With Indian actor Gulshan Grover meeting 007 casting
agents, is the 21st James Bond film bonding with Bollywood?
Casino Royale - Bollywood Bonding
16th March 2005
Rumours have circulated about the possible inclusion of top Bollywood
talent in the 21st James Bond film - Casino
Royale - since early 2003. The Bollywood film industry, which
produces more films and has high turnovers than Hollywood, has
seen a recent surge in Western popularity - and James Bond producers
have always tried to cash in on trends.
From "Live And Let Die" and
70's Blaxploitation flicks, to "Moonraker"
and the "Star Wars" phenomena, the Bond movies have repeatedly
followed fashions. In recent years, the casting of Michelle
Yeoh in "Tomorrow Never Dies"
was based on the rise of Hong Kong action films, and Denise
Richards in "The World Is Not
Enough" was an attempt to gain popularity from the MTV generation.
Above: Gulshan Grover
Gulshan Grover, although almost unknown to Western audiences,
is a huge star in Bollywood and is famous for playing villains
and bad guys. The 50 year-old Indian-born actor has met
with USA casting agents for the 21st 007 film, "Casino Royale",
due out in 2006.
Janet Hirshenson and Jane Jenkins, who always works as
a pair, are in Los Angeles casting for "Casino Royale".
The duo have working on past Bond films including "Octopussy"
(1983), "A View To A Kill"
(1985), "Licence To Kill"
(1989), "Tomorrow Never Dies"
(1997) and "Die Another Day" (2002), and are now casting
for director Martin
Campbell's second film, following up from his 1995 debut
Gulshan Grover has met with Hirshenson and Jenkins over
the past couple of week in Los Angeles and is said to be
very close to securing a role. When pressed on the issue,
Grover said he did not want to comment until things are
definite, "But if given an opportunity Iíll grab the
role and make India proud", he said.
Grover has already performed in several international projects including
"Eastside", "Jungle Book II", "Tail Sting", "Beeper" and "In the
Shadow of the Cobra". He was awarded the BBC Asia Award in 2001
as an acknowledgment of his talent and contribution to international
The wave of Bollywood rumours first started after "Die Another
Day" and centred around one actress - Aishwarya Rai.
The Indian actress, often dubbed the most beautiful woman
in the world, was linked in several ways with the 21st James
up the rumours last year. She said, "I did meet the
people who wanted to cast me in the Bond film, so I put
them to my agents. They told me that if they used an Asian
character they would come to me. They were scripting the
role at the time. Since then, I have not been contacted."
asked whether she would accept a Bond girl role in theory
(despite a lot of misinformed tabloid pieces about kissing
and body doubles), Rai said "I would be truly flattered if
such a role was offered to me. I have been approached for
several international projects but I am not at liberty to
speculate unless the film is a confirmed project."
Above: Aishwarya Rai
- March Report
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