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My film will happen with or without Dustin Hoffman
Syed Firdaus Ashraf in Mumbai | January 15, 2003 17:28 IST
Dustin Hoffman or no, filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra is determined to go ahead with his English film, The Fifth Move.
On the sets of his latest production, Munnabhai MBBS, Chopra reveals, "So far, there is no positive word from Hoffman, though he said he liked the script very much. I am also planning to offer the role to Anthony Hopkins."
Chopra recalls his meeting with Hoffman: "I had to meet him at 10 am. I was about to leave by 9.30 am, but just then, he called me. I was speechless. He told me I need not bother going to his place since it would be difficult for me to locate his house. He added he would drop in at my hotel. To my surprise, he turned up much before our meeting.
"Our Bollywood actors will give hundreds of reasons and excuses for not meeting a director after they get established. But when I met Hoffman, I learnt humility," he continued.
Chopra said he had handed the script of The Fifth Move to Hoffman's aides in Hollywood. The script then reached his manager (who, incidentally, is the actor's wife), his agent and finally reached Hoffman.
Chopra claimed he felt like someone coming from Jalpaiguri district [in West Bengal] and living in Nallasopara (a Mumbai suburb) and offering a role to top Bollywood actor. "I was like the same person from Nallasopara because I was staying in suburban Michigan before handing my script to Hoffman," he said. "I was happy to see Hoffman's enthusiastic response."
The Fifth Move is about two men playing a game of chess, in which one player is dead and the another, alive. Throughout the game, the player who is alive tries to discover the reasons behind the other player's death.
In an earlier interview, Chopra had claimed Indian audiences were not mature enough to understand The Fifth Move. He explained, "The maturity level of the average [Indian] cinemagoer is very low. It is very difficult to make them understand such subjects."
He also plans to cast Indian and Mexican actors in the film. "The Indian actors will be those who are close to me," he said, without revealing any names.