In the U.S, she is a true hero but heroine would sound even better, and why not? She has starred in memorable Hollywood films such as Varsity Blues (1999) and Final Destination 1 (2000) and Final Destination 2 (2003), but she got the star status not from the film world, but from the world of television in the form of America's number one sci-fi drama and Emmy Award nominated Heroes (2006). Now, from Hollywood to Bollywood, Ali Larter's unexpected adventure in India is about to begin where she portrays a role of an American actress who comes to Goa only to find that her low-budget Hollywood film is shelved. Ali Larter speaks about her upcoming film Marigold, where she acts opposite Salman Khan.
How was your unexpected journey to India for Marigold like?
It was an absolutely extraordinary journey for me. I was able to experience different cultures within India and was totally blown away by the spirit of the people, the generosity they showed and the vibrant colours which women wear especially where we were filming. I really just fell in love with the country which took me under its spell.
You've worked with Bollywood's bad boy, hunk and casanova Salman Khan. Tell us something about him.
He is my boy. We had such a great time together on and off the sets. Our first meeting took place in a restaurant and we were on guard straight away. He arrived there with his entourage talking on the phone like a school kid. But that was it. From that moment, we ended up talking till night time. We really formed a true friendship and I wish he stays in my life forever. I hope our paths cross again sometime and we meet up soon. Professionally, he is a like any other co-star I've worked with before - focused, entertaining and giving a lot tips on how to act only because he knows Bollywood more than I do.
Do you think the delay of Marigold's release will work as an advantage to the film because now Ali Larter is a famous face in the U.S after 'Heroes'?
I can't wait for the film to release this month because I've had the best time of my life filming for Marigold. For me, I just hope that people go and watch the film because it is a very sweet story which will make them laugh. The delay will rather make the audience curious to go to the cinemas.
What was the difficult part of shooting a film in India?
It has to be the heat. We shot the wedding sequence first in Rajasthan with all the make-up and heavy jewellery covered with shawls and beadings. Having to wear that in a 45 degree centigrade was definitely a challenge. But I still managed to work six days a week and never got sick because I wanted to be in the movie and had to stand up and be there whenever my director Willard Carroll needed me. The film was centered around me. So if I went down, the whole production would go down. But I have no complaints as I've had a wonderful time out in India.
As far as Hollywood is concerned, what's coming up next?
My next release will be Resident Evil 3 coming out in September in the U.S. In the U.K the film will release in October. I am looking forward to it.
Which is your favourite track from Marigold?
My favourite track is Yeh Pyaar Kya Hai. I loved the backdrop of Taj Mahal in the song, the elephants, the colours, everything. The song comes at the end of the film.
Have you seen the Taj Mahal while you were in India?
You know what, I regret it now that I didn't visit one of the seven wonders of the world. I was so busy filming that I didn't get time. But my family and friends who came to visit me did go. They were damn lucky.
How was Willard Carroll different from other Hollywood directors you've worked with?
You can see how Willard's love for India is brought to the celluloid in Marigold. He is a very brave director because he stepped outside his country to make a cross culture film, not to prove a point but to prove to the people that India has so much to offer. He has an incredible sense of humour, he is an intelligent writer and a great human being.
Before we part, you have to tell us how much did you enjoy eating out in India.
Don't even mention the word 'food'. I love it and can't wait to grab a curry and rice. On the sets too we had an amazing experience while munching on Indian curries. It's got the world's best aroma. It's spicy yet tasty. Thanks for asking this question because after I finish answering I'm going out to grab one.
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