Ticket to Hollywood

Actor turned Hollywood producer Uday Chopra had a proud moment when his first Hollywood film under the YRF banner, ‘Grace Of Monaco’ opened at Cannes. The YRF scion discusses his Hollywood dreams with SURABHI RAWAT… 

Your first Hollywood project ‘Grace Of Monaco’ has been released in India…

It’s like my first English language release that I have co-produced. I do think it’s a very beautiful story. It’s a very commercial film which is what people will see when they see it. It’s not a slow kind of a love story which is sad; it’s very happy, it’s cool. There’s a whole spy thing, and there is France attacking Monaco and how Grace Kelly, who is married to Prince Rainier, saves the day. It’s a beautiful fairy tale about this woman and what happens to her.

What was your role in the making of ‘Grace Of Monaco’?

I have co-produced the movie and also financed the film to a certain degree. The script was written by ArashAmel who sold it to Adrian Politowski, my co-producer. They produced it out of France. I got involved in the film just before Nicole (Kidman) was attached and I went to Paris to meet with Politowski and we struck a deal. The film was almost ready and then I met the director. We were on floors when I was actually shooting for ‘Dhoom 3’ in Chicago so I wasn’t able to make it for a lot of shoots. Then of course my shoot got over and my father passed away during that time… So I came to India and I was not able to go until the last few weeks for the shoot for ‘Grace…’ where I was stationed out of Belgium.

Tell us about your experience at the red carpet at Cannes.

It was very surreal. It was so well organised. For me, I think the greatest high was seeing my company’s logo open in the festival, on the very first day because it comes before any other logos. It felt really great being premiered on the very first day… those were proud moments and I remembered my father at that time, of course, because I thought if he was here he would have really felt that pride to see his name, YRF’s name, up there on the screens as the opening film at Cannes…

What other Hollywood projects are you working on?

There are two other projects that I am currently working on. One is another film written by the same writer who wrote ‘Grace Of Monaco’. We are basically developing a book called ‘Seducing Ingrid Bergman’ by Chris Greenhalgh. It’s a story of Ingrid Bergman, a big Hollywood actress, who during World War II went to Paris to entertain the troops. There she meets this very big war photographer Robert Capa and he has this torrid affair with her. But she is a married woman with a child. It is a very ‘Casablanca’ type of an affair; a real life thing that had happened. She goes back to LA and he goes after her… At the moment we are just calling it ‘Seducing Ingrid Bergman’, finally when we release it we may change the title. Right now we are on the last phase of the final draft of the script. So I should be going out to directors when I go back to LA. The other project is a female-based thriller which I’m trying to set in India. The cast and crew would be from the US but it to be shot in India.

Tell us about ‘The Longest Week’

I have just sold the rights of distribution in America; I am still waiting to hear from the distributors as to when are they planning to release the film there. It would release somewhere at the time of Fall I think because in America everything is booked.

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