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By: Taran Adarsh, IndiaFM
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Upen Patel Upen Patel is in the news for the right and wrong reasons...

The right reasons first! The London kid has two important releases lined up next after an impressive debut in 36 China Town: Namastey London and Shakalaka Boom Boom. "I don't know if I can call Namastey London my film. Sure, I am a part of this film, but it belongs to Akshay Kumar completely. He'd stand to gain if the film works at the box-office. It won't affect me either ways," Upen's honest rejoinder takes me by surprise.

But much is riding on Shakalaka Boom Boom. "Oh yes! It's akin to a launch pad for me. A spectacular launch, I'd say. It's a platform to prove myself as an actor," he breathes easy now. The stylish music promos on air have won immense praise for the model turned actor. "Yes, the music is doing very well and the promos are looking great. I've received only positive reactions from everyone. Suneel-ji [Darshan] is promoting the film to the optimum, ensuring that the film stands out when it opens in April," he smiles.

Upen has also come in for a fair amount of criticism for putting his solo hoardings across the city. In fact, the remaining stars [Bobby Deol, Celina Jaitley, Kangana] are nowhere on the hoardings. Fair or unfair? "One part of the media loves me, the other part feels I am the Bad Boy. I'd like to clarify this for the first and last time that I haven't put up those hoardings. It's the fitness club I endorse [Zaf] that's responsible for the hoardings. And they're perfectly justified. If the film-maker [Suneel Darshan] has no problems with it, why should anyone else feel the heat?" Upen sounds upset.

Go on, I am listening. "Doesn't TAG Heuer put up Shah Rukh's hoardings when his films release? Once they sign a brand, they have every right to publicize it as and when they feel the timing is appropriate. Besides, what's the harm in promoting your film? Didn't Shah Rukh go that extra mile to promote Don, so much so that people forgot all about Jaan-E-Mann?" Upen makes a point!

Right now, the Gujarati lad from U.K. is keeping his fingers crossed for Shakalaka Boom Boom. Plus, there are several interesting films in his kitty. "Tips and Venus have signed me for their forthcoming films. There's a film with Abbas-Mustan too, co-starring Sanjay Dutt. Also, a film with Ramesh Sippy. Subhash-ji [Ghai] and Suneel-ji are also starting films with me," Upen divulges.

His plate is already full with prestigious assignments!

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