'I am wiser now'

Good Going

'I am wiser now'

The Bollywood star plays the role of President Omar Hassan of the fictional Islamic Republic of Kamistan (IRK) in Hollywood’s award-winning American action drama television series 24 season 8.

Slumdog Millionaire was Anil’s passport to Hollywood. He says he’s never been more content in all his acting career. “It has not come late at all. I am now wiser, successful and at a point when nothing affects me either emotionally or financially. The exposure and experience one gets working in Hollywood is unparalleled,” he says.

In 24, Anil plays the President of a Middle-Eastern country. Unlike most head of states, he’s liberal and works for peace between Islamic and Christian countries. He embarks on a peace mission and prepares to meet the US President, all in an effort to usher in an era of goodwill.

“But there’s stiff opposition from the fundamentalists in the President’s own country. While he (the President) truly understands the responsibilities and pressures of the head of state, he is just as vulnerable as any ordinary man,” Anil  explains. “He’s a volcano of emotions but puts up a calm exterior. He has to battle with a constant inner conflict between the role of him as a President and his conscience. He struggles to strike a balance between the two.”

Anil says he’s been asked umpteen number of times on how acting in the two worlds (Bollywood and Hollywood) are like. “They are poles apart. The reach is so much  wider in Hollywood, the scale and the budget of production are humongous. Every episode runs into millions of dollars. And the writing is world class,” observes Anil.

The filmmakers in Hollywood maintain a high standard. “The characters are multi-layered. The reel must look real. The audience must get convinced that what’s going on can be replicated in real. That’s the tough part,” he avers.

Anil Kapoor hasn’t ruled out the chances of working in more Hollywood projects, provided something good comes his way. Now that Sonam Kapoor is a couple of movies old in Bollywood, what advice does Anil have to offer his daughter, “I have always told her to enjoy whatever she does and that she should never do anything out of compulsion,” he sums up.

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