Dance Master

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By TT Bureau
  • Published 30.07.08

Has it sunk in that you have been signed on by Rob ‘Chicago’ Marshall?

No! It is a dream fulfilled. It is a dream that I didn’t dream. But this is life, no, unexpected?!

How did it all happen?

Well, it all happened through a play that I was doing called Bruce Lee: Journey to the West. I got the play after I did Jackie Chan’s film The Myth. The Broadway musical guys were looking for people for Nine, Rob Marshall’s new musical, when the Weinstein Company gave them my reference. They got in touch with me and asked me to choreograph two small music pieces in the film. They called me up and asked for more information and my profile. So about two months ago, I sent them video clips and photos. Along with choreography, they said they had seen my picture and would I be interested in acting!


I told them that acting is not my cup of tea. Then they said they would set up an audition for me. They also told me that there would be a change of look involved and to check if I would be comfortable with it or not. So, there I was auditioning in New York with my new look — hair in a crew cut and a French beard! They told me the story of the film and asked if I would manage choreography or acting or both!

How was the first meeting with Rob Marshall?

Actually, Rob Marshall looks very different in person so I didn’t recognise him! When we were doing the costume changes in black with a little blue, red and green, suddenly this man came and said, “Leave it. Now it’s over.” And I thought, maybe he doesn’t want me anymore. But he had actually liked the pictures and was convinced already. I couldn’t believe I had just met the Chicago director!

You obviously love Chicago...

Oh yes, it was mindblowing! One of the best musicals ever. I especially loved the very sensual Cell Block Tango piece in the jail.

Nine has a dream cast — Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz, Judi Dench, Sophia Loren… Who’s your favourite girl?

Sophia Loren. I think she is the queen of Hollywood. I am sure she is an inspiration for all the other stars in the film as well. She’s like a goddess. I have some scenes with her!

Are you nervous?

Very nervous! I don’t know how I will stand in front of her.

What is your role?

I play a dance teacher and a detective. I have two distinct looks in the film.

So when does shooting begin? And when do you start choreographing your pieces?

The shoot begins in New York from October. I will receive the music by mid-September and I get three weeks to choreograph the dances. Then I head to New York for the shoot. The acting bit will take five days and the dance sequences will take four days to complete.


Nicole Kidman

She is the most stunning actress EVER! I think Nicole thinks Aishwarya Rai is most beautiful, but I think Nicole is definitely the most beautiful. After her pregnancy and baby, she is looking sexier than ever. Since I am a daddy, I think now I like mommies!

Penelope Cruz

I don’t know what I am going to say to her! She and Daniel DayLewis will do the dance I choreograph. And I think her petite frame is going to take the dance to another sensual level. She is glamorous and sexy. She is going to do full justice to my dance.

Judi Dench

Honestly, I don’t know much about her. I know she is an amazing actress. I am looking to learn lots of things from her.

Sophia Loren

She is a goddess. Enough said!

PS: You know how in India, we touch feet. I might do the dive and touch hers!

Which Hollywood star would you like to dance with?Tell