Amitabh Bachchan The Marlon Brando Of India, Tom Hanks The Amitabh Bachchan Of America: Baz Luhrmann

Amitabh Bachchan The Marlon Brando of India, Tom Hanks The Amitabh Bachchan of America: Baz Luhrmann

A still from The Great Gatsby with Amitabh Bachchan (courtesy: YouTube)

New Delhi:

There’s no shortage of superlatives for Amitabh Bachchan – the Marlon Brando and Elvis Presley of India, according to Hollywood filmmaker Baz Luhrmann. The director of Moulin Rouge is fresh off the success of Elvis, a biopic of the late great King of Rock and Roll starring Austin Butler as the lead singer and Tom Hanks as his manager, Colonel Tom Parker. However, it was Big B who was on Baz Luhrmann’s mind when he spoke to NDTV. Amitabh Bachchan played a small but impressive part in Luhrmann’s lavish 2013 adaptation of The Great Gatsby starring Leonardo and he clearly impressed. “Amitabh Bachchan is, in my opinion, not only the Elvis of India, but also the Marlon Brando of India,” said Baz Luhrmann.

Baz Luhrmann also compared Amitabh Bachchan and the formidable Tom Hanks, not only describing them as “similar” but going so far as to call Tom Hanks the “Amitabh Bachchan of America”.

“Tom Hanks is easily America’s Amitabh Bachchan and I mean it. I keep talking about Amitabh Bachchan because I miss him so much and I know the family has been through so much. I heard of him not too long ago,” Baz Luhrmann said: “I think of him and I think of Tom, they are so much alike. Just like Amitabh would bring not only his performance to the set, but also the energy, inspiration and wisdom. I saw that on the sets of The Great Gatsby I remember a moment between him and Leonardo and that was a quiet conversation I knew Leonardo felt he was listening to the wisdom and Tom did just that with Austin in Elvis It’s so touching and so rare when an older actor passes the baton for the new generation.”

Rewind to 2013 – Amitabh Bachchan was cast as Jay Gatsby’s mentor Meyer Wolfsheim, a role limited to just one scene, but so grand that his presence dwarfed everyone else at the New York premiere. Hollywood experienced a taste of Bollywood fandom when Amitabh Bachchan’s admirers crowded the premiere hall, cheering him on the loudest. As Big B later tweeted, US media believed Leonardo DiCaprio had arrived.

Back to Baz Luhrmann’s interview with NDTV. When asked why he chose to show Elvis’ manager’s perspective in the film, Mr Luhrmann said: “Amitabh Bachchan would understand that behind every major star there is a problem between the company and the show, the “It doesn’t matter if it’s the entertainment world in India or here in America, this relationship can be very good, but when that relationship gets out of whack when it’s just about the money, it can being destructive, that’s what happens on this journey. In this story, you see this amazing rise to stardom, but the relationship brings it to a tragic end for both of them.”

Elvis by Baz Luhrmann premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and hits Indian cinemas on June 24.

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