Actor Catherine Zeta-Jones, who is in India with spouse Michael Douglas, said it is a homecoming of sorts each time she lands in the country, fondly remembering an Indian doctor who played a crucial role in saving her life when she was a toddler.
Sharing a personal story underscoring her bond with India at the ongoing International Film Festival of India in Goa, the Oscar-winning actor talked about how a tracheotomy conducted by an Indian doctor on her when she was a baby, was the reason she has always felt a special connection with India.
“Actually, a story that I have never told before… I wonder why when I come to India, I have this feeling of coming home and this is like… a tingly feeling. And maybe there’s something to do with that. But, the reason why I am actually here is because of the brilliance of an Indian doctor in Swansea, South Wales in the UK, so I am forever indebted to him,” she said at a press conference.
Douglas received the Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in World Cinema on Tuesday.
The award has previously been conferred upon cinema legends such as Martin Scorsese, Carlos Saura, and István Szabó.
Douglas lauded Ray as a “Renaissance Man”, applauding his pioneering contributions to Indian filmmaking, after getting to know Ray’s work back in the 1960s during his college days.
“I actually had a history of Satyajit Ray…I became aware of some of his work projects as well as his style and being a Renaissance Man, I think he sort of created the beginning of Indian filmmaking and the idea of multiple jobs… he was so many things… an author, music, editing as well as the director. So, it’s a tremendous honor to receive this award,” said Douglas.
The Terminal actress also expressed her affection for Indian cinema while citing Shah Rukh
Khan’s Om Shanti Om as her favorite Bollywood movie.
When asked about the possibility of her being in an Indian film she expressed interest, praising Ritesh Batra’s slice-of-life film The Lunchbox and even called it one of her most cherished films of all time.
Her performance in the 2002 musical film Chicago, which also earned her an Academy Award, among many other accolades, involved a lot of singing and dancing. So it is only fair to assume that she would admire Bollywood for those reasons.
“Being a singer and a dancer, I dreamed that maybe the British film industry would do a Bollywood type film and I would be cast. I would love to be part of something in the film industry. I came upon it (The Lunchbox) on a long international flight and I watched it twice, back-to-back. I am a big fan of that movie, it touched me in a sense of being such a quintessential Indian movie. It just touched me as a European woman so, so much,” she said.
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