Wellington, Oct 12 (IANS) Bollywood actor Sidharth Malhotra on Monday met Richard Taylor, New Zealand’s creative genius and five-time Oscar winning talent, here. He says exploring the filmmaking hub of this Pacific nation was a revelation.
Sidharth also sampled what went behind the scenes of Hollywood trilogies like “The Lord Of The Rings” and “The Hobbit”, apart from having a chat with Taylor, who has won five Oscars and multiple BAFTA trophies for his work in visual effects, costume and make-up.
The actor entered the world-famous Weta Workshop with a childlike enthusiasm, and kept getting mesmerised at every stage of his tour. The armour, weapons, creatures, prosthetics, props and costumes from several films that the company has worked on, are part of the eclectic display.
“It is amazingly planned and very work-friendly. It was great to see what goes behind the scene and what goes into making a particular film. Also, it was wonderful to see how Sir Richard Taylor is about his work and how connected and involved he is with his crew.
“Clearly, he’s a genius who is not concerned by anything other than his work,” Sidharth told IANS after his meeting with Taylor here.
He was also inquisitive about the making of the costumes and make-up process.
The actor, who visited the facility — a major tourist attraction here — as part of his appointment as an Indian ambassador of Tourism New Zealand, is a “Lord Of The Rings” fan himself. And so, whether it was the miniatures, the sword, the sculptures or the bows and arrows — he was fascinated by it all.
If given a chance to transform into a character, Sidharth says he would have chosen the “lone ranger” Aragorn from “The Lord Of The Rings”, a film that Taylor worked on closely with the legendary filmmaker Peter Jackson.
The 30-year-old also got to sample the prosthetics department, and received a memento by Taylor, who is a lauded as a dignitary here.
Sidharth spoke to Taylor about the making of prosthetics, costumes for period dramas and about a future collaboration with Bollywood.
Shankar’s “I” was the first Indian film to take the services of Weta Workshop, whose creative portfolio also includes “Avatar”, “District 9”, “The Adventures of Tintin”, “Elysium”, “Krampus”, “Warcraft” and more. Taylor also expressed an interest to join creative forces with more Indian filmmakers.
After meeting the crew here, Sidharth felt that if Bollywood could learn something from this place, it should be to “get people from non-film background” to work in design teams.
Later, the “Ek Villain” star also visited the Park Road Post Production, a premier post production facility owned by Peter Jackson’s production company, in the Miramar suburb here. From the foley unit, where the sounds are recreated using a variety of materials, to the sound mixing department and recording studio — Sidharth toured it all. The experience, surely, was memorable for him.
(The writer’s trip is at the invitation of Tourism New Zealand. Radhika Bhirani can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)