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Why was Amitabh Bachchan cast as Jew gangster in THE GREAT GATSBY?

May 17, 2013 12:11:24 PM IST
By Rajesh Kumar Singh, Glamsham Editorial
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This must have intrigued many who have read the original novel The Great Gatsby written by American novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald about a decadent 1920's New York. The character of Meyer Wolfsheim, a gambler and a well-connected bootlegger played by Amitabh Bachchan in the film, is a Jew who acts as a kind of benefactor and father figure to Gatsby. Big B is neither a Jew nor he looks like one and there are many big Hollywood names that could have been cast in the role. The director of the film Baz Luhrmann provided an insight into why and how Big B was cast in the role in a press conference at the 66th Cannes Film Festival that took off on 15th May 2013 with his film opening the most celebrated film festival in the world.

view THE GREAT GATSBY videos

According to Luhrmann he could not think of anyone else but Big B for the role. He would have cast him in spite of his being a Jew, a Buddhist, or a Hindu. He had modelled the character on a real life gangster of the era who was cool and sophisticated and had a beguiling presence. If you look for someone like that today the only name and face that comes to mind is that of 'Amitabh'. As Luhrmann uttered these words, the press conference room broke into applause led by Leonardo DiCaprio and the rest of the cast present there.

CHECK OUT: Big B's Hollywood debut in Cannes opener THE GREAT GATSBY wows American reviewer

Though it's a brief role, the chief critic of the world's leading trade journal has praised Big B for his work in the film. THE GREAT GATSBY is releasing in India on 17th May 2013 and has done very well at the Box Office in the North American territory.

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download THE GREAT GATSBY wallpapers

(Rajesh Kumar Singh is Editorial Consultant for Festivals and Markets for He is a filmmaker, critic and market analyst)


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