still doesn’t compromise on her ideals.

“I am extremely conscious of my role as a woman and a citizen of this society. So while I can’t possibly portray the role of a contemporary woman every time I face the camera, I make sure that I don’t essay roles that are derogatory to a woman’s dignity,” says this post-graduate in woman’s studies.

And her body of work sure stands testimony to this tall claim. While Thaniye saw Lakshmi play the role of a home nurse, and explored a relationship that went beyond conventional romance between the latter and her patient, Kochu Kochu Santhoshangal saw her essay the role of a woman who struggles to nurture her dancing talent alongside the demands of her family.

“I take cinema seriously and I believe that cinema can be a catalyst to social change by bringing unknown issues to the fore. Take for instance, the film Paradesi. Not many knew that there were 10,000 Malayali families stranded in Pakistan, waiting to return to India,” she explains.

But doing meaningful cinema hasn’t meant escaping filmi dance routines, a genre that Lakshmi finds vastly different from Bharatanatyam. When uncomfortable, Lakshmi often requests her directors to rework a dance movement or scene. And they (directors) are most accommodative, she adds. “True, ours is a youth-obsessed society. This is why size zeros have become such a talking point despite being an unreal representation of the body of a full grown woman,” she says.

But the industry is slowly changing. The storm of television programs into Indian homes is forcing the film industry to get creative juices flowing, she says, ending on a positive note.

Diganth kannada actor

AFTER Gaalipata, kannada actor Diganth seems to be bagging the right projects, or rather attracting the right producers. In the last six months, the actor has been gifted two cars in a row. A while ago, producer Vijaykumar gave him a car after Diganth signed his film, Kariye Kogile Madhavana. The movie didn’t take off, but the car stays with Diganth. “That’s because Vijaykumar is a really good friend of mine and we’ll definitely be doing a project later this year,” says Diganth.

Over the weekend, he drove home another car. This time it was presented by another producer, Chandru, who’s signed the actor with a remuneration of Rs 8 lakh. “It’s for his film Bisile. But I’ll be gifting this car to my dad on his birthday on August 8; My folks reside in Thirthahalli and will be shifting to Bangalore soon,” the actor tells us.

“And before people start wondering if I demand cars from my producers, let me tell you that it’s not so. I was given that option by the producers and the amount will be cut from my payment. The Rs 8 lakh I was paid for Bisile includes the car’s cost,” explains handsome kannada actor Diganth.

He’s also signed another flick called Time Pass with Hemanth Hegde that will also be made in Hindi with Arshad Warsi and Ritiesh Deshmukh. Watch this space to know if namma kannada actor Diganth gets more cars!

Google is flooded with searches for kannada actor diganth, like, Diganth Diganth age Diganth awards Diganth bio Diganth biography Diganth life Digant quotes Diganth trivia Diganth vital stats How tall is Diganth. By hearing this digant laughts.


Recently a city tabloid reported that Tamil actor Vikram was doing a cameo in a Kannada film titled Holidayz to be directed by Hari Prasad.

The report claimed that the actor had been approached two years ago and has now finally consented to do the film. Kannada actors Diganth and Rajesh Krishnan have also been signed for the film, it said. “But I haven’t even heard of such a film, let alone sign it,” says Diganth.

As for kannada singer and actor Rajesh Krishnan, he told us that though the producers have approached him, discussions are still on. “I may or may not do the film and I definitely haven’t signed it,” asserts RK. Such tamasha out of nothing, really!

Kannada hot actress Pooja Gandhi

Now before you get ideas that namma kannada actress Pooja Gandhi has developed starry airs, let’s tell you that the girl remains as humble as ever.

It’s her cell phone number that has changed.

It’s the third time in the last couple of months that the actress has opted for a new number.

Why Pooj?

“It’s just that I was being flooded with calls and most of them were pesky callers.
I feel a lot more relaxed now because this number is known to only a limited set of people,” says the actress.

Now we know a lot of people are dying to know PG’s number, but our lips are sealed.


Kannada actress Pooja draws ceetees!

Our exclusive cover story about kannada actress Pooja Gandhi donning the swimsuit, has grabbed many eyeballs. And PG has been flooded with calls ever since. “Compliments have been pouring in and my friends think I look really fab. I’m in Sakleshpur, shooting and I’ve been getting compliments ever since it was published” laughs Pooja. Well, Mastii-Kustii’s only too happy to oblige darling!


‘I’m comfortable in a swimsuit’ - Pooja Gandhi

DIMPLE wore one, Sharmila wore one too. Back home, Jayanthi and Jayamala wowed audiences when they wore it. Now, Pooja Gandhi is ready to set the screen afire with her swimsuit act in her forthcoming Jaggesh flick. “Obviously, it’s a situation in which I go swimming and the scene lasts for maybe a minute. I had no apprehensions about wearing a swimsuit because the director, Vasu, had informed me about it when he narrated the script to me. I was confident I could carry it off and was comfortable in it,” says Pooja .

So is the girl who’s popular for her homely image ready to go the sensual way? “Since the scene required it, I wore it. I can’t possibly wear a saree or a pair of jeans and a T-shirt in a swimming pool, can I?” asks Pooja . It has been shot ‘aesthetically’ and there are no ‘unwanted shots’, she adds. Isn’t she worried that her fans might be taken aback with her new avatar? “I play a homely girl in this film too. It’s a family-oriented subject and I wear this costume in only one scene. I think my fans will understand that,” defends Pooja .

What about her being considered a ‘bold heroine’ after this? “When Madhuri wore a swimsuit, she looked graceful because she carried it off well. But when Mallika Sherawat wears one, she doesn’t look as good. I’m going the Madhuri way,” confesses Pooja . So would she wear a swimsuit for a film again? “As long as I’m portrayed well, I’m comfortable in it and till I’m in a pool, I’ll be fine. Besides, I know where to draw the line. I will not do anything that is obscene or that’ll embarrass family audiences,” asserts Pooja .

‘There is only one Pooja Gandhi’

WHEN Pooja Gandhi looks back on the two-and-ahalf years since her debut, the record-breaking Mungaru Male, she says she’s come a long way from being an apprehensive newcomer, and an outsider at that. “When I did Mungaru Male, I didn’t know whether I would be accepted,” says the Punjabi kudi. “Six months later, when I did Milana, people started appreciating my work. My fans started liking me wherever I used to go. I’ve never felt like an outsider.”

This acceptance has led to her making several changes in her life, personal and professional. “I moved out of Mumbai six months ago and am now based in Bangalore. I’m also doing the dubbing for my movies, which is something I’m really proud of,” she says. And to cap it, she’s landed herself a line-up of roles — in Buddhivanta with Upendra, Neenagagi Kudiruve opposite Vishal, Taj Mahal with Ajay, and Janumada Jodi with Kitty. She’s even playing a crime reporter in Anu, a Kannada remake of a Telugu movie. Pooja’s also gone through something of a makeover. For one, she’s changed her makeup artiste and the other is that she’s lost weight.

“I’ve been wanting to experiment with my look for a while now. Reactions have been mixed: some say I look good in less makeup and some say I look more glamorous with it”. So does she now feel she’s the number one Kannada actress? “I don’t believe in the numbers game. There’s only one Pooja Gandhi. I’m my own competition and have my own identity. Comparisons don’t help me work better,” she says firmly. With all the work she has, Pooja says she doesn’t have the time for a boyfriend. “I am very much single and can mingle only with the right kind of guy. For now, it is only movies and work. I don’t even have the time to talk to my parents. I ask them to come to the sets,” she says. It seems that even her kid sister, Radhika, is headed the same way. “She’s making her debut in Chikamangalura Chickamalige and is doing Karanji after that,” explains Pooja. With all that she’s achieved in such a short span of time, is there anything else that Pooja wants? “I want to do off-beat cinema. It’s my dream to do something along those lines,” she signs off.

Kannada film industry shines at filmfare awards

The Kannada industry took home its share of awards. Kannada hit film 'Aa Dinagalu', the critically acclaimed film directed by Chaitanya, fetched him the Best Director award, while its producers Syed Aman and MS Raveendra walked away with the Black Lady for the Best Film. A confident Chaitanya even announced that were there to be a Best Cinematographer and Best Editor category, his film would’ve bagged both the awards.

“Venu has done a wonderful job as my cameraman and so has editor, Haridas KGF.”

The Best Actor award went to kannada actor Vijay for Duniya. Even though he was ready with an acceptance speech dedicated to his icon Rajnikant, the overwhelmed actor only managed to say a ‘thank you’.

Kannada actress Rashmi dedicated her Best Actress award (Duniya) to her mother. While Tara won the Best Supporting Actress for Ee Bandhana, Sharath Lohitashwa, won the Best Supporting Actor for Aa Dinagalu. “I’m glad that the Black Lady has finally come into my arms,” he said!

Kannada music director Mano Murthy, continued his winning spree with the Best Music Director award for Milana. Sonu Niggaam who won the Best Singer award for Ninnindale, (Milana) accepted that Kannadigas have given him a lot of encouragement along with a place in their hearts. “Mano Murthy is the most hassle-free music director I’ve worked with and Jayant Kaikini is one of the best lyric writers I’ve come across,” he added. When he sang Ninnindale, even the non-Kannadiga audience couldn’t help but tap their feet. Namma sexy kannada actress Ramya added to the glitz, as she danced to a medley including a song from Arasu.

Kannada actor Vijay's six pack

Vijay’s flaunting it!

YOU thought only the Bollywood Town blokes could do it. But namma kannada actor, Duniya hero Vijay is out to prove otherwise. We met the kannada actor recently and were surprised to see him in a new avatar. He’s sporting a six pack and some equally cool biceps as well.

“And it’s all thanks to my trainer who’s a former Mr India. He’s been goading me to work hard on my body and this is the labour of three months,” says the actor. So is he doing it for any particular film? “No I just wanted to show people that Sandalwood can sport six packs too,” he laughs. We got a dekko at his fab abs...and here it is.


“Firstly, I want to be a versatile artiste. I want to prove that I can act in any role.’’

That’s what Vijay, Kannada actor and recipient of the best actor award for Duniya, said during a courtesy visit to The Times of India office on Monday.

“In fact, I had the ambition of becoming an actor since childhood. I always wanted to be an action hero. It’s just a craze,’’ he said. Vijay has to his credit, nearly half a dozen movies, which include Slum Bala, Mukhyamanthri I Love You, Avva and Junglee.

“I first faced the camera in Ranga SSLC. When I was selected as the hero for Duniya, I never expected it to be a big hit. We worked hard and expected a positive response from the audience. The subject was close to the common man’s heart. Director Suri presented it in an excellent way and the movie did well.’’

A fan of Rajkumar and Rajnikant, Vijay believes in working hard. “Basically, I am a stunt artiste. I worked hard for nearly eight years to gain expertise in various forms of stunts. I broke my legs many times and even today, I live with pain in my lower back,’’ he said.

On the Kannada film industry, Vijay said experience and education is lacking in many films. “I have seen youngsters who have worked as assistants in one or two films, directing movies without experience. How do you expect the film to succeed? Directors should have some background about the field.’’

Vijay feels producers should never interfere in a director’s work. “Give directors a free hand and see the results,’’ he said.