Mr India Turns Globetrotter

“Kapoor is perfect as the television host!” That is the Variety. “Anil Kapoor is splendid as Prem,the TV show’s quizmaster,” goes the Telegraph,UK.

Written by PriyankaSinha | Published:January 10, 2009 1:11 am

After Slumdog Millionaire,Anil Kapoor again teams up with Danny Boyle — for a thriller

“Kapoor is perfect as the television host!” That is the Variety. “Anil Kapoor is splendid as Prem,the TV show’s quizmaster,” goes the Telegraph,UK. “Anil Kapoor makes a memorably narcissistic and two-faced quiz host smiling disingenuously while trying to ensure the contestant loses.” says The Independent. After Kapoor won the West with Slumdog Millionaire,here is the latest news: Danny Boyle is planning a new thriller with him.

Sweet redemption indeed for an actor,who has been caught in the classic conflict between popular appeal and critical acclaim. Kapoor’s more recent films that have succeeded — Race,Welcome and No Entry — all tapped his comic talent and little else. So Slumdog Millionaire in which he sinks his teeth into the role of Prem Kumar the quizmaster has been a moment of reckoning.

The film remained in the North American Top 12 for four consecutive weekends despite being played in limited theatres. After the impressive number of awards and accolades,Fox Searchlight expanded its release to 500 theatres. Days before the Golden Globe Awards to which it is nominated in four categories,Kapoor says that although he thought the movie had its heart in the right place,he had not imagined that it would receive such international acclaim. “When you are in a film,you can’t gauge how it’s going to fare. I liked the story though. It’s a story the world can relate to — a love story with a happy ending. In fact,like Deewar it also has two brothers on the opposite sides of law. It’s almost a Dickensian story.”

In preparing for his role,Kapoor watched the CDs of Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan,among others. “The thing about being a quizmaster is that it is tough. You can’t mumble — there has to be clarity in your diction. The pronunciation has to be bang on,” he says. Of Bachchan who set a trend with Kaun Banega Crorepati,he says,“He’s in a class of his own. While doing the show I realised how good he is.” Kapoor is equally kind about Khan. “Shah Rukh’s energy and the fun element he brought to the show were enviable but I also borrowed from news anchors and the way they interrogate/interview people.”

The work for the movie finished in 12 days. “Boyle and I got along well. It was a creative jugalbandi. We had to report for shooting sharp at nine in the morning and then continue for 13-14 hours. Danny’s energy was unmatchable.” The actor is equally enthused about the children who play slum kids in his movie: “I am going to cast all the children in a movie sometime in my life,” he vows. Now that’s a thought he could hold on to for his Mr India 2 that’s in the offing with yet another Indian who has won the West — Shekhar Kapur.

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