By Subhash K. Jha Bollywood Hungama News Network
Why is Sir Ben Kingsley, who, not so long ago swept the world, critics and the Oscars by playing Gandhi, ready and willing to do a 5-day cameo in an out-and-out Amitabh Bachchan film?
The announcement that, Ben Kingsley would be working with the Big B in Leena Yadav's Teen Patti comes as a shock. According to insiders, the film was complete many months ago...but for five days of work with a Caucasian actor.
Says a leading member of the unit, "It was a bit tricky and complicated. Getting a white-skinned actor at the last stage of the film wasn't easy. Everyone knew that the film was almost complete. So, approaching a big name appeared absurd. Websites and newspapers weren't making it easier for us by telling the world that we've cast Pierce Brosnan or Richard Gere in the role. Where did they come in? We didn't even start casting until our producer returned from her honeymoon a few months ago."
Ben Kingsley, it seems was keen for a long time, to be part of an Indian project. While shooting in Tunisia with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan for The Last Legion, he had offered to do Taj Mahal with her featuring them as Shahjahan and Mumtaz Mahal.
But recession killed that project. And Kingsley's keenness to be associated with a completely Indian project remained unfulfilled...until now. And never mind, if in the words of a crew member, "It's a role that any actor can do."
If the mighty Sylvester Stallone can be seen lending support to Akshay Kumar, why not Ben Kingsley in a cameo for an Amitabh Bachchan starrer?