MUMBAI: The choice is really very simple and clear. Anil Kapoor who is committed to his serial ’24’ for the next 12 months would have to give up his next Hollywood project, Roger Donaldson’s ‘Cities’ starring Clive Owen if the schedules for the two projects clash.
A posh loss, considering Donaldson has to his credit such box office smashers as ‘Cocktail’ (one of Tom Cruise’s earliest hits), ‘Cadillac Man’, ‘The Recruit’ and ‘No Way out’.
Luckily for Anil, his reputation in Hollywood post ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ precedes him. We have it from reliable sources that Roger Donaldson is ready to adjust the schedules for ‘Cities’ according to Anil’s schedules for ’24’.
And that’s no small victory for an Asian actor, considering ‘Cities’ will star Hollywood A-listers Clive Owen, Kirsten Dunst and Orlando Bloom.
Sighs the tense actor, “It’s a problem, yes.I had committed my dates to them much earlier. In fact I gave them dates twice which they cancelled. The film got delayed. Now ‘Cities’ is finally happening, and I am committed to ’24’. There’s no way I can tamper with the ’24’ schedule for any other project. There are some filmmakers who have been kind enough to wait before starting their film. I hope the makers of ‘Cities’ would wait for me. I’ve definitely said yes to them. I’ve asked them to give me heads-up. Let’s see if they adjust their schedules for me. If the dates don’t clash with ’24’ I’d do their film. I am keeping my fingers crossed.”
Adds Anil, “I’ve set aside all my other work for ’24’. But it’s not a big sacrifice. I am giving it a year. That’s the time an average feature film takes. I’ve already planned my films after the first season of ’24’. But for now I’m fully into ’24’.I had to be all there with the team more for myself than for the team. Television is a new ball-game for me. The first season needs more careful nurturing. After the first season the series would be on auto-pilot. We don’t know how many seasons we’lll do. Right now we’re focusing only on the first season.”
Anil wants to bring in the same level of efficiency into the Indian version of ’24’ as the original.
“But is that possible? I wonder!” says Anil. “I had the privilege of observing the original team at work for 8 months in LA. So I know what level of professionalism I need to exercise on ’24’. Working on the original ’24’ was great learning curve for me. I absorbed as much as I could. Now I want to replicate whatever I saw them trying to achieve. The television industry in our country is still in its infancy. In America there are top actors who do television. Look at Keifer Sutherland or Ashton Kutcher. In India television stars don’t get the same recognition and money as movie stars. Hopefully after my show the gap between Indian television and Bollywood would be bridged.”