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‘I’m proud to represent India’

British actor Jimi Mistry says his ethnicity is essential to all his roles

entertainment Updated: Nov 14, 2009 10:19 IST
Rahul Sabharwal

British actor Jimi Mistry, who first caught India’s attention for his role in the movie Guru, is hopeful that the Indian audiences will appreciate him in this week’s release 2012, wherein he plays an Indian scientist. Talking to HT City from London, Mistry, whose father is of Indian origin, says, “All my roles have had something to do with my Indian ethnicity. I feel proud to be able to represent a culture, much like in 2012. I’m representing India in the film, which is a pleasure.” The actor, who came to India while shooting for the 2007 film Partition, recollects his stay in Delhi. “We filmed in a mosque in Old Delhi. The energy and the hustle and bustle — I loved it.”

The actor, who will appear alongside Om Puri in the film West Is West, is all praise for Puri as well as actors Irrfan Khan and Shabana Azmi, who he has also worked with on different projects. “They’re amazing. I’ve learned so much from them,” he says, adding, “I’ve told my agent that a Bollywood film now would be great. I’m waiting for it to happen.”

Ask him about the stereotyping of Indians in foreign cinema and Mistry replies, “It’s there to a certain degree. But in the UK, we’ve progressed in our attitudes — Indians characters aren’t just scientists, store owners or cabbies. In the US there’s still a way to go. But with the success of Slumdog Millionaire, India’s very much in their consciousness now.” Considering the film is about an apocalyptic event, what would he do if he found out the world was coming to an end? “I would be in Goa having a great party,” he concludes.