Bollywood Insider: Why SRK, Saif should stop making fools of themselves over Hollywood

Subhash K Jha

Sep 04, 2014 13:04:42 IST

Not too long ago, Saif Ali Khan had 'joked' that he was doing a film with Natalie Portman. Natalie was not amused. She apparently sent Saif a legal notice.

Ah, name dropping. Our stars, even the ones on top (excluding some like Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir Khan), seem smitten with the idea of working with foreigners, which often lands them in embarrassing dead ends and denials.

We had the mighty Shah Rukh Khan’s PR machinery planting stories of Khan’s purported collaboration with Leonardo di Caprio in a film called X-Treme City.There were prompt denials from DiCaprio’s office.

Says a filmmaker on condition of anonymity, “It’s okay when a Mallika Sherawat spreads the word about her collaboration with Antonio Banderas. Everyone knows it’s a fake and we all laugh. But when news comes of SRK teaming up with DiCaprio, it seems serious business. And then the denial makes SRK look silly. A star of his stature doesn’t need it.”

 Bollywood Insider: Why SRK, Saif should stop making fools of themselves over Hollywood


True. But then who will tell the PR machinery that stars like the Khans don’t need their names associated with global celebs to get bigger? We’ve had some pretty awful experiences in that area.

Decades ago, Gina Lolobrigida flew down to Bombay, for the mahurat of Krishna Shah’s Shalimar. She left in a huff and ultimately didn't do the film.Years later, Bo Derek made a peek-a-boo appearance in Kaizad Gustad’s disastrous Boom. More recently, we had Akon flying down to sing for Shah Rukh Khan in Ra.One. The awesome A R Rahman made music with Kylie Minogue, who is well past her prime, for a super-disastrous film called Blue. Who really gave a fig about Minogue? In India, has-beens from the West are resurrected. Amen.

Ever noticed how most of these foreign collaborations in Bollywood end up as fiascos? Sylvester Stallone and ‘Superman’ Brandon Routh played walk-on parts for whopping fees in Sabir Khan’s Kambhakkht Ishq. Not one person paid ticket money for the grand privilege of seeing Stallone speak a line in Hindi to Kareena Kapoor.

Sanjay Gupta who has quite frequently 'adapted' Hollywood films has never thought of working with any of Hollywood's stars. Gupta once told me, “Whenever I hear of some Indian entertainer collaborating with an international name, I take it with a pinch of salt. Anil Kapoor is the only actor we have who has broken through with dignity and style into the Hollywood 'A' League. The rest are just hollow vessels making a lot of noise in their desperation to be heard and written about.”

Says Mahesh Bhatt, “Sixty seven years after independence our minds are still colonized. We choose to be shackled to the idea that only if the western world endorses our worth have we truly made it.”

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Updated Date: Sep 04, 2014 13:04:42 IST