IIFA: Travolta eyes Bollywood, shakes a leg with Hrithik, Priyanka Chopra

  • AP, Tampa, Florida
  • |
  • Updated: Apr 27, 2014 14:56 IST
  • Travolta

    US actor John Travolta poses with Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra on the green carpet at the Raymond James Stadium on the fourth and final day ...

  • Arshad Warsi

    Bollywood actor Arshad Warsi receives the award for Best Performance in a Comic Role during the fourth and final day of the 15th International Indian ...

  • Gulshan Grover

    Bollywood actor Gulshan Grover stikes a pose on the green carpet at the Raymond James Stadium on the fourth and final day of the 15th ...

  • Kareena-Saif

    Bollywood stars Kareena Kapoor (L) and Saif Ali Khan (R) meet the press and fans on the green carpet at the Raymond James Stadium on ...

  • Priyanka Chopra

    Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra performs on stage during the fourth and final day of the 15th International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards at the Raymond ...

  • John Travolta

    US actor John Travolta poses with Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra pose on the green carpet at the Raymond James Stadium on the fourth and final ...

  • Rishi Kapoor

    Bollywood actor Rishi Kapoor receives the award for Best performance in a Negative Role during the fourth and final day of the 15th International Indian ...

  • Travolta-Hrithik

    Hollywood actor John Travolta (L) shows Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan a dance step on stage during the fourth and final day of the 15th International Indian ...

  • Deepika Padukone

    Kalki Koechlin and Deepika Padukone on stage during the IIFA Magic of the Movies show on the third day of the 15th International Indian Film ...

  • Hrithik Roshan

    Sonu Sood, Hrithik Roshan and Vivek Oberoi appear on stage  at the Mid Florida Credit Union Amphitheater during the IIFA Magic of the Movies. (AFP)

The Indian film industry's top awards show sailed into the US with a pirate-themed opening musical number and celebrities ranging from Slumdog Millionaire star Anil Kapoor to John Travolta.

Before a crowd of some 20,000, the International Indian Film Academy awards, informally known as the "Bollywood Oscars," were being held in the United States for the first time Saturday.

Co-hosts Shahid Kapoor and Farhan Akhtar, dressed in swashbuckling outfits, demanded the key to host city Tampa, Florida, from Mayor Bob Buckhorn, who was sitting in the front row at the city's professional football stadium.

"I will give you this key if and only if you entertain us," said Buckhorn, after which Kapoor and Akhtar climbed onstage and proceeded to have a mock sword fight.

Later, Anil Kapoor introduced Buckhorn, who thanked the crowd with "namaste."

Before the show started, Travolta, Kevin Spacey and dozens of Indian film stars including Deepika Padukone walked past hordes of international media. Unlike the Academy Awards, IIFA uses a green carpet instead of a red one.

Travolta, who was to be honored with an award, posed for photos with his arm around actress Priyanka Chopra.

During a packed news conference Saturday afternoon, the Oscar winner said he is currently considering a role in a Bollywood movie.

"I cannot deny music and dance in my life," he told reporters. "It is part of my soul. This is part of most of Bollywood's films, and I agree with it."

Also on Saturday afternoon, House of Cards star Spacey held a master acting class with Chopra.

When asked what he thought about Hollywood and Bollywood working together, Spacey made the crowd of 300 roar with his answer: "Well, it's about (expletive) time," he said.

The awards cap off four days of well-attended events. The event has drawn the biggest Indian celebrities, including Padukone and Hrithik Roshan.

The contenders for Best Picture are Dhoom 3, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Krrish 3, Chennai Express, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Goliyon Ki Rasleela-Ramleela and Kai Po Che.

"Bollywood" is the term for the film industry based in Mumbai (Bombay). Although it is used mostly to refer to the lengthy song-and-dance movies in the Hindi language, it's become somewhat of a catchall term for Indian films. IIFA organizers say the Indian industry sells 3.6 billion movie tickets a year, about a quarter of them in the U.S.

 

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