Jackman, SRK share views on global reach of films

MUMBAI: The Wolverine of X-Men, Huge Jackman, and the he-man of ‘Main Hoon Na’ Shah Rukh Khan – known for flexing their muscles – today shook a leg at the closing session of the 12th edition of the annual media and entertainment conclave FICCI Frames.

Jackman, who had came to India with his wife Deborra-Lee Furness, was earlier presented with a “Ganesha” memento by actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.

Later, Jackman and SRK discussed cinema in India and Hollywood and the gap between the two biggest film industries, in an animated discussion moderated by filmmaker Karan Johar.

While talking about the studio system in film industry, Jackman said his experience has shown that the studio system is supportive.

“I have mostly worked with Fox. Some creative people find the studio system intrusive and get very negative. But a studio which is putting in millions of dollars has the right to have a say. Studios are run by smart people. They make 18 to 20 films a year,” Jackman said.

Jackman adds that studio heads often advise him on what roles he should be taking and how he should approach a character. When asked about how Bollywood is perceived in Australia, he said: “Bollywood is cool.”

In fact a scene in the film Australia where Jackman and Nicole Kidman share their first kiss in the film was inspired by Bollywood, he added. “Over the past 10 years there have been 150 co-productions between India and Australia. So there is a lot of activity going on there.”

Khan agreed with Jackman that the studios in India do not interfere with the creative process. They focus on things like marketing while focuses on things like the storytelling.

With studios like Fox and Disney coming to India, Jackman feels the relationship between India and the US will grow. Both are film loving countries. There is awareness of Bollywood in the United States, although most Americans have never seen a Bollywood movie.

Khan felt that foreign studios setting up base in India will take Indian films to the next level. At the same time, he said it was up to Indian producers like Yash Raj to take advantage of the opportunity.

Khan was unsure whether he could actually make a film in Hollywood and whether he was talented enough to do so. “My dream is to make a Hindi film that is seen globally. I always give the example of Life Is Beautiful. This was a film that was made in Italian, won Oscars and was seen globally. Jackman noted that the global market for Hollywood films has tripled in the past decade.

He said Australia only made $50 million in the US but made $200 million overseas. Thus, one is seeing a change in the taste of films being made. This will contribute towards bringing the Indian and American film industries closer. A decade ago the international box office accounted for a third of the revenue of a Hollywood movie. Things have changed since then, Jackman added.

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