Indian fans will enjoy 'Angels & Demons': Tom Hanks

By Robin Bansal

New Delhi, May 3 (IANS) Hollywood star Tom Hanks has promised his fans in India that his controversial "Angels & Demons" will live up to their expectations as they have a "soulful liking for thrillers". He also says he would love to come to India to "be among the most lovable human fraternity".

Hanks is glad that "Angels & Demons", a sequel to worldwide hit "The Da Vinci Code", is releasing the same day in India as in the US.

"I am happy that it is not being released in phases ... We would like to give our (Indian) audiences the thrill of seeing an exceptionally adventurous thriller along with the US on May 15," Hanks told IANS in an e-mail interview.

"They have a soulful liking especially for thrillers...I hereby promise my fans in India that they would surely enjoy this movie and it would definitely live up to their expectations," he added.

Asked if he had visited India, the 52-year-old actor said: "Honestly, I did not get an opportunity to be there. But I wish some day I will be among the most lovable human fraternity. Indians are considered very warm- hearted and humble people so I also want to have a share of that warmth."

The Oscar-winning actor, best known for his performances in "Philadelphia", "Forrest Gump" and "The Terminal", has heard a lot about the Indian film industry and is game for working here though he has not been "approached yet" for any project.

"Who doesn't know about the Indian film industry nowadays...but I never have been part of it. I know many actors but can't really pronounce their names well. Sorry for that though.

"If I get an opportunity to venture into such a project, I will seriously think about it. I want to experience the uniqueness of foreign movies and their calibre," he added.

Directed by Ron Howard, "Angels & Demons" is based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Dan Brown. While the book is a prequel to "The Da Vinci Code", Howard chose to treat "Angels & Demons" as a sequel since many had read the novel after "The Da Vinci Code".

Distributed worldwide by Columbia Pictures, it also stars Ayelet Zurer and Ewan McGregor apart from Hanks, who reprises his role as Harvard professor and religious expert Robert Langdon.

In the film, Langdon attempts to thwart the Illuminati, a 400-year-old underground organisation and their plans to wreak havoc on the Vatican.

The movie, like "The Da Vinci Code", is facing the ire of church officials for its alleged 'religious overtones' and 'anti-Catholic sentiments'. But Hanks stressed that the film does not intend to offend any religious community.

"The film is not made to raise debates or ensue into offensive gestures over any community. Neither have we come up with any stringent solution. At the core of it all is the age-old contrast between science and religion.

"'Angels & Demons' is an exemplary attempt by Ron to showcase the impact of technology to keep the faith alive among humans. I don't see it as an offence made on the Catholic community over the globe," the actor said.

Hanks is also "excited" and "overwhelmed" that the 138-minute thriller "has captured mass-fan following" despite the controversies. The trailer for the movie has already crossed a hit of over 1.2 million views on YouTube.

The actor said he had to read "a lot of stuff on Illuminati era and ancient symbols" and William Manchester's book "A World Lit only By Fire" for his role. He added that the film "has the same dose of high-end thrill and is equally fast-paced as the novel".

Apart from "Angels & Demons", his upcoming movies include "Major Matt Mason", "Toy Story 3" and "Boone's Lick".

(Robin Bansal can be contacted at robin.b@ians.in)

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