Having already starred as the president of a fictitious Middle East country in the hit American series 24, Anil Kapoor is now looking forward to filling the shoes of Jack Bauer in his own Indian adaptation of the spy thriller. Speaking from the set of 24, the 53-year-old described his experiences in the US and how his new show will hook Indian audiences.
When you did the original 24 in the US, how different was the experience?
When I went to the shoot, I was totally taken aback by the scale. My only experience of an international film at that time was Slumdog Millionaire which we shot in India. Now I was shooting in America. It was much bigger than Slumdog - vanity vans and cars and the whole paraphernalia. It was huge.
Indian TV audiences are used to very different fare. Do you think you've taken a big risk?
Whatever I have done in my career - you like something, you go for it. You stick your neck out and I have stuck my neck out. I am not playing it safe, I am playing the lead. And I'm a movie star.
When you conceptualised the show, was the director Abhinay Deo part of the plan?
The written material was already there, but I needed to get an international scale and feel. Then I happened to see Delhi Belly. When I saw the performances, the pitch of the film, I said: this is it. He is the director. When I met him, it turned out he was equally passionate about 24.
What does it take to make an international-level TV show in India?
The first is the scale and the budget. Everything is about money today. I can't tell you about the budget but I can say that we are trying our best to have the same scale. That was the biggest hurdle to cross.
It is an experiment, isn't it?
It's not an experiment, it's a challenge. What happens is, even if the first season is good enough, that will be enough. Then the second season will come with a bang. Even in America, the first season was OK-OK. It was only after the second and third season, it took off. Television slowly gets into you like a poison. - Reuters
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