By Subhash K Jha
MUMBAI: The very classy crew of the British film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2 is currently shooting very quietly in Jaipur and Udaipur in Rajasthan.
The cast of this sequel directed by John Madden comprises a distinguished bouquet of British and Indian troupers both old and young including Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, Maggie Smith, Dev Patel, Tina Desae and Lilette Dubey.
The new addition to the original cast for the sequel is Richard Gere. Though he has visited India several times as a goodwill ambassador for AIDS campaigns and for his Buddhist activities, this is the first time that Gere is shooting for a film in India.
“Richard is coming here on Thursday,” a member of the film’s unit says from Udaipur.
“He is very excited about shooting in India, and so are we. He has specially asked to be accommodated in a hotel close to the shooting which need not be super-luxurious. He is happy roughing it out with the unit. He also wants to taste all the Rajasthani cuisine including some that other aging British actors have ben afraid to try for fear of indigestion.”
Gere’s love interest is being played by Lilette Dubey.
Without disclosing details, the source from Udaipur says, “It’s a very passionate liaison between two middle aged people, something like Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep in The Bridges Of Madison County.”
Lilette hasn’t met Gere yet.
But Gere apparently asked for some of Lilette’s films on DVD before he lands in India.
You can’t fault Hollywood icons on their homework when they visit foreign shores.