Will Smith Enticed by Bollywood
Feb 23, 11:34 AM EST
The Associated Press
NEW DELHI -- Chicken tikka masala and Bollywood leading lady Aishwarya Rai top Will Smith
's list of favorites in India.
Smith, a best-actor Oscar nominee for 2001's "Ali," was in India this week to launch Sony Entertainment's English-language movie channel, Pix, and to be a guest on "Indian Idol," the country's version of "American Idol."
It was the 37-year-old actor-rapper's first trip to the South Asian nation. His first impressions?
"Just recently I got to know the number of films Bollywood makes a year — a whopping 800. And each with its share of song, music, dance and drama," he was quoted as saying in the Hindustan Times. "I am simply enticed to be part of it."
Smith said he'd like to explore a possible collaboration between Hollywood and Bollywood, as India's film industry is known.
But, of course, he's got preferences, including authentic chicken tikka masala, a grilled poultry dish flavored with Indian spices, and Rai, who starred in "Bride & Prejudice."
"She has a powerful energy," Smith told reporters in Bombay, the home of India's Hindi-language film industry, on Thursday. "I'd love to work with her."
He also said he was a fan of India's most popular actor, Amitabh Bachchan. The first Indian film he saw was "Sarkar" or "Boss," in which Bachchan plays an underworld kingpin.
"I was blown away by the Big B and I want to be known as Big W," Smith said with a laugh.