'I want to kill people the funny way'

'I want to kill people the funny way'

Movie buffs must have spotted him beating the hero or being killed by the hero in a typical Bollywood masala film. Though his face is familiar, his identity is often limited to being a foreigner in Bollywood.

 

Such has been the life of spirited actor J Brandon Hill since he decided to “Settle in India after coming here as a tourist twice.” “But all I knew was acting,” says Brandon who owned a theatre production house in New York before he started his career in Hindi cinema. “Ten years ago I used to play the character of Santa Claus in a play and due to me kids regained their belief in Santa,” he adds.

Strange one would say given that Brandon has usually been cast as a negative character in Indian films. Initially he “didn’t know what the film industry is like and thus didn’t have any expectations in terms of roles. Also, there wasn’t much theatre and whatever existed, one didn’t seem to make a living out of it.” He thus took life as it came and soon landed into one of his most-loved roles till date in Bunty Aur Babli. He didn’t mind being “Fooled by Abhishek Bachchan (who sold him the Taj Mahal) for he is at the top. I had a great time shooting with Abhishek who also welcomed me to the fraternity and I got an elephant ride for free!”

“Though he conned me initially, five years later I beat him up in a film,” a guffaw follows as he narrates his amicable relationship with the junior Bachchan. “In Dum Maaro Dum, I have a fight scene with Abhishek who lands in the hospital whereas I was in jail, so I win!” His humour is brilliant, but one wonders why Brandon sticks to playing negative characters. The actor feels helpless about the fact that, “In every film, I die eventually. So now when I go for a meeting to sign a film, the question is not ‘Do I die?’ but ‘How I die?’ 

I have been blown up, shot (recently by South superstar Mammootty), hung up and throttled (by Salman Khan in Veer). So if I have to be killed, I would want it to be done by the best people,” he says introspecting on his characters on celluloid which have often been without relationships. “Now I want to kill people  the funny way,” he comments in the context of his upcoming paranormal comedy movie Gang of Ghosts. “Since I am already dead, no one will be able to kill me this time,” he laughs loudly!

His upcoming projects also include an English film by Suneil Anand (son of late Dev Anand) and the Saif Ali Khan-starrer Phantom. “I am yet to shoot for Phantom. The minute we get the permission, you will catch me on the streets of Colaba in Bombay (sic),” he says refusing to reveal any further.  Brandon is now also  exploring regional cinema with his upcoming Marathi flick, “Lokmanya where I play a British officer.

Whenever people call me for a pre-Independence film, I know I am playing a British officer,” he says with a hint of sarcasm as one analyses the limited options for foreign actors in Indian cinema which is considered ‘quite welcoming’!

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