Mumbai: From expressing his love for Indian cuisine, getting nostalgic about the time spent with Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar last year and beatboxing while showing some dance moves to Indian fans, Hollywood actor Will Smith gave a ‘desi’ twist to his work trip in India while promoting his forthcoming film “Bright”.
The Hollywood icon, who enjoys global fame thanks to his work profile as well as accolades, landed here on Monday morning, and spent most of his day giving interviews to select Indian media, including IANS.
He made a public appearance and greeted his fans at High Street Phoenix, Lower Parel, prior to the screening.
The “Men in Black” star, who looked dapper in a grey suit, was seen in a jovial mood, and enthusiastic about coming to India.
About the hectic schedule, Smith said: “Thank you for having us. We are very excited to be here…This is my first time out today. We landed in the morning, have been doing press interviews and then came to see you.”
The Oscar-nominated actor arrived in India with his “Bright” co-stars Joel Edgerton, Noomi Rapace and director David Ayer. The film will release on Friday on Netflix.
Smith, known for films like “Bad Boys”, “Hitch”, “The Pursuit of Happyness”, “Hancock”, “The Karate Kid” and “Collateral Beauty”, surprised his fans in India in August last year when he dropped in Mumbai to attend Bollywood’s ‘Khiladi’ Akshay Kumar’s party.
The 49-year-old confessed that he developed a taste for Indian cuisine during that trip, and credits Akshay for opening the Indian food story for him.
“Last year, Akshay had a party and it was the best food that I have ever in my life. It was a little bit of everything. My favourite is chicken tikka masala,” Smith said.
Smith also showed off his dancing skills when hosts Rannvijay Singha and Bani Judge requested the team to shake a leg for the Indian fans, who waited for over four hour at the venue for the actor to come up on the stage.
Taking it a step ahead, Smith started beatboxing as Edgerton, Rapace and Ayer tried to copy Rannvijay, and eventually joined in.
From responding to a female fan with wittiness, to cracking jokes as well as taking a cellphone from the crowd to capture the moment with a selfie, Smith got involved with the crowd, and kept the attendees engaged.
There were many performances before the Hollywood actors got onto the stage. Bollywood composers Vishal-Shekhar also performed at the event, and added more energy to the evening with their enthusiasm. They performed on songs like “Bachna ae haseeno”, “Ude dil befikrea and “Swag se swagat”.
“Bright” is a fantasy tale which narrates how humans exist with fairies, orcs and elves. Smith also talked about the film, which puts spotlight on racism and class divide while telling story of two police officers.
“The film has a beautiful idea. This racism and how we treat each other. It is in the film. The elves are in the top most society and represent those who have, orcs represent those who dona¿t have and humans are in the middle,” he said.
About his role, Smith said: “My character is African-American, who is racist against orcs. The movie is an interesting exploration of how we treat each other. What I love about it is that you are able to see this bizarre world but also real things.”