EXCLUSIVE: Producer Ravi Bhagchandka Reveals That It Took 8 Months To Convince Sachin Tendulkar For Sachin: A Billion Dreams

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Sachin Tendulkar Ravi

The master blaster Sachin Tendulkar is a living legend when it comes to cricket. The cricketer is someone who is even worshipped as a God by his true fans. And it would be something divine to have a look at his inspiring journey.

The effort has been made by 200 Not Out Productions. Sachin Tendulkar’s biopic under the name of Sachin: A Billion Dreams is all set to hit the theatres on May 26, this year. The film has been directed by the famous director James Erskine and produced by Ravi Bhagchandka.

In an exclusive interview with Business Of Cinema, Ravi Bhagchandka reveals some interesting things about Sachin Tendulkar and the film. Read the full interview here:

What was it that convinced you to produce this film?

I didn’t have to get convinced. I used to play cricket, so I have my own journey. I used to watch a lot of sportspersons’ films. So, I thought if something has to be made in India on heroes… we have less heroes over here… and I personally believe that there is no bigger hero than Sachin. He is an inspiration for people. So, I just thought that his journey needs to be told. And it’s not for this generation because this generation already knows him. It’s for the generations to come. It’s like we never saw the Gandhi era but we connect with Gandhi after we see the film. So, it’s like after 30-40 years people will connect to Sachin, they will get to know what he meant for India after seeing this film.

There have been many biopics made on sportspersons. How is this one different from others?

This one is completely different from all those that have been made till now. It’s because we haven’t added anything on our own. Every incident, every scene is based on reality. It’s completely non-fiction. We haven’t added any ‘masala’ from our side. Even the childhood scenes which we have shot with a kid, even they have been narrated by Sachin himself.

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Recently, it was Dhoni’s biopic which was released and it garnered huge appreciation from the people. It was a good success at the box-office as well. Do you think this biopic will stand strong against Dhoni’s?

We are not here to compare. And it would be completely wrong to compare. So, we are not comparing. That was a film which did well and we hope that ours does too.

We all know that Sachin is a private person. So, how did you manage to get him on board for this film?

Well, it wasn’t very difficult to convince him. I used to just tell him that he has got an inspirational journey, something which should be… needs to be told to people to inspire them. And that’s how he got convinced.

The plans of making the film had started in 2012. So, why did the film take so long to come out?

We did not want to go wrong anywhere. It’s something where we can’t go wrong. We were like, even if it takes time let it be. Because we wanted everything to be precise. Firstly, it took us 8 months to convince Sachin. Then there was a lot of research, we talked to a lot of people, gather as much information as we could. We did not want to make something which doesn’t appeal to people. So, all of this took time.

Why did you go for an international director and not an Indian one?

For this film, I did not want anyone who has already lived in Sachin era or someone who is very familiar to him. I did not want any subjectivity. That is why I chose James (Erskine), because before working on this film, he wasn’t very much familiar to him, which helped us in making a good film, a film which is not biased. We have put sheer truth in the film.

Initially, did you feel making Sachin’s biopic as a big responsibility?

Ohh yes. In fact today also I feel that it is a big responsibility. Sachin has a huge fan following and he is someone who is even worshipped by so many people. And since it is for all those people, it is indeed a big responsibility.

You must have met Sachin Tendulkar’s family, friends and colleagues to know more about him. Tell us something about them.

Oh yes, we all feel like being a family now. The reason why he is who he is, is because of his family members and friends that he has around him. It’s not like an over-the-top celebration when he performs well and disappointment when he doesn’t. Everyone around him is quite balanced. This film also shows how Anjali, his wife has a pivotal role in his life and career, how she has been supporting him and the film talks about her journey as well. The film is very much about being a son, being a husband and a father as much as it is being about a cricketer.

What about Dhoni’s part in the film?

We wanted some fanboy moments in this film. So, we have got a fanboy moment from Virat (Kohli), we have got one from Dhoni (Mahendra Singh Dhoni), we have got Viru (Virendra Sehwag). We wanted to show what Sachin means to all of them. These people played alongside him. We wanted to show how it feels being a fellow mate of his. For instance, the World Cup Final. When Sachin got out, it was Virat who had to come in. Imagine that moment… what it must have felt like!

How was your experience working with Sachin Tendulkar?

The experience was great. He is a very humble and generous person. Also, I got to meet Anjali, his wife who is equally polite. It was a memorable journey working with him. I got to know so much about him… things like he can be funny and mischievous.

Did your thoughts change about him after working with him?

No, not at all. As I told you earlier, he was a legend for me then and he is a legend for me now.

Lastly, what kind of reaction are you expecting from the audience?

This is something which can’t be told. If this can be told by every maker, then there would not have been that suspense left about any film. So, I would like to leave that on the audience and just hope for the best. We hope that people will connect to it and it will bring tears in their eyes!