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Indian set to fly high

Last updated: 22 May, 2009
Utpal Borpujari, Cannes, DH News Service:

This is one big achievement that will do everyone back in Karnataka proud. A young actor with roots in the State is all set to fly high in Hollywood with roles in films of such high-profile directors as James “Titanic” Cameron and Sam “Spider-Man” Raimi.

A Still from ‘Drag Me To Hell’ showing Dileep Rao with co-star Alison Lohman.



The man is Dileep Rao, and the films that are going to be his springboard in Hollywood are Cameron’s IMAX 3D film Avatar and Raimi’s horror flick Drag Me to Hell.

Rao, incidentally, was the only actor with any India connection to have a film in an official section of the 62nd Cannes Film Festival, with Drag Me To Hell having its world premiere in the Midnight Screenings section.

“I am doing Cameron’s film but am not supposed to disclose anything about it at this moment,” Rao told Deccan Herald here. In Raimi’s film, he plays a psychic seer called Rham Jas who helps the film’s protagonist fight evil forces.

Rao’s father is a Kannadiga of Maharashtrian origin settled in California as an engineer while his mother is from Bellary. “Our roots lie in Karnataka but I have grown up in the United States,” he said.

In Cameron’s sci-fi epic, which is currently in post-production, Rao plays a character called Dr Max Patel.

“I think I am very lucky to be working with such visionary directors,” said Rao, who has earlier worked in one episode each of two television series titled Brothers & Sisters and Standoff.

In this latest film by Raimi, who is known for the legendary horror movie Evil Dead as well as the Spider-Man series, Rao plays a psychic, though he personally does not believe in ghosts.

“Being a person of science, I don’t believe in it, but there are many beliefs in the world, and there are things which are not explained by science. Hence, I have respect for those who believe in them,” he said.


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