The cricket leg­end be­lieves Bol­ly­wood ac­tors these days are ‘un­be­liev­ably good’

HT Cafe - - Front Page - Shreya Mukher­jee shreya.mukher­jee@htlive.com

In­dian cricket lovers will never for­get the mo­ment when our cricket team lifted 1983 World Cup tro­phy at Lord’s, Eng­land, beat­ing West Indies. It was In­dia’s first ever cricket World Cup win, an in­cred­i­bly proud day for team cap­tain Kapil Dev. And through Bol­ly­wood film­maker Kabir Khan’s sports drama, with Ran­veer Singh cast as Kapil, view­ers can re­live that mo­ment.

Kapil him­self is hope­ful that Ran­veer can pull it off. “I think, these days the ac­tors in our film in­dus­try are so good [that] they’re un­be­liev­able. When I saw Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013) I couldn’t be­lieve the way Farhan [Akhtar] looked in the film. He worked so hard on him­self, to play the part well,” he says, and quips, “I felt that Farhan looked even bet­ter than Milkha [Singh].”

The crick­eter, who has a world record of 434 Test wick­ets and is a leg­endary all- rounder, prefers to put his faith in Ran­veer’s abil­i­ties. He says, “It would be very un­fair for us to make a state­ment at this stage [on whether Ran­veer fits the part]. Let’s fo­cus on the pos­i­tive side.”

Kabir Khan him­self had said about the cast­ing that “hon­estly I could see no one else [ex­cept Ran­veer] for the role, ever since I started fi­nal­is­ing the script”.

Asked if he’d help the film­mak­ers with his valu­able in­puts, Kapil an­swers in the af­fir­ma­tive. “If they ask for my help, then I’m more than happy to do that,” he smiles.

At a time when Bol­ly­wood is churn­ing out films on sports per­son­al­i­ties — Mary Kom, Ma­hen­dra Singh Dhoni, Saina Ne­hwal, Mo­ham­mad Azharud­din, PV Sindhu — and that, too, on sports stars who’re still play­ing, shouldn’t a film on Kapil Dev have been made much ear­lier? “Not re­ally. I think it’s too early [to make a film on me],” he adds with his sig­na­ture smile.


Ran­veer Singh (left) has been cast as Kapil Dev


Cap­tain Kapil Dev with the 1983 Cricket World Cup

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