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When Gulshan Grover recalled ‘demeaning’ experience in Hollywood: ‘Back in my country, I was a big star, but in the US…’ – Entrendz Showbizz

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Actor Gulshan Grover, like many of his contemporaries, tried his luck in Hollywood. He famously almost played the lead antagonist in Casino Royale, but was let go because the news leaked after he confided in a gossiping friend. In his autobiography, Bad Man, the actor recounted his ‘humiliating’ and ‘demeaning’ experiences in Hollywood, and the moment when he realised that he can’t go through with the process.

Calling the audition process in Hollywood ‘lacking in creativity’, the actor wrote that he’d show up at a studio or a casting agent’s office, where he’d be given his pages. He’d be expected to learn his lines before the audition, as he waited in line with others vying for the same role, usually that of the ‘Indian guy’.

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“The process was all the more demeaning for someone like me who was a superstar back home,” he wrote, adding that on one such occasion, he ran into his ‘fans’ who’d shown up for the audition on a lark. He wrote that the fans, all NRIs, recognised him and wondered what he was doing in line, just like them. When they realised that he was also auditioning for the same role as the rest of them, they became ‘disillusioned’. “Unable to face them, I had turned tail and ran out of the studio,” Grover added.

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He said that the ‘blantantly palpable’ competitiveness made him blanch. But because the offers back home were beginning to ‘dry up’, he was left with no choice but to try and make inroads in the West. In Hollywood, he wrote, it is difficult to get anywhere without an agent. He’d be directed to eat at cafes where it was likely for him to be spotted by casting directors and take lessons where ‘some guy who had done a handful of films would take $200 to guide you on how to pass the Hollywood acid test.’

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Unimpressed with the teacher’s advice, he continued, “Back in my country, I was a big star, but in the US, I was being asked to learn acting like a novice.” Popularly known as the Bad Man of Bollywood, Gulshan Grover has appeared in over 400 films. He was last seen in Sooryavanshi. He has appeared in a handful of international films such as Beeper (2002), Blind Ambition (2008), Desperate Endeavours (2011) and Prisoners of the Sun (2013). He credited Shah Rukh Khan for encouraging him to fly to Los Angeles to try his luck there.

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