When the second part of the franchise THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL was announced, it was a big surprise for Tina Desai and the entire team attached with the film. As Tina reveals in an exclusive interview with glamsham.com that how the entire team of THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL used to take it as a joke and how thrilled they were to come back once again. She also talked about making the likes of Judi Dench, Richard Gere and others dance on Indian tunes, the overwhelming response to the second part world over and much more. Here are the excerpts of the conversation:
|TINA DESAI AT GLAMSHAM.COM OFFICE|
How has been the response like to the second part of THE BEST EXCOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL?
It’s got terrific response abroad. It’s no. 1 for three weeks in UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada and it was also no. 1 in the US also. So, now I am waiting to see how India reacts to it. Of course when your own people are watching it, you can be little more nervous. But I am very confident of this film because it has done well internationally and I really hope India likes it also.
How did the sequel come about?
We were actually joking about the sequel at the end of the first film because we all had wonderful time. And when it actually did happen and the announcement was done, we were all surprised. We were thrilled that it was happening and the entire team could come back. So, it was fantastic that the film came about. But I think the film worked a lot in abroad and resonated with their psyche, with the thoughts of the people over there. In fact, people there really wanted to see more of that story and the writer and director of the film actually felt that there was more to tell. So they wrote a script which is even more action-packed and fast-paced. There is lot of chaos and drama in it. It’s about great Indian wedding. So there is lot of dancing and Indians are very good at having parties, that’s what they have highlighted in the film.
Since the first part was appreciated, are you pressurized more now it being second part of the film?
No because the team is still fantastic and we have a script that’s even better than the first one. So I don’t feel any pressure because I have seen the box-office figures so I expect the best. But that doesn’t mean I am arrogant about it. It’s a very feel-good film and simply told. It’s very hard to go wrong with it.
There are many Hollywood actors in this film, so how difficult was it to make them dance to Indian tunes and songs?
‘Zhoom Barabar Zhoom’ is a very high energy song and the energy is very infectious. So we were doing the dance for an entire night already. We did it over two nights and the first night all of the senior cast members were watching us almost jealously because they wanted to do it but they couldn’t join the party. So the second night John (our director) kind of got a sense of that. He said ‘You guys are dancing in next half hour, learn the steps now’ and they kind of charged the stage, learned the steps because they liked the idea of Bollywood dance so much, you know Judi Dench calls that particular step ‘shampooing the dog and clapping it over. He started naming all these steps with funny names. Richard Gere was there for dance rehearsals and he is quiet a rock star. He doesn’t need any help. If you’ve seen him in LOVE ACTUALLY, where he strums a guitar effortlessly, he was like same here also. They were killing it like it was a contest that who could do it with more style and panache. The makers imagined and executed to perfection so it was not hard. It was a feeling like I was teaching them in the shot and they were following it. But I don’t think they needed any help. They were brilliant at the word go and they downed every moment of it as did we.
You had a bold role in the first part, have you gone bolder in the sequel? Also, there was a kissing scene with your co-actor Dev Patel in the first part, so will we have it in this film too?
Dev Patel and I’ll be getting married now (in the sequel). I was very bad in the kissing scene in the first film. The writer made sure there is no kissing scene in the second one, so that we don’t embarrass ourselves. There is nothing bold in this one. I am playing a legitimate daughter-in-law to be, so it’s very Indian family like, very respectful. But in Sense8, an upcoming American TV series, I have lot of sensation happening, I have a lot of kisses and lot of drama. I am sure I have done that badly as well (giggles). I hope the post production has covered up my flaws. All of these things that I said were just in fun. Please don’t take these things seriously. My makers will fry me if you took them serious (chuckles).
Why do you think people will love this film?
It’s a very good mix of east and west because it’s got a typical top class British actors. It’s a very feel good happy film. You go home happy. It’s also about big fat Indian wedding which is a huge celebration. It’s got a very important message about open positivity and about age. People tend to fear old age and give up on life after retirement. They stop living after they retire and just wait for death, which is really very sad and younger people tend to fear old age. So, basically what this film says, if you allow yourself to live life to the fullest, no matter what your age is, and if you remain independent, than you can still find love, you can still find a career, find happiness in your personal life and find something to look forward to, provided if you allow yourself that experience. If you give up on life, than you stop having the joyful celebration. It’s a very important message, that’s given really very subtly. So it’s very entertaining film and that’s why there are reasons enough to watch it.