11/28/2014

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Entertainment

Travolta, Spacey in Tampa for 'Bollywood Oscars'

Travolta, Spacey in Tampa for 'Bollywood Oscars'
Presenter John Travolta speaks during the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday, March 2, 2014, in Los Angeles. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP)
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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Hollywood stars John Travolta and Kevin Spacey made appearances at an International Indian Film Academy event Saturday as thousands of fans geared up for an extravagant awards show that celebrates the best in Indian cinema.

The IIFA awards - informally known as the "Bollywood Oscars," - are being held in the United States for the first time.

The awards are scheduled to begin Saturday night, and some 20,000 people are expected to attend the show at Raymond James Stadium. On Saturday afternoon, hundreds of fans stood outside the Hilton in downtown Tampa, hoping to catch a glimpse of one of the many stars staying at the hotel.

Celebrities are expected to walk past hordes of international media outside the stadium on Saturday night prior to the awards. Unlike the Academy Awards, IIFA uses a green carpet instead of a red one.

Travolta, who will be honored with an award, is expected on the green carpet. He spoke during a packed news conference Saturday afternoon.

The Oscar winner said he is currently considering a role in a Bollywood movie.

"I cannot deny music and dance in my life," he told reporters. "It is part of my soul. This is part of most of Bollywood's films and I agree with it."

Whether the "Saturday Night Fever" and "Grease" actor dances onstage Saturday night remains to be seen.

Also on Saturday afternoon, 'House of Cards' star Kevin Spacey held a master acting class with actor Priyanka Chopra.

When asked what he thought about Hollywood and Bollywood working together, Spacey made the crowd of 300 roar with his answer:

"Well, it's about (expletive) time," he said.

The awards cap off four days of well-attended events, much to the delight of Tampa tourism authorities and lovers of Indian film and culture. The event has drawn the biggest Indian celebrities, including Deepika Padukone, Anil Kapoor and Hrithik Roshan.

The contenders for Best Picture are Dhoom 3, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Krrish 3, Chennai Express, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Goliyon Ki Rasleela-Ramleela and Kai Po Che.

"Bollywood" is the term for the film industry based in Mumbai (Bombay). Although it is used mostly to refer to the lengthy song-and-dance movies in the Hindi language, it's become somewhat of a catchall term for Indian films. IIFA organizers say the Indian industry sells 3.6 billion movie tickets a year, about a quarter of them in the U.S.
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