Anil Kapoor’s appearance in the American TV series 24 was already given nods by critics before it aired over the week-end.
“It’s the first time that I’m doing television. I’ve been doing feature films for around 30 years. Not only was I excited that I was doing 24, but I was also anxious and nervous that I was doing something for the first time in my life,” the star of Slumdog Millionaire said in an interview to Fox News.
Kapoor says his performance in 24 was urged by his family, who are fans of the show.
Speaking about the character he portrays, he says, “I am very clear that I won’t play Indian characters in international projects unless they’re really special. I’ve told my agent to seek out parts that are not culture-specific, but have character.”
Kapoor’s inspiration for his role as a Middle Eastern peacemaker has been drawn from Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama.
“I researched all the speeches of all these great leaders – from Mahatma Gandhi, to Mandela, Martin Luther King, Obama and Bill Clinton,” said Kapoor.
According to news reports, the Bollywood actor plays the leader of a middle-eastern country in the Emmy award winning TV series depicting a 24-hour period in the life of a government agent fighting fictitious terrorist threats to the US.
24 has an average of 12.5 million American viewers each week, so it is understandable that Kapoor felt nervous about his Hollywood debut.
Speaking about the actor, co-star Cherry Jones says, “Anil Kapoor is above all else a great elegant gentleman with an amazing background. He has a natural regalness to him which is so perfect.”
The series has previously starred an Indian-origin actor, Kal Penn who played the role of a teenaged terrorist over four episodes in 2007.