MUMBAI- The scion of a Bollywood film-making dynasty is forging a career in Hollywood in a bid to emerge from the shadows of his legendary father — and challenge common stereotypes of India.
Uday Chopra, younger son of the late Hindi film director Yash Chopra, set up a subsidiary of his father’s production house in Los Angeles and this year appeared on the Cannes Film Festival red carpet alongside Nicole Kidman.
His three-year-old company Yash Raj Films (YRF) Entertainment co-produced the recent “Grace of Monaco” starring Kidman, upcoming Jason Bateman comedy “The Longest Week” and is finalizing the script of “Seducing Ingrid Bergman”.
The job has made Chopra one of only a handful of Indians in Hollywood, where he hopes to match the success of his father and award-winning filmmaker brother, Aditya Chopra, back home.
“I know that even in my greatest success I would be lucky to get the success they enjoy, and I will always be looked upon as the third Chopra in a way,” the 41-year-old told AFP in Mumbai, India’s entertainment capital where he was born.
“I wanted to do something challenging and be a part of film making because that is all I know.”
His father, who died in 2012, was best known for his romantic and emotional films in a stellar Bollywood career that spanned decades.
Uday has also acted in Bollywood and is best known for his role as police sidekick Ali in the hit Indian franchise “Dhoom” — and he wants to invest in commercial hits in Hollywood rather than festival features.
“When I first went to LA, the idea was to do romantic comedies because that’s a genre we have done successfully in India,” he said.
“I thought I would convert some of my Hindi material to English but I soon realized that comedies are in the space of the big studios, which means big budgets and big stars.”
Chopra then opened up to new possibilities, and one of his upcoming projects is “a female-centric thriller based in India”.
“It’s a completely American movie but with India as a backdrop. I can leverage my strength in India as a line producer,” he said.
He wants the film to portray India “in a dark and gritty way” and challenge typical perceptions of the country.
“People in the West think ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ is a Bollywood film and they have that one image of India — dirty and crazy,” he added, referring to the Oscar-winner directed by Britain’s Danny Boyle.