Uday Chopra jokes about his own failure as an actor (after trying it for 12 years). The brother of top producer Aditya Chopra and heir apparent to the Yashraj throne talks about venturing into Hollywood productions and writing comics instead of falling back on the family business.
Twelve years is a short time in an actor’s career. What made you give up?
I realised I couldn’t become Aamir Khan. I would never reach that level. One has to be realistic. I want to be successful, so I figured it was time to try something new.
Is that how your comic book label, Yomics, happened?
It (Yomics) is a project born out my passion. After Dhoom 2 (2006), I wrote a graphic novel around Ali — my character in the film. I’ve also written two issues of the Dhoom series and created a comic character, Daya Prochu, my Twitter alter ego. Now we are coming out with comics on Hum Tum (2004) and Ek Tha Tiger.
You have two great directors in the family. Why leave that for uncharted territory?
My dad (Yash Chopra) and brother Adi (Aditya Chopra) have created their brand as successful directors and producers. What could I do that they haven’t already done? I could make a mark and find myself only by trying a new frontier.
How did you get into Hollywood productions? What are the projects under the banner?
I did a course in production at UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) and then set up my production house in LA. Our first project, Peter Glanz’s The Longest Weekend, is complete and we are going to film festivals with it. We’ve also started work on Olivier Dahan’s Grace of Monaco, which stars Nicole Kidman. I aim to produce at least three films a year.Later, I might try my hand at direction.
You are also trying to remake a Yashraj production for a Hollywood audience?
The idea is to make an American version of Bunty Aur Babli (2005). I’m toying with the idea of casting Michael Cera (Juno, 2007) and singer Taylor Swift. I think Swift would make an amazing Babli.