Filmmaker Danny Boyle, who has already vowed to help the Mumbai street children acting in his award-winning film Slumdog Millionaire, turned out to be one of the biggest beneficiaries at the charity auction held by Plan, an NGO supported by Slumdog cast member Anil Kapoor, at a nightspot here on Wednesday.
Delhi scored poorly in the generosity test at the auction, where paintings donated by top artists, including Anjolie Ela Menon, and some precious jewellery were sold to raise funds for Plan’s projects. Hardly any bids were heard, even when Anil Kapoor called upon his celebrity friends and the people of Delhi to give freely. However, Boyle pledged 5,000 pound sterling and that took the total funds raised to a respectable level.
Speaking to HT City earlier in the day, Boyle said he would love to make a thriller set in Mumbai, a city he likened to a “drug that just gets into your blood”. On why he went there to film Slumdog, he replied, “We wanted a city with the real backdrop of slums... Back there in the UK, we make fantasy films with people wearing masks.”
“The film was originally written in English,” said Boyle, talking of the partially Hindi dialogues. “But when we shot with those seven-year-old kids from the slums, we realised that they can’t do it in English. And when I heard them delivering dialogues in Hindi, their emotions came alive. We had gone insane watching the realism in the kids’ performance… so, subtitles seemed fine.” The Hindi words he has learnt are aaram se, khoobsurat and chalo, which he used for his crew. He is fond of Indian food, too, but likes it simple. “I just like daal chawal,” said Boyle.
Why not Big B?
Since Amitabh Bachchan was the face of Kaun Banega Crorepati in India, was casting Anil Kapoor as the host of Who Wants to be a Millionaire a fair decision? “Mr Bachchan is already featured in the film at one point early on — one of the little children dreams of having his autograph. So, I thought it would be confusing to cast him as the host. Anil is also a big star and I think Indian viewers would like to see somebody hosting the show away from Mr Bachchan.”
After the Golden Globes win, what about his Oscar chances? “Even if we fall from the top of the cliff, we still have a lot of reasons to wave with happiness,” he said, “one out of which is the experience of working together.”
Inputs from Sanchita Guha