‘Hollywood needs Bollywood more’

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By Ranjan Das Gupta
Mumbai:
In a quick chat with Ranjan Das Gupta, Hollywood star John Travolta, who was in Mumbai recently, talks about his growth as an actor and the links between Holly-wood and Indian films.

“I am astonished to learn that India’s official entry for the Oscars this year, Peepli Live, was inspired by Mad City, my best film as an actor. Please convey my heartfelt compliments to director, Joydeep Ghosh for his excellent sense of cinema.” John Travolta expresses pleasant surprise while speaking on the phone from Mumbai.

The demi god of modern dance and a well known actor, John Travolta was in Mumbai recently to attend an award function.  He was charmed by India and the way he was received. Though in a hurry to leave, he made time for a quick interview.

He still remembers Lagaan, India’s entry for the Oscars about eight years ago, as a well-made film.  He was a member of the Oscar Jury Committee that year. Asked to comment on Slumdog Millionaire winning at the Oscars, he is silent for a while. Then, Slumdog Millionaire was not a classic. But there was an essence of reality — the poverty and slums of Mumbai — which the Western audience and judges found touching and well portrayed.”

Why is Hollywood leaning so much towards India?  Travolta answers, “Hollywood needs Bollywood more now than vice versa. The former is discovering lot of hidden potential in India, which should not be underestimated in talent. Besides, due to the recession, Hollywood faces a severe financial crisis.  So there is the possibility of finance coming from India.”

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