Sunday, April 14, 2024

Crossover and blend of Indian actors in Hollywood important: Indo-British actor Saaj Raja

Saaj Raja

Indo-British actor Saaj Raja says he is happy with the way crossovers have become a norm between industries whether it it Priyanka Chopra and Alia Bhatt working in Hollywood productions or a Marvel movie featuring him in a Bollywood dance sequence. Raja, who was a part of Marvel’s “Eternals”, currently stars in sports drama “A Game of Two Halves”. The film, which tackles themes of identity and acceptance through the lens of underprivileged kinds and football, released in theatres in India and the UK on February 23.
“There is a huge change in front and behind the camera. It is very cool that we are seeing a lot of crossovers happening now, like on Netflix or Amazon. Priyanka Chopra, Alia Bhatt are working on Hollywood productions, (there was a) remake of Tom Hiddleston’s ‘Night Manager’ with Aditya Roy Kapur. So, that crossover and blend is happening which is important,” Raja told PTI in an interview.
The actor, who also acted in the critically-acclaimed play “Best of Enemies” with actors David Harewood and Zachary Quinto, and has been part of BBC Radio 2’s series “Pause for Thought”, said he is grateful to have been part of a very “seminal movement in Marvel cinematic history” through “Eternals”.
“Even when we were on set, I had never seen that many brown or Indian faces on a Hollywood film set, so it was great to be part of that. I’ve no problem being recognised for that,” the actor said.
“A Game of Two Halves”, which is helmed by debutante director Khayam Khan, was shot in Hyderabad and London. The film also stars Indian actors Harish Khanna of “12th Fail” fame and Swaroopa Ghosh, best known for “Piku”, among others.
The director said he was keen on making a movie about Indians and with Indian actors.
“When I was looking for my first project, I wanted it to be Indian, I wanted to show some of Hyderabad and Indian culture. Also, it was cheaper to make it (film) in India than in the UK. I wanted to shine a light on subjects that people don’t often have a voice in, like in UK or western Hollywood films, for instance, mixed relationships, overcoming adversity. The kids and football are just a medium to tell the story about love, finding yourself and overcoming adversity,” Khan said.
“A Game of Two Halves” is produced by Nicola Gregory, Dean Charles and Sheila Nortley.
Raja is thrilled about his next Hindi film, “Bade Miyan Chote Miyan”, in which he has played a small role. The action-thriller features Akshay Kumar and Tiger Shroff in the lead. Directed by Ali Abbas Zafar, the film is set to release theatrically on April 9.
The actor, who made a brief appearance in Parineeti Chopra’s 2021 film, “Girl On The Train”, said he is open to acting in more Bollywood movies if the role excites him. (PTI)