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The Slumdog Millionaire File

By Runna Ashish Bhutda, Ashwini Deshmukh, Kunal M Shah, Vickey Lalwani, Parag Maniar and Subhash K Jha
Posted On Tuesday, January 13, 2009 at 03:01:48 AM

 Anil’s night out with Hollywood’s A-listers

Anil Kapoor may not have won an award for Slumdog Millionaire, but he made up by partying with Hollywood celebs, Martin Scorsese, Mark Wahlberg, Steven Spielberg Alec Baldwin and many more

What do you think of the film winning so many awards?

I think this whole moment is very inspiring for both, Hollywood and Bollywood. It’s a huge victory for our film on an international level and for all those who are associated with the film too. It’s surely a proud moment for us Indians. I think the biggest award should go to all the children, who have acted in this film. Dev Patel and Frieda Pinto have become a craze among people here. People love Frieda. The film has achieved a phenomenal recognition that is incomparable. Danny Boyle spoke about everyone while receiving the award, be it Lovleen Tandon or the production team and assistants. It shows his large heartedness. It is a historic sweep as no other film has won so many awards or has this kind of impact.

Did all of you expect the film to do so well at the Golden Globe?

No one had expected the film to do so well, but we knew that we had a good film on hand.  Now, I think it has become so big and so special that it’s unbelievable. 

What according to you worked for the film?

The story is about a young boy, who comes on the show that I host. The sole purpose of him coming on the show is because he is separated from his childhood sweetheart. He hopes that through the popular show his sweetheart finds him. He then begins to answer the questions. I think the film is like Titanic meets Rocky. There are so many genres that come together in this film. It is a feel good film and in this time of recession, economic crisis and terrorist problems all over the world, the film comes as a breath of fresh air that offers you everything. It is a great hope and success story.

Please continue…

I think people all over can relate to the show, Who Wants to be a Millionaire? There is a lot of variety in the film. For instance, some scenes are like Deewaar, the story of two brothers of whom one is completely after money while the younger one is honest and not interested in money. There is a love story, a TV reality show and issues like the condition of underprivileged children. Basically, it’s a complete package with a fairy tale shot in a realistic way.

Did no filmmaker in India try to make a film on the book?

There were people, who had tried, but I guess the rights were with Channel 4 and they decided whom to give out the rights to.

You must have met a lot of people from Hollywood…

Yes I did and the greatest compliment came from Martin Scorsese. When he complemented me saying that he loved my work, I asked him are you sure? I got some nice compliments from Mark Wahlberg, Steven Spielberg and Alec Baldwin. All of them loved the film. They discussed so many things about the film and about Rahman’s music. Everybody present loved the cast and were so gracious that they came and encouraged us and appreciated our work. I feel proud to be an Indian.

Where did you celebrate?

We plan to have a huge celebration when Danny, Dev Patel and Frieda come back to Mumbai around January 19. Meanwhile we have been celebrating everywhere. There was a party by Golden Globe, a party by Fox Searchlight and by ICM.

From l-r: A R Rahman, Freida Pinto, Anil Kapoor and Dev Patel

l-r: Danny Boyle, A R Rahman, Producer Christian Colson, Writer Simon Beaufoy


The 66th Golden Globe Awards was telecast on January 11, 2009, from the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.

Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire won four honours, including best motion picture - drama to give it a push in the race for the Oscars. The film tells the story of a young Indian boy who grew up in Mumbai's slums, looking for love and competing for money on a television game show. The film also won awards in the best director - motion picture category for Danny Boyle, best screenplay for Simon Beaufoy and best original score for A.R. Rahman.

Boyle thanked the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which gave out the Golden Globe Awards, for supporting his movie that captures the frenetic pace of life in Mumbai.

Danny Boyle said, "Your mad, pulsating affection for our film is much appreciated, really deeply appreciated. The film was made from the heart, really. We never expected to be here."

Anil Kapoor, Freida Pinto and Dev Patel walked the red carpet at the award function.

The film will release across India on January 23 both in Hindi and English with roughly 200 prints - 40 in English and 160 in Hindi. It will be called Slumdog Crorepati in Hindi. The entire cast and crew will be in India on January 20.

 Know your Danny Boyle

Danny Boyle was born on October 20, 1956 to an Irish Catholic family. He attended Thornliegh Salesian College in Bolton, Lancashire. 

He dated noted British actress, Frances Barber that's when he became interested in the world of art and dramatics.

Danny's first brush with theatre was with Joint Stock Theatre Company. He later moved to Royal Court Theatre. His productions included Howard Baker's Victory and Howard Brenton's The Genius. Boyle also directed five productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Shallow Grave starring Kerry Fox and Ewan McGregor marked Danny Boyle's debut as a film director. In a career spanning three decades,. Apocalypse Now is Danny Boyle's favourite film.

Danny Boyle shot to fame with Trainspotting (1996) starring Ewan McGregor and Jonny Lee Miller. The film had 18 wins and 13 nominations including the Oscars. The director then relocated to Hollywood to crack deals with major Hollywood studios. Ewan McGregor is Danny Boyle's favourite actor and has cast him in most of his films.

 Watch out for ...

Freida Pinto

Did you know that it was television actress Shruti Seth who was auditioned for the role of Latika that eventually went to Freida Pinto. Frieda in fact had practically given up when she was made to audition periodically for six months.

But a call from Lovleen Tandon, casting director of the film, that she had been selected made it worth the effort.

Frieda always wanted to be an actress. After graduating from St Xavier’s College, she modelled for two years. She even anchored a travel show on a leading television channel.

As for the stupendous success of the film and the international reception to Slumdog Millinoaire, Freida said, “It is a great feeling.”

Ankur Vikal

Ankur Vikal, a talented actor isfrom Delhi's National School of Drama, Ankur has done films like Mango Souffle, Maqbool, Missed Call and The Forest before he was selected for the character of Maman in the film.

Vikal was selected for his role by co-director Loveleen after she saw his brief performance as Riyaaz Boti in Vishal Bharadwaj's critically acclaimed Maqbool. 

Loveleen Tandon

Loveleen Tandon was at the right place at the right time. When Danny Boyle was doing ground work for Slumdog Millionaire, She helped him find three characters from five cities of India. Danny realised that the three characters from different age groups he finalised, were not very comfortable with English.

So Loveleen became the interpreter. Not only that, she also helped him scout for proper locations.

So impressed was Danny with Loveleen's detailing that he asked her to come on board and join him as co-director.

Natasha Nischol

Actor Navin Nischol’s daughter and Shekhar Kapur’s niece, Natasha Nischol, is on cloud nine. Natasha has done make-up and hair designing for Millionaire cast.

Briefing about herself, Natasha says, “Shekhar introduced me to Jenny Shircore hair and make-up designer for Shekhar’s Elizabeth.

I assisted Jenny in London, where I did a three-year course in hair styling and make-up. I came down to Mumbai in 2004 aSlumdog Millionaire is one film we will never forget.”


In hindsight
Why did no indian filmmaker think of translating Vikas Swarup’s book Q & A into a film? And who among our Indian filmmakers could have done justice to it? Prominent film personalities answer
Anurag Kashyap

Very few people knew that Sriram Raghvan had approached Vikas Swarup for his book, Q & A but it was already sold to Film 4. They were not keen on giving it up either. I think among Indian directors, Sriram would have done a good job .
Shyam Benegal

I think many directors and producers must have approached the writer Vikas Swarup for his book. But maybe Vikas got big money because it was a Hollywood production house. I think Anurag Kashyap would be the right person to direct such a film.
Sriram Raghavan

I loved the book Q & A by Vikas Swarup. I wanted to make it and had even met the author, but the film rights were already with Film 4. He had mentioned that a couple of other Bollywood directors had also approached him. It's a terrific book .
Govind Nihalani

I wanted to adapt Vikas Swarup's Q & A. I had met the author and he told me that the film's rights had already been sold to Film 4 even before the book was published. The matter ended there.
Santosh Sivan

I haven't seen the film. But from what I've read about it, Slumdog Millionaire is quite a different sensibility and perspective of portraying the extremes.
Dibakar Banerjee

I haven't read Vikas Swarup's novel. At the moment I'm negotiating the rights for three novels, old and new. When I got to know about Slumdog Millionaire Sriram Raghavan was already in talks with the author.
Imtiaz Ali

Not many of our filmmakers have read Vikas Swarup's Q & A

Rohan Sippy

It's not true that filmmakers in Mumbai were not interested in the novel. Sriram Raghavan was interested, but the rights were already taken. Sriram would've made a fabulous film out of it.


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