Badhaai Ho director Amit Sharma: Ajay Devgn can mould into any character
Badhaai Ho director helming Ajay Devgn's sports biopic on why actor's physical prowess makes him apt for Syed Abdul Rahim's role
With his latest flick, Badhaai Ho still running strong in cinema halls, director Amit Sharma has his eyes trained on his next, a biopic on former football coach, Syed Abdul Rahim. Apart from being delighted to revisit a sport he admires, Sharma finds comfort in the fact that his leading man, Ajay Devgn is one who can seamlessly mould himself into any character.
"Ajay sir can play a vast range of roles. He is extremely fit, so we should sail through the film, comfortably," he says, alluding to the physical preparation that will be demanded of the actor. Also priding the fact that Devgn scores points with his knack of acing a drama, he says, "There is no one other than him who can nail the emotional [quality] that a character like this demands. I have met him a few times. He is a great listener and has a zest to find new stories and refreshing characters."
A still from Badhaai Ho
Admitting that the currently untitled film will mark his first attempt at creating a sports biopic, Sharma points out that it was his tryst to give a go at unexplored genres that led to the creation of his advertising production house, Chrome Pictures.
The story of his muse, Rahim, was another inspiration. "Our country worships cricket. Football isn't celebrated as much. Rahim sa'ab never got his due. There isn't even a cup or stadium in his name. He deserves more. With this film, I hope the focus on football multiplies several folds." The script, he reveals, should be completed soon. "We roll next year."
Meanwhile, the director's recent offering, Badhaai Ho, continues to set the cash registers ringing, and has breached the Rs 200 crore-mark at the box-office. "I am trying to hold my ground when it is easy to fly," he smiles. Referring to the comedy's plot-line — that highlights what happens when an aged couple becomes pregnant — he adds, "When I decided to produce and direct the film, people said it wouldn't work or that it would make people awkward. But I knew it would do well. Yet, we didn't anticipate the love. Salim Khan sa'ab too called to say it had the ingredients [of a good film]."
Syed Abdul Rahim
Who is Syed Abdul Rahim?
Hyderabad-born Syed Abdul Rahim was an Indian football coach and manager of the national team from 1950 until his death in 1963. He had also been a football player. Rahim is widely considered to be the architect of modern Indian football, with his tenure as coach being dubbed as the "golden age" of football in India. He led the Indian team to the semi-finals of the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, making India the first Asian country to achieve this feat.
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