Channel: Paper RSS Feed
Mark channel Not-Safe-For-Work? cancel confirm NSFW Votes: (0 votes)
Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel.

Independence Day


Actor Satya Bhabha was pretty much born to play the lead role in Midnight's Children. The film, directed by Deepa Mehta, is an adaption of Salman Rushdie's seminal novel chronicling India's history through an allegory of supernaturally gifted children whose births (and powers) coincide with the country's independence from Britain in 1947. "My father's actually a theorist and lecturer on post-colonial India," Bhabha says of his dad, noted scholar Homi Bhabha. "It was a very important book in our house. I mean, I first read it when I was 10."

But that didn't make the prospect of a London-born, Chicago-bred actor portraying the telepathic Saleem -- an Indian literary icon of Huck Finn-meets-Luke Skywalker proportions -- any less daunting. In fact, Bhabha says when Mehta surprised him with the news that he'd gotten the part in front of an audience at a Q&A session he was attending with her in New York, "I couldn't figure out whether I wanted to hide under my seat or stand up and cheer." For the role, Bhabha did a bit of both, figuratively speaking, spending months in India but also embracing his own expat roots. "Becoming this quintessentially Indian character was incredibly intimidating, but I realized Saleem's sort of this outsider, too."

Since moving to L.A. two years ago, Bhabha (whose first big role was in Edgar Wright's 2010 film Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) has found his adopted city to be rife with its own sunshine-y kind of a magic-realism. Which explains how the actor spent his first fall as an Angeleno touring with his friends from the cosmic-folk band He's My Brother, She's My Sister. "I told them if they ever wanted cello on a track to let me know," he says. They did -- and he wound up joining the band for a tour with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. "That's the kind of spontaneity that L.A. allows, which you don't find anywhere else," he says. Next, Bhabha's directing a short film from a feature script he's developing about two friends coping with the impending death of an aging Hollywood star, which coincidentally takes place on the eve of a meteor shower. Rushdie would be proud.

Midnight's Children is in theaters November 2nd. ★

Grooming: Georgie Eisdell at the Wall Group / Location: Tomato Pie Pizza Joint, Los Angeles

Latest Images

Trending Articles