posted by Anuja Gondhalekar, last updated on December 23rd, 2013 at 4:55 pm
Who is he?
Most of us don’t realize when one day turns into the next and most of our days are identical to each other. But Anil Kapoor is one star who made every hour count when he played ATU chief Jai Singh Rathod in the Indian remake of 24. What’s more, he is also the man who was instrumental in bringing the series to India and revolutionizing Indian television forever.
24 hours, a giant leap for Indian TV
All TV stars who have forayed into television played safe by hosting reality or game shows. But Anil Kapoor, who played an important role in Season 8 of the original 24, thought about bringing the edge of the seat thriller to India. After discussions that lasted a year, Anil finally bought the Indian remake rights of the show and partnered with Colors to make this show a reality.
With Delhi Belly director Abhinay Deo helming the direction team and Rensil DSilva taking care of adapting the show to Indian sensibilities, Anil Kapoor put together a dream team. Not only that, he used his immense goodwill in the industry to make veterans (and brilliant actors) like Anupam Kher, Shabana Azmi, Mandira Bedi, Rahul Khanna, Richa Chadda and Tisca Chopra to act alongside a bunch of enthusiastic newcomers that Anil introduced through the show.
About the show, Anil Kapoor said, “In my long career, 24 is the project that I was most excited about. Playing Jai Singh Rathod is one of the most difficult things that I have done.” Not satisfied with just taking over Indian television, Anil also launched 'Safari Storme 24:The Game', which saw a record number of people downloading the app and taking on the avatar of Jai Singh Rathod in a thrilling game.
The ‘Anil’ Effect
After a grand launch that included Anil breaking through a glass wall, and later calling every person associated with the show on stage (a move that definitely won our hearts), Anil Kapoor took over the weekend slot as Jai Singh Rathod in a breakneck race against time.
Anil’s brave initiative took the nation by storm as celebrities like Karan Johar, Preity Zinta, Dia Mirza and many others took to social media to shower praises on the show. They were certainly in the majority, as loads of young Indians starving for good content on TV embraced this show with enthusiasm and eagerly waited for the next weekend. The season finale drew a sharp breath from everyone owing to its suspense, which later transformed into a sad sigh as the series was missed.
Anil’s Jhakaas journey
It is a proof of Anil Kapoor’s caliber that he has been acting since before most of 24’s loyal audience was born. Anil Kapoor started his career 36 years ago in 1979 with a role in Humare Tumhare and hit the jackpot with ‘Who Saat Din’.
Movies like 1942: A Love Story, Parinda, Beta, Mr. India and Ram Lakhan cemented his position as one of the most bankable stars in the country. In recent times too, the ever changing actor has played everything from the rib-tickling Majnu Bhai in No Entry to a dashing police officer in Shootout at Wadala.
One man, many hats
One would expect Anil to be satisfied with his uniquely long run in Bollywood, but the actor, who loves to work constantly, made a mark internationally in Slumdog Millionaire in 2008, which swept all the awards that year. Anil Kapoor also played the suave Omar Hassan in Season 8 of the original 24, where he got the idea of getting 24 to India (Thank God for that).
Anil also became a part of the prestigious Mission Impossible franchise by acting in MI:Ghost Protocol. This relationship with Tom Cruise was carried forward when Anil showed the Hollywood star around when he came to India. When he’s not shooting, he’s busy playing Daddy Dearest to Sonam, Rhea and Harshvardhan, who are also following Anil’s footsteps in Bollywood.
From 24 to 2014
Anil Kapoor has had quite a busy 2013, with two hit movies and the path breaking 24: India under his belt. But obviously, the actor is in no mood to slow down as he is working on two movies- Welcome Back and No Entry Mein Entry to be released in 2014. And fans of 24 rejoice, as Anil has said that he will start work on Season 2 of 24 in the first few months of 2014, after a short break. Jai Singh Rathod, we can’t wait to see you again in the coming year.