Several Indian actors have made their mark internationally but one of the first Indian actors to appear in a globally successful Hollywood film was Amrish Puri.

Amrish Puri played the villain Mola Ram in Steven Spielberg's controversial 1984 film, ''Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom''.

But did you know Puri had initially tuned the offer down. According to the late actor's autobiography, The Act of Life, Speilberg was denied permission to shoot Temple of Doom in India and instead set up the film in Sri Lanka, Macau and London.

After expressing disinterest in the part, he reconsidered after casting director Dolly Thakore sent stills of him from the horror film Gehrayee to Spielberg.

When American casting agents came down to India to meet him, Puri refused to audition and instead asked them to watch him perform on the sets of his new film, reported Hindustan Times. He also refused to read out a page of Text in English.

''How does Spielberg know what language do I speak? He would know me as an actor,'' he apparently told the casting agents.

Puri eventually agreed to the role and found the production very impressive. He described Spielberg as ''very boyish, an assuming kind of a person.''

''About the crew, he said, ''None of them had any ego, problems or reservations about my being an Indian. Unlike many of our actors in Indian films, there was expertise at all levels and you couldn't just do anything and get away with it.''

Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom ran into trouble in India, for its controversial portrayal of violent cults. Puri was even labeled 'anti-national' for it.

Of this, the Mr. India star had said. ''It was a chance of a lifetime working with Spielberg and I don't regret it even for a moment. I don't think I did something anti-national. It's really foolish to take it so seriously and get worked up over it.''

Years later, Spielber said: ''Amrish is my favorite villain........the best the world has ever produced and ever will.''

The World Students Society thanks News Desk/The Express Tribune.


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