Despite a busy schedule of film and TV productions, prominent Indian actor Anil Kapoor made the "instinctive decision" to squeeze in a quick jaunt to Toronto to participate in a retrospective discussion of his career.

The Toronto International Film Festival group hosted the Indian actor and producer at its Lightbox headquarters Monday evening as part of its In Conversation series.

In the past 30 years, Kapoor has risen through the ranks of Indian cinema to become one of its most recognizable stars. More recently, he has also crossed over to major Western productions, from the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire to TV action thriller 24.

After shooting several films here as well as hosting live shows recorded in Canada, Kapoor says he feels appreciated by Canadian viewers. He was also the frontman for the 2011 International Indian Film Academy Awards in Toronto, its first ever North American host city.

"The audience, the people over here are really nice, warm and cinema-friendly," he told CBC News on Monday afternoon.

Actor to revisit career, discuss new work

The TIFF discussion will likely include an element of "going down memory lane," according to Kapoor.

A versatile actor who has starred in a wide variety of genres — from family dramas and romance to comedies and thrillers — Kapoor says he's been lucky to work with incredible talents throughout his career, from his early casting opposite Indian acting great Dilip Kumar in 1984's Mashaal to global superstar Tom Cruise in 2011's Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.

"All the directors, the people I've worked with... have contributed to the turning points of my career," he said.

Kapoor talked to CBC's Alice Hopton about always focusing his gaze ahead, what advice he'd give to film students and becoming the Jack Bauer of India.