Laced with choicest desi expletives, and also the F word, actor-filmmaker Anupam Kher’s short film, I went shopping for Robert De Niro, was premiered at the ongoing International Indian Film Festival (IIFA) weekend in Florida on Thursday (April 24).
“You can’t make a film on Robert De Niro without using the F word,” explained Kher, when asked by one of the 800-strong audience at the Tampa Theatre. “Well, the other reason is, the younger generation today actually uses the word F**K a lot, and may be not as an abuse but more of a habit... so the portrayal is quite real.”
Written by Kher's acting school's associate, Shivangi Khshirsagar, who also plays one of the protagonists, the 30-minute film is based on the fun exploits of two young women in Mumbai who work for Anupam Kher’s acting school. Kher assigns them to find a gift for De Niro before he leaves for the US to shoot with him on David O Russell’s Oscar-nominated film Silver Linings Playbook.
Apart from thanking the film’s sound designer, Oscar-winning filmmaker Rasool Pookuty, Kher was candid about expressing his gratitude for friend and actor Anil Kapoor. “This film wouldn’t have been possible without Anil’s backing.”
When asked to explain, the 59-year-old said, “Anil was instrumental in getting this film made.” And then cheekily added, “Anil and I, we are each other’s emotional anchor… well please don’t imagine more.”
When asked by an audience member on how did De Niro, who’s known to be a recluse, react on seeing the film, Kher said, “Well, he is a shy man but he understood that we were making this film to pay a tribute to him and he can't stop anybody from paying him a tribute… so being a man of few words, he said, ‘terrific’.”
Meanwhile, the film frat seemed to be in awe of Kher’s film. “What the f**c have you done? Kamaal kar diya sirji” said David Dhawan, while Riteish Deshmukh was curious as to why Kher had assigned his employees to buy a gift for De Niro and not buy it himself, to which Kher said in jest that he was busy buying gifts for Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence (his other co-stars in Silver Linings Playbook).
Actor Gulshan Grover said he was so impressed that he said he wanted to emulate Kher in every possible way, except his shampoo! “Anupam shares everything but not his comb,” said Gulshan. “Oh yes, I can't share my fingers,” replied Kher.