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Tina Turner to appear in Merchant-Ivory film

Tina Turner will play an Indian goddess and sing Indian songs in a Merchant-Ivory film.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Tina Turner will play an Indian goddess in a new Merchant-Ivory film and sing Indian classical songs, a newspaper report said Tuesday.

Turner, who had a successful farewell tour four years ago, said she’d enjoyed being able to fill stadiums, “but now I’m ready to move onto another kind of performance,” she told The Times of India newspaper.

Famous for power-packed performances in high heels and leather miniskirts, the 65-year-old singer will star in “The Goddess,” the newspaper reported.

“I think Ismail (Merchant) chose me because of my shakti (strength) within,” said Turner, who is a Buddhist. “I’m special in that I’ve had a long run and I’m still here.”

Merchant, a producer known for making lush period films with director James Ivory, said Turner had spent two weeks in India and had been practicing classical music with Zakir Hussain, India’s maestro of the tabla, a small set of drums. “She’ll have to sing in Latin and Sanskrit for the film,” he said.

Turner, who co-starred with Mel Gibson in 1985’s “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome,” said she’s looking forward to the new role, “not as Mad Max, but as a goddess — that’s real power and real love.”

But if she wanted, she insisted, she’d be able to keep up the new generation of pop singers.

“I can stand with any of them on stage and hold my own,” said Turner. “I am still in the playground.”