Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

Bollywood, meet Hollywood

January 26, 2009

SAGAWARDS/Six months ago, most of Hollywood’s actors had probably never heard of the all-Indian cast members in the rag-to-riches tale “Slumdog Millionaire” by British director Danny Boyle. And then, on Sunday, the Screen Actors Guild chose them as the best film ensemble cast of the year — an award that is dear to actors because it comes from actors, arguably the toughest critics of their own craft.

Although “Slumdog” is a favorite to win best picture at the Oscars next month after winning at SAG, the Producers Guild and the Golden Globes, the SAG award came as a surprise to the four Indian actors who collected it. Anil Kapoor, a veteran Bollywood actor, said “it was overwhelming to be nominated, but to win this is unbelievable.”

Backstage, Kapoor said one of the highlights was meeting Angelina Jolie, courtesy of his “Slumdog” co-star Irrfan Kahn, another Bollywood big name who played opposite the actress in “A Mighty Heart.”

And Dev Patel, the 18-year-old who plays the slum dweller that triumphs on India’s version of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?,” said his golden moment at SAG was running into Kate Winslet on the red carpet. “She was like my first love…and she knew who I was!”SAGAWARDS/

“People who I grew up watching or hearing, they know who we are,” said Patel. “The crazy thing is that everyone has really embraced the film.”

Expectations are now high that the international success of “Slumdog” will catapult not only these actors, but also the prolific Bollywood film industry. The female lead and Patel’s on-screen love, Freida Pinto, said “this film means an opportunity now, not just for me but for many back home, many people around the world trying to make this crossover.”

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