Robert De Niro finished a trio to India by visiting "An Actor Prepares," the Mumbai-based acting school run by Anupam Kher, one of India's most acclaimed actors.
In addition to his three-decade career in Indian cinema, Kher's international appearances include Silver Linings Playbook with De Niro.
“It was a dream come true to have an acting legend like Robert De Niro visit my acting school,” Kher told The Hollywood Reporter. “When I was studying acting (at the National School of Drama in New Delhi), we used to study De Niro's acting methods in films like The King of Comedy and The Godfather 2, among others.”
De Niro visited Mumbai Sunday after addressing the THiNK summit in Goa where, as reported earlier, he shared his views on his film career and politics.
“I asked him if it was okay for me to invite some leading Indian film industry figures, and he readily agreed,” Kher said. The interaction saw well-known actor Anil Kapoor (Slumdog Millionaire), one of Bollywood's biggest stars Ranbir Kapoor, top actress Priyanka Chopra, upcoming actors Aditya Roy Kapur and Varun Dhawan, among others, spending time with the Hollywood icon.
“It was great to see some of the rock stars of Indian cinema meeting De Niro with stars in their eyes!" Kher said. "They were quite in awe of the man. De Niro had a good time talking with them and glady signed DVDs and autographs."
Media coverage a couple of days after the visit included leading newspapers displaying photos of Ranbir Kapoor touching De Niro's feet, a traditional sign of respect in India.
“My mother had prepared some Kashmiri food for De Niro, which he relished. I couldn't have asked for a more memorable moment,” said Kher.
Last year, Kher directed a short film, I Went Shopping for De Niro, about how the search for a gift for the Hollywood legend changes the lives of two girls who work for Kher in Mumbai. “De Niro had seen that film and like it. I also introduced him to the film's writer Yamini Kshirsagar,” added Kher.