Interview: ‘Hotel Mumbai’ Producer Gary Hamilton

Following excellent reviews around the world, Hotel Mumbai have received 13 nominations from the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Awards.

To find out more about the film, and casting Dev Patel on the lead role, we had the chance to have a quick chat with Arclight Films Chairman and producer Gary Hamilton ahead of the 2019 AACTA Awards, happening in Sydney on Wednesday 4th December.

SR. What would you say was the biggest challenge and why for the cast and crew during the production of Hotel Mumbai?

The logistics of organizing a production services company in India and still preserving the creative intent of the film that was started in Australia and carried over to India.

SR. As a producer. Did you have any input on the selection of the cast? What was the process to get the likes of Dev Patel, Armie Hammer and Jason Issacs on board?

Yes, Dev was always our first choice 100%. Credit where credit’s due, executive producer Ryan Hamilton had a relationship with Joe Thomas from Xeitgeist who was close with Dev and helped bring him on-board.

SR. The film takes on very sensible topics. When the idea of making the shocking evens of the Taj Hotel into a film was first pitched to you, and what was your initial reaction?

I came up with the idea after nearly being in caught in Mumbai during the horrific tragedy of 11/26. The events have haunted me ever since and I felt compelled to tell the story.

SR. You have worked with so many amazing actors and directors so far. If you could pick one actor and one director, you would love to work with and you haven’t had the chance yet who would they be?

Marlon Brando, but that would be a bit difficult.

SR. Just to finish. There is an ongoing debate today about the power of streaming services and how they are affecting the film industry. What is your opinion about it?

More buyers in the market is always a good thing.