Her career here might not exactly be burning up the box office, but Shilpa Shetty's tryst with Big Brother and its notorious racist inmates seems set to spawn movie proposals for the actress. Movie producers in the UK are reportedly trying to contact her agent in that country in order to sign Shetty up, believing that her popularity would add value to their film projects and aid in a pre-sale agreement.
Pravesh Kumar is one UK-based director considering approaching Shetty when she gets out of the Big Brother house. "The British public has really warmed to her and she's huge in the UK right now. I think, she has some career here when she is out of the house," said Kumar. The movie industry in the UK is known to be struggling to keep its head above water and NRI or diaspora filmmakers feel there is a real need for a British-Asian star, a gap Shetty could fill given that there are only a handful of names that come to mind like Naveen Andrews, Jimmy Mistry, Archie Punjabi, Meera Syal and Parminder Nagra.
But isn't Shetty's shaky career in Bollywood a deterrent? Kumar clarifies: "Her talent does make a difference and there is an audition process here for all casting. However we could also involve her in workshops and classes to hone her skills."
Producer of films like Bride And Prejudice and I Want Candy, Michelle Fox agrees. "Shilpa Shetty is a marketing catchphrase right now and she's a household name. She's better known than Aishwarya Rai in the UK. Her popularity makes her commercially viable and casting her would certainly help with raising funds. We are considering her for the part of an Indian girl in a sweet family film," said Fox.
Celebrity Big Brother on Channel 4 ends this Sunday, and Shetty is tipped as one of the hot favourites to win the contest.
Email Udita Jhunjhunwala: firstname.lastname@example.org