Failed actor Uday Chopra rubs shoulders with Nicole Kidman

The Dhoom actor’s career gets a new twist

It’s a well-known fact that Uday Chopra’s career is dead in the water. He might appear in Dhoom:3 but the presence of a certain Aamir Khan in that film will dominate everything else, even Abhishek who? So, last November, young Uday heeded his internal and practical call of ‘Go West young man’ and took himself off to Hollywood, pausing only to pick up some cash from daddy Yash Chopra. He took on a project that the original financiers had dropped like a hot potato – The Longest Week, starring Jason Bateman, Billy Crudup and Olivia Wilde and to be directed by Peter Glanz. The Hollywood-based banner producing this would be Yash Raj’s newly formed subsidiary, YRF Entertainment, headed by Uday.

The lad said at that time: “My family has a deep commitment to making and distributing quality films that entertain and enlighten audiences. I share that passion, as well as a love for American films that I have had since childhood. It is that enthusiasm and my love of the creative process of filmmaking that drove me to start this new venture.” Absolutely correct, for, when you fail somewhere, it’s only logical to look for new avenues. Didn’t buddy Abhishek successfully produce Paa?

Now, Uday is prancing around the Cannes Croisette in glee because he is going to be one of the producers on the new Nicole Kidman film. Kidman who? Remember that blonde Australian actress who danced to the ‘Chamma Chamma’ song from China Gate in Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge? Selfsame. Uday has teamed with Pierre-Ange Le Pogam of Parisian company Stone Angels to produce and finance the upcoming Nicole Kidman vehicle, Grace of Monaco. The film will be directed by Olivier Dahan who made the fabulous La vie en rose that won the best actress Oscar for Marion Cotillard. Kidman is also an Oscar winner for her performance in The Hours, so Uday is in exalted company. The film, that goes into production in the South of France this autumn, tells the story of efforts by the late Princess Grace of Monaco (the former Grace Kelly, played by Nicole Kidman) to make peace between her adopted country and France. Grace, just 33 years old and having just given up an acting career to become Monaco’s First Lady, manoeuvred through a political minefield to resolve the situation.

Uday (or rather the person who writes his press releases) says, “Grace of Monaco is the kind of movie that has a perfect blend of talent and sensibility that YRF Entertainment is proud to be a part of.” Cineswami hopes that Uday stays mum and just forks out the cash when asked for and lets the highly talented team get on with their jobs and not give any creative inputs. Every time he is tempted to do so, he should watch Pyaar Impossible, for which he wrote the story, screenplay and dialogue and hammed it up in the role of Abhay ‘Froggy’ Sharma. If he does interfere, then Princess Grace will sink faster than the Titanic and big bro Aditya will have to channel all the profits from Salman Khan’s Ek Tha Tiger and the Shahrukh Khan/Katrina starrer towards funding his little tyke of a brother. If the film turns out well, however, we’ll have another horror sight to contend with – a tuxedo clad Uday grimacing at the cameras at the Oscars, clad in an expensive but ill-fitting suit, a ‘Froggy’ to Kidman’s graceful swan. Now, where’s that hemlock when Cineswami needs it the most.

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