Tom Cruise starrer The Last Samurai, Russell Crowe’s Robin Hood and even Keira Knightley’s Pirates of The Caribbean — they all have a desi connection. The epic war attire and weapons for all these movies were made in the outskirts of Delhi.
Ghaziabad-based handicrafts company, Indian Handicrafts & Textiles Syndicate, which has its office in Sahibabad, has been supplying costumes and props for Hollywood period films since 2003.
“For Tom Cruise and the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, we directly supplied the dresses. We now export to a Spanish company that rents it out to Hollywood-production houses,” says Ashok Rai, 29, the owner.
About his first Hollywood deal, he recalls, “It was for The Last Samurai that someone from the New Zealand embassy came and placed the order. We made all the war dresses for Tom Cruise and were paid $6,000 for it. For The Kingdom of Heaven, we made 1,500 props and were paid $180,000.” Today, their business is worth $2million.
Asked if they have done work for Bollywood, too, Rai says, “No! I think Bollywood film-makers find our rate too high and we don’t see much margin here.”