Abhay Deol, who has been filming Dibakar Banerjee’s Shanghai, recently got a chance to visit the Chinese city for a champagne dinner with Hollywood star Scarlett Johansson.
“She was also tired and jet-legged, but still willing to talk about her two trips to India and the chef with whom she had once cooked at home,” says Abhay, who remembers Prestige (2006) and Lost In Translation (2003) as two of her best movies.
“She’s a superstar who doesn’t act like one. She’s friendly, gracious and easy to converse with.”
Moet & Chandon’s celebrity Hollywood muse hosted the ‘Tribute to the Spirit of 1743’ gala, which toasted the brand’s 100-year association with China with the century-old Grand Vintage 1911. “It was awesome, as was the 1998 bubbly that was uncorked. Normally, champagne gives me a hangover but this was good alcohol and went down like water,” smiles Abhay.
The 26-year-old Avenger star is believed to be remaking Bonnie And Clyde (1967) and has collaborated with Lulu, the son of Serge Gainsbourg who had written a song by the same name, on a music video. Abhay says the topic didn’t crop up during their conversation, but remembers having seen the original Bonnie And Clyde as a kid, and its ‘desi’ version, Bunty Aur Babli (2005).
Meanwhile, Abhay is upbeat about the other Shanghai. He was dying to work with director Dibakar Banerjee again after Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! (2008). “It’s a political dark comedy laced with his brand of dry, below-the-belt humour. The key to his success is that he doesn’t get preachy. When I read the script, I laughed and laughed, and he found that awesome,” Abhay chuckles.
He insists that given the mood of the nation post Anna Hazare’s fast, Shanghai is the right film at the right time. “I’m dying to see the film,” Abhay asserts. “If in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, I was a young South Mumbai industrialist, in Shanghai, I’m a close-to-40 South Indian IAS officer. Shanghai’s been lucky for me once, I hope it is again.”