Kiwi PM bowled over by Bollywood
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, who is on a five-day visit to India, took some time off from his busy schedule and visited the sets of Players in Film City, Mumbai.
The film is the official remake of the 2003 Charlies Theron thriller The Italian Job and has been extensively shot in Auckland and Wellington.
Some members of the cast like Abhishek Bachchan and Bipasha Basu along with the director duo Abbas-Mustan were present during Key's visit while others like Sonam Kapoor and Neil Nitin Mukesh were not present.
Last night the New Zealand premiere met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi and signed a film co-production agreement with India. The two PMs also signed two deals; one to increase sports education in both the countries and another for making it easier for the Indian film industry to make movies in New Zealand.
Key said that over a span of 10 years about 150 Indian films have been shot in New Zealand and Bollywood is becoming famous in the country. In recent times apart from Players, I Hate Luv Storys was filmed partly in New Zealand.
Image: Abbas-Mustan with Prime Minister John Key, Bipasha Basu and Abhishek Bachchan
Video: Pradeep Bandekar
Abhishek: It is the biggest film of my career
He gave the clap for a mock scene that had Abhishek and Bipasha. 'This particular scene has already been shot for the movie but today we shot in honour of the PM and it won't be used in the film' said junior Bachchan.
On his experience of working in New Zealand he said, 'The experience of working in New Zealand was excellent. There are many films shot in New Zealand, it is a very film friendly country and the local film crew is also wonderful to work with. Even Peter Jackson (director, producer, actor, and screenwriter, known for his film the Lord of the Rings trilogy) lives in New Zealand and shoots all his films there.
'Most of the film has already been shot and only a 10-day schedule remains, it is the biggest film of my career and has turned out to be wonderful. I am very excited about the film," he added.
Bipasha said she was glad to be part of a Abbas-Mustan film because she started her career with them and all her films with them have done very well. She had fun shooting on the film as all the actors bonded very well.
Image: Abhishek Bachchan, Bipasha Basu
Video: Reuben N V