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For us, Indian Movies were Big B running around in his glasses, says Tom Hanks

Megastar Amitabh Bachchan “running around in his glasses and beating up bad guys” long stayed with Tom Hanks and defined the world of Indian cinema for him

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Hollywood Actor Tom Hanks giving autograph
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  • The Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks says the vast expanse of Indian cinema and different storytelling techniques still remain a mystery for the West, with only Bollywood making inroads abroad
  • Like the cinema from Japan and China have impacted the entire cinematic narrative of the West like ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ by Ang Lee
  • After presenting a visual treat with “Sully” this year, Hanks will be back on the silver screen with Ron Howard’s “Inferno”

Singapore, October 12, 2016: Megastar Amitabh Bachchan “running around in his glasses and beating up bad guys” long stayed with Tom Hanks and defined the world of Indian cinema for him. The Oscar-winning actor says the vast expanse of Indian cinema and different storytelling techniques still remain a mystery for the West, with only Bollywood making inroads abroad.

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“For a lot of years, Indian movies for us were Big B running around in his glasses and beating up bad guys or midgets and stuff like that. We didn’t quite understand what was going on. If everyone starts speaking the common language of cinema, it will start representing itself,” Hanks told IANS in an interview here.

The actor said “it is only a matter of time” till the varied Indian stories spin their way to the West.

“Like the cinema from Japan and China have impacted the entire cinematic narrative of the West like ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ by Ang Lee. Those guys are working in American films now. The fact is that we have not just been able to see films outside of Bollywood for whatever reason, or outside Satyajit Ray’s films.

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“But it is only a matter of time because people in the United States see everything…All you have to do is be available,” he added.

Hanks has worked with Indian star Irrfan Khan in his forthcoming Sony Pictures Entertainment’s film “Inferno”. And he says he is open to attaching his star power to any Indian project, but would not do it “just to break into the marketplace”.

But Hanks will not be seen as a super spy climbing on the roof of Taj Mahal or doing stunts on helicopters Â? he’d rather do a film on “stereotypes of public life in India”.

Be it acting, directing, producing or writing — Hanks has explored different arenas of the creative field.

He made his debut with a low-budget movie “He Knows You’re Alone” in 1979. Following that, Hanks became a part of TV series like “Bosom Buddies”, “Taxi” and “Family Ties”, and TV movie “Mazes and Monsters”.

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He got noticed with Disney’s comedy “Splash”, which became the sleeper hit of 1984. It was Hanks’ charm and upbeat attitude that got him instant stardom.

Today, film buffs, irrespective of age group, know Hanks for movies like “You’ve Got Mail”, “Sleepless in Seattle”, “The Terminal” and “Forrest Gump”, “Catch Me If You Can”, “Cast Away”, “Apollo 13”, “Saving Private Ryan” and “Captain Phillips”.

After presenting a visual treat with “Sully” this year, Hanks will be back on the silver screen with Ron Howard’s “Inferno”, which will open in India on October 14, two weeks before its US release.

During a conversation with IANS here at an media event organised by Sony Pictures Entertainment, the 60-year-old said he would like to work in Bollywood — but not “just to break into the marketplace, but as soon as Americans start making movies about the stereotypes of public life in India”.

“It doesn’t have to be super spies climbing on the roof of the Taj Mahal or jumping on helicopters to defeat the bad guys. It will be something next (level) and I look forward to it.”

The two-time Oscar-winning star, who is amazed by the bold filming technique in India, said: “The industry in India is sort of like the dream come true. They make a lot of movies, people go to a lot of movies, and there is insatiable appetite for it… I was always amazed at just how dense they were and how they cover more than one genre.” (IANS)

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  • Diksha Arya

    Well it would be great to see Tom Hanks in a bollywood movie…

  • Antara

    Not only Hanks; supposedly, Bollywood had meant only Big B for many a Hollywood actors once!

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Sexual abuse is everywhere in the world, says Radhika

The actress believes that one should know how to say 'No'

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Radhika Apte's view on sexual abuse
Bollywood actress Radhika Apte says that sexual abuse is not only in B-town but in every part of the society. Wikimedia Commons

– Durga Chakravarty

Actress Radhika Apte feels that sexual abuse does not only exist in the world of showbiz but takes place in every alternate household.

“Sexual abuse takes place in every alternate household. So it’s not a part of just the film industry. You have so much child abuse, domestic abuse everywhere in the world, including India,” Radhika told IANS over phone from Mumbai.

She says it exists in “every field and household at some level or the other and that it all needs to be eliminated”.

Sexual abuse does not target just women, stresses Radhika.

“It’s also towards men, little boys and everybody. People exploit their power at every level.”

Radhika asserted that this needed to change.

“I think it starts from us putting our foot down and saying ‘no’ to things, however big your ambition is. You need to be brave about it, believe in your own talent, say ‘no’ and start speaking up because if one person speaks up, nobody is going to listen to him or her. But if 10 people do, then others would (listen to them),” she said.

The “Phobia” actress, who will be seen mentoring budding filmmakers in MTV’s upcoming digital show “Fame-istan”, says there has to be a more organised platform for people to work.

“There has to be more professional platforms as well as rules in place which is slowly happening.”

Sexual abuse has been a topic of debate in Bollywood and Hollywood. Prominent names from the entertainment industry are discussing how men in power take advantage of women in exchange for taking forward their dreams.

The sexual harassment saga started when a media house published a story in October revealing numerous accusations of sexual abuse against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

But why are no names taken in the case of casting couch in Bollywood?

“Because of fear, because people who have great ambitions are afraid. They think of what will happen to them if they take somebody’s name who has so much power. That’s what I am saying. Everybody has to speak up,” she added.

Radhika ventured into Bollywood in 2005 with “Vaah! Life Ho Toh Aisi!” and since then has explored genres like thriller, drama and adult comedy with films like “Rakht Charitra”, “Shor in the City”, “Badlapur”, “Parched” and “Hunterrr”.

Was it a conscious decision to act less in commercial entertainers?

Radhika said: “Nothing like that. You have to choose from the work that you have. You can’t say that ‘I want that’ if that’s not been offered to you. So, whatever is offered to you, you choose from that. You make your choice whatever you feel is going to be more challenging or something that inspires you or excites you.”

She says she makes her choices in the “spur of the moment” with whatever she feels intuitively. “I am not a very big planner.” (IANS)