The experience of shooting a Bollywood feature entirely in Ireland has delighted its cast and crew. So much so they have vowed to return, in fact.
Shooting 'Ek Tha Tiger,' starring Bollywood big Salman Khan, was such a magical experience that both the superstar and the film's director Kabir Khan feel that the Irish nation itself, still fairly unknown to wider Indian audiences, will provide much of the film's appeal.
"Ireland was a rewarding experience for us. The locations were very exquisite and we also wanted to shoot the movie at a location which was hitherto untouched by Bollywood," Khan told the Daily News.
Director Kabir shot the new film at some of the best locations in Dublin such as Trinity College, Temple Bar, Ha'penny Bridge, and along the Liffey river and the Millennium Bridge, bringing traffic to a standstill and delighting onlookers.
Kabir also reportedly thanked the Irish film board for helping him explore the romantic locations.
"Tourism Ireland and the Irish Film Board helped us tremendously in identifying the appropriate locales which not only added romanticism to the movie, but also helped us maintain our cost of production which is important for the success of any movie," he said.
'Ek Tha Tiger,' will open on August 15 in India and is Kabir's third directorial venture after 'Kabul Express' and 'New York.' The film, in which Salman plays a spy, also features his ex-girlfriend Katrina Kaif, which has made it one of the most anticipated films of the year.
"Bollywood is constantly on the lookout for exotic locations to shoot their movies. Ireland offers varied landscapes and this has resulted in a lot of Indian production houses now exploring the option of filming in Ireland," Simon Gregory, director of markets at Tourism Ireland told the Daily News.
"Award winning movies such as 'Braveheart' and 'Saving Private Ryan' were filmed here. We are sure that 'Ek Tha Tiger' will join the ranks of these esteemed movies," he added.
No Irish Need Apply? Not anymore