Yet, Anupam Kher chooses to be pragmatic. He doesn’t think that this will propel him into the Hollywood big league. “I’m not under the impression that I’ll be the most sought-after actor in Hollywood. This was just about being in the right place at the right time. The director liked my audition and I became part of the film. Of course, the film’s success and the awards it bags will give me visibility,” says Kher. The actor wasn’t an unknown face in the international circuit, thanks to his earlier stints in Gurinder Chadha’s Bend It Like Beckham (2002), Woody Allen’s You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (2010) and Ang Lee’s upcoming Life of Pi. “If there is a role that suits me, I will audition for it. But I will be always primarily be an Indian actor who’s worked in other languages also,” he says.
About his experience, he says, “It’s an honour to be part of a film with Hollywood A-listers. It is like something one dreams of. (Robert) De Niro, I think, is the god of acting.” The film has already won the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Talking about MFF, Kher says that the involvement of stalwarts from the film fraternity — like Shyam Benegal and Sudhir Mishra, who have extensive experience of visiting international festivals — helped MFF achieve global standards over 14 years. “The fact that important filmmakers are sending their films here sets a benchmark for the festival. So, something like director David O Russell and distributor The Weinstein Company showcasing their film at MFF raises the bar,” he says.
Kher will also be attending the premiere of the film in New York on November 12. About a theatrical release in India, he reckons that “it will release a couple of weeks later in India”.