Off it, he’s a companionable sort of a guy. A major admirer of Amitabh Bachchan, he wants to be a part of the Bollywood dream factory. Currently in Brisbane, he’s raring to come back to the city’s show whirl. And this naturally prompts the first question.
You’ve often dropped hints about acting in a Bombay movie..has anyone caught the hint yet?
You might be surprised. There have been quite a few offers from the Bombay filmmakers. Your movies have such a wide reach. Which mortal wouldn’t like to reach out to a vast audience?
I connect to the magical songs and dances of your movies. I’d seen a couple of Hindi films when I was in India, I was floored. And I’ll let you into a secret. I’m learning how to speak Hindi fluently.
Do other Australians share your enthusiasm?
Bollywood is really respected in Australia. Indian actors have that extra something, they have a star aura about them. I’ve interacted with some of them like the Khans and the Bachchans they seemed to be oblivious about the extent of their influence. They were modest and humble.
Frankly, I don’t know how good I’m with singing. You’ve to tell me whether I’m good or bad. I’ve already done some music albums at home. I enjoy singing and the creative process of making music. Singing is an outlet for one’s emotions and energy.
I hear you’ve refused an A-line film project.
Yes, I was offered a film, but I thought it wasn’t the right kind of role. Moreover, it’s shoot required at least 50 days which was impossible for me to organise at this point of time.
The last time you visited India, you raved about Amitabh Bachchan.
Yes, Big B is my favourite Indian actor. I’ve always said that I adore him as an actor; he has an imposing personality I’d love to act with him.
You’ve made your debut as a singer with Asha Bhosle. Is this your way of gaining a toehold in Mumbai cinema?
It’s not really the way you’re putting it. Forget any personal agenda, I have great respect for Ashaji. She has a loyal following in every part of the world where Indian cinema is known. In fact, my wife Lizzie (Liz Kemp) thinks that our song was great. So do my parents and teammates.
How did you the offer to sing with Asha in
Asha and Friends?
It all happened in a flash. When I was asked to sing a duet for Asha and Friends, I was more excited than surprised. I had a quick meeting with music director Shamir Tandon and the project was on.