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Tarsem Singh gets chatty about his roots and his films

entertainment Updated: Nov 11, 2011 00:48 IST
Robin Bansal
Robin Bansal
Hindustan Times
tarsem dhandwar singh

It’s been over 25 years since he shifted base from India to the US, and filmmaker Tarsem Singh has paved his way in the west with ease. But the 50-year-old, who is bold enough to accept that he is “not at a stage in my career where I just want to take a job anymore” says he has not much to do with Indian films.

“One really can’t cut away from one’s roots. I came to US when I was 24, so I have a special connect with India,” says Singh, adding, “But I’ve only seen one Bollywood film in the last 25 years. It was Aamir Khan’s Lagaan, basically Seven Samurai meets cricket… However, I have very little to do with Bollywood.”

Ask him if Indian stories interest him and he says, “I’m interested in portraying Indian Stories or folklores. But unfortunately I just look at it and say how can I put my DNA into a film that right now is at pulse of pop culture and I don’t think right now a Mahabharata is going to be on the hit list of that any time soon.” Singh, however, doesn’t mind roping Indians in his flicks like the way he cast Freida Pinto in his latest, Immortals.

“When I met Freida I just said, she’s it! She’s phenomenal to look at. She’s very dedicated,” says the self-confessed atheist, whose movie, ironically deals with Gods, demi-Gods and humans. “Somehow the films that I end up doing seem like the tail-end of a dying genre,” he says.

Know him...
* Full name: Tarsem Dhandwar Singh
* Age: 50
* Singh attended the Bishop Cotton School, Shimla, and Art Center College of Design in California
* He began his career directing music videos, including those of Hold On by En Vogue, Sweet Lullaby by Deep Forest and R.E.M.’s Losing My Religion
* Films directed: The Cell, The Fall
* Latest flick: Immortals, starring Henry Cavill, Mickey Rourke and Fredia Pinto
* Future projects: Mirror Mirror based on Snowhite and the Seven Dwarfs