‘My first Hindi scene was in front of 100 vil­lagers’

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Sa­marth Goyal

Bri­tish ac­tor Paul Blackthorne, known as Quentin Lance of Ar­row to global TV au­di­ences, had a “life-chang­ing” ex­pe­ri­ence play­ing Capt. An­drew Russell in La­gaan, the Os­carnom­i­nated film that re­leased on this day 16 years ago.

Blackthorne has a vivid mem­ory of shoot­ing for the film, di­rected by Ashutosh Gowariker, star­ring Aamir Khan. “I re­mem­ber Aamir’s grace, dig­nity and bril­liance, and Ashutosh’s be­lief and pas­sion. I re­mem­ber Bat­man, my im­pe­ri­ous horse. And fi­nally, I re­mem­ber the Gu­jarati peo­ple, who were amaz­ing to spend time with for three months (at the shoot lo­ca­tion),” says Blackthorne.

The plot was cen­tred around a drought-stricken vil­lage’s fight to save it­self from crip­pling taxes through a make-or-break game of cricket. That meant he had to learn play­ing cricket, too.

And Hindi, of course. It took three months to master the di­a­logues, with “a VERY pa­tient, bril­liant teacher!” Blackthorne adds, “My first Hindi scene was in front of about 100 vil­lagers — af­ter the take, they all cheered, and this im­bued me with con­fi­dence!”

I thought, even if the film isn’t a suc­cess, at least I’ll be able to ex­pe­ri­ence In­dia — that was lifechang­ing in it­self. The film be­ing that suc­cess­ful turned out to be rather life-chang­ing, too PAUL BLACKTHORNE, AC­TOR

PHOTO: FACE­BOOK/OFFICIALPAULBLACKTHORNE 8

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