Bollywood's Bachchan to play Jewish crook in Great Gatsby film

By Jennifer Lipman, September 7, 2011
Howard da Silva as Meyer Wolfsheim

Howard da Silva as Meyer Wolfsheim

A top Bollywood star is to take on the role of a Jewish gambler in Baz Luhrmann's £78 million film adaptation of The Great Gatsby.

Amitabh Bachchan will appear as Meyer Wolfsheim, a shadowy and untrustworthy figure said to have fixed the baseball World Series.

Author F Scott Fitzgerald allegedly based this "small, flatnosed Jew" on New York crime kingpin Arnold Rothstein, the younger brother of a rabbi.

Rothstein was said to be behind the scandal of match-fixing at the 1919 World Series.

The character was previously brought to life by Jewish Broadway star Howard da Silva in Francis Ford Coppola's 1974 version.

Mr Bachchan will join Hollywood's most glamorous in the cast, including Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby and Carey Mulligan as Daisy. Isla Fisher, wife of Borat star Sacha Baron Cohen, will play Myrtle.

Set on Long Island in prohibition-era America, The Great Gatsby is considered a literary classic.

Last updated: 11:08am, September 7 2011