Cricket has become a full time entertainer: Anupam Kher

By Shweta Sharma

New Delhi, April 25 (IANS) Noted actor Anupam Kher, who is fascinated by the idea of movie stars buying Indian Premier League (IPL) teams, says the combination of cricket and Bollywood is a welcome change.

"Cricket initially used to be a half entertaining game, but now it has become a full time entertainer. Instead of five-day Test matches, we now have 50-over and 20-over games," Anupam told IANS during a visit here.

"It suits the requirement of our fast-paced life. The audience wants instant change and cricket is providing that."

He is thrilled that movie stars - Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta - have bought IPL teams and are cheering for them.

Anupam was in the capital to shoot for "Zindabad", which is being directed by Anil Chaudhary, who was his senior at the National School of Drama (NSD).

"The movie is a political satire and I play the leader of the opposition in the movie," he said on the sets of the film.

The 50 plus actor, who has worked in more than 200 films so far, began his career with "Aagman", but it was Mahesh Bhatt who gave him the right vehicle in the form of "Saransh" to showcase his talent. Anupam, who was in his 20s then, played with such conviction the role of a retired father who lost his son that it won him the 1984 Filmfare best actor award.

Bhatt repeated him in "Daddy" and the National Film Awards appreciated his powerful performance by giving him the Special Jury Award and after that there was no looking back for the actor.

Right now he is concentrating on his acting school Actor Prepares. He has set up acting schools in India and abroad and says professional training in acting is imperative.

He said: "It is a myth that acting cannot be taught. Anything can be taught. If a doctor or an engineer has to study, even an actor needs training to perfect the art.

"Acting schools sharpen a person's edges and help actors refine their acting abilities."

He is happy for budding actress Deeepika Padukone, an alumna of his acting school. She debuted with Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan in the super-hit "Om Shanti Om".

When asked about his son Sikander's debut film "Woodstock Villa", he said: "I am happy and I wish him luck for his film. After all, it is his life and I leave everything to him."

In 2007, Anupam joined hands with actor-director Satish Kaushik to launch a film production company - Karol Bagh Film and Entertainment Pvt Ltd.

They have two movies in the pipeline - "Tere Sang" directed by Kaushik himself and "Hawai Dada", for which Ajay Karthik is wielding the megaphone.

Anupam's forthcoming releases include Karan Razdan-directed "Mr. Bhatti on Chutti" and Rumi Jaffrey's "God Tussi Great Ho" directed.

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