Anil Kapoor talks about ‘The Night Manager’ Hindi adaptation, upcoming film work and choosing international projects

When Anil Kapoor was offered the lead role in the Hindi adaptation of the UK drama series Night managerHis first thought was how he could apply what he had learned while making the Indian version of the US crime drama 24.

Kapoor plays an international arms dealer, played by Hugh Laurie in the original English-language series, based on the John Le Carré novel, while Aditya Roy Kapur, played by Tom Hiddleston in the original show as a soldier-turned-hotel night manager who infiltrates his circle.

After Disney+ Hotstar head of content Gaurav Banerjee approached her to play the role, she began watching the English series, which was broadcast by BBC and AMC in 2016 and streamed by Amazon Prime Video in India. In a wide-ranging interview with Deadline, Kapoor said, “I was impressed with the original, but we had some strong writers and talent attached to the remake in the early stages, so felt we would be able to pull it off”. .

“I wanted to bring what I learned and what I didn’t learn while creating 24 in India,” he continued. “Of course we knew we had to do it according to Indian sensibilities and the socio-political situation here. I’m supposed to be an arms dealer, but what was the conflict and who am I selling arms to? I read books and heard about people [Saudi arms dealer] Adnan Khashoggi, but based on my character there is no real appearance of arms dealing.”

When he saw the work by showrunner Sandeep Modi and his team of writers, he felt confident that it stood up to the original. The Ink Factory, which produced the first adaptation, is working with Banijay Asia to produce the Hindi version, which will begin streaming on February 17 on Disney+ Hotstar. The cast also includes Shovita Dhulipala, Tilotma Shome, Shashwata Chatterjee and Ravi Bahl.

Kapoor was one of the first actors and producers in the Hindi film industry to work in film and television, as well as local and international projects. After his years as Danny Boyle Slum boy is a millionaire (2008), she starred opposite Kiefer Sutherland in the Fox series 24before starring in the production and Hindi remake, which ran for two seasons.

He says adapt 24 For the Indian market also made him realize that too much change can be counterproductive. “I asked the writers Night manager Keep the original spirit. When we try to change too much 24, we started to fail. Some things need to be rewritten, but it doesn’t work when you start changing just for the sake of it or to avoid comparisons. So we stayed very true to the original show.”

Anil Kapoor

Also known internationally for acting Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011), Kapoor was offered a role in a major international TV series at the same time Night manager, but decided to turn it down to focus on Hindi shows. He will also appear in an episode of Jeremy Renner’s upcoming Disney+ show Renewal. But he says he is very selective about international work.

“I don’t want to spread myself too thin. I was after that window SlumdogWhen I was shooting 24, when I ran around town and met everyone and said – if you can cast Chinese actors, why not cast Indian actors? I told them there are better actors than me!

“But now that I’m in LA, I don’t go out and meet hundreds of people. For me, the most important thing is to know that I am working with good people. I don’t have the knowledge or instinct to know what’s really great on paper, so I make decisions based on the people involved. And so far, fortunately, I still have a great relationship with the people I’ve worked with and I can trust.”

Kapoor is also very busy in Mumbai. She continues to work in features despite her rise to Indian web series production last year starring in ‘Dharma Productions’. Zug Zug ZioOne of the first films to finally hit cinemas, when they relaunched and is currently in production on two features – Sandeep Reddy Banga’s crime drama animalAlso starring Ranbir Kapoor, and action thriller warriorDirected by Siddharth Anand (send) and stars Hrithik Roshan and Deepika Padukone.

He’s also known for taking risks on smaller projects with interesting talent, recently appearing in two films that debuted on Netflix – the neo-western thorwhich he created with his son Harshvardhan Kapoor through his AKFC network, and One versus one, a black comedy with a film-within-a-film narrative directed by Vikramaditya Motwane and starring Anurag Kashyap. “I said let’s go and do it for Netflix, so that we can be bold enough to do it the way we want, without worrying about first-day box office collections,” he says.

AKFC Network also produced cricket-themed web series election day A number of women-oriented films produced for Netflix and by daughter Rhea Kapoor, including two upcoming films – Thank you for comingStarring Bhumi Pednekar and Shehnaz Gill, and the crewWith Kareena Kapoor, Tabu and Kriti Sanon.

Kapoor says he is happy to see sendIts current success (Yash Raj Films’ Shah Rukh Khan starrer has become the biggest Hindi film of all time) but has not been phased by the painful downturn in the Hindi film business over the past few years. He grew up in a showbiz family – his father worked for big Bollywood star Shammi Kapoor – so has heard the ups and downs of the Hindi film industry for decades.

“Such rough patches come and go. Sometimes Hindi films are doing well, other times it is South or Bengali films that are grabbing all the attention. The only difference is we didn’t have social media back then.”

His own career took off in the late 80s and early 90s with landmark films such as Mr. India, parinda And Lamhe, some of which have become classics but were not always huge box office hits upon their release. He has also worked with major South Indian filmmakers including Mani Ratnam in Kannada language films Pallavi Anu Pallavi At the beginning of his career.

A persistent trend he has noticed over the decades is the herd mentality of the film business.

“When certain films do well, people suddenly have the confidence to pay more, so hopefully we’re at that stage now. When there is more confidence, there is more money and then we have the opportunity to start making bigger and more ambitious films technically.”

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