Mumbai: Filmmaker Kabir Khan, who will soon begin the shoot of his ambitious film "83", which will tell the story of India's 1983 cricket World Cup victory, says he tried to match the persona of real-life cricketers to cast the right actors for the project.
From Ranveer Singh playing the iconic Kapil Dev, to Tahir Raj Bhasin as Sunil Gavaskar, Saqib Saleem as Mohinder Amarnath, Chirag Patil as Sandeep Patil -- "83" has a huge ensemble cast. The versatile Pankaj Tripathi will be seen essaying team manager Man Singh.
Sharing an insight of the preparation for the film, Kabir told IANS: "It was quite a daunting task to cast so many actors. You see, I am going to tell a story that is a part of our history. Our earlier generation who watched that team winning the match or the tournament are very emotional about the 1983 World Cup. It holds the emotion of nostalgia.
"So every time I finalized an actor, I tried to keep the persona of that cricketer in mind. Though I tried to keep the physical resemblance -- the physical structure and body language -- in mind, I was focusing more on the persona so that when the audience looks at those actors on-screen, they could recall the original cricketers."
Kabir said every actor has undergone extensive cricket training for their roles. Ranveer has been sharing some of his moments of training with Kapil Dev on social media of late. In one video, he is seen trying to learn the Natraj shot.
"I have to say that making this film is quite challenging and all of us are doing so many tasks before the camera rolls, but the process is very enjoyable. For instance, all our actors not only have to learn how to play cricket as an international player, but they also have to match the style of those players."
"Ranveer can learn how to bowl, but he has to learn how to bowl like Kapil Dev. Tahir has to learn how to bat like Gavaskar… it is different, and therefore challenging," explained the "Bajrangi Bhaijaan" director.
"83", presented by Reliance Entertainment, also stars popular Punjabi actor Ammy Virk and YouTube sensation Sahil Khattar.
The cast of the film is busy training in Dharamsala for the last phase of preparation. The shooting will begin with a 100-day schedule from May 15 in London.