Amitabh Bachchan plays the role of Meyer Wolfsheim in The Great Gatsby
Amitabh Bachchan has called his
belated Hollywood debut in The Great Gatsby
"just a friendly
gesture" but would not mind doing an encore if he comes across
(Read review here
"I don't look upon it as my Hollywood debut. It is just a
friendly gesture and nothing more. It is just a small scene
with Gatsby and his friend, played by Leonardo DiCaprio and
Tobey Maguire. Meyer Wolfsheim is looked upon as some kind of
mentor to Gatsby in the story," Bachchan told PTI in an
interview over phone from Mumbai.
(Read: Amitabh Bachchan "in shocked disbelief" over The Great Gatsby rave review
Asked whether he is open to doing more Hollywood films,
Bachchan said, "I don't know... If something is offered and I
need to consider, I will certainly consider it."
The Baz Luhrmann directed film, a 3D adaptation of F
Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel, is set in the roaring 1920s of
America and stars DiCaprio, Maguire and Carey Mulligan in lead
roles. Warner Bros is releasing the film in India on May 17,
just two days after its screening at Cannes film festival.
Bachchan's appearance in the Hollywood film comes after a
successful four-decade-long career in India as he "never came
upon a Hollywood role" before.
The megastar is seen sporting sideburns and impressive
whiskers in the movie, something that Luhrmann came up with.
"The look was Luhrmann's idea. I have got nothing to do
with it. I only told him that I can't remove my beard because
I was in the middle of continuity and he incorporated that."
Asked about re-teaming with the Australian director, he
said, "That's something he will have to decide. I can't speak
for him but it would be wonderful if he does and it would be
fantastic if he were to ask me to work again."
Bachchan is happy that India is making its presence
felt globally with its cinematic culture.
"I am delighted that India is being looked upon as a
nation that is culturally important as far as cinema is
concerned. A lot of talent is going across and working in
Hollywood, there are many co-productions.
"We hope that in future many films get shot here and also
have Indian artistes in it. I find these are happy moments."
Bachchan first met Luhrmann, who is famous for his
colourful movies set on a huge canvas, while the director was
on a private trip to India.
"I was quite surprised that he (Luhrmann) wanted to meet
me or knew who I was. We met but we did not talk about any
film. He was just touring India. One day he called me and
said,'there is a small, little role. I know this is not big
for you but I would be really happy if you could do it.' So I
said, 'fine'," says Bachchan recounting how he came onboard
for the film.
Besides the cameo, Bachchan's famous baritone also
appears in one of the songs in the movie. Rapper Jay-Z, who is
behind the music in the film, has incorporated a portion
of his dialogue in one of the tracks.
"Jay-Z who has done the music on it, wanted to use a
portion of my dialogue in the song that he has composed. Baz
Luhrmann just asked me whether he could use my voice. The song
probably has something to do who Gatsby is," Bachchan said.
Describing his meeting with DiCaprio and Maguire,
Bachchan said they were very normal and friendly.
"We did not talk about Indian films. I don't think they
(DiCaprio and Maguire) know me at all but it was nice meeting
them and they were just very casual, normal individuals. They
were very friendly, very warm and very cooperative."
Bachchan spent about a week shooting his part and was
charmed by the professionalism on the movie set.
"We worked for 2-3 days in preparation and I think about
two days of shooting. It was just marvellous to watch the kind
of dedication that people have on sets. Yes, the atmosphere is
no different from any other set but there is a certain method
of working where everybody has designated jobs and goes ahead
and fulfils it in the most efficient manner possible.
"There is huge amount of professionalism, great research
and detailing that goes into preparing something like this,
especially if it is a period film and this was about 1920s New