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Bachchan Hollywood debut with DiCaprio

Calcutta, Sept. 7: In what is his first Hollywood role, Amitabh Bachchan has joined the cast of Baz Luhrmann’s latest magnum opus The Great Gatsby, which began filming in Australia this week.

The $125-million, 3-D adaptation of the much-read F. Scott Fitzgerald novel stars Titanic star Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role.

Bachchan is slated to play Meyer Wolfsheim, a man with a dark past who helps DiCaprio’s character make money when he first comes to New York after the first World War.

“Bachchan, the elder statesman of Indian cinema and one of the most recognised faces on the planet, will play the role of Meyer Wolfsheim,” Warner Bros. said in a statement.

The 68-year-old Bollywood superstar, who was in Sydney in end-August, where the film is being shot, did not disclose his reason for going Down Under but did leave a hint on his blog. He wrote: “Time has been spent well and hopefully judiciously. Days ahead will tell us whether it was fruitful or not.”

Bachchan was earlier supposed to be part of Mira Nair’s Hollywood adaptation of Gregory David Roberts’s Shantaram starring Johnny Depp but the project never took off.

Luhrmann, who had earlier put the China Gate song Chhamma chhamma in a medley dance sequence in his Nicole Kidman-starrer Moulin Rouge, has shown interest in working with Indian movie stars.

The Great Gatsby also stars Spider-Man star Tobey Maguire, who plays Nick Carraway the narrator of the story, and the Oscar-nominated actress Carey Mulligan.

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