Tarsem Dhandwar Singh Edit Profile
He was educated at Bishop Cotton Boy's School in Shimla and relocated to the USA to study business at Harvard
Tarsem began his career directing music videos, including those of "Hold On" by En Vogue, "Sweet Lullaby" by Deep Forest and R.E.M.'s smash hit "Losing My Religion", the latter of which won Best Video of the Year at the 1991 MTV Video Music Awards. He has directed dozens of commercials for brands such as Nike and Coca-Cola. Tarsem's feature film directorial debut was The Cell (2000), starring Jennifer Lopez.
In 2005, Tarsem directed one of the most elaborate Pepsi commercials to date. It combined a gladiator theme with Queen's "We Will Rock You". The commercial starred Enrique Iglesias in the version of the commercial aired in Europe and North America and Amr Diab in the version aired in the Arab world. In the western version, Iglesias plays the role of an emperor hoarding Pepsi with Britney Spears, Pink and Beyoncé Knowles all playing similar roles of gladiatrices about to engage in combat for the emperor's and crowd's entertainment. Ultimately the gladiatrices turn against the emperor and throw him from his seat. On the other hand, Diab's version shows the gladiatrices being attacked by a lion after the emperor realizes their intentions.
Tarsem's second film, The Fall, debuted at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival and was released theatrically in the United States in 2008. His third film was 2011's Immortals. He directed an adaptation of the Brothers Grimm story of "Snow White", called Mirror Mirror (2012).
I saw a book in India titled Guide to Film Schools in America, and it shell-shocked me. It changed my life, because I thought you went to college to study something that your father loved and you hated. I told my father I wanted to study film and he said there was no way he was gonna let me do that. I made my way to Los Angeles, and made a film that won a scholarship to the Art Center College of Design. My father thought I was headed for Harvard. I called him and said, 'I want to study film,' and he said, 'You don't exist anymore'.
Anybody in Europe who tries to compete directly with Hollywood will die because they'll just spend more money on it. But things like Hindi cinema have evolved from a different angle, and they've survived because of it. In the west, for example, you don't mix opera and film. If someone is 44 he won't play himself as a 12 or 14-year-old, but he will in a Hindi movie. If he's fat and ugly, people will still call him beautiful. In opera you'd accept that, but you don't accept it in cinema. In the middle of a really serious situation, a dog can have a flashback in a Hindi movie. It is still played seriously, but in the west you wouldn't.