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  1. #1
    Kal Ho Na Ho
    Join Date
    Aug 2008


    Default Sir Ben v/s Big B!

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    Today, you won’t get to see one great actor light up the big screen, instead, two legends — one from Hollywood, the other from Bollywood — will star opposite each other in Serendipity Films’ much-awaited thriller Teen Patti.

    Sir Ben Kingsley, who made an impact with Gandhi, is now all set to ‘gamble’ with Bollywood; this time cast opposite none other than Amitabh Bachchan as Perci Trachtenberg, the world’s greatest living mathematician, in a film described as being an emotionally-rivetting and razor-sharp thriller about greed, deception and giant feelings of imagination.

    Obvious question. Sir Ben versus Big B. How do two acting legends share screen space? “Mr Bachchan is a lovely actor, he takes his work very seriously, but he does so in a light-hearted manner. He’s extremely polite and friendly with everybody on the sets, an absolute pleasure to work with,” says Sir Ben, via a long-distance call. All right, so Mr Bachchan is a veteran, but what about working with director Leena Yadav and producer Ambika A Hinduja, both young women and both still new to Bollywood? “The entire cast and crew of the film gave it their best. Believe me, we were a hard-working team!” laughs Sir Ben, then adds, humbly, “Although my contribution to the film is minimal when compared to the others. My role is that of a storyteller, a listener, a forgiver... I’m more like an observer. I shot all my scenes in a private casino in London and at the St. John’s College, Cambridge University, only with Mr Bachchan, and all my dialogues were only in English.” And he’s thankful for that as he believes Hindi is a difficult language to learn!

    But even though he might consider his role in the film “small”, he looks back at the experience with utmost satisfaction. “The film has opened a door to India again for me. I am very interested in re-establishing my connections with India and building a long-term working relationship with the Indian sub-continent; this film gave me an opportunity to work with the best in the Indian filmmaking community,” Sir Ben states. Does that mean we’ll get to see more of his acting prowess in the near future? “Not in mainstream Bollywood, but definitely in something related to films. I am intrigued to learn about how Indian production companies run and how the ‘Indian film set’ functions. Indian movies are undergoing a dramatic change. There are new writers, directors, actors, and a new narrative style which is compelling.”

    But as an actor, does he think his long-lasting image of Gandhi will allow the audience to accept him in this role? “We’ll just have to wait and see,” he smiles. And as we wait to see Sir Ben add to the thrill of this gambling-related entertainer Teen Patti, we’ll remember Sir Ben’s parting words: “The Indian sub-continent is something I hold very dear to my heart.”



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