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Salaam-e-Ishq: A Tribute To It's Foreign Actors

Steven Baker, Bollywood Trade News Network
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Download Salaam-e-Ishq Wallpapers1 year, 2 months, and 3 days in the making, Nikhil Advani's Salaam-e-Ishq finally hit cinema screens on 25 January. A successful promotional campaign, a muti-starer cast, and that Ishq-Ishq-Ishq Salaam-e-Ishq title song; have generated an incredible buzz around this movie.

After gaining international acclaim with Kal Ho Na Ho, Advani has a lot to live up to; both in India and overseas. Six foreigners, who were connected to the film making process, reveal the hype, and some insider scoop, from the long shooting schedule. 6 different lives. 6 different worlds. 1 common film. Salaam-e-Ishq.

November 20 2005, saw the launch of Advani's sophomore film, at Karjat studio, Maharastra. On the first day of shooting Nikhil had assembled the mega stars Salman Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Anil Kapoor, Juhi Chawla. And the less well known Brad Clifford.

Brad Clifford, an American tourist, was plucked from a hotel in Mumbai, and cast as a waiter in the picturisation of the title track. Brad, from Oregon, looks back, 'When I first showed up to the set I was trying to memorise the title of the movie so that I could buy a copy when it came out. By the end of the shoot you couldn't have erased the title from my brain with a full team of hypnotists.'

Australian-travelling-India, Ben McCreery, tread a similar path to stardom as Brad. Initially cast as a waiter, after dropping a tray of drinks on his first day on the job; Ben decided to swap roles. For those paying attention, one second Ben appears in a bow tie and black pants, then moments later he can be clearly spotted as a dancing party guest. Happy in his new avatar, McCreery reflects, "it was a very enjoyable experience, and something I'd like to do again'.

Download Salaam-e-Ishq WallpapersDecember 2005. Nikhil and crew are in Film City, Mumbai to shoot the remixed Babuji. Established star Anil Kapoor is present, as is newcomer Anjani Sukhani and newercomer Manuel Laynez. On a set designed as a London dance studio, budding Spanish star Manuel essayed the role of a smitten dance student. Manuel observed Anjali's (Sukhani) wooing of SEI's Vinay Malhotrata (Kapoor) through this seductive track, and despite her item girl-esque dancing; the modest covering up of her revealing outfit as soon as the director shouted 'Cut'.

January 2006. Swapping Mumbai for Rishikesh, the camera tracks blonde foreigner Shannon Esra, as she exits from a taxi into a narrow street next to the Ganges. South African Shannon, the latest Bollywood import, had an audience of hundreds on this outdoor location shoot. In this audience, Megan Nass, another blonde foreigner stands out amongst the locals. An avid fan of Hindi film, Nass was excited to be there. 'The crowd', she is informed by a local, 'is too, too big yaar. Bigger than when Rani Mukherjee and Abishek Bachchan were here shooting Bunty aur Babli.'

The excitement from the crowd reached a crescendo, when out stepped Govinda from behind the wheel of a black and yellow taxi. Despite a break from the film industry, this Hero No 1 still has a huge following. Not just with the aam aadmi, but, it would seem, with blonde firang girls too.

August 2006. Charlie Henniker, English undergraduate at Oxford University, is elated to wake up one morning to find a Bollywood film shooting outside his bedroom window. If that was not enough to get him out of bed, Priyanka Chopra was present in her dressing gown. In picturising the upbeat Tenu Leke track, Salman Khan's Rahul flirts with Priyanka's Kkamini; amongst a troupe of desi and gora dancers.

"The shoot brought colour and vibrancy to an already spectacular location, and it caused a real stir. There's a very significant NRI community amongst students at Oxford, and many of them were very excited" Charlie comments. "It's even been suggested that a shrine is put up to commemorate the filming", Henniker added.

Download Salaam-e-Ishq WallpapersDecember 2006. Charissa Glidden works full time as an actor in Hindi film. Born to American parents and brought up in the UK, Charissa's mid-atlantic accent places her in high demand as a voice over artist in her adopted city Mumbai. Charissa's voice has featured in the blockbusters Dhoom 2, Krrish and Fanaa. In Salaam-e-Ishq, Glidden's vocal contributions can be heard whenever there are foreign actors' lines to dub; whether that be a rockin' disco, an upscale restaurant, or a busy airport lounge. Charissa does not normally go to see a film simply because she has worked on it. However this time is different. "I was at the front of the line for the first morning show", she smiles.

Like the episodic nature of the film, the stories of these foreigners stride across country and culture. Linking India to Spain, Australia to the US, Oxford to Oregon. 6 different lives. 6 different worlds. 1 common film. Salaam-e-Ishq.


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