For years, big budget Hollywood films have been heading to India to shoot exotic, action-packed ‘crowd’ scenes. But as 2011 draws to a close we noticed them going a step further. Famous international faces have been constantly showing up in our newspapers and on TV; as they visit the Taj, talk about their love for chicken tikka and off course, pose with Shah Rukh or Arjun Rampal, to promote their latest movie. A potential billion in movie-goers and a four minute cameo by Anil Kapoor – Tom Cruise would have been a real idiot had he not visited India recently, to promote MI:4 Ghost Protocol. (Mind you, if you’ve seen the movie – was ANY part of that really Mumbai?)
Here is a list of Hollywood celebrity media-rounds, that worked wonders in favour of the star’s image or the movie they were trying to promote.
As we mentioned before, Tom Cruise‘s visit will be remembered forever. Not only was he the first Hollywood actor to have promoted his film by speaking directly to his fan following, but he was also the first celebrity to have his fans ‘officially paid’ (by the organizers of his visit) to cheer him on, as he made his red carpet appearance.
Next, Hugh Jackman was in Mumbai at a film event (FICCI), as a guest this year. He spoke to Shah Rukh Khan, met Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, charmed the Indian media and was a great sport. The Australian actor left a lasting impression in our minds, and most of the ladies’ hearts.
Naomi Watts’ visit to the Jal Mahal in Jaipur, along with her mother Miv, her two kids and friend Georgia, made for one of the cutest pictures of 2011. Here to support her husband Liev Schreiber, as he worked on a Mira Nair project, the actress (also a UN AIDS Goodwill Ambassador) visited Safdarjung Hospital in New Delhi. She toured the hospital and met with a group of mothers living in the HIV ward.
One of the most publicised visits this year – Lady Gaga, a self proclaimed ‘Bollywood lover’, performed at a number of Grand finale after parties during India’s first ever Formula One Grand Prix. She wore sari inspired dresses, said Namaste and tweeted “S**** Hollywood. It’s all about Bollywood.” The multiple Grammy Award-winner made India look like her home. How could we not be pleased!
And finally; the India – Elizabeth Hurley connection is a long standing relationship. And by that, I don’t mean her ‘publicity marriage’ to Arun Nayyar. Her most recent Indian-media interaction came when she visited the sub-continent this year, just to cheer up (make-out with) beau Shane Warne, as he played his last match in the IPL.
Written by Suhail Bhandari for Image Management