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Kabir Bedi to be knighted

entertainment Updated: Nov 26, 2010 14:24 IST
Roshmila Bhattacharya
Roshmila Bhattacharya
Hindustan Times
Hindustan Times

Kabir Bedi is being knighted at a ceremony in Mumbai on December 9. It’s a special award for lifetime achievement given by the government of Italy. The technical term is ‘Cavaliere’ meaning ‘knight’ and comes from ‘

cavallo

’, the Italian word for ‘horse’.



“Yes, it is the equivalent of ‘sir’ in Britain. I could, in the future, be addressed as Cavaliere or Mr Bedi, but I will always remain Kabir,” laughs the actor when it’s pointed out that he will be on the same platform as close friend, actor Sir Ben Kingsley. “Ben is a trailblazer for many Asian actors. But

Sandokan

too has given me the kind of success in Europe that actors only dream of.”



The saga of a romantic Asian pirate during British colonial rule was an Italian-German-French TV mini series aired in 1976. It broke viewership records across Europe, was turned into a TV movie a year later and made a comeback in ’96 as

Il Ritorno Di Sandokan

. Bedi now plans to dub it in Hindi and release it on DVD next year. “Sandokan has become almost iconic in Italy. The name is too Asian for Italian parents to adopt for their children. Kabir was a possibility but unfortunately, there’s no ‘K’ among the Italian alphabets,” he laughs. “Still, Sandokan remains evergreen and over the years, has assumed almost mythical proportions.”



Bedi has featured in other Italian productions, including

Mashamal: Ritarno Al Deserto

(’98) opposite a top Italian actor and the prime-time show,

Un Medico In Famiglia

(2007), on Rai TV, the country's biggest broadcaster. He rues the fact that thanks to the language barrier, America, more than Europe has served as a muse for our filmmakers which is probably why

Sandokan

didn’t spawn a ‘

desi’

adaptation. But he is now gearing up to flag off his own production, around early 2011, with a cast of Italian and Indian actors.



He was one of the participants in the Italian version of the show,

Survivors

. “It was a tough contest filmed on an island in the West Indies. I beat competition from younger and stronger contestants to be the runner-up,” he informs, admitting that he was offered

Bigg Boss

but didn’t have the dates. However, Bedi has stepped in for Vinod Khanna, who is reeling from a back problem, to play father to Chirag Paswan in his debut film,

One And Only

. He says, “It’s an interesting story of a young boy and his attempts to bring together his estranged parents.”