Hollywood is opening up to Indian origin actors: Rizwan Manji

Last Updated: Thursday, January 2, 2014 - 18:41

New Delhi: Indo-Canadian actor Rizwan Manji, who will be seen sharing the screen space with Leonardo DiCaprio in Martin Scorsese`s film `The Wolf of Wall Street`, feels a space is opening up for Indian characters in Hollywood.

Manji, best known for his roles in `American Desi`, `Charlie Wilson`s War`, `Morning Glory`, `Transformers`, `Don Jon` and TV shows `Outsourced`, `Glee` and `24`, had one of the busiest year in 2013.
"The market is definitely opening up and the parts are getting better as well. It is moving in the right direction though there are still lot of stereotypes. I remember when we did `American Desi`, the market was completely unexplored and the film surprised everyone by doing good business," Manji told PTI over phone from Los Angeles.

"In the beginning it was a struggle to get an audition for parts but 2013 was the busiest year I had. It was not just me, my actor friends in the Indian community here were all working. I hope it continues," Manji added.

The actor said he jumped at the chance to work with directing legend Scorsese though he has a small role in `The Wolf of Wall Street`. Manji plays Khalil in the movie, releasing in India tomorrow.
The film, based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, depicts the rise of a stockbroker, his decadent life and subsequent fall. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Belfort in the movie.

"I have a small part but working with Martin Scorsese for six weeks was an amazing opportunity. I got the role through Ellen Lewis (casting director), who has been the biggest champion since `Charlie Wilson`s War`. She called me up when this chance came up," Manji said.

"I play the role of a stockbroker in Leonardo`s firm. As they start making big money, they open a larger firm and as the money starts rolling in a lot of crazy things begin to happen," he added.
When asked whether he shared screen space with DiCaprio Manji said, "I have some scenes with Leonardo. There was one scene where it is just me and him but I am not sure whether it ended up in the movie or not. Most of my scenes are with Jonah Hill."

Other than `The Wolf of Wall Street`, Manji has done `Dr Cabbie`, a film also starring Kunal Nayyar of `The Big Bang Theory` and Indian actress Lillete Dubey. It has been produced by Vinay Virmani.
Manji says he grew up on a diet of Bollywood movies and would love to work in an Aamir Khan production.

IANS

First Published: Thursday, January 2, 2014 - 18:43

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