London: An India acting school is to open in London, allowing would-be stars to learn the art of Bollywood in the British capital, its head was cited as saying Thursday.
The school will be a spin-off from ‘Actor Prepares’, a training academy set up in Mumbai by Anupam Kher, who shot to Western fame in the 2002 global hit “Bend it Like Beckham.”
Planned to open in September, it will be based in Ealing, west London, home to a huge south Asian population -- although the school is open to all races, Kher told The Times newspaper.
“There are Britishers who want to act in Bollywood films as well,” said Kher, underlining that it will not only be about Bollywood.
“Of course, the Bollywood section of the course will be prominent but it won’t be the only thing we teach. There is a film tradition section, where we will show them great films from world cinema. Acting is becoming universal.”
Britain already has close ties with the Bollywood film industry: last year it hosted the International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFAs) in Sheffield, northern England, designed to promote its films abroad.
Kher, who is a leading Bollywood character actor who has been in over 400 films, is best known in Britain for “Bend it Like Beckham,” “Bride and Prejudice” and “ER.”
His Actor Prepares school already has branches in Mumbai, Chandigarh and Ahmedabad.
The Indian star said he hopes the new academy will help improve the quality of performances in Bollywood films, with the help of young actors who have a wider experience of western acting.
“The standard of acting in Indian films was mediocre generally but in the last few years audiences have become much more educated towards cinema because of the onslaught of satellite channels” showing Western films India, he said.
“I am trying to kill off a certain style of cliched Bollywood acting. It’s already dying so it is the right time to do this international school,” he told the newspaper.