The country may swell with pride as Bollywood parades the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival, but the international press is clueless about our so-called biggies. While a Reuters photograph referred to actor Sonam Kapoor as ‘an unidentified guest’, Getty Images mistook Mallika Sherawat for Spanish actor Stephanie Sigman. That’s not all. Reuters even captioned Minissha Lamba as Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, thanks to the similar gowns the two wore, and perhaps because Ash happened to be the only recognisable Indian name at the festival, thanks to her nine previous appearances at Cannes.
Actor Saif Ali Khan, too, was at the big-ticket do, but he didn’t even get noticed, let alone photographed!
The industry’s big daddies back home are not surprised. “These guys just went for some party hopping, but this goes to show the truth that we are far from matching Hollywood,” says filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt. Trade expert Taran Adarsh says, “Our stars may be worshipped in India, but the reality remains that besides some, people don’t know Indian actors there. I don’t blame foreign agencies for not recognising them, especially Sonam, who is yet to make it big.” Ad guru Prahlad Kakkar, however, says, “Sonam should have shown her middle finger to the cameras!”
Actor Saif Ali Khan, whose name wasn’t announced on the red carpet, got sandwiched between Hollywood stars Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek and was ignored by photographers.
Reuters on Sonam Kapoor (May 15): ‘An unidentified guest’ arrives on the red carpet for the screening of the film The Artist by director Michel Hazanavicius
Reuters on Mallika Sherawat (May 14): Actress ‘Stephanie Sigman’ arrives on the red carpet for the screening of the film Pirates Of The Caribbean
Getty Images caption on Minissha Lamba (May 11): ‘Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’ attends the Opening Ceremony at the Palais des Festivals at 64th Cannes Film Festival
(With inputs by Sandeep Verma)