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The crossover man

called ICON, where you can use an iPad besides your seat and order whatever cuisine you want to enjoy while watching the movie. You can even use the sleeper lounge to lie down and watch cinema. However, I think the real revolution is going to be in the exhibition space, in terms of most content moving to the streaming platform.  

Q: You have dubbed in Hindi for live action films like ‘Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time’, ‘Fantastic Four’ and so on. Do you find such dubbing roles challenging?

It is challenging to dub another actor from another language through my language as I have to catch his emotions, the nuance of his voice, and portray it through my voice; hopefully even improve on it. I feel very gifted to do it. I have also dubbed for me in my own series ‘Sandokan’, from Italian to Hindi, and its DVDs are on sale.   

Q: You are the earliest Hindi commercial film lead actor, besides Shashi Kapoor to make a successful crossover; today every other actor seems to be a crossover actor finding a place in international projects. Do you think that today the presence of Indian actors in international projects has become a fashion rather than requirement for the character?

Foreign filmmakers have discovered the value of the Indian market, which has a billion people. Therefore, they are keen to cast Indian actors, as they will get a lot of eyeballs in this territory. This is fantastic development. This is what we hoped for, and even fought for. When I was trying to forge new paths internationally, at least in America people weren’t writing roles for people like me. Now they do. I am very happy about it.

Q: Is ‘Sandokan’ very close to your heart?

It has to be very close to my heart. It took me out of India, it made me a star in Europe, it changed my life. It even took me to Hollywood, where I worked in the television series, ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’, the Bond film, ‘Octopussy’… I was even knighted by the Italian government as I always tried to promote Italy in India and vice versa. ‘Sandokan’ is the root of all these achievements.

Q: Finally, are there any interesting projects in the pipeline?

I’m doing an Italian film early next year called ‘Pendolo Pendulum’, with an award winning director. Then there are talks in progress for two OTT series, and it would be a big commitment. I am also producing a fantastic comedy, and I look forward to make people laugh till they cry. 

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