Actors turning producers - more stars join in!

By Ruchika Kher

New Delhi, July 25 (IANS) Saif Ali Khan will be the latest to "own the work" he does by joining the bandwagon of actors turning producers with the release of "Love Aaj Kal" on July 31 - a trend that is once again catching on among heroes of the Hindi film industry.

"I decided to turn producer because I wanted to own the work that is done. I wanted to be more creatively involved in a project apart from just acting in it and take the responsibility. Basically, after working in the industry for so many years, I wanted growth," Saif told reporters on a recent visit to the capital.

Saif joined hands with friend Dinesh Vijan to float Illuminati Films and produced "Love Aaj Kal", which also stars Deepika Padukone and is about romance in different eras.

"I have become more conscious of small things now after becoming a producer - I became more conscious about small details during shootings like whether an artist is coming on time on the sets, production plans are working in close coordination with other things, et al," he explained.

In the past, actors like Guru Dutt and Dev Anand had taken to producing their own films. While Guru Dutt produced path-breaking movies like "Aar Par", "CID" and "Pyaasa" under his banner Guru Dutt Movies Pvt. Ltd, Dev Anand established Navketan Films and made hits like "Hare Rama Hare Krishna" and "Jewel Thief".

Later Bollywood megastar Amitabh too ventured into the business with "Tere Mere Sapne" under the banner AB Corps. Other films that came from his stable were "Aks" and "Mrityudaata".

The trend has gained prominence in recent years with almost all leading actors having their own production houses. So now Bollywood has Shah Rukh Khan's Red Chillies Entertainment, Aamir Khan Productions, Ajay Devgan's Devgan Films, Anil Kapoor Productions, Akshay Kumar's Hari Om Productions, Sanjay Dutt Productions Pvt Ltd... and the list goes on.

Even actors like Dino Morea and Aftab Shivdasani have decided to don the producer's hat.

"I'm turning producer and I've set up my company Rising Son Entertainment," Aftab had told IANS.

"I'm turning a producer to create opportunities for myself, to do roles and films that would otherwise not come to me. In fact, the director has also been finalised. I can't announce his name because he hasn't been signed as yet," he added.

Besides them, actor Abhay Deol too has launched his production house, Forbidden Films. And the banner's first home production "Junction" would be directed by debutant Atul Sabrawal.

Following the same path is Bollywood's heartthrob John Abraham, who is planning a tie-up with "Ghajini" producer Madhu Mantena.

That's not all. Bollywood actresses are not far behind either in this race.

While successful actress Katrina Kaif wants to produce the remake of a French film she really liked, veteran actress Hema Malini, who tried direction with "Dil Aashna Hai" in 1992, is also planning to shift her attention to production.

"I'm planning to start my own production. I don't want to say much about it because every time I talk about these things, they never happen. It's my desire to make lovely films because I am an artist and a very creative person," said Hema.

Other heroines who have decided to take the plunge are Sushmita Sen, Mallika Sherawat, Shilpa Shetty and Tabu.

Different celebrities have different reasons to take interest in production, but turning producer sure seems to be the most popular move in Bollywood.

(Ruchika Kher can be contacted at ruchika.k@ians.in)

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