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No hard feelings over New York airport delay: Mammootty

Kochi, May 24 (IANS) Malayalam superstar Mammootty says he has no ill-feelings towards immigration officials at the JFK Airport in New York for delaying his clearance as they were just doing their job.
“It became news here because it was me and do you know there were 30 others whose clearance was delayed because the officials were checking their papers too. I had no issues at all and they treated me properly and I have nothing against them,” said Mammootty, who returned to Kerala Saturday after a nearly month-long visit to the US.

The veteran actor’s exit from the airport last month was delayed because his name in his passport appears as Mohammad Kutty Ismail.

“I said who I am and when I told them that my website reveals everything, they were convinced after they checked it,” Mammootty told IANS.

He said he was in the US as part of a fund-raising campaign for his close friend, attorney Stanley Kalathara, who is contesting the election for the New York City Council from District 25, which includes Jackson Heights and Corona.

Mammootty added that his trip went off well.

“The final election there takes place in September and ahead of that there are other programmes and I chipped in my bit for my friend,” he explained.

The superstar, who was away for a month, got busy with work as soon as he arrived here and is now dubbing for his latest film “Daddy Cool”.

“My next film ‘Patanthil Bhootham’ is being released next month and will be followed by ‘Loud Speaker’ directed by Jayaraj,” said Mammootty.

Mammootty and Jayaraj are teaming up for “Loud Speaker” after the blockbuster “Johnny Walker” released 17 years back.

PazhassiRaja Postponed to Ramzan

Mammootty's magnum opus historical 'Pazhassi Raja' will once again
shift its original release dates. The movie will now get into theatres
only by the Ramzan season. The movie which was earlier planned for
August 15 was rescheduled as Mammootty's two releases 'Pattanathil
Bhootham' and 'Daddy Cool' will release only in the months of July and

Since 'Pazhassi Raja' is a big budgeted movie, the makers feel
that it needs at least two months gap from Mammootty's earlier
releases, to receive a great opening.

'Pazhassi Raja' directed by Hariharan in the scripts of M T Vasudevan
Nair, is produced and distributed by Gokulam Gopalan in the banner of
Gokulam films.

Mammootty's Daddy Cool for Independence Day

Mammootty's new movie 'Daddy Cool' which has recently completed its shooting will now, grace the theatres as an independent day release. The movie featuring Richa Palod as the heroine is directed by Ashiq Abu.

The immediate release of Mammootty will be 'Pattanathil Bhootham' which will be on theatres by the last week of June. This special effects fantasy movie told in the background of a circus troupe, directed by Johny Antony, will feature Mammootty in a double role. The movie with Kavya Madhavan as heroine will have music by Shaan Rehman who became popular with the album 'Coffee@MG Road'.

As per the present plans, Mammootty's Onam release will be 'Kutty Shranku', directed by Shaji N Karun. This off beat movie is expected to fetch another national acclaim for the actor. Also in the list of new releases from the actor is 'Vande Matharam' his bilingual with Tamil action star Arjun, which is in its final stages of production.

The megastar who is presently in America will return by the end of the week to complete his new movies in the pipe line, including Gireesh's 'Handsome', Jayaraj's 'Loudspeaker' and Renjith's 'Palery Maanikyam'.

Jagadeesh to direct Mammootty Film

Jagadeesh, on a high following the terrific success of his '2Harihar
Nagar' is all set to don the director's cap. He will be directing
superstar Mammootty in his debut movie. The scripting for the yet to
be titled movie is in full swing.

Jagadeesh, who has written the script for Mammootty superhit
'ManivathoorileAayiram Sivarathrikal' directed by Fazil in the '80s,
is known to be a multi-faceted talent. It was only a matter of time
when he picks up the megaphone, his friends used to say.

Jagadeesh retains the refreshing youthfulness and charm he had when
he started out in Mollywood some two decades ago. The success of
'2Harihar Nagar' is a case in point. The Mammootty movie will be
produced by Ajayachandran Nair.


When Mammootty became a suspect in New York - Detailed Report from Rediff

Though the special check at New York's John Fitzgerald Kennedy airport was a clear case of racial profiling, award-winning Malayalam superstar Mammootty does not take it personally.

Mammootty had taken a British Airways flight on April 29 to attend a series of fundraising events for his friend, attorney Stanley Kalathara, who is contesting the election for the New York City Council from District 25, which includes Jackson Heights and Corona.

At JFK airport, immigration officials delayed Mammootty's exit for almost two hours. The reason? Mammootty's real name, which appears in his passport as Muhammad Kutty Ismail.

When the immigration official saw the last name Ismail, he sent the actor to a separate room for questioning.

Mammootty has visited the US 22 times, once after the 9/11 attacks. But this was the first time he was questioned.

"Every country has its laws and systems. We too have it. We should obey those laws. I did not feel discriminated or harrassed when I was questioned at the airport," he told rediff India Abroad.

"This is not something that happened to me alone. So there is no point taking it seriously," he added. Even US Senator Edward Kennedy has been stopped at airports, the star pointed out.

Kennedy was stopped and questioned at airports five times in March 2004 because his name appeared on the Bush government's secret 'no-fly' list. One was Boston, Massachusetts, a state he has represented in the US Senate for over 40 years.

Kalathara, upset over the delay, informed the Indian consulate. But before consular officials could step in, Mammootty asked the New York immigration officials to check his Web site, which includes information and photographs of the more than 300 films he has acted in.

"Once a person is marked for questioning, it seems they need confirmation from their Washington office (before releasing them). The officials themselves forwarded details from the Web site to the Washington office and his name was immediately cleared," Kalathara said.

"It was a routine thing. Mammootty did not take it seriously. The official apologised profusely and even accompanied him outside," Kalathara said.

Whatever the actor felt, it became another instance of profiling of people with Muslim names. Tamil superstar Kamal Haasan suffered a similar experience in Canada because his last name appeared to be Muslim -- although he is a Hindu.

Immediately after 9/11, Malayalam actress Samyukta Verma and her team were detained for some time because during their flight into New York one of her associates pointed out high-rise buildings in the city. A fellow traveller, who felt threatened, alerted the pilot. Three UA Air Force fighter jets escorted Verma's flight to JFK and the incident made news in India and the US.



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