According to reports in Indian newspapers, Charlie’s Angels star Drew Barrymore is set to appear in a Bollywood film, following the likes of Sylvester Stallone and Denise Richards.
Barrymore “liked the script and agreed instantly” to do the film.
The Hindustan Times newspaper quoted producer Santosh Kumar Jain saying that “The film is about three women from different walks of life, trying to assert their identities. Drew plays the role of a foreigner in the film. The other two will be top Indian actors. The river Ganga is in the backdrop throughout the flick.”
Jain expects the film, titled Lifestyle, will cost INR1.5 billion. It will start shooting this November.
In the 1970s and 1980s, obscure foreign actors were usually relegated to playing bit parts in Indian productions, usually as the villain or femme fatale.
However, as the Indian film industry has grown, it has been able to afford the hefty pay checks demanded by foreign stars. The 2009 film Kambakkht Ishq had cameos by Sylvester Stallone, Brandon Routh and Denise Richards, and several Hollywood actors are reportedly in talks to star in Indian films. Rumour has it that Nicolas Cage is playing the lead in Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s next film, titled Broken Horses. Hollywood actor Russell Crowe recently said he also wants to “sing and dance” in Bollywood films.
Bollywood films, which once borrowed heavily from the scripts of Hollywood productions, are now watched closely by the film studios they once aped. In 2008, Warner Bros sued the producers of a film called Hari Puttar, alleging that the title was similar to the Harry Potter franchise. The case was dismissed by the Delhi High Court.
Barrymore has not officially commented on reports of her being cast in Lifestyle.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 23rd, 2010.