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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sachin, the movie buff

Sachin Tendulkar has been persuaded to become a serious movie buff. The legendary Indian cricketer has been provided an opportunity to see with his family, friends and in the comfort of his home, virtually all movies produced and distributed in India through the UFO Moviez network. He will have access to all titles from the day it's released.

After leading Mumbai Indians to victory in the IPL VI against Royal Challengers at Bangalore on Tuesday, the World Cup hero flew to Mumbai by a private jet the same night and kept a commitment here on Wednesday to accept the Honorary Lifetime membership of Club X, a division of Valuable Group and parent company of UFO Moviez. UTV has also offered him a one-year free access to all films produced under its banner.

Membership to the Club X is by invitation. Now Tendulkar is part of the elite drawn from a cross section of the rich and famous. He signed the membership in the presence of Sanjay Gaikwad, MD and Founder, Valuable Group, and Ameya Hete, Executive Director. Valuable Group.

Tendulkar will turn 38 on April 24, and for nearly 25 years he has now allowed the game of cricket to be far removed from his almost everyday routine. Right from the time as a skinny lad he rode pillion on his coach Ramakant Achrekar's scooter to play more than a match in a single day to get accustomed to batting and till now, he's played the game with abiding passion and following his immense success has become the darling of the nation.

Not that he was disinterested in other activities including snatching time to see movies in a cinema hall; according to Marcus Couto, a BCCI panel umpire and close friend of Tendulkar for two and half decades, the budding batsman of the 1980s liked entertainment in the form of movies. “Probably Guide was the first movie I saw and that's with the entire family,” he said, adding that he doesn't remember the hits from Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman film.

Over a period of time, Tendulkar developed more than ordinary interest to see films in English, Hindi and Marathi. Here are the excerpts from a media conference:

Did you see any film during the World Cup (from Feb 19 to April 2) ?

I and the team was not reading newspapers or anything related to cricket. I was actually watching movies on television. We needed some time away from cricket so that we could keep our minds fresh. So we used to see Discovery or National Geographic channels that had nothing to do with sport. For light entertainment, I used to see movie channels. I did see a lot of Hindi movies, but nothing new that I can recollect. These were old movies which I had seen and it was easy to link with the script. We have power nap in the afternoon after the morning practice session and I used to see Hindi movies and fall asleep for a while before hitting the gym. I heavily rely on music as well for light entertainment; music is constant at my home and hotel room.

Were you at anytime a first-day-first-show man ?

Never. Well, now I have the opportunity; my friends have given me a reason to be a first-day-first-show man.

Have you ever seen promos and decided to see a particular movie ?

It helps having a few friends in the film circle. I get to see films before they are released; sometimes even the rough copies. That's nice. It's never planned though; it's just having a chat with friends and ask for it. I have seen almost all of Aamir Khan's movies.

Who is your best male and female actor ?

It's to be Amitabh Bacchan and Madhuri Dixit.

Who are the movie buffs in the Indian team ?

I think Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir.

Have you ever been offered to act in a film?

Yes…. but whenever I was offered, I thought of cricket.

Your favourite sports movies?

It's got to be Lagaan and Chak Dey India and also Rocky; it's motivating.

Once you dressed yourself as Gabbar Singh; is that the character you chose or someone suggested that to you ?

I chose because I grew up watching Sholay. My favourite movie. The character of Gabbar Singh had left such a huge impact. So I wanted to take the opportunity and see how I looked.

Do you have any particular choice for films…like comedy, war, art etc?

I like light hearted movies. Serious movies take too much out of you.

The music you have liked the most?

Many songs, but if I have to single out one, then it's to be U2's “Where the streets have no name''. I have listened to that in the recent past quite a bit.

Is it difficult for celebrities to see movies in a cinema hall and hence such a facility (Club X membership) is welcome?

The experience of seeing movies in a theatre has not been bad. Well with this facility one can sit at home and watch a movie which is brilliant. This is a step above that.


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