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I write with images in mind: Roberts

Gregory David Roberts, whose book Shantaram is now being made into a movie by Mira Nair, says he always knew that his novel would be adapted into a film.
IANS | By Shweta Thakur, Mumbai
UPDATED ON APR 01, 2008 07:21 PM IST

Gregory David Roberts, author of the bestseller "Shantaram" that is now being made into a movie by director Mira Nair, says he always knew that his autobiographical novel would be adapted into a film.

"It feels great that my novel is now adapted into a film. However, I always knew it would happen because I am a filmic writer," Roberts told IANS.

"I mean, when I write, I write with images in mind. In fact, with the advent of cinema all writers do that now, contrary to the past when it (cinema) wasn't there," said the Australia born author, who speaks Hindi as fluently as he speaks English.

The film of the same name stars Amitabh Bachchan and Johnny Depp. It narrates the story of a convicted Australian bank robber and heroin addict who escapes from prison and flees to India, where he lives for 10 years.

And the wizard of words is all praise for Depp and Big B.

"What could have been better than Hollywood bigwig Johnny Depp being a part of the film. I have met Depp and, apart from being a great actor, he is a wonderful person. One must see how he adores his kids. He is an amazing father.

"And Amitabhji is not only Bollywood's but the world's greatest actor...more than that he is an icon. Only a handful of people across the globe enjoy the position he does.

"Both the actors are larger than the parts they play in movies. So many people around the world learn so much from them. Also, I am an ardent fan of Nana Patekar. He is a fantastic actor. When I met him I touched his feet. He is just great."

He said glowingly: "I love Bollywood films! It doesn't matter whether you watch them on DVDs, CDs, on television or in a theatre - they are full entertainers."

"You sit with a popcorn tub, some bhelpuri, sevpuri, order some paneer paranthas, yellow dal and when the film ends, your mind and tummy both are full," added Roberts, who is a vegetarian and loves "spicy" Indian food.

Commenting on the continually evolving Hindi film industry, he said: "The new talent coming in the industry is so far better than yesteryears. For instance, Anurag Basu's Life...In a Metro is such a beautiful film.

"It is so well shot, so modern, and if you dub it in any other language it would do equally well. Although, filmmakers must understand that the days of three-hour movies are over. If they cut it shorter to 90-100 minutes standard it would appeal to a larger international audience."

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