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Chirag on Playing His Father in 83 and the Audition He Thought He Tanked

Watch Chirag Patil's interview as he talks about playing his father Sandeep Patil in the film 83.

Updated
Sports
3 min read
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"For me as a kid, Kapil uncle, Sunil uncle would always come over for dinner at home. So for me, they were just my father's friends. When we started shooting this movie, that is when I realised what Kapil Dev is, what Sunil Gavakasr is and, for that matter, what Sandeep Patil was," says Chirag Patil as he recounts the experience of being able to play his father, Sandeep Patil, in the movie 83.

The film's much delayed, but much anticipated, release is scheduled on 24 December and The Quint caught up with Chirag Patil following the release of the trailer earlier this week.

Chirag, first off, what an honour was it to be able to play your own father in the movie 83?

It was fantastic. To be able to be part of a film on the win is a big thing and to play my father is an even bigger blessing. I am very proud, extremely humbled, and thankful.

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The trailer shows us glimpses of the legendary '175'. You are one of just a few people who got to hear stories first-hand of what happened in that match against Zimbabwe when Kapil Dev’s 175 helped India win a must-win game and got their campaign on track. That match was not broadcast so no one could see that innings but it’s a big part of the film isn’t it?

That is one innings that you guys must watch. It is fantastic. It’s a spectacle. There is the film and then there is that match. It’s like a film in a film, that Kapil’s one innings. It is just fantastic. Unfortunately, the match was not recorded or broadcast so what happened for us is that we didn’t have any limitations on what shots he can play. We just went all out and it was tremendous to see that. It was mind-blowing! Amazing.

How did the role come about? Did you speak to someone about being auditioned or did someone come and ask you, since you're an actor, to come and play your father in the movie?

When this movie was announced, personally I never thought I would get this part because I can’t play cricket. I think my Dad has told you that as well. So it was really something I thought I would not be able to do. Even when Kabir sir called me for the audition, I thought he would give me some script and I would give the audition but instead, they made me play cricket and I got out on the first ball! When I came home, my father asked me how it went and I told him I thought I would not get the part.

But Kabir sir called me after two months and when I went to his office, he had edited shots of my father playing cricket and put it next to shots from my audition. So when we saw them side by side we realised that the style and the stance and everything was the same. So Kabir sir said that is what he needed. He didn’t need me to actually play cricket. He said as long as I resembled by father and was able to play the shot and the shots are looking the same, then that’s good enough. That’s how I got this film.

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Ranveer Singh has completely transformed into Kapil Dev from what we saw in the trailer. How amazing was it for you all to witness it in person?

Yes, it is amazing. You know, when he was prepping for the role, he went and stayed with Kapil uncle for a month I think, in his house, and I don’t know if this is in the film but when he came back, he mastered this dance that Kapil uncle does, which only we know because we’ve seen him dancing at parties. When I saw Ranveer doing it, I went and told him that what he had picked up nobody else could do it. How he managed to pick that up is phenomenal.

Not just that, these small nuances that he has picked up is just phenomenal. There is so much to learn from him. Every day there was something new he unknowingly taught me.

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