Indian "24" will work like slow poison: Anil Kapoor

Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:37am EDT
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By Shilpa Jamkhandikar

MUMBAI (Reuters) - He's starred in several Bollywood blockbusters, an Oscar-winning film and played a Middle Eastern leader on the American TV series "24".

Anil Kapoor is now wooing Indian audiences with an adaptation of the hit thriller series about a counter-terrorism agent.

Kapoor, the remake's producer and lead actor, says he wanted to bring the "discipline and professionalism" of U.S. television to India.

The 53-year-old spoke to Reuters on the sets of his new show, describing his experience with the U.S. series and how "24" will hook Indian audiences like slow poison.

Q: When you did the original "24" in the U.S., how different was the experience?

A: When I went to the shoot, I was totally taken aback by the scale. My only experience of an international film at that time was "Slumdog Millionaire" which we shot in India. Now I was shooting in America … It was much bigger than "Slumdog" - vanity vans and cars and the whole paraphernalia. It was huge. I went inside and saw the set. That day it was the U.N. set and I noticed the detailing. It was an exact replica. Exact. The detailing and everything was perfect.

I couldn't put the script down. We are not used to reading scripts (in India), we are used to narration. But I just had to finish reading this script. I thought this is like shooting a big commercial film. Everybody was well-prepared and completely immersed in the work culture. The way we shot it, the two camera set-up, the way it was. Slowly, I got completely sucked into it and started enjoying the whole process.

Q: Indian TV audiences are used to very different fare. Do you think you've taken a big risk?   Continued...

Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor speaks at a media event to announce the venue of the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Weekend and Awards, at a hotel in Singapore April 24, 2012. REUTERS/Tim Chong