‘Bollywood hasn’t reached its potential’
Most star kids can be expected to argue over how their daddy is the biggest hero, but in the case of Sanjay Grover, Gulshan Grover’s son, he stood on a different pedestal.
“When I was young, my father never let me watch his films. Later when I saw him in his villainous get ups, I was amazed,” says Sanjay, who’s currently the head of business expansion for MGM studios in Hollywood, Los Angeles. “Because he is nothing like that in real life, I realised what a great actor he must be and my respect and appreciation for his work grew.”
Even though his father has been involved in a lot of international film projects, Sanjay has never tried to convince him to move to Hollywood altogether. “What he has achieved for himself and for other Bollywood actors is to be able to work in Hollywood and not have to live here. He is an important part of the ongoing Hollywood-Bollywood synergy.”
Having grown up at the heart of Bollywood, it has been quite a journey becoming a part of a Hollywood studio. When asked what their perception of the biggest industry in the world in terms of churning out films is, he says, “Indian cinema has not fully reached its strength and potential according to Hollywood. So, it has not translated well into Hollywood.
There is confusion about the Indian way of working, people being late, star tantrums, bad accounting and reporting of money, in short —chaos. They feel Indian film industry lacks some sort of institutionalisation. But projects like Slumdog Millionaire and the recent giant strides have started to bear results.”
When asked about plans of setting up base in India, like most other studios, Sanjay explains what they have in mind. “They understand that the synergy, if done properly with some guidance from the headquarters, would works wonders, as our Indian market is booming. Other studios have set up base there, but the top bosses in India have no communication with the bosses here in Hollywood. They have appointed me as the director- programming and administration- India. I can’t reveal much about our developments, but all I can say is my mentor’s (at MGM) love for India is growing day by day.”
Bond will return
Following speculations regarding MGM Studios’ bankruptcy, news of the next Bond film being put on hold, and Hobbit, too, not seeing any light at the end of the tunnel, only made rumours stronger.
Sanjay clears the air and gives all those Bond fans out there some good news: “Presently there is a restructure going on. When a company is going through a change, projects are halted; decisions are delayed, as the direction of the company as a whole is being decided. The top bosses are in the process of changing banks and trying to figure out other viable ventures that make MGM a stronger corporation. With a history like MGM’s, plus the humongous library that they have, this company is not going to just disappear into thin air.”