Actor Om Puri arrives for the world premiere of 'The Hundred-Foot Journey' in New York
Actor Om Puri arrives for the world premiere of 'The Hundred-Foot Journey' in New YorkReuters

Award-winning actress and bestselling cookery author Madhur Jaffrey predicted that "The Hundred-Foot Journey" would be the movie that makes Puri as popular among Americans as he is in his homeland. Jaffrey had interviewed him , following a tribute to the legendary actor at the Museum of Moving Images in New York, the only US museum that is devoted to digital media, television and film.

On 3 August, "prolific and internationally renowned actor" Puri was honoured for his contributions to cinema through a special presentation of clips from some of his finest movies. The presentation also had a highlight of his eventful journey from being a theatre student to one of the most prominent actors of this era, Outlook India reported. 

The tribute was followed by the screening of his latest internation film "The Hundred-Foot Journey" and a conversation with Jaffrey. During the conversation, he confided to Jaffrey that he went to study at the film institute in Pune in hopes that the reputation of the school would get him into Bollywood, as he was "not traditionally good looking".

Ardh Satya, the 1983 movie directed by Govind Nihalani, was his lottery and it was the first time everyone just sat back and took notice of him. The movie also won him a national award for portraying an idealistic policeman struggling to deal with corruption.

Puri has said time and again that "fat noses have no place in the Hindi film industry." Whether or not his nose has a place in Bollywood, his face has gone on to become one of the most recognizable in movie screens across the world.

Lasse Hallstrom, Manish Dayal, Charlotte Le Bon, Steven Spielberg, Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Juliet Blake and Oprah Winfrey attend the world premiere of Dreamworks Pictures' The Hundred-Foot Journey.
Lasse Hallstrom, Manish Dayal, Charlotte Le Bon, Steven Spielberg, Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Juliet Blake and Oprah Winfrey at the world premiere of The Hundred-Foot Journey.Facebook/The Hundred-Foot Journey

Now it is in the centre of the new Disney/DreamWorks film on culinary brilliance, "The Hundred-Foot Journey", in which he stars as Papa, the stubborn patriarch of the Kadam family, immigrants, who open an Indian restaurant in a small French town directly opposite a Michelin star French restaurant, run by Madame Mallory, Helen Mirren's character.

An adaptation of the book by Richard C Morais and directed by Lasse Hallstrom, the movie portrays a David-and-Goliath type situation, wherein David and Goliath don't just come to see eye to eye, but stir something dormant in each other's hearts.

Puri said that "The Hundred-Foot Journey" is a "pleasant film with no guns and stunts. . . Food is a character in the film." He also takes extreme pride in the film because he says its a film without any "technical lies", meaning none of the elaborate CGI effects. 

On working with academy award-winner Mirren, Puri told the Boston Herald, "One day we were having lunch and somebody mentioned that she (Mirren) had arrived," he recalls. "She got up with her plate to get some food from the counter and I dropped down on my knees and said, 'Your highness, I am your slave.' She pulled me up and hugged me, and it was a wonderful relationship from there."

Puri even cooked several traditional Indian meals for Mirren "Om is the perfect leading man," the actress said of the veteran. "Father, friend, host, chef, generous and loving. His charisma is as powerful offscreen as it is onscreen."

Produced by Oprah Winfrey and Steven Speilberg, the film also stars Manish Dayal and Charlotte Le Bon in pivotal roles.

Actress Juhi Chawla also makes a cameo in the film. "I think in "The Hundred Foot Journey", the role of Omji is fantastic. I wish I was offered a role like this... I would have grabbed the offer. It is a lovely film," she told the Times of India.

The movie, which was appeared in theatres on 8 August, has received extremely positive feedback from moviegoers. 

"#TheHundredFootJourney is hands down the best movie I've ever seen in my entire life. Helen Mirren and Om Puri's chemistry is electric," posted Mary Cella.

"#100FootJourney film is excellently directed, handsomely crafted,well acted by Om Puri,Helen Mirren & Manish Dayal.Enjoyment with class." posted Priyanka Pulekar

"Stellar performance by @DayalManish in @the100ftJourney! One of my favorite movies!" posted Abby Wolensky.

Watch the trailer for "The Hundred Foot Journey" here: