Oscar winning director's humility was disarming: Anupam Kher ...

By Subhash K. Jha, Indo-Asian News Service

imageMumbai, Jan

13 (IANS) Anupam Kher, who is away in Shanghai shooting for Ang Lee's

"Lust, Caution", says he was overwhelmed by the modesty of the Oscar-

winning director.

"The first thing he said to me was, 'It's an honour to meet you, Mr.

Kher. Thank you for agreeing to work in my film.' I nearly choked on

his modesty," Anupam told IANS.

Anupam is the only Indian in the film set during World War II.

"So I play a normal guy dressed in a suit. It has none of the exotic

mumbojumbo that Asian actors are associated with in big Hollywood

films."

The actor is having the time of his life in Shanghai.

"Though it's freezing at minus-zero temperature, I don't feel the

cold. The people out here in China are as hospitable as we are back

home. Not for a moment do I feel like an outsider.

"And Ang Lee has put up a massive Hollywood-style set, the kind we

used to see in the films of Cecil de Mille, etc. The technicians,

including the cameraman, are the same as 'Brokeback Mountain'."

The talented actor admits that he is very upset with the contestants

on "Zee Cine Stars".

"What do they think of themselves? Last week I was very annoyed by

their laidback attitude. These youngsters know nothing about struggle.

They're brought to Mumbai by Zee, put up in five-star comfort. They'd

never know what it is to be strugglers," said Anupam.

"I know because I've gone through the grind. When I came to Mumbai

from Shimla, I got pushed around from one producer's office to another.

Even today my fellow judge Madhur Bhandarkar tells me has 30 aspirants

waiting outside his office every day.

"And then to hear these youngsters, with their cushy prospects,

complaining about their paining backs and squabbling amongst themselves

for stupid reasons, was too much."

Anupam, who is judging the talent show along with Bhandarkar and

Pooja Bhatt, didn't participate in one episode of "Zee Cine Stars".

"But as soon as I'm back from my shooting, I'll be back on the

show," he added.