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B'wood is 'huge' for Bettany

Paul Bettany doesn't consider Hindi film industry to be Hollywood's poor cousin.

india Updated: Jan 24, 2006 12:06 IST

He hasn't seen many Bollywood films. However, out of the "few Indian films" he has managed to see, Paul Bettany fondly remembers Irfan Khan-starrer The Warrior which was nominated by the British Academy of Films and Television Arts (BAFTA) in the category of the best directorial/scriptwriting work in the first feature film.

"It was a beautiful film," he reminiscences.

British actor Bettany, star of films like A Beautiful Mind, Master and Commander and A Knight's Tale is familiar with the world's largest film industry thriving in Mumbai. He acknowledges Hollywood's not-so-poor cousin as "a massive and huge" industry.

"It's a big business there. I have heard of Indian films. I know the Indian film industry produces many films a year," says Bettany in a telephonic interview. The critically-acclaimed actor managed to hold his ground in front of Hollywood superstar Russel Crowe in the Oscar-winning A Beautiful Mind.

Bettany is all set to enthrall the audiences worldwide in his forthcoming films like Firewall and Da Vinci Code that will hit the theatres in the first half of this year.

Paul Bettany is all set to enthrall the audiences worldwide in his forthcoming films like Firewall and Da Vinci Code that will hit the theatres in the first half of this year.

While he is tightlipped and keeps his cards close to his chest about the much-awaited

Da Vinci Code

, with its book being a bestseller around the globe, he says

Firewall

- where he shares screenspace with Harrison Ford - will be lapped well as it deals with a "universal theme".

This 34-year-old actor has come a long way from doing tid-bit roles to being a darling of the critics. While he got a nomination for 'Best Newcomer' by the British Independent Film Awards and London Film Critics Award for his role in Gangster No. 1, more critical acclaim poured in when he bagged the 'Best Supporting Actor' by London Film Critics Award for both A Knight's Tale and Master and Commander.

Coming from a family of actors - his father being an actor-teacher and mother an actor-cum-secretary, perhaps it was natural for Bettany to opt for performing arts.

A formally-trained actor, he did a string of theatre productions and television series before graduating to the dream destination - Hollywood.

"Both theatre and films are a media to express yourself. The only difference being that in films you have the entire day for yourself and you get many chances to get the act right, while in theatre, you perform in front of a live audience. It's very spontaneous. It's a one-shot thing in theatre," he says.