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Bollywood lessons for aspirants in UK

india Updated: Mar 07, 2008 03:34 IST
Vijay Dutt
Vijay Dutt
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

A Bollywood acting school in Britain was inevitable given the obsession of the young and the not-so-young Britons of Asian origin, for the dance and song extravaganza presented by Indian films.

Come September, several top actors including Anupam Kher, Urmila Matondkar, Tabu and Boman Irani will teach in the acting school. Many feel the course would be a sure passage to the Mumbai film industry.

The school, a partnership between the Indian acting academy Actor Prepares, Heathrow City Partnership and Ealing Hammersmith and West London College, will be housed at the Ealing Institute of Media.

Students will learn martial arts, yoga, dance, music, improvisation, acting and and Hindi — or work on their diction. Anupam Kher, the school’s chairman, said, “The idea was to breathe and smell acting.” Sixty students are expected to join in the first year and will have to pay £6,000 each, for the three-month course.

For acting aspirants, who want to make it big in Bollywood, the location is ideal. The neighbourhood swarms with Asians and is two hours away from Birmingham and Leicester. A few young Asians HT spoke to said a school would be great for all who want to make a mark in Bollywood.

The project is ambitious and hopes to represent the growing ties between Britain and the Hindi film industry. “The standard of acting in Indian films was mediocre generally but in the last few years audiences have become much more educated towards cinema because of the onslaught of satellite channels [showing Western films] and the arrival of multi-plexes in India. I am trying to kill off a certain style of clichéd Bollywood acting. It’s already dying so it is the right time to do this international school,” Kher was quoted as saying to The Times.

Indian films have regularly been in the first 10 top earners and many of them have grossed more money here than in India.