A multi-million dollar Bollywood movie – an Indian remake of The Italian Job – is being filmed in Wellington, by IFC films– and I am an extra here in my new home city – one of about 600 needed!
My role? I am a tourist taking photos of my (real) grandson, we are right beside the “Albatross” fountain on the waterfront when suddenly three minis race around the fountain – followed by many motorcycles – making me have to quickly move out-of-the-way wondering “what’s happening?” as they race by. This extra-role meant I had my camera on set.
Players features A-list Indian actors Abhishek Bachchan and Sonam Kapoor, and brother directors duo, Abbas and Mustan. They are often called as the ‘Men In White’ and have always been associated with many a super-hit Bollywood films.
The chase sequence of the British original of The Italian Job (Michael Caine) featured robbers driving Mini cars and was filmed in Turin, and a 2003 American remake was shot on location in Venice and Los Angeles – it’s now set in Wellington – the capital of New Zealand.
Wellington is said to be “playing itself” in the Indian version and the varied terrain of the central city with its steep streets, leafy suburbs, dramatic coast and natural harbour will be on show to the world.
“It’s going to be huge. It’s not just the billion population in India back home, but also the Indian diaspora which is all over the world,” said Nirang Desai, the film’s line producer.
It is estimated that up to NZ$4 million of Bollywood money will be spent during filming in New Zealand, and Players could pave the way for even more films.
“I already have a few proposals lined up, people wanting to come,” said Desai.
The film is due to be released first in India in October 2011. See more here on TV1 News