Anyone who has seen Anupam Kher’s debut film Saaransh will agree that the actor’s class was evident from this itself. Now 25 years later, when Saaransh is being re-released, the thespian has got a call from the iconic American film director Woody Allen for his forthcoming film. Mr Kher will be playing Slumdog Millionaire’s heroine Freida Pinto’s father in an yet-to-be-named film. No doubt the actor may consider this wonderful news, but considering that he has already acted in several British, American and Chinese films, his over-the-top reaction to Mr Allen’s offer has surprised many.
In an interview, Mr Kher, who is known for superb rendition of character roles, said he doesn’t care much about what part he gets in the film. He added that he wouldn’t even mind even if they made him “stand in a corner”. His logic: working with such a great director and a star cast comprising Nicole Kidman, Antonio Banderas and Anthony Hopkins is more than he could ask for. But standing in a corner? How naff can one get? This seems of a piece with many of our other actors talking about so-called big roles that they have landed in Hollywood films. We are yet to see many of these parts.
We are a bit chary of these roles that our people get in foreign films. Mr Kher deserves a bit more than a blink-and-you’ve-missed-it parts. Now he may not be quite as dashing as Antonio Banderas in Mask of Zorro or as chilling as Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs. But he is quite a thespian and certainly, does not need to be in any corner as far as talent is concerned.