Wellington, Oct 12 (IANS) New Zealand Prime Minister John Key on Monday appointed Bollywood actor Sidharth Malhotra as the country’s tourism ambassador in India. They also clicked a selfie together.
They met at the Prime Minister’s Office in the Beehive here.
Sidharth, who has cemented his space in Bollywood with films like “Student Of The Year”, “Ek Villain” and “Brothers”, also received a rugby jersey of the country’s All Blacks national team, from the prime minister.
It was a fulfilling hour-long interesting conversation around Bollywood, education, sports and food for the actor, who looked dashing in a black bandhgala designed by Raghavendra Rathore.
“We spoke about All Blacks, Bollywood films, he has met Mr.Shah Rukh Khan and spoke to me about his interactions with him,” Sidharth told IANS post the meeting.
“I think he is very down to earth, and he said that he has joined politics only 15 years ago, which shows that he has led a life apart from politics,” he added.
For Sidharth, it was “refreshing” to meet such a welcoming political leader who even sportingly posed for a selfie which the actor clicked.
“He has a very common man’s sensibility, and he is very hands-on about the numbers and facilities New Zealand is providing,” Sidharth said and added that Key was “extremely cool and relaxed”.
They even deliberated over getting more Bollywood films to shoot in the picturesque landscapes that The Pacific nation offers.
“They (New Zealand) shoot way bigger and larger films, but they are quite open to getting Bollywood here,” Sidharth said..
“We spoke about getting more tourists here, more students for education, and more youths for adventure sports.”
“He said that India is a big market for adventure sports that New Zealand offers, because of the young population,” Sidharth said.
“Hopefully, my association should get them a lot of tourism and business,” added the actor, who is here on an eight-day trip to sample the country’s culture, beauty and hospitality.
Earlier in the day, Sidharth met Oscar-winning legend Richard Taylor in the country’s film capital.
(The writer’s trip is at the invitation of Tourism New Zealand. Radhika Bhirani can be contacted at Radhika.@ians.in)