Bollywood to bond with 007
While former Miss World Aishwarya Rai is the most preferred choice,
three other beauties — former Miss World Priyanka Chopra,
former Miss Universe Lara Dutta and actress Preity Zinta —
are also in the race to become the first Indian to star as a Bond
Recognising the Bollywood boom all over the world, Bond movies
producer Barbara Broccoli has reportedly decided to cast a famous
Bollywood star in her next film that will ensure a cinema audience
not just in Asia, but across all cultural divides, The Observer
Rai’s agent, Hari Singh, said last night that ‘‘everything
has to be kept confidential at the moment, but of course it’s
exciting for her. Agents have been flying in to see her about Bond.
They wanted to find out if she is available and willing. She is’’.
The Mail today described Rai as a combination of Nicole
Kidman, Cameron Diaz and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Even Hollywood screen goddesses, who have seen Rai, testify to
her beauty. Julia Roberts acknowledges: ‘‘She is the
most beautiful woman in the world.’’
Of late, casting agents working on the new film for the Pinewood-based
Bond film company, Eon Productions, have been travelling around
India to meet and watch rival talents at work.
Casting directors will be looking at the work of other leading
Bollywood actresses, including Priyanka Chopra, who recently starred
in the film Andaaz, with yet another contender and model-turned
actress Lara Dutta, making the competition intense.
Sunny Deol’s co-star in the film The Hero, Preity Zinta,
is also said to have caught the eye of the western producers.
Other contenders for the role of Bond’s girl include British
singer Sophie Ellis Bextor, who was hotly tipped for a part last
Rai’s visit to Britain for discussions has been delayed due
a freak accident on the set of her latest film — Rajkumar
The latest Bond film is due to start this summer in prompt succession
to Die Another Day, which was released last November and earned
more than 400 million pounds at the international box office. The
film has beaten The World is Not Enough by more than 40 million
Keen to capitalise on the moment, Eon Productions, has secured
the services of their 49-year-old Irish leading man, Pierce Brosnan,
from August and booked the sound stages at Pinewood Studios from
the end of the year.
(Press Trust Of India 13/04/2003)