Mumbai, Feb 13: Hollywood actor Richard Gere is reportedly set to join the crew of "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2" in Udaipur in Rajasthan.
The cast of the sequel directed by John Madden comprises a distinguished bouquet of British and Indian troupers both old and young, including Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, Maggie Smith, Dev Patel, Tina Desae and Lilette Dubey.
Though Gere has visited India several times as a goodwill ambassador for AIDS campaigns and for his Buddhist activities, this is the first time that he will shoot for a film in the country.
"Richard is coming here on Thursday," said a member of the film's unit from Udaipur.
"He is very excited about shooting in India, and so are we. He has specially asked to be accommodated in a hotel close to the shooting, which need not be super-luxurious. He is happy roughing it out with the unit," added the source.
The actor is keen to taste Rajasthani cuisine, "including some that other ageing British actors have been afraid to try for fear of indigestion".
Gere's love interest is being played by Indian actress Lilette Dubey.
Without disclosing details, the source from Udaipur said: "It's a very passionate liaison between two middle-aged people, something like Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep in 'The Bridges of Madison County'."
Lilette hasn't met Gere as yet.
But Gere apparently asked for some of Lilette's films on DVD before he lands in India.
You can't fault Hollywood icons on their homework when they visit foreign shores.