By Subhash K Jha
BOLLYWOOD: That Robert de Niro visited India last week is a story we broke last week. What we didn’t know, and what you’ll be told now, is that de Niro made an impromptu unscheduled visit to Mumbai on Sunday purely on his friend Anupam Kher’s request.
Says Anupam, “When he informed me of his scheduled visit to India I requested him to come to Mumbai for at least some hours. I wanted him to visit my acting school. He happily obliged. He was at my school from 5 pm until 9 pm. It was a pleasure to host him in Mumbai.”
While the young guns of Bollywood like Ranbir Kapoor and Sikandar Kher trooped into Anupam’s school for a darshan of the God of Acting it was Anupam’s mother’s Kashmiri cuisine which stole the show.
Says Anupam warmly, “My mother and aunt prepared a traditional Kashmiri meal for Robert. He seemed to enjoy it without reservations.”
De Niro also addressed the students and teachers of Anupam’s school.
“I hadn’t informed them about who was coming to visit. When they saw the God Of Acting walk in a couple of teachers almost fainted,” laughs Anupam.
Anupam and de Niro shared screen space in last year’s hit Silver Linings Playback and have remained friends since then. Anupam is making a documentary on Robert de Niro.
The Hollywood star, who was in India for the annual ThiNK festival in Goa, interacted with many Bollywood stars, including Amitabh Bachchan, young heart-throb Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and others in B-Town.