Actor Saqib Saleem, who will next be seen onscreen in 83, can’t stop gushing about the film’s superstar hero Ranveer Singh. Kabir Khan’s 83 is about India’s first-ever World Cup victory of 1983.
Ranveer plays Kapil Dev, who captained India, while Saqib essays Mohinder Amarnath, vice-captain of the underdog team that went on to become world champions that year. Amarnath, who was popularly known as Jimmy to teammates, was a close friend of Kapil.
Asked how his equation with Ranveer was while playing the real-life buddy cricketers, Saqib said: “Ranveer is such an easy guy that we didn’t have to work on it. It just came so naturally because he is just a loving and open guy. He comes to you with arms open to hug you all the time, so he is that warm guy. I don’t think we had to work on that equation at all.”
Saqib added: “He made it very easy. I have to give him credit where it is due that he is one of the nicest and most co-operative co-stars anybody can work with. He is not only a good actor but he makes sure that the other actor also gives his 200 per cent. He always used to discuss scenes with other actors. So, he is very much alive in every scene and it really helped me while working with him.”
Saqib interacted extensively with Jimmy Amarnath while preparing for his role. “I used to irritate him a lot. I have had long chats with him. When we were training in Dharamshala for 10 days so, Jimmy sir was there for a week. I would have one-on-one interactions with him from six in the morning till whenever he wanted to sleep. I could ask him any and everything under the sun,” the actor recalled, while interacting with the media after having a cricket chat session in the women’s day week in Mumbai.
Apart from 83, Saqib is also working in Apoorva Lakhia’s spy thriller web series Raftaar along with Shreya Pilgaonkar. “Right now, the show has not been announced, so we should wait for the official announcement. That (Raftaar) is not the name of the series. It has a new title. We should wait for it,” he said.
83 also features Deepika Padukone plays Kapil’s wife Romi. Tahir Raj Bhasin is cast as Sunil Gavaskar while the film also features Harrdy Sandhu, Ammy Virk, Pankaj Tripathi, Boman Irani, Nishant Dahiya, Jiiva and Sahil Khattar in other important roles. The film is jointly produced by Kabir Khan, Phantom Films, Deepika Padukone, Sajid Nadiadwala and Vishnu Vardhan Induri, and co-distributed by Reliance Entertainment.
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