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Will gets jiggy with India

In an exclusive chat with HT Style, Will Smith talks about his plans to meet some of the Bollywood bigwigs.

india Updated: Feb 21, 2006 05:20 IST

It was a Sunday morning delight — Hollywood actor Will Smith was in the capital. Smith turned out to be as ‘composedly comic’ in person as he comes across in his movies. Whether he was professing his fondness for Aishwarya Rai or his passion for chicken tikka masala or the big brand called Bollywood, the chit-chat was redolent with a generous smattering of his trademark humour.

Smith confessed to being very excited about his seven-day stay in India. He said, “Ever since childhood I’ve heard a lot about the culture and colours of this country. I will try and learn, as much as possible. Though, I am being constantly cautioned by my wife to leave out some things for our next visit together.”

Elaborating about the group he is travelling with, Smith said, “I am here with 13 people, including my son, nephew, friends, and manager. And though I am going to be busy with the gruelling work schedule, they for sure are going to have a lot of fun.”

So apart from the work, which includes, launching Sony Entertainment’s new English film channel, Pix, and a guest appearance on one of the Indian Idol episodes, Smith plans to see the Taj Mahal. “I also want to taste the authentic chicken tikka masala. It’s another must on my agenda.”

From the Taj Mahal to Bollywood, Smith wants to know all about India. “Just recently I got to know the number of films Bollywood makes in a year — a whopping 800. And each with it’s share of song, music, dance and drama,” says Smith. He goes on to add, “I am simply so enticed to be part of it.”

Indeed, Smith has his preferences clear. “I would do anything that Aishwarya Rai will be part of. I so love her.” Of the films that he’s seen so far, Smith talks greatly of Sarkar with special mention of Big B, “I found him much bigger than I had imagined him to be.”

Smith has drawn up plans of meeting some of the Bollywood bigwigs as well. “I want to educate myself as much as possible. I also want to explore the possibility of a collaboration between both the film industries.”

However, back in his playfield — Hollywood — Smith will next be seen in two films Tonight, He comes and Pursuit of Happiness. “While Pursuit... is in its postproduction stage, Tonight... is yet to begin,” Smith let in.

Of his past work, Smith says, his all-time personal favourites are Ali and Bad Boys. “As an actor I enjoyed doing Ali but Bad Boys is more me in terms of the cars and those tight Ts.”

Smith talks of the other things he enjoys doing apart from work, namely “golf and chess”.

It’s not every day that a Hollywood star comes to town and certainly not one so affable. As for our homegrown constellation? Well, they have a long way to go.

First Published: Feb 21, 2006 03:46 IST