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Will Smith meets Bollywood

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NEW DELHI (AP) _ Chicken tikka masala and Bollywood leading lady Aishwarya Rai top Will Smith's list of favorites in India.

Smith, a best-actor Oscar nominee for 2001's ``Ali,'' was in India this week to launch Sony Entertainment's English-language movie channel, Pix, and to be a guest on ``Indian Idol,'' the country's version of ``American Idol.''

It was the 37-year-old actor-rapper's first trip to the South Asian nation. His first impressions?

``Just recently I got to know the number of films Bollywood makes a year _ a whopping 800. And each with its share of song, music, dance and drama,'' he was quoted as saying in the Hindustan Times. ``I am simply enticed to be part of it.''

Smith said he'd like to explore a possible collaboration between Hollywood and Bollywood, as India's film industry is known.

But, of course, he's got preferences, including authentic chicken tikka masala, a grilled poultry dish flavored with Indian spices, and Rai, who starred in ``Bride & Prejudice.''

``She has a powerful energy,'' Smith told reporters in Bombay, the home of India's Hindi-language film industry, on Thursday. ``I'd love to work with her.''

He also said he was a fan of India's most popular actor, Amitabh Bachchan. The first Indian film he saw was ``Sarkar'' or ``Boss,'' in which Bachchan plays an underworld kingpin.

``I was blown away by the Big B and I want to be known as Big W,'' Smith said with a laugh.
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