Five Favorite Films

Five Favorite Films with Slumdog Millionaire's Anil Kapoor

It is written: the big Bollywood star reveals his major influences.

by | March 31, 2009 | Comments

Anil Kapoor

Slumdog Millionaire‘s American audiences were enticed to watch by the
name of director Danny Boyle or the movie’s kinetic exploration of an exotic,
far-away underbelly. In India, the selling point very well may have been
Anil Kapoor. Kapoor, who portrays the movie’s shifty host of India’s version of Who
Wants to Be a Millionaire?, is the movie’s biggest Bollywood name, something
fashioned over three decades of work, which includes Mr. India (an early work by
Elizabeth director Shekhar Kapur for which Kapoor received great critical
acclaim). The story of Kapoor’s  first international movie is a story we
know well now — the plot, the controversies, the international box office
success, and the endless trophies (including an ultimate Oscar Best Picture and
Kapoor’s own share of a SAG Oustanding Cast award). As he pursues new projects
in America (and on the release of Slumdog on DVD), RT sat down with Kapoor to get his Five Favorite Films.

Gold Rush (1925, 100% Tomatometer)

The Gold Rush
The films that really changed my life were all the films made by Charlie Chaplin. Films like
The Gold Rush
. They were silent films, they were black and white. As a kid,
I would just completely get mesmerized with every aspect of cinema. That kind of magic I’d never yet seen, the magic Charlie Chaplin created on screen — in terms of performances, in terms of technique, in terms of innocence, in terms of purity. I would wonder, “Is there anyone in the world who can match this?” I would see other films, and I’d think, “No, this guy is a real genius.” He makes me smile.
And sometimes he moves me.

City Lights (1931, 100% Tomatometer)

City Lights
Ah, City Lights.
[It] doesn’t [really] make an effort to do comedy or [try] to make me cry. It just flows so naturally.
A true artist. And you don’t have to be sensible [to watch  Chaplin’s
films]. You [can be] a kid but you still can understand his films.  [One] doesn’t need education, academic education, to understand or enjoy his films. And I would see in the theater, in the audience, all kinds of people: children, parents, grandparents, poor, rich, very rich people, everybody in the theater enjoying his films.

Chaplin really influenced me on being an actor. And I remember, back in India, Raj Kapoor, was greatly influenced by Charlie Chaplin.
[Kapoor] became one of the biggest filmmakers of our country. You know, [Kapoor] is one of the few filmmakers who are very very known in that part of the world, especially Russia and the Middle East, the Far East. All the countries, one of the most famous filmmakers, Raj Kapoor. And he was influenced by Charlie Chaplin.
Everybody says, “Are you influenced by Raj Kapoor?” and I say, “No, I’m not inspired by Raj Kapoor, I’m inspired by Charlie Chaplin.” It all goes back to that. And if you see my films, films like Woh 7 Din, Mr. India, and all those kinds of films, there is a bit of Chaplin. In every role which I do to this day, there is that flavor, because I’ve been influenced by all this. I will always think, if there is a scene, I will always have him in mind. Even in Slumdog Millionaire

[My performance in Slumdog Millionaire] is very animated, it’s very flamboyant.
That influence always works when I’m doing those kinds of roles. There are certain times when I’m slightly larger than life and animated, still in control and still looking natural, and not looking like a buffoon, and not looking caricaturish. Still looking real. I think some way it is the influence of Charlie Chaplin. And even if I can achieve one percent or two percent of what he has achieved in this life in terms of art, in terms of what he has done, I’ll feel pretty fulfilled. When I try to do stuff which he has done, a little bit here and there, then I realize what a great man he was, and what a great character he was, and what he accomplished. Very, very difficult. I heard that he would rehearse for hours and days for every punch. For every
punch. And there are times when I’m doing my films, I say, “Let’s copy this
punch on this film.” And we could never get it. We just couldn’t get it.

The Great Dictator (1940, 100% Tomatometer)

The Great Dictator
You can go into the depth and go inside into his mind, and it’s like miles and miles of depth. Which you can’t really get in the actor’s realm, but Charlie Chaplin could get. And his speech in The Great Dictator, the way he spoke when he played Hitler in The Great Dictator. It is one of the greatest monologues to come out of cinema. Nobody has ever been able to achieve that.

Every movie by Laurel & Hardy (1921 – 1951)

Laurel & HardyI feel performance cannot be done in isolation. So when I talk about teamwork, when I talk about timing between two actors, timing between two actors, I think about Laurel & Hardy. It’s like two sides of a coin. It’s the quickest examples of two people creating magic, two actors creating magic. I look up to these people [and] I get influenced by [them], because I try to create these things. I see others trying to create that thing, but nobody has succeeded yet.

Laurel & Hardy [are] completely timeless. And anything in art which is timeless — it might be architecture, it might be paintings, whatever you do — [if] it’s great art, it will entertain the people all over the world for centuries and centuries.

The Godfather (1972, 100% Tomatometer)

The Godfather
Everything just fell in place. The right people, the right director, the right script, the right timing, what the world was going through. Everything just fell right. So
Godfather, Slumdog Millionaire, Laurel & Hardy, and Chaplin. Well, it’s too early to talk about
Slumdog, but I’m sure after 50 or 100 years people are going to say that everything just fell in the right [place] for

The Godfather is not [just] an American hit, it’s really a worldwide film. Anywhere [you go]: China, Japan, Mexico. Everywhere students of cinema, ordinary people, everybody just loved the film. It’s got that cinematic magic, The Godfather. And, you know, it’s the lighting, the camerawork, the editing, the performances, the casting, the colors, the costumes. It was cinema at its best, and I’m sure it is something which, as you say, was written. Just everything fell in place. It doesn’t happen with everybody, it’s [when] people are [from] a certain kind of work culture [that] these things happen normally.

What I like about The Godfather [is that] it’s very classical. [Coppola] just leaves the camera. You never see the camera moving. It’s very static and it’s the actors [who are moving]. [But] still you create the magic. You don’t have to juggle the camera to attract attention.

The music also is very subtle. Everything is subtle. Your mind is throbbing, your [hairs are] rising, you’re on the edge of your seat, but still everything is so calm and relaxed. It’s cinema at its best. Slumdog? That’s also cinema at its best but everything [is] movement. There’s so much movement, there’s so much energy, the script is moving, the screenplay, the camera is moving, the actors are moving, everything is moving. But still, you understand the story. It is in control. Still, it moves you.

Catch Anil Kapoor in Slumdog Millionaire on DVD this week. For more Five Favorite Films, visit our archive.

Tag Cloud

Extras new york MGM YouTube Premium Star Wars TruTV Marvel social media scene in color comiccon scary Oscars Family TCA Awards dexter gangster The Purge 73rd Emmy Awards HBO japanese Comic-Con@Home 2021 transformers TCA remakes cancelled TV shows anime Logo emmy awards rt labs Tags: Comedy Character Guide talk show docuseries latino TV renewals trailers spanish language Academy Awards casting Paramount Plus cancelled Infographic Acorn TV documentary japan blaxploitation jurassic park The Walking Dead Tokyo Olympics Hollywood Foreign Press Association 24 frames Holiday Comedy Classic Film Universal Pictures AMC cancelled television Best Picture YA DGA game of thrones Women's History Month TLC HBO Go sequel teaser Star Trek WarnerMedia legend AMC Plus finale Summer debate 4/20 Instagram Live Countdown know your critic Arrowverse fresh 79th Golden Globes Awards HBO Max TV One renewed TV shows Stephen King telelvision The Witch cinemax book President SDCC all-time spanish Adult Swim comic book movies space Rocketman Song of Ice and Fire Alien ABC Signature adventure name the review Mary Poppins Returns toy story movie IFC Films Writers Guild of America archives DC Comics animated screenings justice league elevated horror Superheroes Amazon Prime Video CW Seed Photos Box Office Warner Bros. Nickelodeon TCM Fox News stand-up comedy Holidays TNT Exclusive Video ID hollywood GLAAD asian-american worst movies NYCC superman hispanic heritage month Television Academy marvel comics fast and furious Fargo critic resources Avengers Sony Pictures classics films rt archives Best Director genre Disney Plus Turner stoner Podcast royal family stop motion Spike universal monsters young adult Awards comedies Schedule Food Network franchise dramedy Ghostbusters slashers Hallmark Christmas movies Image Comics superhero DC streaming service Hallmark Election razzies romantic comedy vs. canceled TV shows APB PBS Reality Competition period drama diversity action-comedy Esquire Mary Tyler Moore TCA Winter 2020 NBC Film Festival Showtime golden globes thriller LGBTQ Chernobyl Mudbound 2015 Heroines james bond GoT indie Sundance richard e. Grant Netflix Christmas movies cars nbcuniversal Awards Tour dragons Christmas kids National Geographic Sneak Peek comic books LGBT lord of the rings Pixar New York Comic Con ESPN 2016 sequels mockumentary 2020 indiana jones adenture satire comic book movie critics VOD king arthur breaking bad 007 composers jamie lee curtis science fiction CNN boxing Set visit Teen hispanic CBS All Access MCU Vudu Nominations Comedy Central Paramount Network Sci-Fi crime thriller target medical drama new zealand unscripted Disney streaming service true crime Paramount godzilla Cannes independent werewolf Comics on TV Wes Anderson sag awards ABC Emmys reviews Universal Pet Sematary nature dceu crossover cancelled TV series joker A&E binge YouTube Red Lionsgate leaderboard Apple TV+ black comedy posters police drama ratings Pride Month Ovation high school green book french 45 live event aapi Travel Channel ghosts deadpool Mystery Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Thanksgiving Amazon MSNBC Baby Yoda saw black criterion crime dc Tumblr Shondaland SundanceTV christmas movies discovery women theme song movies DC Universe Reality 1990s 2018 rt labs critics edition Ellie Kemper Tarantino anthology nfl sitcom Comic Book Marvel Television children's TV Prime Video 94th Oscars Pop australia Disney Channel new star wars movies Quiz kong TV Land Polls and Games Starz spider-man Walt Disney Pictures Amazon Studios video Syfy TIFF Cartoon Network Watching Series BBC One spider-verse Valentine's Day DirecTV slasher PaleyFest 93rd Oscars south america TBS Year in Review versus aliens disaster mcc 99% American Society of Cinematographers war technology Red Carpet Crunchyroll Fantasy romance award winner Pop TV Premiere Dates video on demand Tomatazos Lifetime Christmas movies 2019 USA Network zombies Opinion E! Trivia supernatural PlayStation Freeform die hard heist movie Sundance TV Music 20th Century Fox news festivals dark IFC Creative Arts Emmys blockbusters spy thriller Crackle Anna Paquin ViacomCBS worst cats Hulu Calendar hist USA monster movies best Discovery Channel Disney Kids & Family FX on Hulu Pacific Islander Winners E3 reboot 2017 BET witnail BBC 21st Century Fox quibi 90s Tubi halloween Lucasfilm Musicals Chilling Adventures of Sabrina 72 Emmy Awards blockbuster Lifetime art house tv talk scary movies First Reviews rom-coms Turner Classic Movies obituary Rock Marathons miniseries wonder woman suspense San Diego Comic-Con The Walt Disney Company Spring TV popular boxoffice king kong cartoon History Apple TV Plus 71st Emmy Awards what to watch RT History italian Rocky prank Television Critics Association parents BET Awards Interview Spectrum Originals festival Black Mirror batman international zero dark thirty Best Actor obi wan laika Dark Horse Comics Bravo X-Men Elton John Fox Searchlight kaiju First Look venice singing competition adaptation strong female leads TCA 2017 Trailer Disney+ Disney Plus Netflix Neflix chucky Oscar Captain marvel rotten Superheroe Peacock Mindy Kaling sopranos mission: impossible Martial Arts A24 mutant sports biopic TV doctor who crime drama Masterpiece based on movie Film live action MTV Pirates trophy IMDb TV Endgame serial killer dogs Fall TV Best Actress harry potter Certified Fresh foreign rotten movies we love series South by Southwest Film Festival scorecard Shudder streaming spain Marvel Studios Nat Geo streamig GIFs directors SXSW canceled dreamworks Trophy Talk El Rey BBC America feel good Brie Larson pirates of the caribbean Mary poppins Musical free movies game show RT21 Hear Us Out WGN Columbia Pictures FXX HFPA cults Horror mob Biopics television Video Games natural history golden globe awards VH1 concert basketball Black History Month screen actors guild a nightmare on elm street child's play spinoff The CW Winter TV Amazon Prime toronto vampires OneApp revenge Toys Best and Worst Apple twilight hidden camera Action Binge Guide travel Rom-Com Funimation biography streaming movies Grammys BAFTA facebook political drama Britbox 2021 Super Bowl 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards docudrama Sundance Now zombie NBA Western Legendary Country comic ABC Family ITV The Academy Cosplay halloween tv politics Animation olympics Broadway psycho CBS cooking CMT Drama VICE cops SXSW 2022 OWN The Arrangement marvel cinematic universe TV movies documentaries Emmy Nominations FOX FX historical drama book adaptation football psychological thriller robots Epix See It Skip It YouTube comics