At IFFI 2023- Satyajit Ray Award winner Michael Douglas dances to Naatu Naatu also says, ‘Rishtey mein hum tumhare baap lagte hain’ ! Star-wife Catherine-Zeta Jones loves ‘The Lunchbox’ Hindi movie by Chaitanya Padukone

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By Chaitanya Padukone
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At IFFI 2023- Satyajit Ray Award winner Michael Douglas dances to Naatu Naatu also says, ‘Rishtey mein hum tumhare baap lagte hain’ ! Star-wife Catherine-Zeta Jones loves ‘The Lunchbox’ Hindi movie by Chaitanya Padukone
Iconic Hollywood movies charismatic star actor, director and producer Michael Kirk Douglas paid tribute to legendary film-maker Satyajit Ray crediting him for “creating the beginning of Indian” cinema. The outspoken 79-year-old Douglas recalled how Ray influenced him early in his career. Addressing a press conference at the grand star-studded 54th edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI-2023) which just concluded, Douglas who was presented with the prestigious IFFI- Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award during the closing ceremony by Goa CM Pramod Sawant and his associates. on Tuesday.

The handsome  Douglas also spoke of his upcoming project ‘Racing the Monsoon’, a film that will be a sequel to ‘Romancing the Stone’ that he hopes to complete in India. Recalling his college days, he disclosed,” Actually I have a history of Satyajit Ray back in college and becoming aware of some of his work projects, as well as his realistic style and being a Renaissance man, I think he sort of created the beginning of the Indian era of filmmaking So it’s a tremendous honor to receive this award, “ said  Douglas

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“When I was in the University of California at Santa Barbara. I was taking a film course in 1963. This is about 1964 and one of the directors that we studied a lot was Satyajit Ray. And if I remember correctly, it was a film called Pather Panchali and another called Charulata… But when I realized that he was not only a director, but he was a writer, a filmmaker, a musician and he authored books. He was quite an extraordinary man, and also a sense of dealing with people. You would not think of being heroic or large scale but showing a reality and a texture that we had known about all left me with an impression,” Douglas said. Douglas also shared his recipe for success as a film producer, which he said was focussing on the ‘material.’

“Material, for me, became the most important. I don’t care what it is but if it is something that feels emotionally nervous and structured -- for me a three-act structure is very important -- that’s what I count on. So if I’m haunted by it, whether it makes me laugh or cry or sexy or not. Then I analyze it and I see the structure. And so I think that’s why I’ve been fairly successful over the years trying to stick with good material. Although this also my part so much because I’d much rather be a small part and a good movie than a big part in a bad,” Douglas said. The material is the most important thing. Many actors can play the parts, (what matters is) how good the material is. So I think that’s always stuck with me,” he added.

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Michael’s wife and 54-year-old beautiful film actress Catherine Zeta-Jones said it felt a ‘tingling sensation’ every time she comes to India revealing that it was an Indian doctor who performed a tracheotomy when she was 18 months old.

“It was an Indian doctor who saved my life with a tracheotomy ( surgical procedure of the throat-windpipe to enable easy breathing) when I was just 18 months old. So I wonder why when I come to India I have this feeling of coming home and this is like my tingly feeling and maybe there’s something to do with that, that the reason why I’m actually here is because of the brilliance of an Indian doctor in Swansea, South Wales in the UK, so I’m forever indebted to him,” added. the modest, candid  Catherine who also shared her ‘regret’ have not having the opportunity to do a British-Indian film

“I’ve always been a huge fan of Indian Cinema and film songs picturizations... And being a singer and a dancer. I dreamt that maybe someday the British film industry would do a Bollywood-type film and I wouldn’t be able to be nice to them. But I would love to be part of something exciting and different in the Indian movie industry,” added Catherine also mentioning that one of her favorite Hindi movies was ‘The Lunchbox’ (starring actor Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur and Nawazuddin Siddiqui )

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Both Michael Douglas ( twice Oscar Academy Award-winner) and wife Catherine stole the hearts of the Indian audiences at the IFFI 2023 when they shared how much they loved India (Bharat) and its culture and cinema, During the stage presentations, helped by his dynamic buddy entrepreneur Shailendra Singh ( of ‘Sunburn’ dance-music festivals fame), the friendly Michael not only loved dancing the hook-step of the iconic song ‘Naatu Naatu’ on stage, ( with a bit of prompting) he also delivered the iconic dialogue ( Amitabh Bachchan in ‘Shahenshah’) with a slight twist “ Rishtey hum tumhare baap lagte hain, naam hai Michael Douglas !! “ And the audiences went into thrilled raptures and cheerfully clapped for the Hollywood top-star’s enthusiastic spirit.

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