Mumbai: Actor Pitobash Tripathy is loving every bit of attention and adulation that his performance in Hollywood film "Million Dollar Arm" is receiving. He says he has sought Irrfan Khan's help for his career in the West.
"I met him for advice on how to go about my career in the West. Irrfan saab was very helpful. I've always looked up to him as a role model. Now I've more reason to do so," Pitobash said.
Irrfan is said to be Bollywood's most popular export to Hollywood, thanks to his appearances in films like "The Amazing Spider-Man" and "Life Of Pi".
Pitobash is in Los Angeles since April 30 for his big ticket to Hollywood - "Million Dollar Arm", which releases in the US Friday.
The Craig Gillespie directorial also features Indian actors Suraj Sharma and Madhur Mittal.
On the home turf, Pitobash has delivered scene-stealing performances in films like "Shor In The City", "Shanghai" and "I Am Kalam". He is excited about the response to "Million Dollar Arm".
"It has only been released in India, and the response is tremendous. The film opens on May 16 in the US," he said.
Discernibly excited, the young Odia actor, who started his Bollywood career with a brief role in Krishna DK and Raj Nidimoru's "99" in 2009, says he feels like a newcomer all over again.
"I can't tell you the excitement and nervousness I feel. It's like I am starting my career from scratch. I have the same butterflies in my stomach," he said.
The response in the US to a premiere screening of "Million Dollar Arm" has been overwhelming.
"We had a preview screening here in LA May 6. When I came out, there were people waiting to get a picture with me and to get me to sign an autograph. I was stunned. I want to know how they came to know about me and my performance when the film has not opened in the US," he said.
Pitobash feels the entire cast of "Million Dollar Arm" has been most helpful.
"Shooting the film was like a family affair. When we shot for 21 days in India we all became one united family. Then we moved to Atlanta and LA for shooting and the friendship grew even stronger. Everyone from John Hamm and Alan Arkin, to Suraj Sharma and Madhur Mittal, became friends."
"We all bonded so beautifully, and the bond continues even now during the film's release. All my colleagues from the cast are so helpful. They are helping me find my bearings in LA. I'd have been lost without them," he added.
Pitabosh says the whole journey from Bollywood to Hollywood has been like a dream.
"I can't believe I've come here. It took me two and a half months and 16 rounds of audition for me to get this role. I feel I am part of a dream. I will soon wake up and realize it never happened," he said.