TIFF: Anupam Kher’s Hollywood Film Gets People’s Choice Award

Anupam Kher at Toronto International Film Festival.
Anupam Kher at Toronto International Film Festival.
Anupam Kher at Toronto International Film Festival.

Anupam Kher’s much-applauded Hollywood film, David Russell’s ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ has won the prestigious ‘People’s Choice’ award at the Toronto Film Festival.

Those from the Indian Bollywood fraternity who attended the just-concluded Toronto Film festival say Anupam’s role in Silver Linings Playbook is just about the best most substantial role by an Indian actor in a Hollywood film.

Anupam is guarded in his response to the compliment. “I’m not saying anything about my role. I neither want to raise expectation of my audience back home nor play down my part. I know what it is. And I am very happy. I remember I was the first Indian actor to be in an Indian film ‘Bend It like Beckham’ which broke into a non-Indian viewership. Today when I hear good things about my role in Silver Linings Playbook I feel I’ve come a long way. As an actor it has always been very important to keep growing as an actor. To me the country of a film’s origin is not important. The profile of my part is what matters. I could be in Woody Allen’s ‘You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger’ or I could be in ‘Kya Super Kool Hain Hum’. I enjoyed doing both. I’ve done more than 450 films so far. I was only 26 when I played a 67-year old man in Saaraansh. From then on I have tried to break the mould in Indian films. No one has helped me get where I am. I did it on my own, fearlessly.”

About the People’s Choice award Anupam says, “It is an award based on the potential popularity of a film. It earlier went to ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ and ‘The King’s Speech’. So you can imagine what it means for our film to get the same honor. Now after the award the producers of ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ are very confident of our product. Earlier it was going to release later in India. Now it may have a global release along with the rest of the world in November.”

About sharing screen space with the mighty Robert de Niro Anupam says, “I’ve to admit he was my primary incentive for doing this film. But as a bonus I was offered a kickass role. So it was a double whammy for me.”

Having shared screen time with de Niro Anupam says, “I wouldn’t call him a friend. He is a veteran and a legend. I’ve admired him from the time I started acting. I was just happy to share screen space with him. Yes, we did spend time together. I had the chance to get to know him. But friends? No! That would be going too far.”

Subhash K Jha

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