Mumbai, Feb 15 (IANS) Om Puri's latest international project, 'Charlie Wilson's War', directed by Mike Nichols of 'Silkwood' and 'Closer' fame, has just been released abroad.
The actor plays former Pakistani president Zia-ul Haq in the war movie. 'It turned out to be a very small role, but Mike Nichols is a huge director.
'At first, I refused the role because of its brevity. But he insisted and I could not say no. Besides, it's not always that I get an opportunity to work with Hollywood legends like Julia Roberts, Tom Hanks and the enormously
gifted Philip Seymour Hoffman?'
Incidentally, Irrfan Khan is also a Seymour fan.
Says Om Puri: 'Hoffman is a real talent. 'Charlie Wilson's War' is doing well and though I just had two scenes, I prepared well to play Zia-ul Haq.'
The actor watched the video footage of Zia-ul Haq and even spoke to Shatrughan Sinha, who knew the Pakistan president personally.
Om Puri has been travelling outside India for three months. 'I recently returned from Australia where I was shooting for Anees Bazmi's 'Singh Is Kinng'. Then I shot in Goa, Kochi and Chennai for Priyadarshan's 'Mere Baap Pehle Aap'. I play a guy in his 40s desperate to marry. I wear a black wig,' says Om Puri, poker-faced.
'It was fun. Then I was in Jaipur for Rakeysh Mehra's 'Dilli 6'. Rakeysh's film is very hard to shoot. We're shooting all night in the chill,' he said.
The actor has signed a film with Priyadarshan's assistant. 'It's a light-hearted story about two former 'pehelwans' (wrestlers) played by me and Sharat Saxena. I will shoot this film until March. But I've kept April completely free. I need to spend time with my family.'
Aparajita Krishna is writing the actor's biography. 'It's taking time because the author is trying to talk to everyone closely associated with me, from Shyam Benegal and Govind Nihalani to Dominique Lapierre and Mike Nichols. It's hard to contact some of my foreign associates. I'm personally contacting some of these people. The portions pertaining to my childhood are particularly interesting,' the actor said.
Om's 10-year-old son may also turn out to be a chip of the old block. 'He's very sincere and he is acquiring a lot of skills. He's learning classical Indian music. He's the head-boy in his class. Let's see, where life takes him,' the actor said.